It had to be done didn’t it. They say you can tell a knitter’s child because their hat, scarf and mittens are all made to completely different patterns and in wildly contrasting colours (actually that’s probably true for the knitters too – I’ve never made myself a matching set of anything) and it’s certainly true for my children. The closest I’ve got to date was making Kitty and Elma sort of matching hats for Christmas but their mittens came from a shop (I know, gasp, the horror) and their hats are wonderfully eclectic and have never yet matched their coats. But perhaps now was the time to mend my ways, to summon up the courage to knit three things the same, on the basis that they’re small and I can knit them in an evening.
Even half a glance at the leftover yarn suggested I had enough to make a pair of matching mittens, I grasped the nettle of the hat and mitten equivalent of second sock syndrome (what would that be? really itchy wool? or even worse, squeaky acrylic?) and cast on.
Never try to design knitwear if you aren’t prepared to spend at least half of your time ripping it out again. It is for this reason that I have only ever designed small things. Really small things.
But perseverance pays out and my little boy is now the proud wearer-and-thrower-out-of-the-pram of a very cute little pair of mittens.
His hands aren’t big enough to fit a complete repeat of the Golden Pear pattern so I took that as my inspiration and sized it down slightly. There’s the same amount of ribbing on the cuffs as on the hat as I find I nice deep cuff keeps tiny hands warm and makes it a bit harder for the mittens to be pulled off and so carefully discarded, but the rest is just a little smaller with only three rows of the fairisle rows. The finished mittens measure 11cm top to bottom and 8cm across and from what Pip will let me measure his hands are 6cm across at the widest part.
They’re cute, they’re warm and snuggly and I love them.
And I think I might even have enough yarn leftover to make a spare – or maybe a string to attach them to his jumper!
To fit a baby of around 6 months.
You will need:
- scraps of aran weight yarn (worsted) in three colours. I don’t have scales tiny enough to measure how much they weigh exactly but the pair of them together on my kitchen scales weigh about 20g. I used Rooster Almerino Aran in Gooseberry (A), Cornish (B) and Rooster (C).
- 4mm DPNs (or a long circular if you prefer to work magic loop)
- 4.5mm DPNs (ditto)
To make each mitten
- Cast on 24 stitches onto 4mm needles using A and join to knit in the round.
- Work K1, P1 ribbing for 10 rounds.
- (K1 front & back, P1) repeat until the end of the round. (36 stitches)
- Change to 4.5mm needles and knit 4 rounds.
- Join colour B and work the round (A,B) repeat until the end of the round.
- Work 1 round (B, A) repeat until end.
- Work 1 round (A, B) repeat until end.
- Break yarn A and knit 3 rounds in B.
- Join colour C and work the round (B, C) repeat until the end of the round.
- Work 1 round (C, B) repeat until end.
- Work 1 round (B, C) repeat until end.
- Break yarn B and knit 1 round.
- (K4, k2tog) repeat until end. (30 stitches)
- (K3, k2tog) repeat until end. (24 stitches)
- (K2, k2tog) repeat until end. (18 stitches)
- (K1, k2tog) repeat until end. (12 stitches)
- (k2tog) repeat until end. (6 stitches)
- Break yarn, leaving a 6″ tail. Using a darning needle thread the tail through the remaining stitches, pull tight and fasten off.
- Darn in all ends, wash and block and then make the other one.