Sunday, 10 March 2013

Lion and Lamb Mitts

Ok so I haven't been the best blogger lately, not that I was ever the best blogger.  Only one post in February... that's not very good, even for me.  Can I use the excuse that it was a short month?  Let's say that I can.  In this post I talked about how January was a hard month for me, but it turned out that February was kinda rough too.  I can't really say why, not that it's a secret or anything, but I just didn't feel very motivated to do much of anything.  I haven't finished anything new since the one February post... except for a pair of fingerless mitts.

I decided I wanted to make something with my blue and brown hand-spun that I showed off last month because it was too pretty to leave un-knit.  I decided on fingerless mitts because I'm getting impatient for spring, and went on a search for a pattern.  After perusing through ravelry for awhile I hadn't found anything that really fit with what I was looking for.  I wanted it to be both simple enough to show off the hand-spun, but more textured than a basic stockinette gauntlet.  Finally I realized that I should just start knitting and see what happens, so that's what I did.

 Thus, the Lion and Lamb Mitts.  

I'm calling them this because I think they're good mitts for March (you know, in like a lion, out like a lamb, or vice versa...).  Even though this year, Winnipeg in March looks like this:

March is a month of transition.  Although there is still a lot (I mean A LOT) of snow, it is starting to melt in places, and I like to think that it's melting at a faster rate than more snow falls.  A girl can dream, anyway.  In any case, the temperature during the day isn't really lower than -10 C anymore, and I don't need to bundle up quite as much.  So I made these fingerless mitts long to cover most of my fingers, and textured to provide extra warmth.  I still wouldn't wear them in a snowstorm, but they're plenty warm enough for the walk to the bus stop in the mornings.  The colours remind me of March too (okay maybe some other Marches, if not this one).  The brilliant blue sky, the brown snow and mud, and tinges of green poking through.

They are quite simple, and easily sized up or down by using different yarn or needles.  I used my hand-spun yarn which is sometimes sport weight and sometimes light worsted weight, but mostly dk weight I think.  If you substituted a commercial dk weight or light worsted weight yarn it would likely work fine.  It would also work to increase or decrease the beginning stitch count by a multiple of 2 to make it fit the size you need.

Anyway, here's what I did:

You will need:
Yarn: 100 g skein of DK or light worsted weight yarn, or hand-spun in roughly DK weight.  I used just under 50 g of yarn for my pair, so theoretically one skein could make you two pairs.
Needles: 3.75 mm dpns or size needed to make a fairly tight gauge with your chosen yarn.  If you like you may go down a needle size for the cuffs, but I didn't.stitch marker
waste yarntapestry needle


k: knit
p: purl
pm: place marker
sm: slip marker
M1: Increase 1 stitch.  I used M1L but you may use a different increase if you like.  From the front, lift loop between stitches with left needle, knit into back of loop.  If the increase stitch falls where a purl stitch should be to fit with the seed stitch pattern, from the front, lift loop between stitches with left needle, purl into back of loop.  (if you don't want to do this, just do regular M1s and it'll be fine, it will just be slightly less textured)
Seed stitch: Row 1 is *knit 1, purl 1, repeat from * around.  Row 2 is *purl 1, knit one, repeat from * around.  There may be places in the gusset where this doesn't quite work.  The important thing to remember is to purl the knit stitches from the row below, and knit the purl stitches from the row below.

k2tog: knit two stitches together.
p2tog: purl two stitches together.

CO 40 stitches using the long-tail method, pm (if needed), join to work in round.
K1, p1 ribbing for 2"
Rows 1-6: K around.
Rows 7-12: Seed stitch around.
Rows 13-18: K around.

Thumb gusset:

Row 1: M1, p1, k1, p1, m1, pm, continue in seed stitch around.
Row 2: Seed stitch to m, sm, seed stitch around.  
Row 3, M1, seed stitch to marker, M1, slip marker, seed stitch around. 
Row 4: same as row 2.
Row 5: same as row 3.
Row 6, same as row 2.
Row 7: M1, k to m, M1, k around.
Row 8: k to m, sm, k around.
Row 9: same as row 7.
Row 10: same as row 8.
Row 11: same as row 7.
Row 12: Slip 15 stitches before marker to waste yarn.  Remove marker, cast on one stitch. K around (38 stitches).


Rows 1-6: Seed stitch around.
Rows 7-12: K around.
Rows 13-18: Seed stitch around.
Rows 19-21: K around.
K1, p1 ribbing 3 rounds or until desired length.

Bind off loosely in ribbing.


Place 15 held stitches back onto three needles (6, 6, 3).  
Row 1: Join yarn at first st after gap and knit 15 stitches. Pick up two stitches at the gap and join to work in the round (17 stitches)
Row 2: Seed stitch to last 2 stitches, k2tog or p2tog to stay in pattern. (16 stitches)
Rows 3-5: Seed stitch around.
Rows 7-8: K around.
K1, p1 ribbing 3 rounds or until desired length.

Make second mitt.