Oatmeal and Cream: Delicious mitts from Alice Neal
A pair of pretty, simple fair isle mitts to keep the chill from your hands and leave your fingers free to take photographs, use your phone, eat your roast chestnuts…
You will need:
- 50g Millamia Naturally Soft Aran in Latte (203).
- 50g Millamia Naturally Soft Aran in Ivory (221).
- 5.5mm circular needle (longer, for the magic loop method. I recommend 80cm. The ones pictured are 60cm which doesn’t leave much loop).
- 1 stitch marker.
- A stitch holder or waste yarn for holding live stitches.
- Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.
- K – knit.
- P – purl.
- K1FB – Knit one through the front and back loop of the next stitch, increasing by one.
- PM – place marker.
- SM – slip marker.
- SSK – slip slip knit. Slip the next two stitches from the left-hand needle onto the right. Insert the left hand needle into the front of the two stitches and knit them together. (a decrease stitch).
- K2tog – knit two together. Knit the next two stitches together as one. (a decrease stitch).
A word or two about magic loop on circular needles:
I prefer magic loop to double pointed needles. I’m quite happy with dpns but there is something about magic loop that, simply put, I just get along with better. Rather than four or five needles to juggle, the same two are always in use, generally with half the stitches on each, so essentially you are working in the round in two halves. There is the same danger of a little wider run where the stitches divide, but exactly as with dpns, you simply ensure that you pull the first couple of stiches quite tight to close the gap. More as we go…
Step 1: Using the Latte yarn, cast on 34 stitches. (Optional time saver: Place a marker at 17 so you know where to pull the magic loop through).
Here they are, ready to be divided:
And here they are on two needles:
Pull the needle with the working yarn on it, pushing the stitches down the needle-wire being careful to leave a loop between the two sets of stitches. Don’t let them join up.
Here, I am halfway through the first needle of stitches. I think of it as a figure of eight – there is a loop to the left and a loop to the right and the stitches are being worked in the middle.
Knit around, making sure not to twist the stitches when you join them up.
Step 2: Knit 17 rows of knit 1 (K1), purl 1 (P1) rib.
Here, the first round of K1, P1 rib is beginning. You can see the long stretch of yarn to the right, which would be quite a gap if not pulled tight with the first K1 stitch of the round:
The first round of K1 P1 rib is complete:
The ribbing is well underway:
Step 3: Knit 3 rounds.
Step 4: Begin the thumb increases.
You do not need to place a marker for the beginning of the increases as it is the same as the beginning of the round.
Round 1: K1FB (* see below), K1, K1FB, PM,
It will look like this:
Then knit to end of round.
* You can see K1FB illustrated in the next picture. The first loop has been worked and the right-hand needle is moving back to work through the back loop without pulling the stitch off the left-hand needle until both loops are worked:
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: K1FB, K to the stitch before the marker, K1FB, knit around.
Round 4: Knit.
Repeat rounds 3 and 4 until you have 13 stitches before the marker (44 stitches in all). This is the thumb gusset:
Step 5: Separating the thumb.
Using a tapestry needle, put the 13 thumb gusset stitches on waste yarn (or a stitch holder, if you prefer):
And cast on 5 stitches (36 in all):
Knit around once.
Step 6: The hearts.
Then begin the fair isle chart below. It is a 12-stitch chart, so there are three repeats – a seamless circle of hearts.
The first row for reference:
The fair isle nearly finished:
When you have finished the fair isle chart, knit around twice.
Then purl around once.
Then cast off.
It will look like this:
Step 7: The thumb.
Pick up the 13 live stitches from the waste yarn / stitch holder.
Pick up 5 stitches between the thumb and the body of the mitt, placing a marker after the first 2 stitches picked up:
Divide the stitches so that there are 9 on each needle, with the 5 stitches picked up as the last 5 of the round.
Knit to the last 5 and SSK, SM, K1, K2tog.
Knit around to the last 4. SSK, remove marker and K2tog.
Knit around twice more.
Sew in ends and block (I use a clean tea towel under a gentle burst from a steam iron to relax the stitches enough to pull them gently into position).
The perfect winter quick knit!
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Last updated: December 6th, 2016.