Friday, August 17, 2012

Project #8 - Pair of Mittens - Knit in the Round!

While I had my ribber set up on my bulky and some left over yarn sitting about, I decided to knit a pair of mittens that would require a minimum of sewing after the fact.

I knit the ribbing as usual, which unfortunately cannot be done in the round, and set forth to see how I would make out.  Once the ribbing was done, and ending with my carriage on the right, I transferred all the needles right of 0 to the ribber and all the ribber needles on the left of 0 to the main bed.
Changed to knit arm - dropped the ribber bed slightly to knit the needles on the main bed onto waste yarn.  I removed the waste yarn stitches, turned the work and rehung the stitches over the opposite needles from the needlebed.  So now I had the same number of stitches on both beds directly opposite each other.

Weights are very important here so get lots of weight on both section (front and back)

Changed to ribber arm - Knit 14 rows which means 28 passes of the carriage.

Changed to knit arm -drop the ribber bed to work on knit bed only.
Put all but the 7 sts on the right to hold and set the carriage to hold as well.
pull out 7 more needles on the right and e-wrap them - hang a weight.
Thread up carriage and knit 14 rows
Transfer EOS to reduce down to 7 - knit across - remove sts on yarn tail with a tapestry needle.

Put all empty needles back to A position - then pull 7 back out to work position (B) immediately to the right of the needles in hold.
Pull the thumb piece up, fold it down then fold it to the left to create the thumb.  Hang the 7 loops on the top edge facing you on the seven empty needles.

Change to rib arm and push ribber back up with thumb in between the beds inside the mitten.
Thread up your carriage, make sure there is lots of weight as before and now make 56 passes

Finally, we just have to decrease for the finger tip section,  I decided I would decrease one stitch each side of the main bed and ribber and knit 4 rows until it got to I think it was 9 on each bed.  I took these off on waste yarn to graft later.

I repeated the same for the other mitten but made sure the thumb was on the left side so there is one more row after the 28 before you reach the thumb.  Otherwise everything else is the same.

Graft the fingertip, sew the short thumb seam and finally sew up the side seam on the ribbing.  Done.

I know it seams like a lot of changing of the ribber and knitting arms BUT I think the final result looks great and well worth the effort.  I would definitely make more this way for sure.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mittens, Mittens, Mittens!

I have now finished 10 pairs of mittens for the Red Cross Winter Warmth Program that our Knit Club supports each year.

The mittens were made on my Studio 155 bulky machine using the ribber for the 1 x 1 rib.  They knit up very quickly.  The seaming takes about the same amount of time as the knitting.  I had a very large ball of veriagated yarn that just seemed to go on and on and on....  I still have a bit left that I can use as a colored strip on another pair which I'm going to do later. 

The pattern is basically the one on Irene Wood's site which I know many of you use for your mittens too.  It is a great pattern, easy to follow and gives good results.

I usually cast on 34 sts, rib for 18 rows, knit 14 rows, do thumb, knit 27 rows, shortrow the top flap, remove on waste yarn and I'm done the knitting part, I then just have to sew up the thumb seam, graft the flap and sew the side seam.   So you can see it is a very simple process.  One just has to remember to reverse the side for the thumb on the second mitten!  I've done them both the same and that doesn't quite work to make a pair.

Here's a photo of the final 10 pairs (includes the original 4 pair I showed earlier)  Click on the photos to enlarge if you wish.

I also have had a chance to work with my ribber on the bulky while playing with hand manipulated stitches in between ribber stitches - made for a very interesting afternoon.  Now I think I'll move this over to my standard and see what I come up with over there using this same technique.  I think it would be a great way to do scarves and also eliminate the rolling edges if the sides were done in 1 x 1 rib.......  Here is my test piece - color is awful but it was just a practice session so I really wasn't that fussy.  My goal was to produce something that was attractive on both sides and I think this would foot the bill in that department.

This is the right side of the piece
This is the wrong side of the piece

As you can see in the photos the sides tend to weave in and out as I was changing the direction of the lace sections which created that effect.  This doesn't really bother me but if needed I could probably block it straight.  This piece has not been blocked or steamed it is just as it came off the machine - no curled edges - whoopee!