After knitting a gorgeous pair of knee socks for the boy’s sock-worthy GF in a gorgeous Knit Picks Stroll tonal colorway called Blue Yonder, I found myself with to little left-over yarn to knit a pair of regular socks for myself, but plenty of yarn to knit a pair of fingerless mitts for the boy’s GF. So off I went on a Ravelry search to find just the right pattern for this yarn.
I found several attractive patterns, but I settled on Mitt Envy, a free download on Ravelry, because I thought the cable would show up well on the tonal yarn.
The pattern may be free, but the designer went out of her way to write the pattern out in great detail. The instructions are all in written form–there is no chart for the cable–but they are clear and detailed, and there are three pictures that show the mitts to great advantage.
I have completed the left mitt and will be casting on the right mitt later today.
These mitts are a quick and easy knit, but I did have to make several modifications to the pattern to get a mitt that fits well. The pattern calls for a gauge of 7 stitches per inch and 11 rows per inch in stocking stitch. I cast on using 2.75 mm double-pointed needles and knit to about half-way through the thumb gusset increases, then put the mitt on a circular needle and tried it on. It was too small because my gauge was 8 stitches per inch. So I ripped it out and started over, this time using 3 mm double-pointed needles. I completed all the thumb gusset increases and knitted a few rounds beyond that before putting the stitches on a circular needle and trying the mitt on. On the second try the circumference of the mitt was perfect. My gauge was 7 stitches per inch, and the fit was snug without being tight, just the way it should be. But the ribbed cuff of the mitt barely reached my wrist even though my row gauge was 10 rows per inch. I decided to knit another cable pattern repeat before starting the thumb gusset, so I ripped back to round 7 of the first pattern repeat, knitted round 8 without doing the M1 increase, knitted rounds 1-7 again, then made the increase on round 8.
The pattern calls for using a M1 increase for all the gusset increases, but I’m just a little anal about things like increases and decreases and wanted the paired decreases to mirror each other, so I worked a M1R at the beginning of the gusset and a M1L at the end of the gusset. (M1R–lift the thread between the stitches from back to front and knit through the front of the stitch to twist it. This stitch will lean toward the right. M1L–life the thread between the stitches from front to back and knit through the back of the stitch to twist it. This stitch will lean toward the left.)
I continued with the pattern until I had completed all the cable repeats, then tried the mitt on. It didn’t quite cover the palm of my hand, so I knew that even after knitting the 7 rounds of ribbing for the top cuff the mitt would be too short. So I knitted one more repeat of the cable pattern before knitting the ribbing, and as you can see from the picture, I hit the Goldilocks zone. The mitt is just right. Whereas the pattern has 5 total repeats of the cable stitch, I ended up with 7 total repeats.
Because everything I had knitted according to the instructions up to this point had been too short, when I knitted the thumb, I first knitted two plain rounds, then did the 7 rounds of 2 x 2 ribbing. I think the results are awesome. I wanted the top part of the mitt to be a little longer than she made hers. Hers appear to extend to the bottom of the second knuckle of the index finger, and I prefer mitts to extend to the bottom of the second knuckle of the middle finger. With the adjustments I made to add length before the thumb gussets and before the top cuff, I ended up with a mitt that is 7 inches long cuff to cuff instead of the 5.5 inches of the original model.
All things considered, I think this is a brilliant pattern for fingerless mitts and I would definitely recommend it to other knitters, but with the caveat that you might need to make a few adjustments to get a good fit for your hand.