View Full Version : HOLY CRAP! DPN mittens - WAY over my head...

12-22-2010, 11:09 PM
Bought some baby alpaca today and size 9 DPNs. Thought I'd try a pair of mittens using the most basic pattern (http://www.suite101.com/content/basic-mittens-to-knit-a199042) I could find. Did my CO, separated my stitches, and then started looking at the two rows I'd joined (badly) and thought - THOSE ARE NEVER GOING TO FIT MY HUGE HAND. And then I think I got my stitches twisted. And working on three needles is tight. And I'm really grumpy right now. Ended up taking the whole thing off in total frustration.

I'm wondering if mitten knitting is a little over my head right now. I've knitted about 10 scarves, a felted clutch, some ipod cozies, a hat (with circular needles), and currently have a sweater shell OTN. Maybe I'm just not ready for DPN.


12-23-2010, 07:58 AM
I get frustrated with my knitting sometimes, too. I hate it when that happens! DPN can be very frustrating. Once you get past the first 2 rows or so, they get easier. However, there are a couple other things you can do. Mittens are my favorite thing to knit!
Have you tried 2 circs or Magic Loop? http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/advanced-techniques
Or here is a pattern for 2-needle mittens:

12-23-2010, 08:02 AM
I forgot to mention that ribbing is stretchy, so that first part where you K2 P2 for 12 rounds will have a lot of give to it. You've already gone up 2 needle sizes from the pattern, but I'm not sure what your yarn weight is. You might want to make sure your yarn weight matches the weight of the yarn used in the pattern.

12-23-2010, 11:39 AM
Ronda's right--it does get easier. The first couple of rounds are a pain with the needles flopping all over the place.

One thing you can do is to work a few rows on straights, and then join when you have a bit of fabric to work with. You'll have a gap at the edge, but you can sew that up with the tail of the yarn.

Ribbing on mittens, especially when you start, looks like it wouldn't fit a baby. It stretches, though, and that's what keeps them on your hand in the end.

12-23-2010, 12:03 PM
The cast on, whether in the round or flat, is always smaller than the actual knit width of an item. So go on and knit about and inch or so, then see how it looks then.

12-23-2010, 12:03 PM
I really don't believe that anything is really beyond the skill level of a knitter. Unless you are absolutely brand new and are still adding "mystery" stitches and dropping stitches and just haven't grasped the most basic of skills. I think it all just depends on your patience level and your ability to follow instruction.

And remember, if you don't challenge yourself with something that is outside of your current comfort level, you will never get better and will never learn to do new things. So taking on something challenging is gonna be hard when you're not used to it, but have faith that you will get it eventually.

I'd recommend when you start doing something that you don't understand, don't just blindly push forward and get frustrated when you have to rip something out. The old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure works here too. A few moments spent asking how to do something before you try, and a little time spent after you've done it before you get to far on in the pattern will save you a lot of frustration in the end because you'll either get it right the first time, or you'll notice the mistake soon enough that you aren't destroying your whole project to fix something.

Jan in CA
12-23-2010, 12:05 PM
It just takes practice as the others said. I found it easier to learn by knitting a hat on a circular needle first (16 inch) then switching to DPNs for the top.

12-23-2010, 05:32 PM
Thanks guys. You were right - I just needed to try again and keep going. I finished 12 rows of the first cuff and it's turned out a lot bigger than it was initially. Funny how that works out. But as a beginner, I wish they would put helpful tips like that at the beginning of the pattern. Anyway, so far, so good... The thumb bit looks a bit intimidating, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! UNLESS YOU HAVE ANY THUMB TIPS...??? :D

12-24-2010, 12:02 AM
[ The thumb bit looks a bit intimidating, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! UNLESS YOU HAVE ANY THUMB TIPS...??? :D[/QUOTE]
Elizabeth Zimmerman's thumb (I think it's in Knitting Without Tears) is SO easy: knit to where you want the thumb to start, drop your regular yarn, and knit about an inch or so with a scrap of contrasting yarn. Then merrily knit away again with your mitten yarn. When you finish the top of the mitten and are ready to do the thumb, pull out your contrast yarn, which will leave a hole with loops on top and bottom. Carefully pick them up on 3 DPNs and knit a tube that will be your thumb - see your pattern for finishing the top or decrease a few rounds and then gather the remaining stitches on the tail and pull them tight.
Good luck! You'll be ready for socks next!