Monday, March 1, 2010

Gifted mittens for kids of all sizes

I recently participated in the Ravelympics, Ravelry’s knit and crochet event coinciding with the Olympics. During the opening ceremonies in Vancouver, I cast on Kate Gilbert’s handy Gifted mittens pattern (the Ravelry pattern page is here). Sixteen days later, I cast off the eighth mitten during the closing ceremonies. Three pairs are on their way to the collection center of Afghans for Afghans, and will be shipped to Kabul to warm Afghan children next winter. The last pair is looking for a pair of hands—your suggestions welcome!

I love the Gifted pattern! It uses just two needles to knit the mittens flat, which makes the stitches fly. The thumb is seamed closed as you go with crochet, so there are no extra ends to sew in. I like to seam the whole mitten with crochet slip stitches instead of sewing.

The A4A campaign that ended today was for children ages 7–14. The Gifted child’s large size seemed great for the upper end of this range, but I thought that the child’s medium seemed quite narrow for a seven-year-old. I channeled Goldilocks and decided that I needed a mitten halfway between the two sizes. Here are the changes to create this in-between size, which I’m calling “kid size” here. You’ll need a copy of the Gifted pattern from Kate’s site for the unchanged portions. Here’s a picture of the child’s medium, my kid’s size, and the child’s large. Next time perhaps I’ll think to include a ruler for reference!

Cuff and Palm:
CO 19
Row 12: k2, M1L, k7, M1L, k1, M1R, k7, M1R, k2.
Row 14: skip to row 16.
Row 16: k2, M1L, k8, M1L, k3, M1R, k8, M1R, k2.
Row 18: k11, M1L, k5, M1R, k11 to end.
Row 20: k11, M1L, k7, M1R, k11 to end.
Go to directions for thumb.

Row 2: k20, slip rem sts to circ, turn.
Row 3: p9, slip rem sts to circ, turn.
Rows 4 – 8: Work evenly in St st.
Next Row: p2, p2tog, p1, p2tbl, p1.
K one row on smaller needle.
Right-handed crochet: Slip all stitches directly onto crochet hook.
Left-handed crochet: Slip all sts to the other smaller needle. Slip all sts onto crochet hook.

Holding the mitten RS facing you, slip the first 11 sts to your straight needle (Note: the original pattern seems to slip one stitch too many here). Put the loop from the crochet hook on the right needle, then k11 across the rest of the row.

Rows 2-10: Work evenly in St st.
Continue as directed for the kid size.

Kid size:
Row 1: P across.
Row 2: k1, ssk, k6, k2tog, k1, ssk, k6, k2tog, k1.
Row 3: p across.
Row 4: k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1.
Rows 5-6: Work evenly in St st.
Row 7: p1, p2tog, p2, p2tog tbl, p1, p2tog, p2, p2tog tbl, p1.
Row 8: k5, k2tog, slip last st back to left needle. Turn needles so they are pointing in the same direction, with RS of work facing.

Finish with 3 needle bind-off as directed. Seam with your darning needle, or just use crochet slip stitches for a different look and quick finish.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More pattern modifications

Last fall I was on a coffee cozy jag, and knitted up a couple of Carissa's very cool Poison! coffee cozies. Today I'm working late and am facing a one-hour bus ride with a disturbing shortage of knitting - I have only four rows left on the cowl I'm making for my first swap on Ravelry. I was getting rather twitchy just thinking about the interval between knitting the last stitch and arriving at home to cast something on.

So I found a couple of ounces of wool in my laptop bag. Phew! It's the leftover bits from a great little felted bag - Little Slip of a Thing from Diane Sutliff. I think I can finish off tonight's bus ride with a matching coffee cozy, mashing up Carissa's dimensions with a downsized version of Diane's block pattern. Here's the plan:

Little Slip-On Coffee Thing

With CC, CO 40 sts and distribute to dpns. Join, being careful not to twist.
Rnd 1: purl with CC.
Rnd 2: knit with CC.

Rnds 3-4: join MC and knit two rnds.
Rnds 5-6: [k2 CC, k2 MC] around.

Rnds 7-18: Repeat last four rounds three times.

Rnds 19-20: knit with MC
Rnds 21-22: knit with CC.

BO purlwise with CC. Weave in ends. Handwash in hot water with a little dish soap and agitation until it felts to appropriate size. Rinse thoroughly. Blot with towel to absorb excess moisture. Stretch over a glass or plastic cup. Remove and allow to dry completely before use. Go caffeinate yourself.