Thursday, March 06, 2008

Felty oven mitts

I wrote up the pattern I developed for my felted oven mitts. This was mostly so I'd remember what I did, since it took a lot of trial and error (read: lots of ripping), but having gone through the trouble of jotting it down, I figured I might as well share it in case anyone else wants to make some mitts for themselves.

So, without further ado: The Felty Oven Mitts!

(And, because I'm kinda sorta a lawyer, and most definitely not a professional pattern designer . . . the obligatory disclaimer: There may be some mistakes in the pattern. I haven't test-knit what I wrote down to make sure it actually jives. I plan on knitting some more mitts and will follow what I've written to see if it makes sense, but in the meantime, if you find an error or some unclear language, please let me know (and accept my humblest apologies). Happy knitting!)

Yarn: 4 skeins Cascade 220
Needles: 16" US10.5 circs; US 10.5 DPNs
Gauge: not important
Notions: waste yarn to hold thumb stitches; stitch marker

Using circular needle and yarn held doubled, cast on 45 stitches. Being careful not to twist, place marker to mark beginning of round and join yarn for knitting in the round. Knit 5 rounds. On sixth round, *k8, kf&b*, repeat between *s until end: 50 stitches. Knit 24 more rounds for a total of 30 rounds from cast-on edge.

Next, shape the thumb gusset as follows:

Round 31: k24, kf&b, kf&b, k24.
Round 32 and all even rounds during thumb gusset shaping: k.
Round 33: k24, kf&b, k2, kf&b, k24.
Round 35: k24, kf&b,k4, kf&b, k24.
Round 37: k24, kf&b, k6, kf&b, k24.

Continue increasing in this manner for a total of 26 thumb-gusset rounds: 76 sts. On next round, k25, place the next 26 stitches on a holder or waste yarn, cast on one stitch using backward loop method, k25 to end of round: 51 sts on needles; 26 sts on waste yarn.

On next round, k25, k2tog, k24: 50 sts on needles. Knit 20 rounds.

Shape top of mitt as follows:

Round 79: *k1, ssk, k19, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 46 sts.
Round 80: k.
Round 81: *k1, ssk, k17, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 42 sts.
Round 82: k.
Round 83: *k1, ssk, k15, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once. 38 sts.
Round 84: k.

Continue decreasing in this way for a total of 10 rounds: 30 sts on needles. (Switch to DPNs when necessary.) For remaining rounds, shape as follows:

Round 89: *k1, ssk, k9, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 26 sts.
Round 90: *k1, ssk, k7, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 22 sts.
Round 91: *k1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 18 sts.
Round 92: *k1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 14 sts.

Place remaining sts on 2 DPNs (7 sts on each DPN). Cut yarn, leaving a long tail of at least 15". Graft the stitches together using kitchener stitch.

Knit thumb:

Remove thumb stitches from waste yarn and arrange on three DPNs: 26 stitches. Place the mitt before you so that the thumb gusset is on the left-hand side. (In other words, the mitt should be oriented so that you can put your right hand into the mitt and your thumb will poke out of the thumb gusset.)

Round 1: Join yarn at the first live stitch at the inside crook of the thumb, leaving a tail of 6-8", and k one round. When you finish knitting the live stitches and come to the gap at the inside crook of the thumb, pick up and knit 2 stitches, place marker, pick up and knit 2 stitches: 30 sts on needles.

Now you'll need to work a few decreases at the inside crook of the thumb to eliminate the four extra stitches you picked up to cross the gap. The current arrangement on your needles is as follows: Marker, 2 picked-up stitches, 26 "regular" gusset stitches, 2 picked-up stitches. Your working yarn at this point should be ready to knit the first of the 26 gusset stitches.

Round 2: k 26 sts, k2tog. Your working yarn should now be at the beginning of the round, where your marker is. 29 sts on needles.

Round 3: K2tog, k25, k2tog. 27 sts on needles.

Round 4: K2tog, k26. 26 sts on needles. You have just decreased the four extra stitches on either side of your marker.

Knit 8 more rounds. Then shape top of thumb as follows:

Round 13: *k1, ssk, k7, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 22 sts.
Round 14: *k1, ssk, k5, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 18 sts.
Round 15: *k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 14 sts.
Round 16: *k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1; repeat from * once: 10 sts.

Place remaining sts on 2 DPNs (5 sts on each DPN). Cut yarn, leaving a long tail of at least 10". Graft the stitches together using kitchener stitch.

Weave in ends. Use the long tail at the inside crook of the thumb to close any holes there.

Make 2 mitts and felt them in your washing machine. I usually use hot water, add a small amount of laundry detergent, and turn the dial on my machine to "super" wash, which agitates the laundry extra hard for a few minutes before beginning the regular cycle. I have a small "economy-size" washing machine, so it usually takes me at least one and a half washes before the mitts are felted to the size I like. I recommend checking on the mitts every five minutes or so from the beginning to monitor how they're felting. As they start felting and shrinking in size, check them more often. When they're a size you like, you can run them through your machine's spin cycle to get as much water out of them as possible.

Shape and let air-dry. Bake up something yummy and use mitts to protect your hands!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Logging another log cabin

Work is slowly starting to bury me alive. There's a big deadline at the end of March, and before I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have to deal with some projects that are particularly tricksy, boring, complicated, or a combination of all of the above. There's knitting (and even spinning!) going on, but not much time to blog about it.

In the meantime, though, I'm truckin' along with my Kureyon log cabin blocks. I just finished another one yesterday and now have nine blocks, with the tenth on the needles. One block is drastically smaller than the rest--I must have been knitting more tightly for that one, for some reason--so I may have to reknit that one. But otherwise I'm really pleased with the way these guys are coming out.

Hope everyone is enjoying the new month!