Please note, that at some points in the pattern I don't give exact instructions or exact stitch numbers but rather the general outline of how to construct the mitts. Since hands are different, the mitt can be shaped individually as well.
However, as an example (and written in purple) I will give you the exact numbers for the mitts in the picture. These measure 18 cm in length. The circumference at the upper edge measures about 14 cm – and about 16 cm at the lower edge ribbing.
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Translations and other versions
- Fellow raveler purke translated this pattern into Russian. It can be found here: http://ru-knitting.livejournal.com/5020751.html
- An Italian translation was provided by Maria Rosa Spighetti (mariarosa72 on Ravelry). It can be found here: http://filiandcolori.com/download/Circle_Mitts_Traduzione_Italiano.pdf
- A German version was provided by liesl24 on Ravelry. It can be found in this blogpost.
- A version of these mitts knitted with aran weight yarn can be found in this blogpost.
- A crochet version of these mitts (called Kreisel Fingerless Gloves) is available in this blogpost.
- ca. 30 - 35 grams of fingering weight yarn (the yarn that's used for the mitts in the picture is called Zwerger Opal Hunderwasser, the colourway is "Blinde Venus"
- 2.5mm dpns or 2.5mm circulars if you prefer the magic ring method - then you need an extra needle for a three-needle bind-off (for me it was perfect to begin with dpns, switching to circulars and magic ring when the circle got wider and switching back to dpns after finishing the short rows in part 4.)
- a crochet hook
- a tapistry needle to weave in ends
Knitting a flat circle
Generally, a flat circle is knitted as follows.
CO8 and join in round
Round 1: k
Round 2: *k1 mk1 repeat from * (i.e. every 2nd stitch is doubled) (-> 16 sts)
Round 3: k
Round 4: * k2 mk1 repeat from * (i.e. every 3rd stitch is doubled)(-> 24 sts)
Round 5: k
Round 6: * k3 mk1 repeat from * (i.e. every 4th stitch is doubled) (-> 32 sts)
Round 7: k
Round 8: * k4 mk1 repeat from * (i.e. every 5th stitch is doubled) (-> 40 sts)
… I'm sure, the formula is clear by now, namely that you increase by 8 stitches every other row. It also means that the distance between the "doubled" stitches increases by one in each of the increase-rounds. The same "formula" will be used when constructing the mitts. If you do the increases at the same spot a pattern (maybe even corners) will become visible; to achieve a more circular look I started the increases at a different location in each increase row.
Short Rows in the Round (and the abbreviation t+ky)
I learned short rows in the round with this helpful video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCgycxLce94; however, I ended up doing the wraps on the WS and all pick-ups differently.
"Wrapping" of the Stitches
Basically, when you're on the RS, you do wrap the working yarn around the next stitch (from front to back) and then turn your work, i.e. the "normal" wrap and turn (w+t).
When you are on the wrong side you slip the last stitch, turn your work with the yarn in front, wrap the yarn around the RIGHT needle and knit the slipped stitch. That creates a sort of double-stitch - one half of it has to be knitted together with the stitch in front when you're picking up the stitches. In the pattern, throughout the pattern I will call this stitch, t+ky (short for "turn and knit w/yarn-over").
When encountering a w+t, I turned the wrapped stitch on the needle, picked up the wrap from the front and knitted the stitch and the wrap together through the back of the loop.
When reaching the stitch BEFORE the “double-stitch”, I turned this stitch and knitted it together with the yo through the back of the loop.
The picture on the right shows the parts of the project.
Part 1: Thumb (knitted in the round)
CO18 and join in round
Round 1: *p1 k1 p1 repeat from *
Repeat round 1 a total of 7 times
Round 8: *p1 k1 p1 mk1p repeat from * (-> 24 sts)
Round 9: *p1 k1 repeat from *
Repeat round 9 a total of 6 times
Part 2: Increases in a Full Circle (knitted in the round)
After finishing the thumb, you have 24 sts on your needles. Until the end of part 2 you have to increase by 8 stitches each 2nd round/row (as explained above in the "Techniques" section).
Round 1: k
Round 2: double every 3rd stitch (e.g. * kfb k2 repeat from *; you can use any form of increase you like, I prefer kfb's as they are easy to knit, but you could do *k2 mk1 repeat from * as well); now you have 32 stitches on your needles
Round 3: k
Round 4: double every 4th stitch (-> 40 sts)
Round 5: k
Round 6: double every 5th stitch (-> 48 sts)
Round 7: k … etc.
Continue until the distance between the thumb and the upper edge is high enough for you - always increasing in the even numbered round. Make sure to start the increases at different points in each increase row - this "randomizing" avoids the formation of an octagon pattern. Finish with an odd numbered row, i.e. a row without increases.
Example: For the mitts in the picture, the last full increase round was the one where I doubled every 12th stitch.
Then, to move to part 3 BO 6 stitches; ssk and knit to the last stitch before the BO sts (make sure to do the circle increases in this row as well - and keep the increases random, any changes to your stitch count can be "corrected" in part 4) – in case of the mitts shown here, I increased every 13th stitch.
Before turning slip the last stitch to the right needle and - using a crochet hook - draw the working yarn through the first BO stitch, put the loop on the left needle, move the last (not yet knitted) stitch back to the left needle, knit the two stitches together. This avoids the little gap between the first bind-off stitch and the last stitch of the row. (See picture on the right for illustration.)
Part 3: Increases in an Open Circle (knitted back and forth)
Row 1 (WS): p2tog purl to last 2 sts, p2togtbl
Row 2 (RS): ssk k to last 2 sts (not forgetting the increases); k2tog
Repeat these rows until the mitts are wide enough for your hands. (In case of the mitts in the picture, the last increase round in this part was the one where I increased every 18th stitch.)
If you feel that just the upper edge should be wider, but you don't want the mitts to be longer, you can also use short rows.
Row 1 (RS): ssk k10 w+t
(WS) p to last two stitches p2tog tbl turn work
(RS): ssk k (not forgetting the increases) to last to stitches k2tog
Row 2 (WS): p2tog p10 t+ky
(RS): k to last 2 sts k2tog turn work
(WS): p2tog p to last 2 sts p2togtbl
If the mitts are wide enough for you (try them on!), do a three needle bind-off in a WS row.
The picture on the left shows how the mitts look at the end of part 3.
The number of stitches to bind off should be a few stitches less than one fourth of the total circle circumference (this number differs from the actual amount of stitches on your needle, because of the upper bind-off and the decreases that form the upper edge). The total circumference is calculated as follows: (distance between doubled stitches in last increase row + 2) * 8 / 4
It is also important that the stitches that you have left after the bind-off are more than you need to fit around your wrist.
Example: If the distance between the doubled stitches in the last increase row was 17 (i.e. every 18th stitch was doubled), then add 2 to the distance (in this case 17 + 2 = 19) and multiply by 8 because you added 8 stitches in every increase round (19 * 8 =152). Then divide by 4 (e.g. 152/4 = 38).
Before doing the three-needle bind-off I counted 116 stitches on my needles. The total circumference (without the upper edge) would have been 152. I choose to bind off 32 stitches. That left 52 sts after the three-needle bind-off.
After binding off the chosen number of stitches, place the last stitch on the back needle.
While doing a three-needle BO, the WS is visible, i.e. the mitt is turned inside-out. After binding off place the single stitch (around which the last 2 stitches were bound off) on the back needle and turn the mitt back so that RS shows.
To move to part 4, place a marker ("end-marker"), slip the first stitch (that's the one that has already been knitted when you did the three-needle bind-off), pick up one stitch from the gap between this stitch and the next, knit the round and pick up one stitch from the gap. This gap might be a bit bigger than the one at the beginning of the row. To avoid a hole, you might try to pick up another stitch inbetween.
While you're knitting this row count the stitches - put a marker at the half of the round ("half-marker").
Part 4: Even out the Shaft with Short Rows (knitted back and forth)
Now you need to use short rows to shape the shaft while decreasing the number of stitches so that the mitt fits nicely around your wrists.
Example: With yarn of this weight, I wanted the shaft to be 45 stitches wide – it had to be a number divisible by 3, because of the k1p2-ribbing.
For doing short rows in the round, please read the explanations in the “Techniques” section.
Row 1: RS: k1 k2tog k to 3 sts before half-marker w+t
WS: p to 3 sts before end-marker p2tog p1 p2togtbl p to 3 sts before half-marker
RS: t+ky k to 2 sts before end-marker ssk
Row 2: RS: k1 k2tog k to 3 sts before the last wrapped stitch w+t
WS: p to end-marker, p2togtbl p to 3 sts before the last “double-stitch”
RS: t+ky k end-marker
Repeat row 2 until you have reached the number of stitches you need for yuor wrist size. (When counting the stitches, make sure that you count the double-stitches created by t+ky as one.
Example: Since I had 55 sts on the needles (52 left after three-needle bind-off plus 3 picked up stitches, I had to decrease by 10 sts – I therefore did row 1 once (minus 4 sts) and row 2 three times (minus 6 sts).
Row 3: RS: k1 k to 3 sts before last wrapped stitch w+t
WS: p to end-marker p to 3 sts before the last “double-stitch”
RS: t+ky k to end-marker
Repeat row 3 until there are only 3 stitches or less between the last turn and the end-marker. Then knit one complete row picking up all stitches – as described in the “Techniques” section.
Part 5: Lengthening the Shaft and Ribbing (knitted in the round)
You can lengthen the mitts by knitting a few more rounds. (For the mitts in the pictures only added one more row.)
Then knit the ribbing at the lower edge:
Round 1: * p1 k1tbl p1 repeat from *
Repeat round 1 a total of 9 times, then BO in pattern.
Weave in ends.