No Featured Photo?

Ravelry members: a gift for you

Do you ever find you’ve finished a project and were so excited to give it to the recipient that you forgot to take a photo to upload on Ravelry?  You later realize that “no featured photo” is just sitting there mocking you and your photo-forgetfulness. Annoying, isn’t it?

Well, I’ve got a little image that can help make that space a little nicer-looking!  And I’m happy to share it to anyone who’d like to use it. That’s right…you may use it too!

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So, if you happen to have a few of those annoying “no featured image” empty photo spots bothering you, just save a copy of the above image. Right click on the image, save it to your computer, and upload it to any of your Ravelry project pages that are missing photo evidence. And breathe a sigh of relief to see something in the place where a photo should be.

And if you like this image, be sure to Pin this post on Pinterest and share it with your Ravelry friends! Enjoy!

Happy knitting!

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Early Morning Mitts Tutorial: Thumb plus Free Pattern

The Finishing Touch

If you’ve followed along with my tutorials, you know that all we have left to do is knit the thumb and weave in the loose ends! Woohoo! Let’s get started on that thumb already!

How to knit the thumb

First, we need to get our thumb stitches back on our needles. Because I use yarn to hold my stitches, I just slip the stitches onto my double-pointed needles (dpns) and then carefully pull the yarn out. I try to divide them onto 3 dpns as evenly as possible, remembering that I will be picking up 2 more stitches where I earlier cast on 2 stitches. [See photo #1 below]

Once you have the stitches back onto the dpns, grab your working yarn and, leaving about 6 inches or so hang as a tail and start knitting around all the stitches. [Photo #2]

When all the stitches have been knitted, your next step is to pick up and knit 2 stitches in the gap left behind by the stitches you cast on earlier. Because I don’t like having large holes near my thumbs, I don’t knit into the outermost stitch, but rather into the bar of the stitch below. [You can see these stitch bars in photo #3 on top of my fingers.]

knitting tutorialTo pick up and knit a stitch, you pick up the bar of the stitch you’re going to knit into with your right needle tip [Photo #4]. Then you wrap your needle and knit just as if you were knitting into a regular knit stitch [Photo #5].

knitting tutorial

Once you’ve added those 2 stitches, you have a total of 16 thumb stitches.

The rest of the instructions are pretty easy so here’s a quick run-through:

Knit 5 rounds.

On the next round, because 16 stitches makes the thumb too wide at the top for my thumbs, I like to decrease 3 stitches evenly. Do this by dividing the total number of stitches by the number of decreases. In this case we have 16 stitches divided by 3 decreases which means our decreases will be approximately every 5 stitches.  I then use a k2tog decrease once every 5 or so stitches and have 13 stitches at the end of this round.

Finally, to make my thumb match the cuff and top of mitt, I add another 5 row garter stitch ridge at the top of the thumb. Bind off on the last purl round just like the top of the mitt.

Weave in all the loose ends and be sure to close up any holes that might be by the thumb area.

The mitt is done!

Now just start all over again and make a second mitt for your other hand!  These mitts are interchangeable (can be worn on either hand) which I like because you don’t have to worry about which hand you need to put them on. Just slip them on and enjoy having toasty warm hands!

Get the free pattern!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial series!  Ready to knit a pair of Early Morning Mitts yourself? But wait!  You need the pattern! Go ahead and grab a PDF of it right now by clicking here:  download Early Morning Mitts pattern  (It’s also available on Ravelry HERE.)

tutorial, knit pattern

A completed pair of my Early Morning Mitts

This pattern is my gift to you! Enjoy!  (Don’t forget to post your finished mitts on Ravelry! I can’t wait to see them!)

As always, happy knitting!

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Early Morning Mitts Tutorial: The Bind Off

Tutorial Recap

In case you’ve missed any of my previous posts in this tutorial series, here’s a list of links to those posts in order.

  1. Cast-on
  2. Cuff
  3. Thumb gusset

Bind off

Now that we’ve finished the main part of the mitt, it’s time to bind off. Like the initial join for knitting in the round, the bind off for my design is worked using purl stitches instead of knit stitches. So how exactly do you bind off in purl?  If you already know how to bind off knit stitches, you’ll find it’s not that difficult.

First you’ll need to purl those first two stitches.

knitting Tutorial

Next, in order to bind off one stitch, you will put your working yarn to the back as if you’re going to knit. Then pull the first purled stitch up and over the second stitch and off the right needle with the left needle.

knitting tutorial

knitting tutorial

Again, bring the working yarn back to the front. Purl the next stitch.  With your yarn behind once again, move the second purled stitch over the third and off the needle. Continue around the top of the mitt purling one stitch and then, with yarn behind, binding off a stitch until you have only one stitch left on your right needle.

Finally, cut the working yarn leaving about a six-inch tail and pull the yarn through the last stitch.

Note:  You could also bind off in purl without switching the yarn back and forth, but I’ve found it’s much harder to pull one stitch over the other when you’re working from behind the needle.

 QUESTIONS? Comments?

Having trouble understanding something in today’s tutorial?  Leave a comment below with your question and I’ll answer it in a future post!

Coming up next…finishing the thumb.

Next is our final step: knitting the thumb and finishing up. And if all goes according to plan, I’ll have my first FREE pattern ready for you to download as well!  Sign up for email updates, follow my blog on Bloglovin’, and/or like my Facebook page so you don’t miss it! 😀

As always, happy knitting!

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Early Morning Mitts Tutorial: Thumb Gusset

So what exactly is a thumb gusset?

So far, I’ve shown you some of the techniques used in knitting the cast-on and the cuff of my Early Morning Mitts pattern. Now it’s time to talk about the thumb gusset.  First off, according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the term gusset means “a usually diamond-shaped or triangular insert in a seam (as of a sleeve, pocketbook, or shoe upper) to provide expansion or reinforcement”. So what does that mean for a mitten or glove? Well, take a look at this photo.

knitting tutorial

See the highlighted triangular shape?  The stitches between the stitch markers are the thumb stitches. Starting with just 2 stitches between the markers, I increase two thumb stitches every other row. These are paired increases because you make one at each “end” of the thumb stitch section and the stitches also lean in opposite directions.  The paired increases I use are Make 1 Right (M1R) and Make 1 Left (M1L). You can watch videos to learn how to do M1R & M1L at knittinghelp.com.

Early Morning MittsSo looking at the finished mitts, you see the thumbs are shaped out away from the palm of the mitt. It’s a little trickier to knit than an after-thought thumb, but having a gusset allows the mitt to fit the shape of the hand and thumb better.

Thumb gusset how-to

Once the cuff–up to the wrist–is completed, it’s time to start the thumb gusset while continuing to knit the palm section of the mitt.

My pattern’s instructions begin like this:

Round 1: Knit 1, place marker, M1R, Knit 2, M1L, place marker, knit to end of round.  You now have 4 stitches between the stitch markers.

Round 2: Knit

Round 3: Knit 1, slip marker, M1R, Knit 4, M1L, slip marker, knit to end of round.  You see there are now 6 stitches between the markers…each increase round adds 2 stitches to the thumb.

This pattern of increasing thumb stitches one row, knit one row, continues until we have the total number of stitches needed for thumb. Then the thumb stitches are slipped to a stitch holder (I just slip the stitches to a piece of yarn with a tapestry needle).

knitting tutorialOnce you slip the thumb stitches to scrap yarn or a stitch holder, you need to cast on 2 stitches to make up for the 2 that you used to start the thumb gusset. Then it’s just knitting around until the palm is as high up on the hand/fingers as you like. For this pattern, I’m wanting to mostly cover my fingers–these gloves are especially nice for driving because they keep the fingers and palms so toasty warm, but the finger tips are still free which is nice for setting temperature or radio controls.

At the top of the mitt, I do another garter stitch ridge just like the ones on the cuff and now it’s time to bind off!

QUESTIONS? Comments?

Having trouble understanding something in today’s tutorial?  Leave a comment below with your question and I’ll answer it in a future post!

Coming up next…binding off the top of the mitt.

You need to know the special way to bind off the mitt and then it will be on to knitting the thumb!

As always, happy knitting!

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Early Morning Mitts Tutorial: Cuff

In my last post, I showed you how to do the special cast-on for my Early Morning Mitts pattern.  Now it’s time to continue knitting the cuff.

The Finished Cuff

Here’s the finished cuff so you can see what it will look like before we go ahead with today’s tutorial.  Notice the garter stitch ridges as well as the gathered stockinette sections in between.

knitting tutorial

Garter Stitch in-the-Round

To knit garter stitch in-the-round, you don’t knit every round like you would when knitting a flat piece. Instead, you alternate knitting and purling:  knit 1 round, purl 1 round, etc.  So for my pattern, I’ve used a 5 row (or round) garter stitch for each of the 3 “ridges”. Purl, knit, purl, knit, purl.

Gathered Stitches

For the gathered stitches, you add stitches and then later take them away again. The extra stitches cause the fabric to pucker or gather in places.  To do this, I doubled the number of stitches with KFB (knit into both the front and back of stitch).  KFB sounds complicated, but is really quite easy! Start knitting a stitch like normal. BUT instead of slipping the stitch off your left needle like usual, you LEAVE the stitch on the left needle and then knit into the back loop of the SAME stitch {and then you can slip it off the left needle}.

knitting tutorialOne stitch has now become two! Pretty neat, huh?  Once you’ve knit into the front and back of all the stitches, you have a total of 72 stitches.

Knit 5 rounds and then it’s time to decrease those stitches back to the original 36 using k2tog (knit 2 stitches together) all the way around. K2tog also sounds more complicated than it really is.  Your right needle goes through the front loops of both the next 2 stitches (from left to right as usual).  Knit them together and the two become one!

knitting tutorial

Shaping for forearm

If you’re making your mitts long like arm-warmers as I am, you may want to consider shaping them with a few well-placed decreases.  Here’s how I do this.

While knitting the 2nd round of both the 2nd and 3rd garter stitch ridges, I decrease twice with a k2tog:  once in the middle of the round and again at the very end.  The first decrease round leaves me with 34 stitches and a second decrease round means I am left with 32 stitches on my needles. [If this seems a little confusing right now, wait until you can see the actual pattern and I think it’ll make sense.]

Once the cuff is knit, it’s time to knit the rest of the way to the wrist.  This part of the mitt can be knit as long or short as you like. {Just be sure to make a note of how many rounds you knit so you can do the second mitt the same!}

QUESTIONS? Comments?

Having trouble understanding something in today’s tutorial?  Leave a comment below with your question and I’ll answer it in a future post!

Coming up next…the thumb gusset!

In the next post, I’ll show you how to add a thumb gusset to your mitts.

Happy knitting!

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Early Morning Mitts Tutorial: Cast-On

Cast-on time!

My Early Morning Mitts are knit in-the-round. That’s knitter-talk which means the knitting forms a tube without any seams. It’s a super handy technique to know how to do! This tutorial series will help you better understand the special techniques I used in designing and knitting Early Morning Mitts.

I want to explain my pattern’s name before I get started. These mitts were designed when I was up in the middle of the night due to a bout of insomnia. After sketching out and testing my pattern,  I marked down the time right on the sketch:  1:15am!  Early Morning Mitts was the best name I could think of for a pattern created so early in the morning!

My project details:

  • Yarn:  Cascade 220 “Galaxy” colorway
  • Needles: US SIZE #8 double-pointed needles (dpns)
  • Gauge: I think I’m getting about 5.5 st/in while knitting in the round, but I need to double-check it.

My favorite cast-on–the long-tail cast-on–is what I use for most projects. Here’s the great video tutorial on how to do the long-tail cast-on that helped me as a new knitter.

I love her tip about not needing a slip knot! Has saved me a ton of time. Especially if I don’t estimate my tail length correctly and need to re-do the cast-on!

Cast-on
Cast on 36 stitches and divide stitches evenly onto 3 double-pointed needles (dpns)

Using the long-tail cast-on, cast-on 36 stitches to one dpn leaving a tail about 5 or 6 inches long when done. Slip 12 stitches from one end of the needle onto the second dpn and then the next 12 stitches onto the third dpn. {You now have 12 stitches on each needle.}

Join for knitting-in-the-round

Next, the stitches are joined for knitting in the round. I learned how to do this technique by watching this video at knittinghelp.com.

Cast-on

In my pattern, the join is done just a wee bit differently because the first row is PURLED, not knit!

Here’s how.

Being careful not to twist the stitches (that is, check to see that they all line up on the needles), join by PURLING into the first cast-on stitch. Use your fourth dpn and hold BOTH the working end of the yarn and the tail together as you purl the stitch.

Cast-on

Once you’ve purled the first stitch, do another the same way (with both working yarn and tail held together).

Then drop the yarn tail, and with just the working yarn continue purling around all 3 needles until you have purled all 36 stitches. The tail can help you find your beginning of rounds since it’s near the first stitch on dpn#1 (or you can use a stitch marker if you prefer).

Also be sure you aren’t getting gaps between the needles or you’ll end up with “ladders” where you change from one dpn to the next.  Just hold your working yarn nice and snug while knitting the first few stitches of each needle and you won’t have that problem!

Round 2: Knit

As you begin the second round, remember that the first 2 stitches were purled with 2 strands. You’ll want to knit those 2 strands as though they were one.

Cast-on

Cast-on

QUESTIONS? Comments?

Having trouble understanding something in today’s tutorial?  Leave a comment below with your question and I’ll answer it in a future post!

Coming up next…

In the next post, I’ll continue working on the cuff and explain some of the special techniques and stitch patterns I’ve used in my cuff design.

Happy knitting!

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My Top 5 Sites to Help You Become a Better Knitter

Newbie knitter?  You’re not alone!

 

If you–like me–don’t have person-to-person access to someone who can teach you how to knit, you can still become a great knitter!

 

As I was considering my early knitting days, I recalled the resources that really helped me learn the techniques I hadn’t mastered with the Boye “I Taught Myself Knitting” kit I started out with.  Actually, the “Teach Yourself” kit didn’t really get me beyond the basics of casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch, and binding off.  When I’d find a pattern I needed to knit, but didn’t know how to do something it required, I would find myself doing an online search to try and figure it out. In those early days, I was online a lot! But I found the help I needed and am going to share some of my findings with you today! I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 knitting help websites for you today.

 

Here are my Top 5 sites I’d recommend for new knitters that need a little help!

 

  • KnittingHelp.com  If you’re like me, you’ve probably already found my first choice. I still use it when I get stuck. You know…like when I forget just exactly what purl through the back loop is.  It’s not like I’m doing that very often. The videos are especially helpful to a visual learner like myself!
  • Knitty.com  Not only does Knitty have AH-MAZ-ING! free patterns, the articles in this online mag are great too! Theresa Stenersen has contributed quite a few technique how-tos. This is where I learned–and finally understood!–how to do a mattress stitch for seaming.
  • TECHknitting  I follow this blog so I have their posts in my feed reader, but if there’s something specific you’re looking for you can search the indexes to find what you are looking for.
  • NewStitchaDay.com  Nice video tutorials here too. There are basic technique, stitch patterns, and advanced techniques for both knit and crochet!

 

There are a TON of knitting sites. This is by no means a definitive list. These are just the ones I would recommend first to a new knitter.

In fact, if you are serious about knitting and/or crochet one of the best online sites where you can get help from other knitters is Ravelry! The only reason I don’t have it on my Top 5 list is you need to be a Ravelry member in order to use the site’s features. Joining is very easy and FREE, but I know sometimes you just want the how-to now.

My next post in this series will try to point you to helpful knitting books as well.

Before you go, do you have a favorite knitting (or crochet) help website? Is it one I don’t have on my list?  Be sure to share which knit-help sites you can’t live without!