Knit-a-long a Mitten With Me

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My local yarn store, Loopy Yarns, rewards its customers with a $10 off coupon on our birthdays every year. This year, I decided to use mine to pick up a copy of Britt-Marie Christoffersson’s Pop Knitting. Her earlier publication, Swedish Sweaters, is a prize item in my knitting library, and I saw many good reviews of PK when it was first published, but none of that prepared me for the kind of technical and design innovation to be found in this catalog of intriguing stitch patterns. Before picking up Pop Knitting, I would have sworn there was nothing new to do with garter stitch (the most basic stitch in knitting) after 500+ years of knitting history, but, reader, I would have been wrong. Apart from the book’s deep appeal to my inner knitting geek, I love that so many of the multicolored stitches are both interesting to work AND suitable for men’s garments, with their heavily geometric and sometimes woven appearance.

The author is a former member of the Swedish textile design collective 10-gruppen, and knit up most of her stitch patterns in Pop Knitting only as large swatches for display in a museum show. There are no actual garment instructions in the book, though there are some finished items shown. So, I thought it would be fun to work up a few simple mitten patterns using the stitches to knit together with some of the author’s other fans on Ravelry.

I have designed three mittens for this knit-a-long (or KAL in Ravelry-speak), and the instructions given below are in three sizes. You will need a copy of the book for the stitch patterns of two of the designs; for the third (Blocked Stripe Mittens) I found I had changed the stitch enough that I couldn’t describe it clearly in reference to the stitch pattern given in the book, so I have written it out in full. Participants are welcome to design their own mittens with Pop Knitting stitch patterns as well.

 L to R, Blocked Stripe Mittens, Shadowbox Mittens, Garter Stripe Mittens

L to R, Blocked Stripe Mittens, Shadowbox Mittens, Garter Stripe Mittens

The KAL will begin on Friday, November 21th, at 5 pm, and end at midnight, December 31st, Eastern Standard time. Three of the knitters posting finished projects on the KAL thread will be chosen at random at the close of the KAL to receive the Ravelry download pattern of their choice from a selection of American and Swedish designers. (See the KAL thread for more details).

I hope you will join us for this Mitten KAL! The mittens should make quick-to-knit holiday gifts, and are a great way to use up odds and ends from your stash.

 

GarterStripeGarter Stripe Mittens
Yarn: Worsted weight wool, 165 yds/151 m for the largest size: About 50 yds/46 m of the main stripe color (Color B), 90 yds/82 m of the cuff/thumb/top color (Color A), 25 yds/23 m of the alternate stripe color (Color C)
Needles: Set of 4 or 5 siz 9/5.5 mm double-pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 16 st per 4 inches/10 cm
Sizes: (by finished hand circumference) (7”/18 cm, 8”/20 cm, 9”/23 cm)

Pattern Stitch
Two-Color Garter Stitch, Four Rows #1/Tvåfärgad rätstickning, fyra varv 1
Since we are are working in the round, we need only follow Rows 1 and 2 of the pattern. Work every Row 1 in Color B, and alternate Colors A and C on Row 2. At the beginning of each round, bring new color up under the color used for the previous round to prevent gaps in the knitting. Tug firmly on the new yarn at the beginning of each round to neaten up the join.

Right Mitten
In Color A, CO (28, 30, 32) stitches and join, being careful not to twist. Work in K2, P2 rib for (2 1/2”/6.5 cm, 2 3/4”/7 cm, 3”/7.5 cm), then attach Color B and begin working pattern stitch. Work even until piece measures (1 1/2”/4 cm, 2”/5 cm, 2 1/2 “ /6.5 cm) from top of cuff, or to desired position of base of thumb, ending with Row 1 of Pattern Stitch.

Peasant Thumb
On the next row, take a length of waste yarn and knit the first (4, 5, 6) stitches of the row with it. Cut thread for the color to be used in this row, and reattach, purling the rest of the round with it as given in the pattern stitch. Work the next round in Color B as usual.

Continue in patttern until mitten reaches the top of the little finger, or measures (4 1/2”/11.5 cm, 5 1/2 “/14 cm, 6 1/2“ /16.5 cm) from top of cuff, about (1 1/2”/4 cm, 1 3/4”/4.5 cm, 2”/5 cm) short of desired length.

Shape Top
Break off Color B & C, and continue knitting with Color A.
Round 1: (K5, K5, K6), K2 tog 4 times, end K (0, 2, 0)
Round 2: K
Round 3: (K4, K4, K5), K2tog 4 times, end K (0, 2, 0)
Round 4: K
Round 5: (K3, K3, K4) K2tog 4 times, end K (0, 2, 0)
Round 6: K
Round 7: (K2, K2, K3), K2tog 4 times, end K2tog (0, 1, 0) time.
Round 8: (K1, K1, K2), K2tog 4 times, end K (0, 1, 0)
For two smaller sizes, break off yarn and thread through remaining (8, 9) stitches. For largest size:
Round 9 : (K1, K2tog) 4 times
Break off yarn and thread through remaining 8 stitches. Pull tight to close.

Finish Thumb
Remove the length of waste yarn, picking up the stitches released above and below the gap on dpns. There should be (4, 5, 6) stitches on the bottom needle, and (5, 6, 7) on the top needle.

Arranging stitches on dpns as you go, knit stitches from the bottom needle, pick up 3 stitches along the gap between the bottom and the top needle, knit across top needle, pick up 3 stitches along the gap between top and bottom needle.

Join and knit next round: K (4, 5, 6), cdd, K (4, 5, 6), ssk, k2tog. (11, 13, 15) st.

Work even until thumb measures to about the middle of the thumbnail, or 1 1/2”/4 cm, 1 3/4”/4.5 cm, 2”/5 cm.

Shape Top of Thumb, size 7”/18 cm
Round 1: [K2tog, K2] 2 times, K2tog K1.
Round 2: K
Round 3: [K2tog, K1] 2 times, K2 tog.
Round 4: K2tog 2 times, K1.
Break yarn, thread through remaining 3 stitches.

Shape Top of Thumb, sizes 8”/20 cm & 9”/23 cm
Round 1: [K2tog, K (2, 3)] 2 times, K2tog K3
Round 2: K
Round 3: [K2tog, K (1, 2)] 2 times, K2tog K2
Round 4: [K2tog, K (0, 1)] 2 times, K2tog, K1
Break yarn, thread through remaining 4, 6 stitches, pull tight to close.

Left Mitten
Work as for Right Mitten up to Peasant Thumb. On the next row, work to last 6 stitches. Cut thread, and knit last (4, 5, 6) stitches on a length of waste yarn. Work the next round in Color B as usual. Finish as for Right Mitten.

 

ShadowboxShadow Box Mittens
Yarn: Sport weight wool, 200 yds/ 182 m for the largest size
Needles: Set of 4 or 5 size 4/3.5 mm double-pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
Gauge: 30 st per 4 inches/10 cm
Sizes: (by finished hand circumference) (7”/18 cm, 8”/20 cm, 9”/23 cm)

Pattern Stitch
Slipped Stitches and Stockinette #1/Lyfta maskor och slätstickning 1, 2 x 2 over 8 rows variation.

Right Mitten
CO 52, 60, 68 st, work 2 x 2 rib for (2 1/2”/6.5 cm, 2 3/4”/7 cm, 3”/7.5 cm)

Knit 1 row plain, then begin Pattern Stitch. (2 x 2 over 8 rows), work for 2 inches, ending on slip stitch row. Work even until piece measures (1 1/2”/4 cm, 2”/5 cm, 2 1/2 “ /6.5 cm) from top of cuff, or to desired position of base of thumb, ending with the plain knit row of Pattern Stitch.

Peasant Thumb
On the next row, break yarn, take a length of waste yarn and knit the first (8, 9, 10) stitches of the row with it. Reattach working yarn and finish row in pattern. Knit the next round, continuing in pattern as established.

Work even until mitten reaches the top of the little finger, or measures (4 ½ ”/11.5 cm, 5 ½ “/14 cm, 6 ½ “ /16.5 cm) from top of cuff, about (1 1/2”/4 cm, 1 3/4”/4.5 cm, 2”/5 cm) short of desired length, ending on a plain knit round.

Shape Mitten Top
Round 1: *k (4, 5, 6) k2tog, k (5, 6, 7) k2tog, rep from * around
Round 2: K
Round 3: *K (9, 11, 13), k2tog * rep from *
Round 4: K
Repeat rounds 3-4, decreasing number of stitches before k2tog by 1 stitch each round, until (36, 40, 44) stitches remain. Dec every round until 8 stitches remain. Cut thread, draw through loops to close.

Pick up stitches above and below waste yarn, remove waste yarn. There should be ( 8, 9, 10) stitches on bottom needle, and (9, 10. 11) stitches on top needle.

Arranging stitches on dpns as you go, knit stitches from the bottom needle, pick up 3 stitches along the gap between the bottom and the top needle, knit across top needle, pick up 3 stitches along the gap between top and bottom needle.

Join and knit next round: K (8, 9, 10), cdd, K (8, 9, 10), ssk, k2tog. (19, 21, 23) st.

Work even until thumb measures to about the middle of the thumbnail, or 1 1/2”/4 cm, 1 3/4”/4.5 cm, 2”/5 cm.

Shape Top of Thumb, size 7”/18 cm
Round 1: [K2tog, K 4] 2 times, K2tog K 5
Round 2: K
Round 3: [K2tog, K 3] 2 times, K2tog K 4
Round 4: K
Round 5: [K2tog, K 2] 2 times, K2tog, K 3
Round 7: [K2tog, K 1)] 2 times, K2tog, K 2
Break off yarn and thread through remaining 7 stitches.

Shape Top of Thumb, Sizes 8”/20 cm & 9”/23 cm
Round 1: [K2tog, K (5, 6)] 2 times, K2tog, K 5
Round 2: K
Round 3: [K2tog, K (4, 5)] 2 times, K2tog, K 4
Round 4: K
Round 5: [K2tog, K (3, 4)] 2 times, K2tog, K 3
Round 6: K
Round 7: [K2tog, K (2, 3)] 2 times, K2tog, K 2
Round 8: [K2tog, K (1, 2] 2 times, K2tog, K 1

Break yarn, thread through remaining 6, 8 stitches, pull tight to close.

Left Mitten
Work as for Right Mitten up to Peasant Thumb. On the next row, work to last (8, 9, 10) stitches. Break yarn, and knit these (8, 9, 10) stitches on a length of waste yarn. Reattach working yarn and knit next round, continuing pattern as established. Finish as for Right Mitten.

 

BlockStripeBlocked Stripe mittens
Yarn: Worsted weight wool, 150 yds/137 m of main color, 25 yds/ 23 m of contrast color, for the largest size mitten.
Needles: Set of 4 or 5 size 8/5mm double-pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 20 st per 4 inches/10 cm

Sizes: (by finished hand circumference) (7”/18 cm, 8”/20 cm, 9”/23 cm)

Pattern Stitch
Note: At the beginning of each round, bring new color up under the color used for the previous round to prevent gaps in the knitting. Tug firmly on the new yarn at the beginning of each round to neaten up the join.
Variation of Two-Color Garter Stitch, Four Rows #2/ Tvåfärgad rätstickning, fyra varv 2.
Round 1: * With Color B, P4. With Color A, K4. Rep from * around.
Round 2: With Color A, Knit.
Round 3: With Color A, * Sl 4 wyib, K4. Rep from * around.
Round 4: With Color B, * P4, Sl 4 wyib. Rep from * around.
Round 5: With Color A, Knit.
Rounds 6-10: Repeat Rounds 1-5.
Round 11: * With Color A, K4. With Color B, P4. Rep from * around.
Round 12: With Color A, Knit.
Round 13: With Color A, * K4, Sl 4 wyib. Rep from * around.
Round 14: With Color B, * Sl 4 wyib, P4 . Rep from * around.
Round 15: With Color A, Knit.
Rounds 16-20: Repeat Rounds 11-15.

Right Mitten
Cast on (36, 40, 44) stitches in Color A and join, being careful not to twist. Work in K2, P2 rib for (2 1/2”/6.5 cm, 2 3/4”/7 cm, 3”/7.5 cm), then attach Color B and begin working pattern stitch. Establish pattern by working (4 ?, 5, 5 ?) pattern repeats on first round.

Work even until piece measures (1 1/2”/4 cm, 2”/5 cm, 2 1/2 “ /6.5 cm) from top of cuff, or to desired position of base of thumb, ending with a plain knit round of pattern stitch.

Peasant Thumb
On the next row, take a length of waste yarn and knit the first (6, 7, 8) stitches of the row with it. Cut thread for the color to be used in this row, and reattach, working the rest of the round with it as given in the pattern stitch. On the next round, knit across the waste yarn stitches, then continue in pattern as established.

Continue in pattern until mitten reaches the top of the little finger, or measures (4 1/2”/11.5 cm, 5 1/2 “/14 cm, 6 1/2 “ /16.5 cm) from top of cuff, about (1 1/2”/4 cm, 1 3/4”/4.5 cm, 2”/5 cm) short of desired length.

Shape Top
Break off Color B and continue knitting with Color A.
Round 1: (K7, K8, K9) K2 tog 4 times.
Round 2: K
Round 3: (K6, K7, K8), K2tog 4 times.
Round 4: K

Continue decreasing in this manner, reducing number of stitches before K2tog by one on each decreasing round, and alternating with plain knit rounds, until (16, 20, 20) stitches remain. Begin decreasing every round until 8 stitches remain. Break yarn and thread through these stitches, pulling tight to close.

Finish Thumb
Remove the length of waste yarn, picking up the stitches released above and below the gap on dpns. There should be (6, 7, 8) stitches on the bottom needle, and (7, 8, 9) on the top needle.

Arranging stitches on dpns as you go, knit stitches from the bottom needle, pick up 3 stitches along the gap between the bottom and the top needle, knit across top needle, pick up 3 stitches along the gap between top and bottom needle.

Join and knit next round: K (6, 7, 8), cdd, K (6, 7, 8), ssk, k2tog. (15, 17, 19) st.

Work even until thumb measures to about the middle of the thumbnail, or 1 1/2”/4 cm, 1 3/4”/4.5 cm, 2”/5 cm.

Shape Top of Thumb, size 7”/18 cm
Round 1: [K2tog, K3] 3 times.
Round 2: K
Round 3: [K2tog, K2] 3 times
Round 4: [K2tog, K1] 3 times
Break yarn, thread through remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close.

Shape Top of Thumb, sizes 8”/20 cm & 9”/23 cm
Round 1: [K2tog, K (4, 5)] 2 times, K2tog K3
Round 2: K
Round 3: [K2tog, K (3, 4)] 2 times, K2tog K2
Round 4: K
Round 5: [K2tog, K (2, 3)] 2 times, K2tog, K1
Round 6: [K2tog, K (1, 2)] 2 times, K2tog.
Break yarn, thread through remaining 5, 7 stitches, pull tight to close.

Left Mitten
Work as for Right Mitten up to Peasant Thumb. On the next row, work to last (6, 7, 8). Break yarn, and knit last (6, 7, 8) stitches on a length of waste yarn. Work the next round in pattern, knitting across final (6, 7, 8) stitches of the round. Finish as for Right Mitten.

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Sheila Ralston

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