'Tis the season for creating things that keep heat in and cold out. Fires, blankets, conversation, tea, and... mittens!
I have been learning the art of making mittens for the last several years--kids go through an awful lot of them, either because they lose them or wear them out. Therefore, with three boys, I've had the opportunity for a lot of practice! ;-) Thankfully, mittens are something that are fairly fast to make.
This year, I decided to make the project even faster and warmer by using chunky yarn knit densely together. I then painstakingly worked out a design for a fleece liner with set-in thumbs... 'cause in Canada, a thin--or even a thick--layer of knitted yarn just ain't gonna cut it!
(I love that my spell-checker will not put a red flag on "ain't" and "gonna", but "snuck" will do it every time. What is wrong with the dictionary, people?!!)
So, back to the knitting... Another free pattern for you, internets. If you make it and like it, please let me know. If you make it and have problems with it... also, please let me know, so I can correct the pattern.
These mittens were made for child size medium. They work well on my boys' hands that are aged 5-6.
As noted above, I made these hand-specific, but frankly, they are more likely to end up on the wrong hand than the right one. To make them "uni-handed", just change the shell pattern so that the edge of the hand falls in the middle of the thumb increases, and make both the same. For the lining, you will likely need to draft your own pattern--lay the mitten on a piece of paper, outline in pencil, true lines, add 1/4" seam allowance all around, and stitch on stitching lines. Complete as described below.
P.S. I would love it if my kids would decide that wool does NOT drive them crazy, since acrylic drives ME crazy. But, that's just the way it is. So, these are made up in affordable Bernat Chunky.
Download Knitting Pattern
Download Lining Pattern
Lined Seamless Mittens
One skein Bernat Chunky. (I took this from a 1-lb. ball, but used approximately 45 g. of yarn.)
Set of 4 dpns--5.0 mm
Small stitch holder
Scraps of yarn made into loops for stitch markers
Polar fleece, scrap (or at least 10" long strip)
Needle and thread.
27 rows and 17 sts = 4" in stockinette stitch (Quite a tight gauge--make sure to keep your tension tight, or go down a needle size!) CHECK YOUR GAUGE!
Cast on 30 sts. Distribute on 3 dpns. Place marker at beginning of round.
K1, P1 rib around until desired length of cuff is reached--I went for 3 inches, as this allows for mittens to reach far enough up the arm to not let snow in the sleeve.
Rows 1-6: Knit.
Row 7: K15. Place marker. K10. Place marker. Increase by knitting into back loop, then front loop. K2. Increase by knitting into front loop, then back loop. K1.
Row 8: Knit.
Row 9: K25. Slip marker. Increase by knitting into back loop, then front loop. K4. Increase by knitting into front loop, then back loop. Slip marker. K1.
Row 10: Knit.
Row 11: K25. Slip marker. Increase by knitting into back loop, then front loop. K6. Increase by knitting into front loop, then back loop. Slip marker. K1. (36 sts).
Rows 12-14: Knit.
Row 15: K25. Place next 10 stitches on stitch holder. Cast on 4 stitches. K1. (30 sts.) You should now only have two markers--one on each edge of the hand, 15 sts apart.
Knit until hand section measures 5 inches (from where you switched away from rib pattern.)
Row 1: *K1, ssk, k across to 3 sts. before marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker.* Repeat between * *s for other side.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat decrease rows 1 and 2 four more times, until only 10 sts remain--five on front, five on back. Use Kitchener Stitch to graft together. Weave in tail.
Place 10 stitches from holder onto 2 dpns. Join yarn at right side and knit across, then pick up 4 sts across top of thumb hole. I usually pick them up about two "bars" up for strength. There may be little holes at the two sides--it's okay. Just use a yarn tail or scrap to pull these closed when weaving in ends after. This also helps give extra strength to this area.
Knit around thumb (14sts) until thumb measures 2 inches from "crook" (top of where thumb joins hand). K2tog 7 times (7 sts), then 3 more times, K1 (4 sts). Cut yarn, leaving an 8-12" tail, weave in ends. Make sure to close up any gaps, as I mentioned!
Work as for Left Hand, until you get to the Thumb Increases.
Row 7: K1. Place marker. Increase by knitting into back loop, then front loop. K2. Increase by knitting into front loop, then back loop. Place marker. K10. Place marker. K15.
Row 8: Knit.
Row 9: K1. Slip marker. Increase by knitting into back loop, then front loop. K4. Increase by knitting into front loop, then back loop. Slip marker. K25.
Row 10: Knit.
Row 11: K1. Slip marker. Increase by knitting into back loop, then front loop. K6. Increase by knitting into front loop, then back loop. Slip marker. K25. (36 sts).
Rows 12-14: Knit.
Row 15: K1. Place next 10 stitches on stitch holder. Cast on 4 stitches. K25. (30 sts.) You should now only have two markers--one on each edge of the hand, 15 sts apart.
Complete as for Left Hand.
I used polar fleece--it is nice and warm, and dries quickly, just like the acrylic. Also, I hand-stitched these, partly because I didn't feel like digging out the sewing machine, but mostly because you have much better control with hand-stitching. You may want to reinforce your stitches with machine stitching where indicated, but I didn't bother.
This pattern is for set-in thumbs, and is hand-specific. Make sure you stitch it up the right way for the hand you are making! Remember, the seam allowances stay on the outside of the lining, as they will be sandwiched between the lining and the shell, so just make it up to look like the hand you want it to go on.
Download lining pattern.
Cut two of each piece on the fold. ONLY CUT THUMB GAP OUT OF ONE SIDE OF EACH HAND PIECE!! The other side should be straight.
Make sure you have the stretch of the fabric across the width of the hand and the thumb, or your mitten will be too tight
Fold thumb along fold line. Stitch, starting at bottom of thumb using running stitch, until you get around the top of the thumb. You may want to backstitch the top of the thumb, or do as I did, which was do running stitch back along the top, stitching in the gap from the first time--this is for added strength.
Fold the hand piece along fold line. Do a running stitch around raw edges, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. When you get to the thumb gap, stitch around the gap through one layer only for added strength there, then keep going along edge through both layers.
SETTING THE THUMB:
This is where it gets a little tricky. Open out your thumb so that the bottom of the thumb seam is half-way along the bottom of the thumb gap, right sides together. Pin. Do the same for the top. Don't stress if this isn't exact--fleece is forgiving, and you can ease as you go. Use back-stitch, and start at bottom thumb seam and go around, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Finish by tacking in place several times and knot off.
To insert linings into shells, it is easiest to have a model with the appropriate-sized hand put on the lining, then the mitten over top. Fold back the cuff so you can work on the edge of the lining, which will attach to where the cuff meets the hand. Fold under 1/2" seam allowance of lining. Whip-stitch lining to shell.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on this pattern, please feel free to e-mail me at talena[at]wintersdayin[dot]ca.
Here's the same pattern, but with some colour work on it, just for fun!