A Guided Tour – Gherkin Mittens

Hold the pickle!

Whirly-WIP

When I finished my Elsica Hat in Adriafil New Zealand Print I had only used .75 of one ball – I had another 1.25 balls left. So I set about making some matching mittens. What follows is not sufficiently worked out to be a pattern i.e. I haven’t got measurements of the finished mittens as they’ve been gifted by now and I can’t give you a gauge. So I’m calling it a guided tour of what I did to make them. I knit these mittens from cuff- to-tips, in the round and two-at-a-time on two circular needles. I’ve included some tips for how to do that too.  

..."And now it's time for the Architect's Sketch!"

Adjust gauge so that it fits

Finished Size: To fit a woman’s small to medium hand.  

Yarn: Adriafil New Zealand Print (75% wool, 25% acrylic; 220 yd [201 m]/100g)  – 0.65 of 1 skein needed for these mittens; Colour 021 – blues and greens  

Needles: US Size 7 (4.5mm) two sets of circluar needles  

Notions: Two lockable stitch-markers; tapestry needle  

Gauge: Ahem! Mumblemumblemumble… Didn’t quite hear you there. Did you say gauge? Oh… eh… Adjust gauge as necessary, so that they fit! 

You will need…

Notes:

  • Needle Set-up: You will need two matching pairs of circular needles, of whatever size you need to get gauge. If you have interchangeable needles, you can set up two cables with the needle-size to get gauge on one end and a smaller needle-size on the other. I set up two medium-length cables from my set of Denise Interchangeables with Size 7 (4.5mm) needles on one end of each cable and Size 5 (3.5mm) needles on the other end of each. 
  • Yarn Set-up: The key to knitting two at a time is that you’re knitting from two separate balls of yarn. It seems obvious but I had to have a light-bulb moment before I figured it out! So, before you begin, wind your yarn into two separate balls. Use a weighing scales (preferably digital) to determine when you’ve reached halfway. Don’t try to knit from both ends of the one ball – ask me how I know!
Half of two cuffs cast-on to first needle
  • To Cast-on for two-at-a-time:
    1. Using your preferred cast-on (I used a long-tail cast on; but use anything you like, as long as it’s elastic) and ball A, cast-on half of the overall number of stitches you require for one mitten onto the correct needle size for gauge (see needle set-up above). If you opt for a cast-on that requires a long-tail make sure each tail is long enough to cast-on all of the stitches required for one mitten.
    2. Now forget ball A and take up ball B.
    3. Using the same cast-on and ball B, cast-on half of the overall number of stitches you require for one mitten onto the same needle.
    4. Stick with ball B but pick up the other circular needle.
    5. Let the first circular needle dangle as you cast-on the second half of the stitches onto the 2nd circular needle – as close as you can to where you left off on the first needle. Make sure you’re casting-on to the correct end of your 2nd circular needle!
    6. Now forget ball B and take up ball A again.
    7. Cast-on the 2nd half of stitches for the other mitten – again, as close as possible to where you left off before.
    8. When you start your next round you will join for knitting in the round, being careful not to twist.
    9. And there you’ll be with two mittens on two circular needles – two half-rounds on each needle.
  • Starting cast-on to second needle

Stitch Guide:

S1 to LH ndl:

  1. As you knit to the end of each half-round for each mitten, lock the stitch-marker around the loop of the last stitch and let it slip off your Left-Hand (LH) needle.
  2. As you start each half-round for each mitten, pick up the stitch-marker and use it to replace the loop onto your LH needle. Remove the stitch-marker and lock it around the loop (not the leg) of the last stitch in the half-round.

Right-leaning Travelling Stitch: (T2R) 

  1. With yarn to back, knit into both sts as though to K2tog. Don’t drop sts off left-hand needle;
  2. Bring yarn to front, purl first stitch and drop both sts off left-hand needle.

Right-leaning Travelling Stitch with Decrease: (T2Rdec) 

  1. With yarn to back, knit into both sts as though to K2tog. Don’t drop sts off left-hand needle;
  2. Bring yarn to front, and slip first stitchonto RH ndl as if to purl;
  3. Drop both sts off left-hand needle;
  4. Insert RH ndl into next st on LH ndl and p2tog with first st on RH ndl
  5. 1 st decreased with right travelling stich

Mittens 

Cast-on: 36 sts for each mitten i.e. 18 sts onto each needle with each ball – see Notes above. 
Cuffs: Work in [Ktbl,P2] rib around for 2.5″ (or however long you would like) 
Increase round: Ktbl, M1, p1 around to last st, lock a stitch marker around the next st so that it can be slipped onto LH ndl.
Set-up round: T2R, p3 around to last two sts; then M1 and slip last st onto LH ndl (49sts)
Hands: [T2R, p3] around to last st; s1 to LH ndl
Repeat this round for 3” or until you get to “crook” of your palm then work “EZ’s thumb trick” as follow: Work 4 sts in pattern, switch to spare yarn and knit 7 sts; replace sts just worked in spare yarn back on LH ndl and continue in pattern as though nothing had happened!
Continue with hands until 1.5” before desired length.    

Spiraling towards tips

Decrease for Mitten tips: 

  • Rnd 1: *T2Rdec, P1, [T2R, P2] twice; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 2: *T2R, P1, T2Rdec, P1, T2R, P2; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 3: *[T2R, P1] twice, T2Rdec, P1; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 4: *T2Rdec, [T2R, P1] twice; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 5: *T2R, T2rdec, T2R, P1; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 6: *T2R, T2R, T2Rdec; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 7: *T2R; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 8: *K2tog, T2R, T2R; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 9: *K2tog, K1, T2R; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 10: *K2tog, K2; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • Rnd 11: *K2tog, K1; rpt from * to last st; S1 to LH ndl
  • 9sts are left. Break yarn, thread ndl and fasten off last 9 sts by bringing yarn through each loop as if to purl-through back of loop.
  • Fasten off and weave in ends.
Twirly thumb

Thumb: I did one thumb at a time, using two circular needles, as before. I picked up sts for thumb on wrong side – a minimum of 15 sts initially. Remove spare yarn and bring the ndls through the hole and pull the mitten right-side-out. I picked up one or two more sts at the ends, to minimise holes.  
Set-up rnd: This was a bit of a fudge but generally each ndl had one “set” of sts with [T2R, P2] and one sets with [T2R, P3]. I made sure to have a knit stitch at the start of each ndl and I made sure that the travelling stitch of the main mitten body was not interupted. I used the stitch-marker locked around the loop, as before – see notes – to move the last st onto the next LH ndl .  

  • I knit thumb for 2″, or until it was 0.5″ short of the tip of my thumb.
  • For my first decrease round I decreased such that all “sets” are T2R, P2;
  • Two rounds with no decreases
  • Then decrease each round until 9 sts remain.
  • Finish off as for main mitten top

Finished Mittens

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One Response to “A Guided Tour – Gherkin Mittens”

  1. Sinéad Says:

    Thanks for sharing the mitten pattern!


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