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Knitted mittens are the ultimate in cold weather comfort attire! There’s nothing like slipping on a cozy pair of mittens and using your hands to hold a hot beverage, a warm hand, or a cold snowball! If you want to knit a pair of mittens for yourself or for someone special, there are many ways to go about it. You can follow a basic pattern for beginners, or choose something more challenging if you are an experienced knitter.
[Edit]Designing Your Mittens
Look at patterns for inspiration. Patterns come in many different styles, so following a pattern may be the way to go if you want to get a specific look. You can find patterns that range in difficulty from beginner to advanced, so choose a pattern that matches your skill level. Check online for free knitting patterns, or visit your local craft supply store and peruse some knitting pattern books and magazines.
To follow the sample pattern in this article, use a set of 5 US size 7 (4.5 mm) double-pointed needles with a ball of medium-weight yarn.
Select your yarn. You can make mittens out of just about any type of yarn, but you will likely want something that is warm and soft. Choosing a chunky or super chunky yarn will make knitting the mittens much faster than if you opt for a medium-weight yarn, so you might consider this if you are trying to make a pair of mittens in a hurry.
You should only need 1 ball of yarn to knit a pair of mittens.
Choose an appropriate set of double-pointed knitting needles. Double-pointed needles are essential for knitting mittens because they need to be worked in the round. Choose a set of 5 double-pointed needles that will work with the type of yarn you are using. You can usually find a recommendation on the yarn label.
For example, if you will be using medium-weight yarn, then a US size 7 to 9 (4.5 to 5.5 mm) set of double-pointed needles would be appropriate.[Edit]Creating the Cuff
Make a slipknot and place it on your right-hand knitting needle. Wrap the yarn around your index and middle fingers 2 times. Pull the second loop through the first loop and tug the tail. Then, slide the loop onto the right-hand-needle and pull the tail some more to tighten it.
This will be your first cast on stitch.
Cast on the desired number of stitches to the double-pointed needles. If you are using US size 7 needles with a ball of medium-weight yarn, cast on 48 stitches. Distribute the cast-on stitches evenly between 4 of the double-pointed needles. Each needle should have 12 stitches on it, and you should leave the fifth needle empty.
To cast on, loop the yarn over the left-hand needle. Insert the right-hand needle into the loop you have just created. Then, loop the yarn over the right-hand needle. Pull this new yarn through the first loop to create another cast-on stitch on the right-hand needle.
Keep in mind that the number of stitches you will need to cast on is highly variable depending on the size of the mittens you want to create, the type of yarn and needles you are using, and how loose or tight you want the mittens to fit. This is why it is highly recommended to use a pattern.
Knit into the first cast on stitch. Insert the empty right-hand needle through your first cast on stitch in the round. Then, loop the yarn over the end of the right-hand needle. Pull this yarn through the loop and let the old stitch slide off of the left-hand needle as the new stitch replaces it on the right-hand needle.
For a wider rib, you may knit 2 instead of 1.
Purl the next stitch. To purl, move the working yarn so that it is in front of your work. Push the tip of the right-hand needle in through the front of the first stitch on your left-hand needle. Then, yarn over the right-hand needle and pull this new loop through the cast on stitch. Let the old stitch slide off the left-hand needle as the new stitch replaces it.
For a wider rib, purl 2 instead of 1.
Continue to alternate between knitting and purling for the entire round. This is how you work a basic 1 by 1 rib stitch, but you may also knit 2 and purl 2 for a wider rib. When you get to the end of the round, place a stitch marker to indicate where the round begins and ends. This will help you to keep track of your rounds.
It is nice to start off mittens using a rib stitch because it will create a stretchy cuff that helps the mittens to stay on even if the part that covers your hands is a bit loose. However, if desired, you can skip this and just knit all of the stitches in the round. Doing so will create a looser, plain knit cuff that curls up around the bottom edges.
Work the rib stitch until the cuff is about . Usually, is sufficient, but you may make the cuff shorter or longer if you like. If you are following a pattern, make sure to refer to the pattern’s instructions for working the cuff.
Remember that making a ribbed cuff is optional, but you will still need to create some kind of cuff for your mittens.[Edit]Knitting the Mitten Body
Work the body for from the cuff. After you are satisfied with the length of the cuff, switch to the stitch you will be working for the body of the mitten. Defer to your pattern’s recommendations for how long to work this stitch. If you are following the sample pattern, knit in the stockinette stitch until the section measures from the end of the ribbed section.
The stockinette stitch is a classic stitch for knitting mittens. To work the stockinette stitch, simply knit all of the stitches in the round.
Place 8 to 15 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb. You will need to reserve a space to create the thumb after you finish working the body of the mitten. You may only need to slip 8 stitches onto a stitch holder for a chunky yarn, or 15 stitches for a medium weight yarn. Start your next round by sliding the first 8 to 15 stitches onto a stitch holder.
If you are following the sample pattern with medium-weight yarn and size 7 double-pointed needles, then place 15 stitches onto the stitch holder.
Make sure to follow what your pattern tells you to do regarding the thumb section. The number of stitches you need to set aside will vary greatly depending on the size of your mittens, yarn and needle type, and how you want the mittens to fit.
Knit until the piece measures . Keep working in the stitch you were using before you slid the thumb stitches onto the stitch holder and skip over them when you reach them again. The entire body of the mitten should measure before you begin binding off the area that will cover your fingertips.
Use a ruler to measure the body of the mitten when it seems like you are close to finishing.
Make sure that you do not knit across the thumb gap too tightly or the space for your thumb will be too small. Keep some slack in your yarn when you knit across this section. To check, try sticking your thumb through the hole right after you knit across the section. If it is too tight, then undo the last stitch and try again.
Bind off the stitches at the end of the section. To start binding off, knit the first 2 stitches on the left-hand needle, and then loop the first stitch on the right-hand needle over second stitch. Knit the next stitch on the left-hand needle and loop the new first stitch over the second stitch again.
Repeat this sequence all the way to the end of the row.
Tie off the last stitch by making a knot through it. Cut the yarn close to the knot.[Edit]Creating the Thumb
Pick up the stitches you slipped onto the stitch holder. To complete your mittens, insert an empty double-pointed needle into half of the stitches you slipped off and insert another empty double-pointed needle into the other half. Pick up another empty double-pointed needle to work the stitches in the thumb round.
Knit the first 2 stitches front and back, then knit as usual. To knit front and back, insert the right-hand needle through the first stitch from the front. Then, loop the yarn over the right-hand needle and pull it through the loop. Leave the old stitch on the left-hand needle, and bring the working yarn in front of your knitting. Insert the right-hand needle through the same stitch coming from behind the stitch. Then, loop the yarn over, and pull through to complete the stitch.
You will have 2 additional stitches for the round after knitting the first 2 front and back.
If you are using a pattern, make sure that you defer to what it says to do. You may need to increase by more than 2 stitches.
For the rest of the round, knit the stitches as usual. However, if your pattern says to do otherwise, then defer to what it says to do.
Complete 1 more increase round. After you finish the knitting to the end of the round, knit front and back 2 more times to begin the next round. Then, knit to the end of that round. This will complete the increases required for the sample pattern.
If you are following a pattern, make sure to follow its instructions.
Continue knitting until the thumb piece is the desired length. You will need to keep working the thumb section until it is about long. You can insert your thumb into the thumb hole periodically to check it, or use a ruler to measure it.
If you are using a pattern, then do what the pattern recommends.
Bind and tie off the stitches at the end of the thumb. Bind off the thumb the same way that you did for the body of the mitten. Then, tie off the last stitch to secure the thumb section. Cut the yarn close to the knot and your first mitten is finished!
Repeat the sequence to create a second mitten.
[Edit]Things You’ll Need
Mitten knitting pattern
Set of 5 double-pointed needles
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/yarn-weight-system