Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Double Knit Mittens

Last winter, when my hands were very, very cold, I spent a few weeks trolling Ravelry for a double knit mitten pattern that I liked.  There weren't a whole lot, and the ones I found either assumed a knowledge of double knitting I didn't have yet, or used techniques (mostly for casting on) that I found needlessly complicated.  So I did the easiest thing I could think of, teach myself how to double knit and write my own pattern.  Yeah, it seemed easier to me at the time.  So, for future reference, and maybe to save someone else a few weeks of work, here it is.

Eventually I will put up some in progress pics to illustrate techniques.

Double Knit Mittens
Sizes:  adult medium

Materials:  Cascade 220—1 skein each in contrasting colours (colour A and colour B)

Needles:  3.75 mm 32” or larger circular needle, or 1 set of 5 DPNs.

Gauge:  4.5 st/inch in double knit

Throughout, I will refer to the number of stitches in one colour; the total stitch count will be in parentheses.

Cast on 28 stitches in each colour (56 total), arrange on circular needle for magic loop—14(28) stitches per needle for magic loop, or 7(14) per needle if using dpns.  Make sure each colour is alternated all the way around. 

Hold the yarns together and move both yarns together. You will need to bring both yarns forward when purling and back when knitting, as one.  Knit the first stitch and all following colour A stitches, purl the 2nd stitch and all colour B stitches.

Continue for 1.5-2 inches, depending on how long you want the wrist of your mitt.  For striped mittens, alternate which colour you are knitting and which you are purling every other round (more rounds for larger stripes.)  When you knit the last 2 stitches on a needle, pull both yarns snugly to prevent a gap.  Do the same after the first 2 stitches on each needle.

Begin thumb gusset—before the last 2 stitches (one of each colour) on your needle, M1L in the front colour, and do a matching increase on the purl side by M1L, but purling through the back loop.  Place a marker to remind you where you will be increasing.  Increase by 1(2) every other round for a total of 12-14 stitches (24-28 stitches total, depending on how large you want your thumb.)  At the same time, increase a total of 4(8) stitches on the opposite side of the mitten, for a wider palm.

Put thumb stitches on a piece of waste yarn and continue knitting until mitt is ½ to 1 inch shorter than your longest finger (the sooner you begin decreases, the pointier the mitt will be.)

Decreases will be done by rearranging stitches so you will have 2 knit stitches followed by 2 purl stitches.  On the right side of the mitt, SSK the knit stitches, and P2tog the purl stitches. On the left side of the mitt, K2tog the knit stitches, for the purl stitches, slip both stitches knit wise,  slip back onto left hand needle (as if to SSK), then purl together through the back loop. 

Video Tutorials:
Two colour long tail cast on:

Double knitting demonstration:

Make 1 Left increase:

Purling through the back loop:


Anonymous said...

The pattern says to increase every other row. So (just double checking) that means I add a stitch on both front and back sides, and then on the next row I just double knit through with no increase?

Anonymous said...

There's no pattern for knitting the thumb????????