As always when knitting garments for hands, I was reminded that fiddling with the fingers and mitten shell is by far the most time-consuming part. However, for me it’s also the most worthwhile as it creates a very practical item that is less likely to be dropped and lost.
I made a few changes from my last Smartphone Friendly Mitts, creating a size in between the medium and large for a wonderful fit. I was amazed at the difference in gauge you get between knitting on 2.75mm and 2.5mm needles. These mittens, which are knit on the smaller needles, are noticeably warmer than my old Broad Streets. I really loved the last pair of mittens I made even though they are the tiniest bit tight. This new colourway should also go better with my red coat.
It was so interesting to read my notes on the Broad Street mittens I made. Just under three years ago, these were probably the most fiddly item I had ever made to that point. I certainly remember puzzling over a few things in the pattern. It’s nice to be able to see my progress in craft through this blog.
How I made my mitten shell:
CO 32 sts. I recommend tubular (great tutorial here) but long tail would also work.
K 11 rows
Divide onto two needles
Pick up 30 sts across knuckles of mitten. Be careful to make sure you pick up starting from the centre of the pinky or your shell will not hang straight.
With working yarn from ribbed flap, K across picked up stitches, dividing onto two needles as you go.
Knit across the stitches you just ribbed, joining to work in the round.
Increase one stitch in the ladder before the picked up stitches. K30. Inc 1, K to end. Place marker for beginning of round (64 sts total)
K for 32 rounds. Try on. You don’t want to start the star decrease before you’ve knit just past your pinky.
K6, k2tog around (56 sts)
K 1 rnd
k5, k2tog* *rep to end of rnd (48 sts)
K 5 rounds
k4, k2tog* *rep to end of rnd
K 4 rounds
k3, k2tog* *rep to end of rnd
K 3 rounds
k2, k2tog* *rep to end of rnd
K 2 rounds even.
k1, k2tog* *rep to end of rnd
K 1 round
K2tog* *rep to end of rnd
Graft remaining 8 sts together
Then sew in the million ends.
Here’s how they look with the matching scarf.
I could hardly be more pleased with how beautifully these mitten-glove hybrids knitted up. They look absolutely stunning in the beautiful Stray Cat sock yarn I blew half my bursary on last year.
What? No, of course I didn’t go out and buy nail varnish especially so my nails would look half decent in these pics!
These are knit on smaller 2.5mm needles, giving a nice tight fabric to keep the wind out. I like the tight fit on the mittens too.
Check out my Ravelry page for the original pattern, plus the mods I made to attach the mitten shell to the glove. I used the method adapted from the Broad Street mittens I’ve made before. It’s funny to realise that when I made those gloves, I hadn’t yet realised that pictures should be taken in decent light so that, you know, you can actually see the item. If you Google Broad Street mittens, I’m in the top three images and it’s a little embarrassing.
The only downside is that, having sworn off knitting fingers, I now want to make another pair of these to go with my red coat!
This week I decided to take a break from my big knitting and crochet projects and knit myself a new pair of gloves. I like to have a pair to keep in the pockets of each of my coats, for ease. These gloves will really complement my newish raincoat. Previously all I had was a massive men’s rain-tent that I obtained from an ex. Now I have a little women’s jacket that is just about smart enough to wear to work. Win. I suck at transitional dressing. Anyway, I have made good progress on the first glove I was pretty happy when I worked the thumb.
The yarn is self-striping sock yarn from Stray Cat, a company based in New Zealand. I bought it via Etsy. The pattern is Smartphone Friendly Mitts, available on Ravelry. I’m not sure if any fellow Ravellers read my blog, but if you do, my handle is crafty-crusader. I don’t have many Rav friends even though I sing its praises constantly, to the boredom of most people I know.
I like the fact that these gloves fit very tightly. I have now nearly finished both gloves, so the next step will be to attach mitten shells that I can flip over to keep my fingers warm. I used to spend a small fortune on gloves each winter as I would have to take one off to use my phone, then drop it. Since I switched to convertible mittens, my glove attrition rate has dropped to nearly zero (famous last words). I should draw a graph.
I recently read a blog post about the joy of fingerless gloves. At the time I remember thinking ‘knitting fingers isn’t so bad’. For reference, making the body of each glove probably takes four to six hours. Each finger has been taking an additional hour. I will be joining the fingerless glove club after this project!
Last week I posted the sketch of my design for these convertible gloves. In one of my frequent fits of chronological optimism, I had hoped to have these finished on Sunday as part of my Order of the Phoenix mission for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. This is where I managed to get.
This is glove one so I’m not even close! I changed a few elements of the design as I knit, especially after reading a very interesting article about selecting shades for colour work by the inspirational Jared Flood. Right now I’m not 100% in love with how these are looking so I think I’ll finish the thumb and leave them to hibernate for a few weeks.
Here are a few process pics. I do love the method for lining the glove, it’s very clever and neat even if it did almost cause my head to explode.
On my needles at the moment is the beautiful Waterlily top. I decided to go with the recommended yarn, which is Islington by Kettle Yarn Co and stunningly beautiful. I chose the off-white colourway as I’m still on a white clothing kick inspired by Olivia Pope in Scandal. It does make me anxious about knitting on the bus though!
I’m adding a little shaping and I’ve just finished knitting up to the narrowest part of my waist. It’s just subtle shaping, no bust darts as I’m also trying to embrace positive ease a bit more this year. I was hoping to have this finished before I go away but since I leave in three weeks that may be slightly ambitious!
I’m also working on some mittens to go with my Peerie Flooers hat. I have lots of yarn left over, but mainly in the brighter colours rather than the background shades. I’ve sketched a template so I can play around with some different ideas. What do you think?
I don’t want the colours to be too crazy as I have a red coat.
As I mentioned in one of the hat posts, the wool is a little bit scratchy and the pattern includes a lining that is knit in much softer yarn (I’m using baby alpaca). I decided to cast on the first glove yesterday. The instructions say to do a provisional cast on, then join in the round and knit the lining, which I thought would take an hour or so. Dear god, it was the most traumatic knitting experience I’ve had in years! I did a provisional cast on once before for my cabled cowl, and used the method on Knitty. When I tried this time, the lining yarn got all tangled with the waste yarn holding my stitches and was a real mess. When I joined to work in the round, it was an absolute tangled disaster and I had to rip it out.
Following a quick Google, I decided to follow someone’s advice and knit a few rows straight before joining to work in the round to avoid tangling. This is the lining so a little untidiness won’t be seen anyway. Somehow I managed to cast on the wrong number of stitches, so I had to frog again. On try three, I worked three rows straight and then joined to work in the round… and managed to twist the edge. Rip it rip it! By this time I was getting pretty irate but I was determined to get this glove on the needles if it killed me.
And zen. Try four finally worked. This time, I knit 7 rows straight to make it easier to join in the round without twisting the edge. I’ve done the lining now and it only took 4 hours.
Although this was a frustrating experience, I hope it will improve my knitting in the long run. I have to do a long provisional cast on for the big cardigan project I have planned for autumn, so it’s all practice.
This isn’t really a how-to as the pattern for these wonderful convertible gloves is available on Knitty. Convertible gloves have saved me a fortune in replacement gloves over the past few years. You don’t have to take them off to use your phone!
I used the needle sizes recommended in the pattern, and two 50g balls of Regia 4-ply self-striping sock yarn in Anthracite. You can see my marvellous array of double-pointed needles in the pics below. I absolutely love birch needles at the moment.
Here is the right glove in various orientations, with the mitten shell up and down. It’s like porn, isn’t it?
You, too, can tease strangers with titillating glimpses of fingertip. The gloves fit pretty well, my hands are on the large side for a lady. They are a little bit baggy around the palm, but I can live with that. This pattern note on Ravelry is also very handy if you don’t understand how to reverse a pattern for the opposite hand. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/broad-street-mittens
Here are some pics showing my progress at various stages. I mostly knitted these on a long-haul flight. I couldn’t recommend this more to help pass the dull hours between unpleasant food. I normally watch kids’ movies while I knit- anything more complex and either my knitting would suffer or I would lose the plot. Additional bonus: I have now caught up on every Disney and Pixar film for the past couple of years.
I’d probably say that the hardest bit was picking up the stitches for the mitten shell. It required an awful lot of patience and a steady hand. The fingers were actually quite easy, so I’d say a mitten is certainly no harder to knit than a sock.
The second hardest bit was sewing in all those fiddly little ends. Man, I hate sewing up! But overall, I would highly rate this project.