Looking to knit some mittens? This guide will show you how to knit mittens for beginners step by step so that you can make your own pair of cosy mittens!
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Knitting needles and yarn
To knit mittens, you will need a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. You can use any kind of yarn, but a thicker yarn will be easier to work with. Choose a size 8 or 9 needle for a thick yarn, or a size 10 or 11 needle for a thinner yarn.
Start by casting on 24 stitches. You can use the long-tail cast on method, which is easy to learn and gives a nice finished edge to your mittens. To do this, start with a tail that is about twice as long as the circumference of your mittens. Make a slip knot around one of your needles, and hold the needle in your right hand. With your left hand, take the tail end of the yarn and make a loop over your thumb (as if you were going to tie a knot). Then, insert the needle through the loop around your thumb and pull the yarn through (leaving the loop around your thumb intact). Now, transfer the new loop to your left needle and tighten it slightly by pulling on both ends of the yarn. You have now made one stitch! Continue making stitches in this way until you have 24 stitches on your needle.
Once you have all 24 stitches on your needle, it’s time to start knitting! The basic knit stitch is really easy to do – just insert your needle into the first stitch on your left needle (as if you were going to purl), then wrap the yarn around the needle clockwise (as if you were going to knit), and finally pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch on your left needle. Congratulations – you’ve just made one knit stitch! Continue making knit stitches until you reach the end of your row. When you reach the end of the row, turn your work so that the needles are now in your right hand and start knitting another row. Repeat this process until you have enough rows to cover half of your hand (about 10-12 rows).
Now it’s time to start shaping our mittens! We’re going to do this by decreasing stitches at each end of our rows. To decrease one stitch, simply knit two stitches together – insert your needle into two stitches at once (as if you were going to purl), then wrap yarn around as usual and pull through both loops at once. You’ve now decreased from two stitches down to one stitch! At each end of every other row, decrease one stitch until you have 20 stitches remaining on each side (10 decrease stitches total). Next, we’re going to switch from decreases every other row down to decreases every row until we only have 10 total stitches remaining on our needles – so decrease one stitch at each end of every row until only 10 total stitches remain (5 decrease stitches total). Finally, cut off about 6 inches of yarn and thread it through all remaining loops on our needles – pull tight and weave in any loose ends on wrong side of fabric.
Cast on 24 stitches using the long-tail method. You will need a long tail (about 12 inches) to do this. To make the tail, start with a slip knot on your needle and then knit several stitches. The longer your tail, the easier it is to do the rest of the cast on.
Divide the stitches onto three needles: eight stitches on each of two needles, and ten stitches on the third needle. You will be working with two needles at a time for the rest of the project.
To begin, hold the two needles with eight sts each in your left hand, and hold the third needle with ten sts in your right hand. The yarn should be attached to the needle in your right hand.
Knit the cuff
The cuff of a mitten is typically about two inches wide and is knit flat. To begin, cast on the required number of stitches using any method you like. For a stretchy cuff, try a loop or cable cast-on. Once your stitches are on the needle, join in the round being careful not to twist your work, and place a marker to indicate the beginning of the round.
Knit the body of the mitten
To knit the body of the mitten, start by casting on 28 stitches using the long-tail method. Knit in the round for 24 rows. Then, knit two together around for 12 rows. Finally, knit one more round. Next, you will start shaping the thumb gusset.
Shaping the thumb
You can shape the thumb of your mitten in a couple of ways. The first way is to knit in the round and use increases to create space for the thumb. The second way is to knit the mitten flat and use short rows to create a pocket for the thumb. This guide will show you how to do both methods.
If you are knitting your mittens in the round, you will need to use increases to make space for the thumb. To do this, knit 1 stitch, then make a lift stitch by picking up the strand between the needles and placing it on the right needle.knit 1 stitch, then make a lift stitch by picking up the strand between the needles and placing it on the right needle. Now you have 3 stitches on your right needle. Next, knit 2 together through the back loop to decrease 1 stitch and bring your total number of stitches back to 2. Continue in this manner until you have 8 stitches total on your needle.
To shape the thumb using short rows, start by knitting 10 stitches. Then turn your work so that the wrong side is facing you and leave 4 stitches unworked. Work a short row over the 6 stitches that are on your needle by turning your work after every 2 rows until you have 6 unworked stitches on each side and 4 stitches in the middle. Next, pick up 2 stitches from each side of the gap created by your previous short rows until you have all 10 stitches back on your needle. Work even until your mitten measures 7 inches from cast on edge or desired length
Knit the top of the mitten
Start by casting on 24 stitches using the long-tail method. Then, knit in the round for 5 inches. To shape the thumb gusset, increase one stitch at the beginning and end of the next row, then knit one round. Repeat this step two more times so that you have 28 stitches on your needle. Then, knit two rounds without increasing or decreasing.
The most important part of learning how to knit mittens is understanding how to bind off. This final step creates a smooth edge on your work so that it can be easily removed from the needles. It also secures all of your stitches so that they don’t unravel.
There are several different ways to bind off, but the most basic method is to knit two stitches, then lift the first stitch over the second and off the needle. You’ll then have one stitch remaining on the right-hand needle. Repeat this process until you have only one stitch remaining on your needle, then cut your yarn and pull it through the final stitch to secure it.
Weaving in the ends
Assuming you have finished knitting your mittens and are now left with a number of loose ends, it’s time to weave them in. This process will secure the loose ends of yarn so that they don’t come undone and ruin your hard work. It’s actually quite simple to do.
First, thread a tapestry needle with the end of yarn you want to weave in. Then, insert the needle into the fabric of the mitten, coming out a few stitches away from where the yarn is attached. Next, insert the needle back into the fabric, going over or under a few stitches before coming out again a few stitches away. Continue this process until you’ve woven in the entire end.
Once you’re finished, trim any excess yarn and your mittens are ready to wear!
Blocking is the process of shaping your knitted piece by soaking it and then pinning or steaming it into the desired shape. Blocking is especially important for pieces with lacy or textured patterns, like this mitten, since it allows the stitches to open up and show their full beauty. It also evens out your stitches and makes your finished piece look neater and more professional.
Soak your finished mittens in cool water for about 20 minutes. Gently squeeze out the excess water and lay them flat on a towel. Use pins or blocking wires to pin the mittens into the shape you want them to be, paying special attention to the cuff and thumb areas. Allow the mittens to dry completely before removing the pins or wires.
Adding a thumb grip (optional)
If you want to add a thumb grip to your mitten, start by picking up 10 stitches along the side of the thumb hole using a spare piece of yarn and your knitting needle. knit these stitches together with the working yarn. You will now have 9 stitches on your needle. Next, knit 2 together, purl 5, knit 2 together. You will now have 7 stitches on your needle. Finally, knit 1, purl 3, knit 1, purl 1. You should now have 5 stitches on your needle. Cast off these 5 stitches and weave in the end.