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Monday, December 27, 2010

Baby Mittens: Knitting pattern

Now that Christmas is over and you probably find yourself with a little time to relax, it's a great time to cuddle up in a cozy chair and take up your knitting needles.  I have the perfect project for you--one that I completed in an afternoon while dividing my attention with my toddler.

I decided I didn't like the mittens Bunny had, so what better to do with a free afternoon than to make her some mittens that I do like, so I came up with this pattern.  I've never really written a pattern down before so bear with me.

Materials Needed:
Worsted weight yarn--I used about 1/4 of a ball of Paton's wool
Size 5 or 6 double pointed needles
Tapestry needle

This pattern is for my 15 month old and leaves plenty of room to grow while still fitting her snugly.  If you use wool, remember that it will relax a bit over time.

1.  Cast on 24 stitches (or some number divisible by four based on the measurement of your baby's wrist)

2.  Knit 2, purl 2 for ten rows (you can do less if you want, but I wanted a nice, thick cuff to make sure Bunny's little wrists are well covered) 

3. Knit (stockinette stitch) in the round for 5-6 rows or 1/2 inch (the distance from your baby's wrist to the bottom of his/her thumb.

4. Create the thumb hole: Split your circular stitch and knit back and forth for 4 rows alternating with a row of purl and a row of knit.  If you need to make the thumb opening larger, you can add rows in increments of two, making sure to end with a knit row. 

5. Go back to knitting in the round using only knit stitch. This is when you will connect either side of your knitting that you split at #4.  There should be a nice hole in your mitten now where you will add a thumb later.  Continue knitting stockinette stitch for 2 1/2 inches, or the length from your baby's thumb to the top of his/her fingers. 

6.  Close the top of the mitten: knit 4, knit 2 together (4x)
                                                 knit 3, knit 2 together (4x)
                                                 knit 2, knit 2 together (4x)
                                                 knit 1, knit 2 together (4x)

7. After cutting a tail of at least 8 inches, use a tapestry needle to thread your yarn through these remaining 8 stitches.

8.  Add the thumb: Using two double pointed needles, start picking up stitches at the bottom of the thumb hole and gradually work your way up.  Picking up the stitches this way will make your thumb point upward rather than sticking straight out
Pick up 4 stitches at the base of the thumb hole.  Purl them.
At the end of that purled row pick up a 5th stitch.  Knit the row.
At the end of the knitted row, pick up a 6th stitch.  Purl the row.
At the end of the row pick up a 7th stitch.  Knit the row.  At the end of the row pick up an 8th stitch. 
Divide the 8 stitches you have onto two needles.
Use your remaining two double pointed needles to pick up four more stitches around the top of the thumb, completing the circle.
You will have picked up 12 stitches total around the thumb hole.
 *If the instructions for number 8 are too difficult, you can simply pick up 12 stitches around the thumb hole.  This will cause the thumb to stick straight out rather than to point upwards, but it will still be fully functional.  Aesthetically, I just prefer my thumbs to point upward. :-D

10.  Knit in the round for two rows.

11.Then knit 4, knit two together (2x).  You will have 10 stitches.

12.  Continue knitting (stockinette stitch) for 1/2-3/4 of an inch (or the length of the thumb)

13. knit 3, knit 2 together (2x)
      knit 2, knit 2 together (2x)

14.  After cutting a tail of at least 8 inches, use a tapestry needle to thread your yarn through these remaining 8 stitches.

15.  Weave in all your ends.

16. (Optional).  If your toddler is like mine and likes to take their mittens off, adding a string between both mittens so you can thread them through the arm of his/her coat is a great option.  I picked up 3 stitches on the bottom of the cuff at the back and knit an I-chord for about 28 inches.  Then, I attached the I-chord to the other mitten at the bottom of the cuff in the back.  An I-chord has some stretch to it so you don't want to knit it too long.  But you want it long enough that the mittens hang out about an inch or two from the coat sleeves.  I'm sorry, I do not have any pictures of this part of the process currently.

Now, enjoy watching your baby's hands keep toasty warm in his/her new mittens!  


The Crafty Nerd said...

I am so glad I came across this page! I have known how to knit mittens for adults for years but never knew how many stitches to cast on and how many to knit for kids...I'm making a pair for a 1 year old and will be referencing your instructions. Thanks!

EightArms said...

When you say "split your circular stitch" in instruction number 4, how do I go about doing this? Adorable pattern, but now I'm stuck! Thanks so much.

Lindsay Venema said...

Love the pattern!
I'd like to know for sure...did you knit these on two knitting needles or four??
Also i would like to know " when you say ' split your circular stitch' in instruction nr.4, how do i go about doing this?" Thanks for asking eightarms

Hope to hear from you ;)

Beccalynn said...

I split it by going back and forth for four rows rather than continuing in the round.
And this was knit on four needles.
Sorry for the delay!