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Basic Formula For Knitting Mittens

Designed by Kathi Heuberger

Basic Formula For Knitting Mittens

This mitten formula allows you to knit any size mitten at any gauge. The Magic Loop Method was used to knit this pattern but it is easy to adapt it to either double points or 2 circulars.

Please, take the time to read through these instructions before beginning to knit. If you have questions resolve them before starting the project.

Materials used in knitting sample:
1 skein of sport weight alpaca, approximately 100 grams; 9 wraps per inch with two strands
1 pair of Size 5 US (3.75 mm) circular needles 24" or longer for Magic Loop Method

Gauge on sample mitten was 5 stitches = 1" working in St st on circular needles; you and your yarn and needles will determine gauge.

Knitter's tips:
1. The gauge is the key to making the formula work for the individual knitter. Choose the yarn and needle size that will give you the density that you want.
2. Measure the wrist at just below the palm.
3. Formula: Gauge x wrist circumference plus 4 = number of sts to cast on; adjust this number so that it is divisible by 4 for the 2x2 ribbing used in the cuff.
4. When knitting the thumb, you will knit to the middle of the thumb nail and then decrease.
5. The length of the mitten is determined by working until you reach the tip of the little finger and then begin decreasing.
6. Gusset information: When the number of cast on sts is changed you will adjust for right and left mitten as follows: the left mitten will be worked until 4 sts remain on the 1st needle (the 1st needle holds half of cast on sts), place marker (pm), right increase, knit 2, pm, knit remaining sts in round. The instructions for the right mitten remain the same.

Techniques used in knitting this pattern:
1. Slip, slip, knit (abbreviated SSK): Slip the first st as if to knit, and then slip the next st as if to knit. Insert the left needle into the front of both slipped sts and knit them together. This decrease will slant to the left.
2. Invisible increases used in the gusset:
Right increase - Insert the right needle from the front into the side of the st below the next st on the left needle and knit it.
Left increase - Insert the left needle from the back into the side of the st 2 rows below the st on the right needle, pull it up and knit into the back loop.

Cast on 36 sts (adjust to fit using formula) and join, being careful not to twist.
Knit 2, purl 2 (2x2 ribbing) for 4" from the cast on edge.
Leave the tail of the cast on yarn to serve as a round marker.
Knit 8 more rounds.
Increase rounds: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 - 14 sts between markers after round 11.
Knit only rounds: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.
Left mitten
Knit 14 (when cast on number changes you must adjust this number; see gusset information), place marker, right increase, knit 2, left increase, place marker, knit to end of round.
Additional rounds - knit 14, slip marker, right increase, knit until the next marker, left increase, slip marker, knit to end of round.
Right mitten
Knit 2, place marker, right increase, knit 2, left increase, place marker, knit to end of round.
Additional rounds - knit 2, slip marker, right increase, knit until the next marker, left increase, slip marker, knit to end of round.
Divide for thumb
Round 13: Knit to marker, remove marker, place sts just worked onto a holder, knit 14 sts for thumb.
Continue to work the 14 thumb sts back and forth in St st (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for 10 rows or until the middle of the thumbnail, ending with a purl row.
Decrease round for thumb
K2tog across - 7 sts remain.
Cut yarn leaving a 14" tail. Thread tail onto a tapestry needle and weave through remaining sts, pull firmly, and then sew thumb seam.
Top of mitten
With the RS facing put sts from holder back onto the right needle, then pick up 1 st from the thumb seam, knit remaining sts in the round - 35 sts on needles.
Continue to work in St st until piece measures 10" from the cast on edge or the tip of the little finger.
Decrease rounds
With the Magic Loop Method the sts are divided onto 2 needles.
You will work the decrease on each needle decreasing 4 sts per round. Work 6 rounds.
Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Knit 1, SSK, knit until 3 sts remain, then k2tog, knit 1.
Repeat on the other needle. You are decreasing 4 sts per round.
Cut yarn leaving a 14" tail. Place tail on tapestry needle, weave through remaining sts twice, pull firmly, knot, and weave in ends.

See Abbreviations and the Glossary for help.