Whichaway Mitts

Whichaway Mitts free knitting pattern from Fringe Association

OK let’s face it, there are (at least) two things I can’t get enough of: this Anna yarn and tubes with thumb slits. What can I say? I mentioned when I posted the Stadium Mitts and Stadium Hat patterns that I had enough yarn left to knit another pair of the mitts. But when I picked that yarn back up, something else came off my needles.

I’ve had this very simple idea in my head for a long time, and the ebony and ivory Anna seemed like the perfect yarn to finally make it with: a pair of knitted tubes with the thumb slit placed dead center, colorblocked half and half. So there’s no top or bottom — you can pull them on thisaway, thataway or one of each. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and I still have 50 yards of the natural left to play with! (It’s like the fishes and the loaves, this yarn.)

Although it’s just a few simple mods from the other mitts, I’ve written out the pattern details below for the benefit of beginners or anyone who just wants to cast on and go!

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Whichaway Mitts pattern

For these mitts (and the coordinating Stadium Hat and Stadium Mitts) you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination. You could also use four different colors, or omit the colorblocking and knit them solid, or whatever your heart desires. The beauty of a project this simple is how easy it is to make it your own!

Construction notes:
The thumbhole portion of these mitts is worked in flat rows (with two stitches of garter at each end), treating the three needles holding live stitches as if they’re a single left-hand needle, and turning the work with each row, before rejoining in the round at the top of the thumb opening. In order to be able to wear the mitts either direction, as pictured, it’s critical that the cast-on and bind-off edges both be stretchy. I’ve used the long-tail cast-on and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off, but you may use whatever stretchy cast-on and bind-off you like. Directions for EZ’s sewn bind-off follow the pattern.

Materials:

  • approx 60 yards (30 yards each of two colors) of Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric you like — the stretchy ribbing will fit a wide range of hands regardless of precise gauge
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 5 stitches and 6.25 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 6 inches; length is 5.75 inches

DIRECTIONS

With color A and a US8 needle, and using the long-tail or other stretchy cast-on method, CO 32 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs (12, 8 and 12 sts). Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, and join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Knit in the round
Rounds 1–12:  *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round

Create thumbhole
(For this worked-flat portion, all odd-numbered rows are WS rows, and all even-numbered rows are RS rows)
Row 13: turn work (WS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 14: turn work (RS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Rows 15–17: continue alternating WS and RS rows as above
Row 18 (RS): Switching to color B, knit all stitches
Row 19–22: resume alternating WS and RS rows in pattern as established in 13 and 14

Rejoin and finish knitting
Round 23: rejoin in the round; *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 22–34: *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off (below) or other stretchy bind-off.

Weave in ends. Repeat from beginning for second mitt.

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How to work Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off:
Wrap the working yarn loosely four times around the mitt, add a few inches for a tail to weave in, and break the yarn. Thread this long tail through a tapestry needle. Step 1: Pass the needle purlwise through the first two stitches on the needle and pull the tail through, leaving the stitches on the needle. Step 2: Pass the needle back through the first stitch knitwise, dropping that stitch off the needle, and pull the tail through. Repeat these two steps until one stitch remains on the needle. At this point, my method when binding off in the round is to pass the needle purlwise through that last stitch plus the front leg of the first bound-off stitch, neatly closing up the round. Then pass it knitwise back through the last stitch, drop the needle, and weave in the end.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
WS = wrong side
RS = right side

Stadium Hat

Stadium Hat free knitting pattern at Fringe Association

As promised yesterday, here’s the Stadium Hat pattern to go with the Stadium Mitts, using the light, lovely and oh-so-charming Anna yarn (available in the shop). Being a classic beanie shape with a simple, timeless stripe, it’s pretty much trend-proof, as well as unisex. And it’s an easy, fun knit. Also available for queueing at Ravelry!

Stadium Hat pattern

For this hat and the coordinating Stadium Mitts you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination, reversing the MC and CC from the mitts to the hat as shown. You could also knit more stripes, no stripes, or whatever your heart desires. The yarn will tolerate a smaller needle, so if you want a smaller hat, try simply going down a needle size.

Construction notes:
The decreases for this hat are staggered around the crown, leaving no visible decrease “seams” — the ribs simply narrow toward each other until meeting in the middle. The decrease section accounts for 2 inches of the hat’s height; adjust the pre-decrease portion to your liking for desired finished height. During the stripe portion, carry the non-working yarn up through the rows by laying it over the working yarn on the wrong side of the fabric at the beginning of each round. Note that each first round of a color change is a plain knit round — if omitting the stripes, rib every round instead.

Materials:

  • 100 yards main-color and 10 yards contrast-color Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • 16-inch circular and double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric and finished measurement you like (dividing the cast-on count, 84, by your stitch gauge will give you the finished circumference)
  • stitch marker
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 4.75 stitches and 5 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 17.5 inches at the brim; height is 8 inches

DIRECTIONS

Using main color (MC) and US8 circular needle, CO 84 stitches. Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, place a marker, and join for working in the round.

Begin knitting
Rounds 1–6: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 7: (CC) knit all stitches
Rounds 8–9: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 10: (MC) knit all stitches
Round 11: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Repeat last round until piece measures 6 inches (or desired pre-decrease height — see note above).

Shape crown (switch to DPNs when hat no longer stretches easily around circular)
Decrease round: *k2, p2tog, k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k2, p2tog (73 sts)
Next 2 rounds: *k2, p1, k2, p2; repeat from * to last 3 sts; k2, p1
Dec round: *k2, p1, k2, p2tog; repeat from * to last 3 sts; k2, p1 (63 sts)
Next 2 rounds: *k2, p1; repeat from * to end of round
Dec round: *k2tog, p1, k2, p1; repeat from * to last 3 sts; k2tog, p1 (52 sts)
Next round: *k1, p1, k2, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts; k1, p1
Dec round: *k1, p1, k2tog, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts; k2tog (41 sts)
Dec round: *p2tog, k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch; p2tog w/1st stitch on needle 1 (20 sts)
Dec round: *k2tog, p2tog; repeat from * to end of round (10 sts)
Break yarn and thread tail through remaining stitches; cinch closed and weave in ends on the wrong side.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
MC = main color
CC = contrast color
k = knit
p = purl
k2tog = knit two stitches together
p2tog = purl two stitches together
sts = stitches

Stadium Mitts

Stadium Mitts free knitting pattern at Fringe Association

The moment I laid eyes on Anna, from Imperial Yarn, I knew I had to have it for the shop. So charming and down to earth, my favorite weight to knit with, great colors, multi-seasonal cotton-and-wool blend, and marled! Once I actually had it in my hands and could knit with it, my mind immediately went to comfort knitting — which for me means fingerless mitts. I love to knit them; I love to wear them. And of all the pairs I’ve knit or own, the ones I wear most are my Super Simple Mitts. I can fold in my fingers, as with any mitts, but thanks to the simple slit thumb opening, I can also pull my thumb in against my palm on a long cold walk without an empty thumb gusset flapping around. And I can even slide them down onto my wrists and out of my way, rather than taking them off. So I decided to revisit and revise my Marl Mitts from last season, and write it out this time.

The end result is cozy and fun, and a little bit sporty. They make me think of evenings at a football game or late-season cookout, and although I knit them in black and natural, I can picture them in all kinds of team colors, making them great gifts as well. As you can see from the photos, I had enough yarn to knit a hat to go with (I’ll post the pattern for that tomorrow) and I still have enough yarn left over for a second pair of mitts or another small project! The full pattern is below, and I hope if you like it you’ll also Like it at Ravelry.

UPDATE: Here’s the beanie pattern: Stadium Hat.

Stadium Mitts detail

Stadium Mitts pattern

For these mitts and the coordinating Stadium Hat you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination, reversing the MC and CC from the mitts to the hat as shown. You could also omit the stripes, knit them narrower or wider, or whatever your heart desires. The beauty of a project this simple is how easy it is to make it your own!

Construction notes:
The thumbhole portion of these mitts is worked in flat rows (with two stitches of garter at each end), treating the three needles holding live stitches as if they’re a single left-hand needle, and turning the work with each row, before rejoining in the round at the top of the thumb opening. During the stripe portion, carry the non-working yarn up through the rows by laying it over the working yarn on the wrong side of the fabric at the beginning of each round. Note that each first round of a color change is a plain knit round — if omitting the stripes, rib every round instead.

Materials:

  • 60 yards main-color and 20 yards contrast-color Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric you like — the stretchy ribbing will fit a wide range of hands regardless of precise gauge
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 5 stitches and 6.25 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 6 inches; length is 7 inches

DIRECTIONS

Using main color (MC) and a US8 needle, CO 32 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs (12, 8 and 12 sts). Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, and join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Begin knitting
Rounds 1–6: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 7: (CC) knit all stitches
Round 8: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 9: (MC) knit all stitches
Rounds 10–11: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 12: (CC) knit all stitches
Rounds 13–16: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round (cut CC, leaving a tail to be woven in)
Round 17: (MC) knit all stitches
Rounds 18–28: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Piece should now measure approx 4.5 inches, or knit to your liking.

Create thumbhole (continuing with MC)
Row 29: turn work (WS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 30: turn work (RS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Rows 31–36: continue alternating previous two rows
Piece should now measure approx 6 inches, or knit to your liking, ending on a RS row.

Rejoin and finish knitting
Round 37: (MC) rejoin in the round; *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 38–41: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 42: (CC) knit all stitches
Round 43: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round (cut CC, leaving a tail to be woven in)
Round 44: (MC) knit all stitches
Rounds 45–46: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Bind off loosely in pattern.

Weave in ends. Repeat from beginning for second mitt.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
MC = main color
CC = contrast color
k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
WS = wrong side
RS = right side

Wabi Mitts

wabi mitts fingerless gloves free knitting pattern

At Stitches Midwest last summer, when we could not keep away from the Habu booth, one of my favorite purchases was some N-68, a nubby, rustic, linen/wool yarn in dark charcoal. I knew right away that I wanted to knit a pair of very simple mitts out of it — something austere and Japanese-ish that would show off the softness and rusticity — and a picture developed in my mind. But as any form of design tends to do, the idea morphed on its way from my brain to my fingers. The result is definitely simple, but deceptively so: Out of the stockinette hand emerges an abbreviated reverse-stockinette thumb, which is crisply outlined all the way around. (Wow, practically slipped into International Art English there.) There’s a small rolled edge at the bottom of the cuff , with clean edges at the top of the hand and thumb.

They’re minimalist, for sure, but of the wabi-sabi school — poetically spare, with details that require you to slow down to notice them. Those details also slow down the knitting a tiny bit, but these are a still a very quick and satisfying project. At a ball and a half per pair, you only need one extra ball of the N-68 to net a second pair. Which is good, because I’m still trying to figure out how to make the first idea work. A companion pattern may follow …

Meanwhile, the full Wabi pattern is below, and you can also add it to your queue or favorites at Ravelry.

wabi mitts fingerless gloves free knitting pattern

Wabi Mitts pattern

These mitts were inspired by, and knit from, Habu’s N-68 linen-wool roving, which is a slubby fingering-weight yarn. I like the rusticity combined with the spareness of this glove, but you could use any fingering-weight yarn for a different look. Without a lot of stretch to them, and at a circumference of 7 inches in the top of the hand, these fit a medium-large woman’s hand, but the gauge is slightly loose. To make them a bit smaller, you could go down a needle size, or eliminate one stitch from the thumb and 2 or 3 more from the hand — just be cognizant of your gauge and what those stitches will amount to.

Materials:

  • 150 yards (1.4 balls) Habu N-68 linen-wool roving or other fingering-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US4/3.5mm and US7/4.5mm, or size needed to obtain gauge
  • two small stitch markers
  • smooth cotton waste yarn or dental floss
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (before blocking):

  • Gauge is 4.25 stitches and 6.5 rows per inch in stockinette stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is 7 inches at the narrowest part of the hand; length is 6 inches

DIRECTIONS

Starting with one of the smaller DPNs (US4) and holding two strands of yarn together, cast on 35 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs. Making sure stitches are not twisted around needles, join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Begin knitting
Continuing with the smaller DPNs, knit 3 rounds.
Setup round, switching to the larger needles (US7): k28, pm, p3, pm, k4
Slip round: Knit to last stitch before first marker, slip 1 knitwise wyib, sm, p3, sm, slip 1 purlwise wyib, knit to end
Straight round: Knit to first marker, sm, purl to second marker, sm, knit to end
Repeat the last two rounds until piece measures 2 inches (from rolled edge — do not unroll to measure), ending with a Slip round.

Create thumb gusset
Increase round: Knit to first marker, sm, pfb, purl to last stitch before next marker, pfb, sm, knit to end
Slip round: Knit to last stitch before first marker, slip 1 knitwise wyib, sm, purl to second marker, sm, slip 1 purlwise wyib, knit to end
Repeat these two rounds 4 more times each, for a total of 10 rounds, ending with a Slip round. You will have 13 stitches between the markers.
Next round: k28, sm, p13, sm, k4

Separate thumb and finish hand
Knit to first marker; drop marker. With your tapestry needle, thread waste yarn through the 13 thumb stitches and tie ends together loosely; drop second marker. Using backwards loop method, cast on 2 stitches on right-hand needle; knit to end of round. (34 sts)
Work in stockinette (knit all stitches) for 10 rounds.
Drop and cut one strand of yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail, and switch to smaller DPNs; knit 3 rounds. (Avoid working these stitches overly tightly.)
Bind off loosely. (If your bind-off tends to be especially tight, consider using the larger needle for bind-off.)

Knit thumb
Working from right to left, slip first 6 stitches from waste yarn onto one of the larger double-pointed needles (needle 1), then the next 7 stitches onto needle 2. Reattach yarn (held double) and, with needle 3, pick up and purl 2 stitches, coinciding with the cast-on stitches. (With yarn in front, insert needle purlwise under both legs of one stitch, wrap yarn over needle tip and pull through for a purl stitch. Repeat for second stitch.)
Purl 1 round.
Using smaller needle, bind off in k1/p1 fashion.

Weave in ends. Use your tails to close up any gaps around the thumb, if needed.

Repeat from beginning for second mitt.

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ABBREVIATIONS

k = knit
p = purl
pfb = purl through front and then back of the stitch before slipping off left needle (1 stitch increased)
pm = place marker
sm = slip marker
sts = stitches
wyib = with yarn in back

Knit the Look: Lindsey Wixson’s easy oatmeal cowl

how to knit lindsey wixson's infinity scarf

I’m pretty sure this photo of model Lindsey Wixson in her fur hat and oatmeal cowl is the one that planted the seed for Knit the Look. I remember seeing it on Vanessa’s blog and thinking geez! This is literally Knitting 101 — cast on, knit, bind off. Then seam the ends together to form a loop. If you know the knit stitch — even if you only know the knit stitch — you can make this in no time.

So simulating this one doesn’t require tracking down a similar pattern, and it could be made from any chunky yarn you like. But the key to getting it to look like Lindsey’s is that marl effect, which you could easily achieve by holding three strands of yarn together, such as Cascade Eco Alpaca in Natural, Straw and Silver. To start, calculate what you want the circumference of your cowl to be: Drape a piece of yarn around your neck, estimating how you want the scarf to lay, then measure that length. (For this look, probably something in the range of 36–40 inches.) Cast on 30 stitches on US11/8mm or larger needles. Work back and forth in garter stitch (i.e., knit all stitches), until you have a rectangle whose length equals your desired circumference. Bind off loosely, then use your yarn and tapestry needle to seam the two ends together. Et voilà.

See Vanessa’s recommendations for the hat to go with!

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Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

Double Basketweave Cowl

double basketweave cowl free knitting pattern

Ever since I knitted that Jumbo Basketweave Cowl last winter, I’ve been wanting to do another version — at a thinner gauge and long enough to wrap twice around my neck. And from the moment I first laid my hands on that indigo-dyed Sincere Sheep Luminous wool/silk yarn we’ve got in the shop (for a few more days at least), I knew I had to knit with it, and that I wanted it piled up around my neck. So the two urges merged into this Double Basketweave Cowl. Double because it loops twice, because it’s knitted with two strands of yarn, and because it uses almost exactly two skeins of the Luminous. I also love it doubly as much as the original. It’s the knitwear equivalent of that most beloved and worn pair of blue jeans.

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DOUBLE BASKETWEAVE COWL PATTERN | download PDF

This is a super simple, easy to memorize knits-and-purls stitch pattern. Feel free to knit more or fewer rows of the basketweave pattern for a wider or narrower cowl, as desired. If adjusting for the circumference, multiply your stitch gauge by whatever you want your circumference to be, then round to the nearest number that is divisible by both 4 (for the ribbing) and 6 (for the basketweave pattern).

Materials:

  • 7.75 oz/640 yards Sincere Sheep Luminous or other DK/light-worsted yarn, held double throughout (shown in Modern Alchemy*)
  • 32-inch 6.5mm/US10.5 circular needle
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Measurements (before blocking):

  • Gauge is 4 sts and 5 rows to the inch in basketweave pattern
  • Finished size is 48-inch circumference by 9 inches wide

Directions:

Holding two strands of yarn (throughout pattern), CO 192 sts
place marker and join for working in the round, making sure stitches are not twisted around needle
work k2/p2 ribbing for 4 rounds
knit next round
work 10-round basketweave pattern (below) 4 times
work k2/p2 ribbing for 4 rounds
BO loosely and weave in ends

Basketweave pattern:

Rounds 1-4: *k2, p4, repeat from * through end of round
Round 5: knit all stitches
Rounds 6-9: p3, k2, *p4, k2, repeat from * until one stitch before marker, p1
Round 10: knit all stitches

[ERRATUM: There was an error in the original version of this pattern, in the instructions for Rows 6-9 — the repeat was indicated in the wrong spot. It was corrected in this post on December 15, 2013. If you saved or printed the pattern before that date, please be sure you’re working from this updated version instead.]

(Fave, queue or download it at Ravelry)

double basketweave cowl free knitting pattern

*Note that when using indigo-dyed yarn, as with a new pair of blue jeans, there will be some color transfer. Expect your hands to turn slightly blue while knitting (it washes right off) and for the soak water to turn blue when blocking the finished piece. After that, the dye should be set.

Marl Mitts

marl mitts fingerless gloves free knitting pattern

One of my favorite things to look at, think about, play around with is what happens when you hold multiple yarns together — either low- or high-contrast — and especially when you switch out yarns along the way. I’ll have a roundup tomorrow* of some of the things that inspire me in this regard, but meanwhile here are those latest mitts I mentioned on Friday, which I began without a plan and made up as I went along.

These are just Super Simple Mitts, with a few minor modifications:

  • CO 32 stitches on US8 (5mm) needles, holding two strands of yarn
  • Ribbed k2/p2 all the way up (except the first round of each color change — for those rounds I knit every stitch)
  • For the worked-flat section at the thumb opening, knit the first and last two stitches of each row, for garter edging along thumbhole

I had intended to do more color play with these, but I love black-and-white marl so much I just settled into it. For the second mitt, at my friend Sarah’s behest, I threw in a blue stripe as a tiny accent. I like things a little off-kilter, so that pleases me.

YARNS: The ivory, used throughout, is Cascade Eco Alpaca in Natural. The grey is Cascade 220 Heathers in Silver. The black is Shibui Merino Alpaca in Ebony (held single for the solid black stripe at the top of the mitt). And the solid blue is a single strand of Malabrigo Twist in Tuareg.

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*10.30: Here’s that roundup I promised: The other breed of colorwork