Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mitten Tutorial

You've all been waiting so patiently, so here's the mitten tutorial. Or at least enough to get you started.

First, I recommend that you go and get the Magnificent Mitten book by Anna Zilboorg, because a lot of what I'm going off of is in that book. Also, just a disclaimer, I'm not going to go into too much detail because that's what the book's for. I'm just showing a couple of things that are a little confusing and hard to see with drawn illustrations.

The mittens I'm making are the striped band variety and start off by casting on 5 stitches. Next, knit five rows with the stripe in the middle.After that, the goal is to pick up stitches all around the edge of your little knitted piece. But what you want to do is make sure that the three middle stitches aren't affected.
Eventually, you end up with a sequence that looks a little something like this:

This is the point where you'll be picking up stitches and following the pattern in the book. It can be a little bit difficult to see where you need to pick up the stitches so I have a couple of pictures that should help with it.
Right side pick up:

Another way of describing the right-side pick up is it's the pick up that is done at the beginning of the row.

The Left side pick up is the one that is done at the end of the row:

Continue picking up stitches each row and following the pattern at the same time. My advice here is to take it slow. You don't want to go back because you missed one stitch in the pattern.

Eventually you will get something that looks like this:I know some of you are interested in how to do fairisle, not just fairisle mittens. Well, the best advice I can give there is to learn both ways of knitting, English and Continental. Practice doing whichever one you're less familiar with until you feel comfortable with it. Once you feel comfortable with both methods, then you can hold one strand of color with each hand.

This way, you can throw whichever color yarn you need, when you need it.

I hope this has at least been a little bit helpful and that's it's maybe inspired some of you to take up fairisle, or mittens for that matter!

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