We’re still a good few months away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (and it’s still over 90-plus degrees outside — eek ), but I suppose it’s never too early to start getting ready for it!
Well, I’m not actually getting ready to make holiday gifts or anything just yet. But I am getting ready for a major holiday / year-end cleanup I’m planning to do in the coming month. My plan is to further reduce the things that are taking up the precious real estate in our apartment (and wipe down every nook and cranny of the place), in an attempt to begin the new year with a fresh, minimalist mindset.
My immediate goal – use up the yarn stash (or at least assign a project to them) or donate them to charity. Since my inventory consists mostly of single skein, I decided to knit up some hats and gloves / mittens to reduce the load!
Enter — a pair of super easy fair isle fingerless mittens!
A pair of knitting needles in size US 7
1/2 skein of yarn (Color A) — I used Blue Sky Worsted Cotton in Jasper
1/2 skein of yarn (Color B) — I used Blue Sky Worsted Cotton in Honeydew
Note: The measurements below are for relatively small hands. Make sure to take a measurement of your wrist and hand circumferences to ensure that the mittens fit comfortably.
Also, you can adjust the length of the mittens if you want something longer to cover your entire arms!
1. Cast on 44 stitches. Rib stitch (k1, p1), using Color A, until the panel measures about 2.5 inches.
2. Stockinette stitch (Row 1 k, Row 2 p, repeat), alternating between Colors A and B, until the panel measures about 4 inches.
Note: Remember that when you’re doing a 1 x 1 fair isle, you pick up a stitch from the opposite color yarn. So for example, if Color A is on your left needle ready to be knit or purl, make sure to pick up Color B from the strands. I had to think about this for a moment because it’s the opposite of when you’re knitting fair isle in the round.
3. Cut Color B, leaving enough yarn to weave in the end. Rib stitch, using Color A, until the panel measures about an inch. Bind off loosely.
4. Fold the panel into two, facing wrong sides together. Using a tapestry needle, stitch two sides together until it reaches 3.5 inches. Cut the yarn and weave in loose end.
5. Leave a 2-inch opening for the thumb. Stitch two sides together, until you reach the end. Cut the yarn and weave in loose end. You’re done!
This is probably the simplest way to make the fingerless mittens since it requires no shaping, and because there’s no shaping, it lacks a little bit of the sophistication that comes with a more complex pattern. I might try knitting the same pattern in the round next time to avoid sewing together the seams, and make a decrease from the top of the thumb hole so there will be a nice shape on top. But I’m very happy with the pair!
Half of two skeins down. 452,952,241 more to go (okay, I’m just kidding there — I don’t have that big of a stash)!