Learn to Knit, Make Some Mitts

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m a novice knitter.  I like the idea of knitting and usually about once a year I get the urge to knit something.  This conveniently happens around Christmas time when I can satisfy my need to give knitting another try by making gifts for people.

Christmas, 2009 is a great example of this.  I borrowed Stitch’n Bitch by Debbie Stoller from the Peace Corps library and was determined to really learn to knit (up until that point I only knew garter stitch and didn’t know how to hold the yarn or needles, so I was extremely clumsy and slow).  With this wonderful resource in hand I learned how to pearl which meant that I can now make stockinette  and ribs!

Now, I started out at as a crocheter and consider myself pretty competent at it.  I love how versatile it is.  But from my point of view, there is one definite advantage (among others I am sure) to knit over crochet; stretchiness.  And ribs is one of the best ways to do that.

For all you hard-core knitters out there (or even semi-competent ones) please don’t laugh at this ridiculously easy knit pattern.  It is because of its simplisity that makes it a good project for the beginning knitter.

Mitt pattern:

Using worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles, cast on 32 stitches.  I LOVE the double strand cast-on that I learned in the above mentioned Stitch’n Bitch book.

Now you’re going to make a 2×2 rib pattern, meaning that you’re going to knit two, pearl two, until you reach the end. When you turn your work you will knit the knit stitches and pearl the pearl stitches.

Stitch’n Bitch does a wonderful job at explaining how to make ribs in case my explanation is a bit confusing.

Just keep knitting (and pearling) until you have the desired length of fabric that you want.  My mitts are 7″ long, but I think really long ones would be great.

Once you have the length you want, cast off but don’t cut your yarn.

wrap the rectangle of fabric around your wrist to decide where you want your thumb hole to be.

Once you’ve done that, take it off and using the already connected yarn, stitch up the seem using single crochet and a size D hook.  Where the thumb hole is, single crochet into one side of the hole and continue seeming up the two sides of the fabric once you have the hole the size you want.  That way you can use one strand of yarn for the whole piece and only have two ends to weave in!  I left a 2 and 1/4″ gap for my thumb hole.

Happy knitting!

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