Convertible Season

It’s Springtime here along the Front Range, which means the forecast is usually “mostly sunny, highs around 70, with a chance of a blizzard.” Some days, you can drive a convertible with the top down. Some days, you drive your all-wheel-drive vehicle with snow tires. Such is life.

So, when I decided I just had to have mittens to match my new shawl:

Yowza on

I decided I’d make them convertible so that I could have warm mitten tops covering my fingers for cold days, and I could button back those tops when it’s not so cold.

I bought Mountain Colors yarn to match the shawl in sturdy, springy 4/8 (colorway: Thunderhead), and cast on the day the yarn arrived. I decided to size up to my size 3 Signatures, instead of my usual size 2’s that I use for mittens. I think the size-up worked well because this yarn is more of a true worsted weight than the usual fingering that I use for mittens. The pattern is my go-to Smitten With Mittens, modified as discussed below.

Modifications: The ribbing is three inches long, which I prefer for better coverage. I did KFB increases for the thumb gussets, rather than m1’s. I picked up an additional two stitches at the thumb crotch for a total of 18 stitches, to keep the thumb from being too small in circumference. When I picked up the four thumb crotch stitches, I twisted them by knitting into the backs of the stitches. I knit the thumb almost to cover my thumb before doing the decreases.

I knit the mitt until I was happy with the length in the fingers, and then ribbed for about one inch (about 8 rows). For the mitten tops, I used a size 1 DPN to pick up the left leg of 20 stitches (that’s half the total) along the back of the hand-side.

stitches picked up

I knit across those stitches TBL, which creates a row of twisted stitches and makes the picked-up row tight.

knitted across stitches

crossed line of stitches

Then, I CO 20 additional stitches along the palm-side using the knitted cast-on,

cast on additional stitches

distributed the stitches among 4 needles (using a 5th working needle), then knitted the back-side stitches and ribbed the palm-side stitches in 1 X 1 rib for about 8 rows.

knitting top back knitting top palmside

I then changed to all stockinette until the overall length was right. Finally, I decreased according to the pattern. At the top, I made a little single-chain crochet chain and attached it as a loop. I sewed buttons right above the cuff ribbing in the center of the back-side.

finished on

The mittens blocked up just a bit short in the mitten tops, creating a gap along the palm side instead of a goodoverlap.

finished short

So, I wet the mitten tops and spot-blocked them about a half-inch longer.

spot blocking

The result gave me just a bit more room in the fingertips, which beats re-knitting, anyway.

finished longer

Now, I’m ready for convertible season.


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