Saturday 22 December 2007

Now From the Bottom Up

I thought the bottom up version of these anatomical mittens would be easier and that has defintely been the case. I had to do the first mitten Top Down to see where to go and how many stitches I would need at the bottom, not being an abstract thinker and unable to do this without needles in my hands.
And now I am prepared to give you the low down on doing this mitten. I have decided to write it out for you in "inches" instead of stitch numbers since there is no reason you can't do this in any yarn you have. I would suggest knitting to a tighter tension than you would for a sweater so the mitten is warmer.
Anatomical Mitten - large child to medium adult. (8" around palm & back of mitten).
I knit this mitten in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride on 3.75mm needles and got 5 sts = 1". So I'll put in the stitch numbers for this wool and gauge in brackets.
This is an untested pattern so BEWARE of pitfalls and please don't swear at me too much if I screwed up here (always assume any screw up is mine).
This is how it works: uses set of 5 dpns.
Cast On 7" of sts [35 sts]. Knit every round for desired length of cuff (the bottom 1" will roll up). Increase 1" worth of stitches [5 sts] evenly around (8" worth of stitches on needles [40 sts]). Knit every round for 1/2" for children and small adult, 3/4" for medium adult size.
All Rounds begins at right side of palm:
Distribute sts on needles as follows: Needle#1 has 3" [15sts] worth of sts (thumb), Needle#2 has 1" [5sts] worth of sts (palm), Needles#3 & #4 each has 2" [10sts] worth of sts (back of hand).
Every Round: Knit across N#1; N#2 - Increase 1 st (using backward loop) and knit to end of needle; Knit across N#3 & #4.
Note: Backward Loop: Put a loop on needle (same as an e-loop cast on st), in the next round knit into the back or front of this loop whichever will twist the loop around once more and tighten the stitch.
Repeat Every Round above until your palm needle (Needle#2) has 3 1/2" [17sts] worth of sts.
Next Round: Needle#1 - Put 3" [15sts] of thumb sts onto stitch holder, Cast On 1/2" [3sts] worth of sts onto empty N#1 and with same needle Knit 1 1/2" [7sts] from N#2 onto N#1 (2" [10sts] worth of sts on N#1); Knit across remaining 2" [10sts] worth of sts on Needles #2; Knit across Needles #3 & #4.
Reality Check: You now have 2" [10sts] worth of sts on each of the 4 needles and 3" [15 sts] of thumb sts are on stitch holder.
Note: If you checked the photo you will notice that I didn't put the thumb sts on a holder as most mitten pattern are written out to do. I knit the thumb first since I hate going back and doing the fiddly bits. So you can go directly to the thumb directions and do as I did or continue here as written. To do the thumb first I cast on 3 sts to make the thumb in the round and worked thumb as below. When I came back to the body of the mitten I picked up & knit from the 3 cast on sts of the thumb.
Distribute sts on needles as follows: Needle#1 has 1" [5sts] worth of sts (palm), Needle#2 has 3" [15sts] worth of sts (thumb), Needles#3 & #4 each has 2" [10sts] worth of sts (back of hand).
Every Round: Needle#1 - knit to end of needle and Increase 1 st (using backward loop); Knit across Needles #2, #3, #4.
Note: Backward Loop: as above.
Repeat Every Round until your palm needle (Needle#1) has 3 1/2" [17sts]worth of sts.
Next Round: N#1 - Knit across 3 1/2" [17sts] worth of sts; N#2 - put 3" [15sts] of thumb sts on stitch holder; Cast On 1/2" [3sts] worth of sts onto end of N#1 (4" [20sts] worth of sts on N#1) and redistribute sts so that you have 2" [10sts] worth of sts on N#1 and N#2; Knit across N#3 & N#4.
Reality Check: You now have 2" [10sts] worth of sts on each of the 4 needles and 3" [15sts] of thumb on stitch holder.
Knit every round until body of mitten reaches the top of index finger or 1 1/2" shy of desired mitten length.
To decrease the top of the mitten you are going to decrease on each needle every round:
You can swirl to the Right - Every Round: *Knit to last 2 sts on needle, K2tog; repeat from * to end of round.
OR you can swirl to the Left - Every Round: * SSK, knit to end of needle; repeat from * to end of round.
Repeat the Every Round of your choice until you have 8 sts in total remaining. Break wool and with blunt sewing needle thread through 8 sts, pull tight and secure.
Distribute 3" [15sts] worth of sts onto 2 needles.
Next Round: Attach wool and knit across 2 needles, pick up & knit 1 st in gap, pick up & knit 1/2" [3sts] worth of sts from cast on of body of mitten, pick up & knit 1 st in gap.
Next Round: Knit across 2 needles, on third needle SSK, knit to 2 sts before end of neeedle, K2tog. (decreasing the extra sts picked up in the gap)
Knit 2 rounds.
Decrease Round: Knit around decreasing 2 sts evenly. Distribute sts so more or less same number of sts on each of the 3 needles.
Knit every round until thumb is 1/2" shy of desired length.
Decrease Round: Decrease 1 st on each needle swirling to the right or left as body of mitten.
Repeat Decrease Round above decreasing 3 sts every round until you have approximately 3 or 4 sts remaining. Break wool and thread through sts, pull and secure.
That's it. I would normally test and retest but have a go and see how it works. Do you like the inches instructions? I'm going to see if I can get a contact email set up so you can let me know.


  1. Oh My Gawd!!!!! It is amazing just what you can do when you have denied your love ones the benefit of your knitting for Christmas Presents. I have not even had time to read your instuctions but am awe-struck with your designing power. BBD

  2. Yeah, there may be some whimpering around the Christmas Tree this year. At least I hope so. Next year I'm stock piling knitting. You can hold me to that!

  3. Hoped over as someone gave me the link to see how to do an backward 3 loop? Love the red mitten, interesting way to make one, looks like it would be very comfortable. Just purchased my first set of DP's and haven't yet tried my hand...working up to it, so will be back to look more thoroughly through you blog. Do pop over for a visit, the welcome mats always out.
    Have a wonderful day and happy knitting,


If you would like a reply to your comment, please include your email address.