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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mar's Magnificent Minnesota Midgauge Felted Mitts

Mar’s Magnificent Midgauge Felted Mittens   ©cooked.JPG2015 rev.
I've edited the tops of the mittens to make them easier to knit and added a small size
Machine:  LK150, SR 860, Kx 350--no ribber required
Yarn:  Mary Lou’s Schuss Plus or any 100% wool that knits to the same gauge (If you use a different yarn and gauge I can’t guarantee they’ll come out to the same size as mine did). And felting adds another variable.  Schuss Plus is about the size of hand knitting sport weight yarn or light worsted.
Gauge:  At T10.. (loosest possible) 4.5 st and 6 r = 1” before felting
Other materials needed:  Size F crochet hook (or use the one that came with your machine), large eyed needle for seaming
Finished sizes:  Child 3-4, (Average women’s hand or older child, large) in parenthesis.  You should always felt both mitts at the same time to get the same result for both mitts.  You may need to knit a pair and see if you achieved the size you wanted, then do some adjustments for the next pair.
Directions:  (Both mittens are knit in the same way)
  1.  Ewrap cast on over 18-0-18 (21-0-21, 24-0-24) needles.  T10..  RC000.  Knit to RC 14 (18, 22) and put a yarn marker on both sides.  Knit to RC 30 (34,38) and put a yarn marker on both sides.  (This is the thumb placement.)
  2. Knit to RC 50 (56, 62). If you think you need a longer mitt, adjust rows here. CAR.  Set machine to hold.  Put left 18 ( 21 , 24) stitches in hold position. 
  3. On the half that is in work--*Decrease one stitch both sides, knit one row.*  Repeat  until you have 4 ( 5, 6) stitches left in work.  Bind these stitches off loosely. Note, it is not necessary to do a full fashioned decrease, because once felted, the stitches disappear.
  4. Take machine off hold.  On the other half of the mitt, repeat #3.  Remove from machine.
  1.  Locate the bottom yarn markers both sides.  With purl side facing you on the inside  and the cuff down, pointy tops up, hang this stitch so that the stitch from both sides is on needle #1.  You have the beginnings of a tube.  You can tell if you've hung it correctly when purl stitches are toward you on the inside of the tube and purls are what are about to be knit.  Confession;  i knit two thumbs upside down until I got a grip on myself...SO double check.  Twice!!!  Air was as blue as the mitt.
  2. With your 3 prong tool, splay the sides of the mitt out, pick up 8 ( 9 , 10)  more whole stitches to the right, up to the top yarn marker and do the same for the left side, the same number of stitches.  You now have 17 (19, 21) stitches in work.  You will want to skip a few stitches as you hang because you are matching up rows to stitches.
  3. Set the machine to hold.  All needles except the center doubled one are in hold.  Hang a claw weight under the doubled stitch.  Knit one row.  Push a needle opposite the carriage in the middle, next to the stitch that just knit, into working position. Knit one row.  Continue putting needles opposite the carriage into work one at a time until all needles are working.  (No need to wrap, but work slowly and check each row to make sure the new needle did knit.  If not, knit the stitch through by hand.)
  4. Knit 6 (8) rows even on all 17 (19, 21) stitches. Adjust rows here if you think you need a longer or shorter thumb.
  5. Decrease for thumb tip:  Transfer every other stitch to its neighbor and move all the stitches in so there are no empties.  Knit one row.  Repeat once more.  Take the remaining stitches off on a large eyed needle and cinch up.  Don’t seam yet.
  1.  With right side facing you, hang the top stitches you bound off of one side and then picking up whole stitches, pick up stitches down the curve.  Pick up the same number on the other side.  Hang a claw wt. (if you can’t get all the stitches on, do half and then the remaining half.) Push stitches to the back of the bed, needles all the way out with latches open.  Write down the number of stitches you  have hung so that you do the second mitt exactly the same.
  2. Fold over so the purl side of the other half is facing you (purl side visible) and hang the same stitches as you did on the other side but into the hooks of the needles.  Hang another claw wt so the stitches don’t jump off. The right sides of the mitt are facing each other.
  3.  Close latches.  With a straight edge that is at least as wide as the stitches you are working with, push the front stitches through the back in one fell swoop.  Don’t be timid.
  4. Pull needles all the way out and stitches back to make it easier to bind off.  Bind off loosely with your favorite technique. (It won’t show.)
  1.  Seam all open seams from the right side by whip stitching just half of each stitch loosely.  The seam won’t show after felting, but picking up just half a stitch each side reduces bulk.  You could also mattress stitch from the right side taking just half a stitch.
  2. Secure yarn ends and cut about 2 inches. (Can trim after the felting process.)
  3. Crochet cuff edge:
  1.  Single crochet into each stitch around
  2. Secure to beginning stitch and chain one.
  3. Single crochet in each of 3 stitches, then  4 chains.  Secure bottom of chain into same stitch.  Repeat around. (Picots made)
  4. Secure to beginning stitch then single crochet in each stitch but do 2 sc into the picot point.
  5. Pull points out hard.  A lot of the nice stitches will get obliterated, however, after felting.
  1.  Put through as many hot/cold washes with a little bit of detergent as needed and a pair of jeans or material that won’t give off lint.  Keep an eye out so that they don’t get too small.  I checked mine half way through a hot wash and to my surprise they were done!  You can shape them a little and pull out the picots while they are drying flat.
    before felting.JPGedge.JPGScan of knitting before felting….
    NOTE:  If you don’t want to do the crochet edge, knit extra rows for the cuff.  Once you do that, you can turn the row counter back and follow the pattern.  When felted, the edge won’t roll.  Nice! Just make sure you do the exact same thing for mitten #2.
    NOTE #2:  I have been searching for a long time for the “perfect” felted mitten.  Tried lots, was disappointed lots.  Finally, I believe I have crafted up the perfect felted mitten.  In Minnesota, acrylic mittens don’t always fill the bill.  Even doubled.  Our winters are just too cold.
    The felted ones will keep you toasty, however.  You can do all sorts of things with these mitts as far as decorating if you are moved to do so.  Embroidery, ribbons, fairisle, more crochet, lace cuff, a cloth lining, etc.  I have to say, they are actually fast and fun to do.


Slisen said...

Nice looking mittens! Glad you have a pattern that works for you now.

Mar said...

Thanks! I know everyone has a little different idea of what looks and feels good, so it just takes a little experimenting.