Knitting mittens is a classic and practical project for knitters of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to expand your skills or an experienced knitter wanting to tackle a new pattern, knitting mittens in the round is a fun and rewarding project. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of knitting mittens in the round from start to finish.
One of the advantages of knitting mittens in the round is that there are no seams to sew, making the finished product seamless and more comfortable to wear. By using double-pointed needles or a circular needle with the magic loop technique, you’ll be able to knit the entire mitten in one piece.
We’ll start by discussing the materials you’ll need for this project, including the type of yarn and appropriate needle size. We’ll then move on to casting on and joining in the round, followed by working the thumb gusset and shaping the top of the mitten. Throughout the guide, we’ll provide helpful tips and techniques to ensure your mittens turn out beautifully.
Whether you’re knitting mittens for yourself or as a thoughtful gift for a loved one, this step-by-step guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to successfully complete the project. So gather your knitting supplies and get ready to create cozy and stylish mittens that will keep your hands warm all winter long.
What are mittens?
Mittens are hand coverings designed to keep your hands warm in cold weather. They are typically made of soft and insulating materials, such as wool or fleece, and feature separate compartments for each finger.
Mittens have been worn for centuries and are popular in various cultures around the world. They offer several advantages over gloves, including better warmth and comfort. By grouping the fingers together, mittens preserve body heat and create a warm environment for the hands. They also allow for greater freedom of movement and dexterity compared to gloves.
Traditionally, mittens were handmade using knitting or crochet techniques. They can be customized in terms of size, color, and pattern to suit personal preferences. Today, mittens are available in a wide range of styles and designs, from simple and classic to trendy and fashionable.
Mittens are essential accessories for outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and winter hikes. They provide necessary protection from the cold and help prevent frostbite and discomfort.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, learning how to knit mittens in the round can be a rewarding project. By following a step-by-step guide and using basic knitting techniques, you can create a pair of cozy and stylish mittens to keep your hands warm all winter long.
Why learn to knit mittens in the round?
Knitting mittens in the round is a valuable skill to learn for several reasons. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, knitting mittens in the round offers numerous benefits and opportunities for creativity.
- Seamless construction: Unlike flat knitting, knitting mittens in the round allows you to create a seamless and continuous fabric. This seamless construction eliminates the need for seaming, which can be time-consuming and affect the overall finish of the mittens.
- Improved fit: When you knit mittens in the round, you can try them on as you go, resulting in a better fit. This is especially important for mittens, as they need to fit snugly to provide warmth and protection against the cold.
- Efficiency: Knitting in the round is generally faster than knitting flat, as you don’t have to spend time turning your work. This makes it a great option for knitters who want to finish their projects more quickly.
- Endless design possibilities: Knitting mittens in the round opens up a world of design possibilities. You can experiment with different stitch patterns, colorwork techniques, and even add embellishments like cables or lace. The circular nature of the knitting allows for more intricate designs and enables you to create unique and personalized mittens.
- Portability: Knitting mittens in the round requires fewer supplies than knitting flat, making it more portable. You can easily take your project with you on-the-go and continue knitting wherever you are. This makes it a great option for travel or for knitting during your lunch break.
Overall, learning how to knit mittens in the round expands your knitting skills and opens up new possibilities for creativity. The seamless construction, improved fit, and endless design options make knitting mittens in the round a rewarding and enjoyable knitting technique to master.
- Yarn: Choose a soft and warm yarn that is suitable for mittens. Typically, a medium-weight yarn such as worsted or aran weight is recommended.
- Knitting needles: Use a set of double-pointed needles (DPNs) or a long circular needle for magic loop technique, in a size appropriate for your yarn. Check the yarn label for the recommended needle size.
- Tape measure: Essential for measuring your hand size and checking gauge.
- Stitch markers: Use stitch markers to mark the beginning of the round and any other important points in the pattern.
- Tapestry needle: Needed for weaving in ends and seaming.
- Scissors: Used for cutting yarn and trimming ends.
- Pattern: Have a printed copy or digital version of the mitten pattern you are working on.
- Gauge swatch: Knit a swatch in the round to check your gauge and ensure the mittens will fit properly.
Yarn and Needles
Before you begin knitting mittens, it’s important to select the right yarn and needles for the project. Choosing the correct materials will ensure that your mittens turn out just as you desire.
When it comes to yarn, you’ll want to select a type that is warm, soft, and durable. Consider using wool or a wool blend for your mittens, as these fibers are excellent for keeping hands cozy in cold weather. Look for yarn labeled as “worsted weight” or “medium weight” for this project.
It’s also important to consider the color and style of yarn you want to use for your mittens. You can choose a classic solid color or get creative with variegated or self-striping yarn for a unique look.
The type of needles you use will depend on your personal preference and the yarn you’ve chosen. The most common type of needles for knitting mittens are double-pointed needles (DPNs), but you can also use circular needles if preferred.
If you’re using DPNs, you’ll need a set of four or five needles. Choose a size that will result in the correct gauge for your yarn. The recommended needle size is usually listed on the yarn label.
If you’re using circular needles, choose a pair with a cable length of at least 16 inches (40 cm) for knitting in the round. Make sure the needle size matches the gauge specified on the yarn label.
You can find yarn and needles at your local yarn store, or you can also purchase them online through various knitting supply websites.
In addition to yarn and knitting needles, you will need a few other supplies to knit mittens in the round. These supplies will help make your knitting process smoother and more enjoyable.
- Circular knitting needles: Choose circular knitting needles in the appropriate size for your yarn. The length of the needles will depend on the circumference of the mittens you are knitting. Generally, a 16-inch circular needle is suitable for most adult-sized mittens.
- Double-pointed needles (DPNs): DPNs are used to knit the smaller sections of the mittens, such as the fingers and thumb. You will need a set of DPNs in the same size as your circular needles.
- Cable needle: If you plan to add cables or other types of decorative stitches to your mittens, a cable needle will be necessary. Choose a cable needle that matches the size of your knitting needles.
- Stitch markers: Stitch markers are essential for marking important points in your knitting, such as the beginning of each round or specific stitch patterns. You can use commercial stitch markers or make your own using a small piece of contrasting yarn or a safety pin.
- Tapestry needle: A tapestry needle is used for weaving in ends and sewing the final seams of your mittens.
- Scissors: You will need a pair of scissors for cutting yarn in various stages of your knitting project.
- Measuring tape: A measuring tape will come in handy for checking the gauge of your knitting and measuring the finished size of your mittens.
Having these additional supplies on hand will ensure that you have everything you need to successfully knit your mittens in the round.
Before you begin knitting mittens in the round, there are a few things you’ll need to gather:
- Knitting needles: You’ll need a set of double-pointed needles in the recommended size for your chosen yarn. This will typically be a size 6 or 7 for worsted weight yarn.
- Yarn: Choose a yarn that is suitable for mittens, such as a wool blend or acrylic. Make sure you have enough yarn for the project, keeping in mind that different patterns may require varying amounts.
- Stitch markers: These will help you keep track of your rounds while knitting in the round.
- Tapestry needle: You’ll need a tapestry needle to weave in loose ends once your mittens are complete.
- Pattern: Select a mitten pattern that suits your skill level and desired style. There are many free patterns available online, or you can purchase a pattern from a knitting store.
Once you have gathered all of your supplies, you’re ready to start knitting your mittens in the round. Make sure to read through the entire pattern before you begin, as it may include important information about techniques or gauge.
The first step in knitting mittens in the round is to cast on. Casting on creates the foundation of stitches that you will be working with throughout the project. There are several different methods you can use to cast on, but we will focus on the long-tail cast on method for this tutorial.
To begin, you will need a pair of knitting needles and your chosen yarn. Make a slipknot by creating a loop with the yarn, threading the end of the yarn through the loop, and pulling it tight. Slide the slipknot onto one of the knitting needles, leaving a tail of yarn that is about four times the width of your finished mitten. Hold the knitting needle with the slipknot in your right hand, and the other knitting needle in your left hand.
Next, insert the tip of the left-hand needle into the slipknot, from front to back, and under the right-hand needle. Hold the yarn tail and working yarn together in your left hand, with your thumb and middle finger controlling the tension. Wrap the yarn around the left-hand needle counterclockwise, creating a loop around the needle.
Using the right-hand needle, bring it in front of the yarn and insert it through the loop on the left-hand needle. Hook the working yarn with the right-hand needle and bring it through the loop, creating a new loop on the right-hand needle. Drop the old loop from the left-hand needle, and you have successfully cast on one stitch.
Repeat this process until you have cast on the required number of stitches for your mitten pattern. Make sure to keep an even tension on your yarn as you cast on to ensure that your stitches are not too tight or too loose. Once you have cast on all the stitches, you are ready to begin knitting in the round.
Joining in the round
Joining in the round is an essential step when knitting mittens in the round. This technique allows you to create a seamless tube without a visible seam. Here’s how to join in the round:
- Cast on the required number of stitches for your mitten pattern using the long-tail cast-on or any other preferred cast-on method.
- Make sure your stitches are not twisted and arrange them evenly on your circular knitting needles.
- Hold the two needle tips parallel to each other, with the working yarn at the back of your work.
- Take the working yarn and knit the first stitch on the left needle using the right needle. This connects the last stitch on the left needle with the first stitch on the right needle.
- Continue knitting around, making sure not to twist your stitches, until you reach the end of the round.
At this point, you have successfully joined in the round and can continue knitting your mittens according to your pattern.
It’s important to note that when joining in the round, you may want to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round to help you keep track of your progress. This will be especially helpful if your pattern requires you to perform different stitch patterns or increase/decrease rounds. The stitch marker will act as a reference point.
Additionally, be mindful not to accidentally twist your stitches when joining in the round. Twisted stitches can create an unwanted twist in your finished mitten, so it’s crucial to double-check your work before proceeding.
Joining in the round can take some practice to master, but with a bit of patience and persistence, you’ll soon be able to knit seamless mittens with ease.
The knitting process
Knitting mittens in the round involves a few key steps before you can start creating your cozy accessories. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the knitting process:
- Gather your materials: Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials. You will need a set of double-pointed knitting needles, a skein of yarn in your desired color, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle, and stitch markers.
- Cast on stitches: To start knitting your mittens, cast on the required number of stitches onto your double-pointed needles. This will create the base for your mitten.
- Join in the round: Once you have cast on, you will need to join your stitches in the round. Take care to ensure your stitches are not twisted before slipping the first stitch onto the other end of the working needle.
- Begin knitting the cuff: The cuff of the mitten is typically worked in a ribbed stitch pattern to provide a snug fit. Knit the desired number of rows or stitches in a ribbed stitch pattern such as knit 2, purl 2, repeat until the desired length is reached.
- Knit the hand: After completing the cuff, continue knitting in the round using a stockinette stitch or any other stitch pattern of your choice. Keep knitting until the mitten reaches the desired length, measuring from the base of the cuff to the tip of the mitten.
- Shape the thumb gusset: To add a thumb to your mitten, you’ll need to create a thumb gusset. This involves increasing stitches in a specific area to accommodate the thumb. Follow the pattern instructions to shape the thumb gusset.
- Divide for thumb: Once the thumb gusset is complete, you will need to divide the stitches to create an opening for the thumb. Typically, a few stitches are placed on hold while you continue knitting the rest of the mitten.
- Knit the thumb: After dividing for the thumb, you will work on knitting the thumb separately. This involves knitting back and forth on a smaller set of double-pointed needles or using a technique such as the magic loop method.
- Finish off: Once the thumb is complete, continue knitting the hand of the mitten until the desired length is reached. Then, bind off all the stitches and cut the yarn, leaving a long tail for weaving in the ends.
- Weave in ends: Use a yarn needle to weave in any loose ends, making sure they are secure and hidden within the knitting.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed the knitting process for your mittens. All that’s left now is to try them on and enjoy the warmth and comfort they provide!
Knitting the body of the mitten
Once you have completed the cuff of your mitten, it’s time to start knitting the body. This is where the main part of the mitten will take shape.
To begin, continue knitting in the round with your chosen stitch pattern until the mitten reaches the desired length. This will depend on the size of the mitten and the measurements of the wearer’s hand.
It’s important to measure the length of the hand regularly as you knit to ensure a proper fit. To do this, have the wearer place their hand on a flat surface and measure from the base of the palm to the tip of the middle finger. This will give you an idea of how much further you need to knit.
As you continue knitting, you may also want to incorporate any decorative elements or color changes. This is a great opportunity to add stripes, patterns, or other design elements to make your mittens unique.
Remember to maintain the same stitch pattern as you work, and be consistent with your tension to ensure a professional-looking finish. You can use stitch markers to mark the beginning of the round and any pattern repeats to help you keep track.
Continue knitting until the body of the mitten is the desired length. Once you reach this point, you can begin shaping the top of the mitten to create a rounded finish. This is usually done by decreasing stitches in a specific pattern.
Check your pattern instructions for the specific decreases needed, or you can alternatively use a basic decrease such as knitting two stitches together to create a decrease. The decreases should be evenly spaced out around the top of the mitten.
Once you have completed the shaping, you can bind off your stitches and weave in any loose ends. Give your mitten a good stretch and blocking to shape it nicely.
Now that you have finished knitting the body of the mitten, you can move on to the final steps of the pattern, such as adding a thumb or embellishments, and then sewing the mitten together.
With a little patience and practice, you will be able to knit a cozy pair of mittens to keep you warm all winter!
What are the advantages of knitting mittens in the round?
Knitting mittens in the round eliminates the need for seams, resulting in a more seamless finished product. It also allows for a more continuous and consistent stitch pattern, making the mittens more comfortable to wear.
Are there any specific skills required to knit mittens in the round?
Some basic knitting skills are required to knit mittens in the round, such as being able to knit and purl stitches, as well as understanding basic knitting instructions. It is also helpful to know how to work with double-pointed needles or circular needles.
Can I use circular needles instead of double-pointed needles to knit mittens in the round?
Yes, you can use circular needles instead of double-pointed needles to knit mittens in the round. Circular needles can provide more stability and make it easier to knit in the round, especially for beginners. However, you may need to switch to double-pointed needles for the smaller circumference of the thumb.
How long does it usually take to knit a pair of mittens in the round?
The time it takes to knit a pair of mittens in the round can vary depending on your skill level and the complexity of the pattern. On average, it may take a few days to a week to complete a pair of mittens. However, experienced knitters may be able to finish them in a day or two.
Are there any tips for avoiding ladders when knitting with double-pointed needles?
To avoid ladders when knitting with double-pointed needles, it is important to pay attention to your tension and make sure it is consistent throughout your work. You can also try using a smaller needle size when starting a new needle to help tighten up any loose stitches. Additionally, distributing your stitches evenly among the needles can help to minimize ladders.
Can I customize the pattern to make larger or smaller mittens?
Yes, you can customize the pattern to make larger or smaller mittens by adjusting the number of stitches and the needle size. If you want larger mittens, you can cast on more stitches and use larger needles. For smaller mittens, you can cast on fewer stitches and use smaller needles. Just make sure to check your gauge and adjust your pattern accordingly to ensure the right fit.