Kitty Love Mittens

I made these mittens for the December 2012 mitten challenge at Ravelry’s  I Knit Mittens group. They ended up as a Christmas present for my dear DIL who works at a preschool and spends lots of time on the playground.

Basically I riffed on cat charts from Ravelers Nevyn Sandow in particular and Melanie Nordberg plus someone else that had a design something like the cat on the left (can’t find them now). If you belong to Ravelry then you know about all the wonderful free patterns knitters put up for other knitters to use.

If you know how to make mittens you will be able to cope with these rather sparse directions; otherwise get a good generic pattern for a thumb gusset mitten. Then use the chart given below. It starts after the cuff.

Here’s some more basics.

Needle size: US 2 - 2.75 mm - 2 circulars

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Red Fox, Black and White. About a skein of red and less than one each of the black and the white.

This yarn and needle size works out to a woman’s medium. CO a few more stitches for a larger size - these will be used to add more red on either side of the pattern.

CO  60 stitches and knit a 2X2 rib that is 2.5 to 3 inches long. Increase evenly to 72 stitches in the next row knitting all stitches. Knit 4 more rows plain and then follow thechart.

The back and the front design are the same but the cats are reversed. I know, I know, this sounds crazy! However, it is the way I did it. I used two circular needles - one for each side of the mitten. Just start knitting the first side as you would any other chart by starting at the bottom right corner. Turn your work over for the second needle and knit the same row back from left to right. Trust me; it does work. Or ignore all this complication and just knit the pattern the same on both sides.

Carry your floats very loosely or your knitting will be too tight to wear!

As you can see from the chart, very little of the stranded pattern is knit into the thumb gusset stitches. You will need to carry the white and the black yarns (loosely, loosely) across the back anyway and must tack them into the knitting every few stitches so thumbnails do not catch on the inside. The gusset should have 20 stitches when you stop increasing and put them on waste yarn. CO 2 stitches to remaining mitten stitches and continue with pattern for the rest of the hand.

When the chart is complete you can add enough red rows to get the desired length and use the decrease of your choice. The one shown uses side decreases like a sock toe.

Put the thumb stitches back on the needles and pick up stitches to close the gap at the inside base of the thumb. Knit to length and then decrease via *K1, K2tog* for one row, knit one row plain, and K2tog in the last row. This doesn’t work out evenly but don’t worry. Thread the yarn end through the loops, pull tight and tie off.

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                                      Formerly                   © Pat Higgins 2014