Are they hand warmers or mittens … you decide

This week I’m knitting with Lion Brand Wool-Ease, which is a medium weight yarn that blends the warmth of wool with the ease of acrylic.

Yesterday I made a lovely, warm hat using a few of the pattern motifs from the poncho I’ll be making on Day 5. Today I’m knitting a pair of hand warmers with Tawny Port that are a little on the unconventional side.

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Tawny Port will be used for the hand warmers

I like to wear hand warmers in the winter as it frees up my fingers when working my phone, or fishing change out of my wallet or pocket; but, sometimes my fingers get cold and I try to draw them up inside. Walking with hands in my pockets is not safe as a stumble could result in a bad fall. My solution is to make them extra long so that I can fold them back to expose my fingers, and unfold them to keep me warm.

The pattern motifs I’ll be using include the 1/1RC that was used on the hat, but also patterns D & E from the poncho, which are essentially the same pattern, but one leans left and the other right. Perfect — I’ll use one on the left hand and the other on the right.

The other technique used in this pattern is M1L (Make 1 Left) and M1R (Make 1 Right) which is an increase method. Whenever you see explanations for this technique it instructs you to pick up the bar between the stitches from the row below from either the front (M1L) or back (M1R). If you look at the stitches on your needle, the right leg of the stitch is on the front and the left leg is at the back. Normally, you knit into the front stitch unless instructed to ktbl (knit through back loop) which twists the stitch and makes it lean left. When knitting a M1R or L, you’re knitting into the left leg of the stitch. When you pick up the bar and put it on the left needle you want to orientate the left leg of the stitch to either the front of your needle (M1R) or the back of you needle (M1L) and knit into it. By having the left leg on the front of your needle and knitting it, it makes the resulting stitch lean right and when at the back of needle, you’re actually doing a ktbl resulting in a left leaning stitch. Also, whenever you see M1 (make 1), it’s the same as M1L. On several occasions, I’ve heard many a knitter trying to recall how to do a M1L vs. M1R. I find it easier to remember Right Front, Left Back.

The Pattern

materials

yarn

needles and hook

  • US7 [4.5mm] crochet hook or close in size
  • US7 [4.5mm] 16” circulars, or 32” circulars for magic loop, or dpns knitting needles
  • US6 [4.0mm] 24” circulars for magic loop, or dpns
  • cable needle

notions

  • stitch marker
  • scrap yarn to hold thumb sts
  • tapestry needle

size Fits average woman’s hand in width, custom fit in length.

gauge 20 sts and 26 rows = 4” in stocking stitch on US 7 [4.5mm] needles

abbreviations

K = Knit

P = Purl

K2tog = Knit 2 sts together

St(s) = Stitch(es)

PM = Place Marker

BOR = Beginning of Round

Rnd = Round

Inc = Increase

M1 = Same as M1L – increase 1 st

M1L = Make 1 Left – see explanation above

M1R = Make 1 Right – see explanation above

YO = Yarn Over – bring yarn to the front of your work and knit the next stitch

YRN = Yarn Round Needle – bring yarn to the front of your work under the needle, take it to the back over the needle, then bring it to the front and purl the next stitch.

1/1LC (1 over 1 left cross) Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in front of work, k1, then k1 from cable needle.

1/1RC (1 over 1 right cross) Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in back of work, k1, then k1 from cable needle.

2/2LC (2 over 2 left cross) Slip 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front of work, k2, then k2 from cable needle.

2/2RC (2 over 2 right cross) Slip 2 sts to cable needle and hold in back of work, k2, then k2 from cable needle.

2/1LC (2 over 1 left cross) Slip 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front of work, k1, then k2 from cable needle.

2/1RC (2 over 1 right cross) Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in back of work, k2, then k1 from cable needle.

Pattern for Hand Warmer Mittens

Pattern over 12 sts (Same as Patterns D and E of Poncho)

Row 1: P4, 2/2RC, p4 – Right Hand.

Row 1: P4, 2/2LC, p4 – Left Hand.

Row 2: P4, k4, p4.

Row 3: P3, 2/1RC, 2/1LC, p3.

Row 4: P3, k6, p3.

Row 5: P2, 2/1RC, k2, 2/1LC, p2.

Row 6: P2, k8, p2.

Row 7: P1, 2/1RC, k4, 2/1LC, p1.

Row 8: P1, k10, p1.

Cuff

Using the Crochet Cast on method, cast on 36 sts. Place marker (PM) to denote Beginning of Round (BOR). Be sure to slip the marker on each round. Join in the round being careful not to twist the stitches.

Rnd 1: *K2, p1; repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 2: *K2, p1, 1/1RC, p1; repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until cuff measures 3” (18 rows), or desired length.

Knit 1 round and proceed to instructions for Right and Left Hands.

Right Hand

Inc Rnd: K17, M1, k2, M1, knit to end of round. 38 sts

Set up Rnd: K3, p4, k4, p4, k23.

Rnd 1: K3, p4, 2/2RC, p4, k3, M1L, k2, M1R, k18. 40 sts

Rnd 2 and all even rounds: Work sts as presented; i.e. Knit the knits and Purl the purls.

Rnd 3: K3, (Pattern 3), k3, M1L, k4, M1R, k18. 42 sts

Rnd 5: K3, (Pattern 5), k3, M1L, k6, M1R, k18. 44 sts

Rnd 7: K3, (Pattern 7), k3, M1L, k8, M1R, k18. 46 sts

Rnd 9: K3, (Pattern 1), k3, M1L, k10, M1R, k18. 48 sts

Rnd 11: K3 (Pattern 3), k3, M1L, k12, M1R, k18. 50 sts

Rnd 13: K3, (Pattern 5), k3, M1L, k14, M1R, k18. 52 sts

Rnd 15: K3, (Pattern 7), k3, place next 16 sts on a scrap piece of yarn, K18.

Rnd 17: Continue working rounds on remaining 36 sts incorporating pattern rows 1 – 8 twice more.

Once all pattern rows have been completed, continue to work as follows until mitten length is equal to the topmost knuckle: K3, P1, K10, P1, K21. For my small hand, this worked out to be 2 rows.

Begin 2×2 rib (beginning with K2) until work measures to the tip of the topmost fingernail – my hand was 12 rows.

Final Row: *YO, K2tog, YRN, P2tog; repeat from * to end of round.

Cast off in 2×2 rib.

Left Hand  

Inc Rnd: K1, M1, knit to last st, M1, k1. 38 sts

Set up Rnd: K23, p4, k4, p4, k3.

Rnd 1: K18, M1L, k2, M1R, k3, p4, 2/2LC, p4, k3. 40 sts

Rnd 2 and all even rounds: Work sts as presented; i.e. Knit the knits and Purl the purls.

Rnd 3: K18, M1L, k4, M1R, k3, (Pattern 3), k3. 42 sts

Rnd 5: K18, M1L, k6, M1R, k3, (Pattern 5), k3. 44 sts

Rnd 7: K18, M1L, k8, M1R, k3, (Pattern 7), k3. 46 sts

Rnd 9: K18, M1L, k10, M1R, k3, (Pattern 1), k3. 48 sts

Rnd 11: K18, M1L, k12, M1R, k3, (Pattern 3) k3. 50 sts

Rnd 13: K18, M1L, k14, M1R, k3, (Pattern 5), k3. 52 sts

Rnd 15: K18, Place next 16sts on a scrap piece of yarn, k3, (Pattern 7), k3.

Rnd 17: Continue working rounds on remaining 36 sts incorporating pattern rows 1 – 8 twice more.

Once all pattern rows have been completed, continue to work as follows until mitten length is equal to the topmost knuckle: K21, p1, k10, p1, k3.

Begin 2×2 rib (beginning with p2) until work measures to the tip of the topmost fingernail – my hand was 12 rows.

Final Row: *YRN, p2tog, yo, k2tog; repeat from * to end of round.

Cast off in 2×2 rib.

Thumb

Remove scrap yarn from thumb sts and place on needles.

Join yarn by making a st between the two center sts of the hand and place it on the right needle.

Knit to last 2 sts, k2tog – this closes the gap between the hand and thumb sts.

Continue to knit rounds until thumb measures to the middle of the knuckle on your thumb.

Switch to US 6 [4.0mm] needles and knit two more rounds or to the bottom of your thumbnail.

Work in K1, P1 Rib until thumb measures to the top of your thumb nail.

Cast off in 1×1 rib and fold rib section down.

Weave in all ends.

Join the yarn to the thumb stitches by making a stitch from in between the two stitches below on the hand.

Draw String Cord (make 2)

Cut a length of yarn approximately 40” and secure one end to a solid structure (e.g., Drawer Handle, Tap, etc.).

Twist the strand in the same direction as the natural twist of the yarn until it folds over onto itself in a fairly tight twist.

Double it up and tie the open end to secure the cord.

Weave it through the YO holes at the top of the mitten, fold back and make a bow.

The hand warmers in Tawny Port are complete.

My hand warmers are complete. I love the pattern motif on the back of the hands – left cross on the left hand and right cross on the right. I’m also very happy with the ribbing on the cuff. It’s not only pretty but it holds its shape very well – it doesn’t over stretch. If my fingers and thumb get cold, I can easily unfold the top ribbing sections to cover them up and use the draw string to close them like mittens. To answer the question are they hand warmers or mittens … they’re both!

Tomorrow, we take on the poncho with all the pattern motifs used for the hat and hand warmers used all together. I hope you’ll join me as I break the project down into manageable segments using Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Oxford Grey.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Knitting a warm hat with patterns from the Poncho

Go to part 5: Knitting the Galway Poncho with confidence

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