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Old 12-04-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
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I am knitting my first mitten. I have knit quite a few socks before successfully, although I took about a year long knitting vacation.

I followed the pattern for the hand decreases and trusted it and while it worked, I would really like to improve my technique.

I'm knitting a basic mitten pattern from Teach Yourself Visually Circular Knitting. I am using Magic Loop. I found it somewhat awkward to do the decreases for the mittens, as there were SSKs and K2Tog to be done and sometimes the stitch I needed to knit together was on the other needle! I got it to work, but still found it to be awkward. Would it just be easier to swap the Magic Loop for DPNS for the decreases? Would it just be less frustrating to kitchener stitch? I will kitchener stitch if I have to, but would mostly just prefer to decrease and then pull the yarn through. The process for doing the decreases in this pattern worked, but I don't remember doing the decreases with socks to be as hard. Is it just a function of Magic Loop? (I always switched to double points when making socks and only really magic looped to do the cuff from top down.)

Also, although my decreases turned out even on either side of the mitten, they are horribly loose. Ugh!

This is just a practice mitten using Caron Simply Soft, so it's no big deal, but I want to do a much better job on my first real mitten and work out any questions on the acrylic first.

I'm not worried about the thumb, as I think I'll just do that on double points.

Suggestions? Or can someone direct me to an easy mitten pattern that explains the hand decreases well, preferably with double points?

I think I could really enjoy knitting mittens.

Am I just forgetting something? Do I have knitting amnesia?
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:50 AM   #2
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I have been using the magic loop since October when I learned to do it. I have knitted 4 pairs of mittens with it and I used Caron Simply Soft also. I had no problems with the decreases as long as I used a row counter on the decrease row. I put it on the needle when I was knitting the decreases and took it off when I did the second needle. I used Bev's The Mitts pattern. Although she says use 2 needles and seam them, I didn't do that I just subtracted 2 stitches and casted on an even number of stitches. I then counted out half the stitches, and got the magic loop set up and started knitting .The only thing is when you start to knit the first needle, hold the second needle close to the first so no ladders develop. Just pull the yarn to tighten up the first 2 stitches at every end when you start knitting.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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You don't have to absolutely have the sts equal on each needle, just move one of them over for the decs. This can happen on dpns too, where the other st needed is on the other needle. Kitchener st joins 2 edges together and you still need to decrease to a certain point or you have too many sts and not enough length. The uneveness will go away after you wash the mittens, so don't worry about getting the sts perfect as you make them.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by origami View Post

Suggestions? Or can someone direct me to an easy mitten pattern that explains the hand decreases well, preferably with double points?
Origami, this is an awesome video class on mittens using magic loop. The video on hand decreases made it easy peasy. I can't recall if Kelley grafts her mittens or if she closes them like a hat. The sample mitten I made is pulled tight at the top, but then I hodge podged what I liked together for a look I liked.... I'd recommend you take a look to see if this may be what you're looking for.

Am I just forgetting something? Do I have knitting amnesia?
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:48 PM   #5
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Charlotte beat me to Kelley's mitten class! It's excellent. She has two methods of making the thumb in that class. It's up to you to choose. The one is done with the traditional thumb gore. This allows mittens to be worn on either hand. The other is the afterthought thumb. You end up with a right and left mitten, which may be hard for small children who don't know left from right. I like to do my mittens with afterthought thumbs. You don't do any increases. It's knit as a straight tube all the way up from the cuff. You put a piece of waste yarn into it to mark the thumb. Later you come back to it. Kelley explains that in her video.

The size charts for mittens don't show this, but I learned from experience. The distance from where the cuff ribbing ends and the stockinette stitch begins to the thumb opening is going to be the same as the thumb measurement.

For example, most adult mittens have a thumb of 2 1/2 inches. The distance from where the cuff ends to the thumb opening is also going to be 2 1/2 inches. If you're knitting gifts for someone else, most adults wear medium mittens. You'll only need to make small ones if someone has really tiny hands, or large ones if a man has football linebacker hands.

OTN: Convertible mittens in a thermal knit pattern.
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