Need a last minute gift for someone? Or maybe you’ve got some leftover worsted weight yarn – you know, when there’s just under a skein left over from that sweater, and it’s not really enough to do anything with, but there’s way too much of it to toss out? Perhaps you’re just looking for a quick knit fix, or you’ve just started knitting and you’re looking for a new project. Whatever the reason, you’ll love this quick formula for the perfect answer to all of those conundrums.
Every now and then, I’m lucky enough to inherit choice bits of my sister’s and mother’s respective stashes. One of the more recent batches of yarn from my sister included a bunch of hanks of Bartlettyarns Maine Wool Yarn. Each skein was a different color, and none of them looked that great with each other.
Meanwhile, I found myself in need of a slightly last-minute gift for a friend’s upcoming birthday. This particular friend is someone I know to be… well, particular. Not in a bad way, mind you, but I do know that I have to be very selective when choosing what to make her. I marched up to the attic, pulled out a hank of Bartlett, grabbed some needles, and proceeded to sit on the couch and stare at the wall. This is my favorite “thinking about projects” pose, to my husband’s great amusement. I eventually settled on fingerless mitts, because I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love mitts. The next time I saw this fashion conscious friend of mine, she was sporting the very mitts I’d made her! Triumph!
Since then, I’ve used up my worsted wool stash and even had to purchase more yarn so I can make a pair of these mitts for everyone. It’s a great between-projects project, because these knit up in no time. I’ve found them to be the warmest, most elastic, and all around most efficient in the woolen spun New England yarns like Bartlett and Peace Fleece Yarn, but I bet Malabrigo Merino Worsted Wool Yarn would make a really cool set, and our sturdy Botanica Yarn would make a pair of mitts that you could hand down for generations.
Here’s what you need:
(See recommended tools at the end of this post.)
1 hank worsted weight yarn (you’ll need about 100 yards for average adult size, a little more for larger hands).
US 8 straight knitting needles.
A tapestry needle and locking stitch markers.
Here’s what you do:
Cast on 30 stitches. Optional tip: I used the Cable cast on method (you can find instructions on how to do that by clicking here), making sure to keep my stitches loose. This creates a sturdy cast on edge that holds the seam snug and secure.
Work in garter stitch (knit every row), until the work is long enough to fit around your hand, slightly stretched. It will measure somewhere around 6.5”, depending on the size of the intended wearer’s hands. Try 6” for your petite friends, and 7” for the average man. Optional tip: I slip the first stitch of every row as if to knit. This creates a slightly more tidy edge around what will be the top and bottom edges of your mitts.
Bind off all stitches, leaving a long (appx. 1 yard) tail.
Thread this tail through your tapestry needle and stitch the cast on edge to the bound off edge, leaving a 1” opening where you want the thumb to come out. It helps to go over the stitches at either side of this opening a few times to add a little stability. Need a little help with stitching this together? Click here to watch my video on sewing a simple seam!
There you have it! It’s that easy. The beautiful yarn I used for the mitts in the photos is another one of those random hanks from my sister. This one was very old Peace Fleece Yarn – so old that the label was quite yellowed and beginning to disintegrate. How great are those colors, though? While we might not have this exact blend, we’ve definitely got some in stock that are super fun and equally as lovely. Pick out a favorite and give these mitts a try!
For US 8 straight knitting needles try the Peace Fleece 10" Knitting Needles, Wood, Size 8, Nova Platina 10" Single Point Size 8 Knitting Needles by Knitter's Pride, Bamboo 12" Single-point Knitting Needles, Size 8.
For your tapestry needle and locking stitch markers: Large-eyed Tapestry Needles (Susan Bates) Sz 13, Jumbo Locking Stitch Markers, Stainless Removable Stitch Markers by Kelbourne Woolens, Colored Opening Stitch Markers.