A Pattern for Toddler Mittens


When my girls needed bigger mittens for this coming winter, I couldn't find a pattern I liked.  The patterns that gave sizing for tiny hands lacked the design features I have found in adult mitten patterns.  I decided to combine several different ideas and make my own pattern.
 
Toddler Mittens

 Sizes:

18 months, 3 years (instructions for 3 years are in parentheses)



Supplies:

Worsted weight yarn

Size 2 and 4 DPNs

Waste yarn or stitch 
       holders

Tapestry needle



Notes:

I don’t give a gauge because I was using random yarn that I didn’t have labels for, and they knit up at different gauges.  Measure the child’s wrist and multiply by 7 to get a good estimate for how many stitches to cast-on.  At the end of every section, try the mitten on the child to make sure it is fitting correctly, because children vary in size.



Techniques:

Backward Loop Cast-On: see www.youtube.com

DPNs: double-pointed needles
K1: knit one

K2Tog: knit two together

Kitchener Stitch: see www.knitty.com

LLI: left-leaning lifted increase (see www.twistcollective.com)

M1: make one (see www.twistcollective.com)

P1: purl one

Rib Cast-On: see http://newstitchaday.com

RLI: right-leaning lifted increase (see www.twistcollective.com)

Ssk: slip, slip, knit

St/sts: stitch/stitches



Cuff:

With smaller needles, cast on 26 (28) sts, using the Rib Cast-On.  
Distribute the sts as evenly as possible across 3 or 4 needles.
Join and work K1P1 ribbing circularly for 14 rounds.



Round 15: Switching to larger needles, knit around.



Thumb Gusset:

Round 16: K13(14), LLI, RLI, K13(14)- 28 (30) sts.

Round 17: K across.

Round 18: K13(14) LLI, K2, RLI, K13(14)- 30 (32) sts.

Round 19: K across.

Round 20: K13(14) LLI, K4, RLI, K13(14)- 32 (34) sts.

Round 21: K across.

(Next round: K14, LLI, K6, RLI, K14- 36 sts.)

(Next round: K across.)



Knit 3(4) rounds.

K13(14), move the next 6(8) sts to a stitch holder or waste yarn, 
       cast-on 1 st using the Backward Loop Cast-On, K 13(14).  
       27 (29) sts remain on needles.


Top of Hand Decreases:

K 10(12) rounds; on round 4, K across to the last 2 sts and K2Tog- 
       26 (28) sts.

Ssk, K9(10), K2Tog, ssk, K9(10), K2Tog- 22 (24) sts.

K 1 round.

Ssk, K7(8), K2Tog, ssk, K7(8), K2Tog- 18 (20) sts.

K 1 round.

Ssk, K5(6), K2Tog, ssk, K5(6), K2Tog- 14 (16) sts.

K 1 round.

Ssk, K3(4), K2Tog, ssk, K3(4), K2Tog- 10 (12) sts.



Place the remaining sts evenly on two needles and use the Kitchener Stitch to close the top of the mitten.  (You have been working your mitten inside-out.  Turn it right-side-out to work the Kitchener Stitch.  When that is finished, turn it inside-out again to work the thumb.)



Thumb:

Move the 6(8) thumb sts onto two needles (size 4 needles).

Round 1: pick up and K 4 sts along the top edge of the thumb area 
       to close the hole between the thumb and the hand; K the 
       remaining 6(8) sts- 10 (12) sts total for thumb.
K 5(8) rounds.

Decreasing round: K2Tog around until you get to the last st, K1- 
       5 (6) sts remain.

Cut the yarn, leaving a tail of a few inches, and thread the yarn onto the tapestry needle.  Weave the yarn through each st, dropping the sts off the needles as you weave.


Weave in any remaining loose ends of yarn.  Turn the mitten right-side-out, and it’s finished.



Optional String:

You can attach the mittens to a string run through the child’s coat so the mittens can’t get lost.  Do this by making either a crochet chain or an I-Cord in the appropriate length.

Mending and Blocking An Estonian Shawl

About four years ago I made the Queen Silvia shawl from Nancy Bush's book Knitted Lace of Estonia.  I loved working on it, and it turned out beautifully, but I hadn't washed it since then.  I recently soaked it in some woolwash (by hand, in my tub) and then re-blocked it.

 
During the blocking process, I discovered a hole.  Because it was in garter stitch, the hole looked bigger than it actually was.  Only one row had unravelled so far, across three stitches.  I started by picking up all the loose stitches on stitch markers.

I did some research and found this website to be the most helpful: www.knitty.com.  I used the weaving method.  I had some leftover yarn from when I had originally made the shawl, so I cut a few inches of that and threaded it on a blunt tapestry needle.  After spending a few minutes staring really hard at the rows above and below, I eventually figured out how to thread the yarn through the stitches so that it looked like knitting.  


It helped to have knowledge of the kitchener stitch (www.knitty.com).  Although the kitchener stitch duplicates the look of stockinette stitch, and I was duplicating garter stitch, I still felt like it helped to have that background knowledge.

My mending really does look just like garter stitch.  The only thing that makes the area stand out a little is the double thickness of yarn where the old and new were merged together.

When I originally made the shawl, I was relatively new to blocking.  This time, I stretched it a little more to make the shawl more open-looking and to accentuate the tips.

Purple Purse

I decided recently that the purse I have had for the past five years is impractically small for a mom, so my sister gave me a gift card for Christmas to buy a new one.  In a moment of inspiration, it occured to me that if I knit myself a purse, then I could use the gift card to buy clothes, instead.

I chose a purse pattern on Ravelry that has a honeycomb design: Bees Knees Bag.  I am drawn to dark purple, but for some unfortunate reason, I rarely end up with purple in my closet, so I decided my purse had to be purple.  As part of my birthday date, my husband helped me pick out yarn at JoAnn Fabrics, a bulky eggplant yarn that's mostly acrylic, with a little wool: Lion Brand Wool Ease.  I dug through my mom's fabric collection and picked out a soft lavendar fabric for the lining.  I also got some lavendar zippers for the top closure and for the inside pockets.

The pattern has a pocket on the front that is knitted separately and then sewn in.  I prefer to knit things in one piece with as little seaming as possible, and I enjoy a challenge, so I was considering using double knitting to knit the pocket at the same time as the main body of the purse.  However, I decided that would be too complicated (and therefore impossible to knit and watch movies at the same time), so I am going to stick with the directions.

The cast-on is Judy's Magical Cast-On, which is awesome.  I only used it once a few years ago, so I had to review how to do it.  The purse is turning out really well so far.  I am almost to the part where I add on the front pocket.