How To Transform Any Mitten Pattern into Flip-tops

I do a lot in a day. I have a word count to hit, videos to make, knitting to get done, food to cook, cleaning to do, a job that actually pays, and oh yeah, kids to take care of. Most days, I don’t get all of this done. And let’s be honest, I throw over cleaning in favor of word count most of the time. Even then, words come in starts and fits in stolen moments between all of the other tasks.

Still, it’s a lot, and I get a lot of, “How do you get everything done?” questions. I usually joke that I just don’t sleep.

Last night, that was no joke.

2am Rufus/Mommy selfie because woke baby is woke

This is a photo I snapped around 2 am when I gave up trying to get Rufus back to sleep (he woke up as we were trying to go to bed) and we came downstairs. We didn’t get back to bed until 4. While I don’t sleep much, I usually get more than 2 or so hours.

You know what I have accomplished today? I got the kids to and from school. I got meals made. I showered. It’s 9pm and I am just now writing a blog post I usually have up and promoted by 11am (and written no later than the day before it goes live, but we’re not talking about yesterday.) The word count hasn’t been touched. Next week’s videos were not filmed, etc.

But I try to count the important things. The kids were taken care of. I get to spend the evening with my husband instead of working. There’s a big batch of soup and some leftover spaghetti in the fridge to make meals easier tomorrow. And Nanowrimo starts in a week. Thanksgiving will come just a few weeks after that, and all of my siblings are coming home. There are so many good things coming.

And then there are flip top mittens.

This is my longest video yet, but I feel like it’s comprehensive.

The pattern I am using in this video is my free simple chunky mittens, but as the title said, you can translate this technique to pretty much any mitten pattern.

If you make a pair of these mittens, I’d love to see them. Tag your post with #simplechunkymittens or take a #mittenselfie. I’ve got a few on instagram myself.

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How to Knit a Thumb onto a Mitten

Here is the final mitten video! When you finish this you should have a complete mitten. Don’t forget to knit two to make a pair. The great thing about plain stockinette mittens is that you can knit them exactly the same and they are interchangeable.

I’m working on a pattern with cables that I hope to share in a couple weeks that will have a rigjt and a left mitten. But first, if you want to learn how to make any mitten pattern into flip-tops, that’s what we’ll be learning how to do in my next video.

So, when I filmed this video last week, I was so proud of myself for getting it done. You might not be able to tell, but while I was editing the footage, all I could think about was how sick I looked. Even my hair looks sick compared to other videos.

I was suffering from what those of us who are unlucky enough to not be able eat wheat, barley, or rye like to call “getting glutened.” It was an awful couple of days, somewhere between your worst hangover and the most miserable days of morning sickness with a little bit of sea sickness and other digestive distress thrown in. And I was fighting a headache and twingy muscles for the rest of the week. I wanted to crawl back in bed and shut out the rest of the world, but I made a commitment to doing these videos, and being there for my kids, and meeting my wordcount. So I kept going.

And I’m glad I did, because working through sickness is tough, and it’s a good reminder to take care of myself so I don’t have to. Take care of yourselves, ya’ll, whatever that means for you. And don’t forget to knit that second mitten.

As always, here is the link to the written pattern, and if you would like to start the videos over from scratch, you can start the series here.

And let me see those #mittenselfie (s)!

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How To Decrease the Hand of a Mitten


Happy Monday! I am excited for another week of querying literary agents, knitting mittens and writing, writing, writing. What are you excited about working on this week? I mean, I know you’re knitting mittens, and I’d love to see how those are going, but what else?

Here is this week’s installment of the Simple Chunky Mittens knitting tutorial. Today we learn how to k2tog and create an even, round top to our mittens. We even check for fit and weave in an end.

We’re so close to having a finished mitten! Next week we’ll knit the thumb and that’s it!

If you like, here is the written pattern we are using.
And if you need to catch up with the videos, they begin, here.

Don’t forget to share your progress photos with #mittenselfie and #simplechunkymittens. I’ll be searching for your photos on instagram.

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How to Customize the Hand of a Mitten

This is an exciting step in knitting your mittens, in that it finally starts to look like a mitten. You can even try it on and see how it looks. I do that later on in the video, and man, do I look good in pink.

Oh, and if you want to reference the written pattern, as always, you can find it here.

How are your mittens coming? I’d love to see a selfie of you and your mitten. Use #simplechunkymittens, and go see mine on instagram.

Oh, and I totally submitted my novel query to that agent. Fingers crossed as I submit to a few more and wait to hear back!

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How to Cast On to Double Pointed Needles


Back when I was teaching knitting classes regularly, I had a lot of students who had never knit in the round, and more specifically, had never knit with double pointed needles (DPNs), because they were intimidated by the mechanics of it. So we spent the whole first two hour lesson in any sock or mitten class learning how to cast on and getting to know all those needles.

Today’s video is like a condensed, 10-minute version of that class. It’s got all my tips and tricks, but it doesn’t take long to watch. And even better, you can watch the parts you need over and over again. I am still learning the video editing process, and I still sound like a grade A idiot on film, but my husband said I could tag this video as knitting ASMR, so I’m calling that a win.

If you would like to follow along with the written pattern, check it out here.

Next Monday we’ll increase for the thumb!

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Simple Chunky Mittens Video Tutorial

Back in 2012, I published a little knitting pattern I cooked up for one of my knitting classes. I also posted it on Ravelry. Since then, that pattern has been the number one thing that brings new folks to my website.

Along with those new folks have come requests to see a video tutorial on how to knit these mittens. I’ve been meaning to do it 4 out of the last 5 years, but this year, I finally figured out how to make it happen.

So, if you’re interested in learning how to knit a quick and easy pair of mittens with minimal materials, or are just curious to see how awkward I am talking to my phone in an empty room, click on the video below!

In the video, I only mention what you need to get started: yarn and needles. If you’d like to follow along and collect all your supplies now, here is a full supply list

-100g of chunky weight yarn
-1 set of 4 size US 10 double pointed knitting needles
-2 stitch markers
-Waste yarn
-Yarn Needle
-Tape measure

I made a video about casting on to double pointed needles to get you started.
To learn how to increase for the thumb, check out this video.
To learn about knitting up the hand and customizing length, this is the video you’re looking for.

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Free Pattern: Chunky Baby Mittens with No Thumb

My gift to you on this, the day after Thanksgiving, the first Day of the Christmas season, a new free pattern!
chunkythumblessinfantmittens

It’s that time of year when I start frantically making sure my family has warm things to cover their heads, hands, and feet, because the weather has decided it’s pretty much winter. Since I have a wee little one this year, I got to make the simplest, quickest pair of mittens there is. Chunky mittens with no thumbs! Just a cuff, and a hand! And on size 10 needles, these little suckers are done in no time. If you have a baby in your circle, these are a super quick, fun little gifts to help keep teeny tiny fingers warm this winter.

mittensforscale With lego rocker chic for scale. Is the axe part of her show? Who knows?

In the pattern, I say to use DPNs, but please use whichever method you are fond of. Obviously, you can see I knit my mittens using magic loop, which has been my default lately, mostly because finding one circular needles is usually easier than four DPNs in the same size.

Materials
50g Chunky Weight Yarn (Shown in some old Brachiosaurus Bulky, but Wool of the Andes Bulky would substitute perfectly.)
Gauge
4 stitches per inch in Stockinette
Needles
1 set US Size 8/5mm double pointed needles
1 set US size 10/6mm double pointed needles
Tools
Darning needle

Pattern Key
BO– bind off
CO– cast on
K– knit
P-Purl
K2tog– knit 2 stitches together (a decrease)
st(s)—stitch(es)
St st— Stockinette stitch

Pattern
CO 18 stitches onto smaller needels
Spread evenly over three DPNs. Join to work in the round
Cuff:
K1 P1 for two inches or until cuff reaches desired length
Hand:
Switch to larger needles.
At the beginning of the next round, switch to ST stitch, adding two sts in the first round for a total of 20 sts.

Knit every round for 3 inches.

Decreases:
Row 1:K3, K2tog repeat around
Row 2: K around
Row 3: K2, k2tog repeat around
Row 4: K1, K2tog repeat around
Row 5: K2tog, repeat around
Pull yarn through sts, and weave in securely.
Weave in all ends.
Knit Two.
Block

chunkybabymittenswithnothumb

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Free Pattern: The Caroline Scarf

carolinescarfedge

For her birthday, my sister, Caroline, asked that I knit her a scarf. She wasn’t specific about how it should be, except maybe purple. So I made up a design to knit for her and the color may be purple, so I feel like it fits the bill. Never you mind that it’s nearly May and her birthday was in March.

carolinescarf

This is a chunky lace scarf meant to be wide and warm, but distinctly spring-like. Knit out of merino yarn, it is soft and cozy and perfect for those nippy spring days-or you’re having a spring like we are this year, it will keep you warm while you are still waiting for spring to officially arrive.

carolinescarf

Materials
About 200 grams or 400 yards worsted yarn
Gauge
2 Lace Repeats is 4 inches, blocked
Needles
US size 10/6mm straight needles
Tools
Darning needle
Stitch Markers (optional)

Pattern Key
BO– bind off
CO– cast on
K– knit
K2tog– knit 2 stitches together
(a decrease)
P– purl
SSK– slip two stitches knitwise then knit together through back loop (a decrease)
SL1 K2tog PSSO slip one stitch, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over (a double decrease)
YO– Yarn Over —wrap yarn once around needle in the opposite direction as normal to create an increase.

Pattern
CO 52 stitches
Set Up Row 1: Knit
Set Up Row 2 : Purl

Lace Repeat:
Row 1: k1, p1, *ssk, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, p1,* repeat between * until last two stitches, k2
Row 2: p2, *k1, p7,* repeat between * until last two stitches, k1, p1
Row 3: k1, p1, *k3, yo, sl k2to psso, yo, k2, p1,* repeat between * until last two stitches, k2
Row 4: p2, *k1, p7,* repeat between last two stitches, k1, p1

Repeat these four rows until scarf reach 50 inches long or desired Length

Edging:
Edging Row 1: knit
Edging Row 2: purl
BO

Block, pulling scarf long to add length but not so long that you lose width. Finished measurements on mine are 15 inches wide by 62 inches long.

Weave in ends and wear.

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Working in the Coffee Shop

swatching

When I was working as a barista, the same handful of people would come in to work on their laptops on the same days every week. For a long time, I was happy to be the barista, serving them, but toward the of my barista-ing tenure, I desperately desired to be on the other side of the counter.

About the same time I stopped being a barista, a new coffee shop opened up in town–one that I had never worked at, one where I didn’t know most of the baristas, one where I could start new and be one of those people who gets to work in peace on the sit-down side of the counter. (One that was also operated by PT’s Coffee Roasting Co, which, hand-to-god, roasts the best coffee ever.) Which is what I am doing tonight.

I am trying to work at the coffee shop one or two nights a week. The ease of sinking into the sofa and spacing out on the internet has proved too much of a draw to me over the last few weeks. I am hoping that coming here helps me stay on task. I have spent the last two hours writing up a rough draft of a pattern that I have been meaning to write down for two weeks now.

pattern_teaser

I am planning to sell this particular pattern, so no more details at this time. HOWEVER, I am still looking for one more test knitter. I am providing yarn to knit with and paying in yarn. I am also hoping for pretty quick turn around, so please comment if you are interested, and I will get back with you for more details. (Disclaimer: I am happy to ship yarn to anyone in the US for this project, but if someone local offers, they will probably get the job, simply because of ease, but I certainly don’t count on getting a local, so please don’t hesitate if you’re tantalized by the photo above.)

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Free Chunky Mitten Pattern

This is mitten pattern I wrote up for my knitting class this week. They came out nicely. They are a quick enough project that you could knit them and still have time to wear them before winter is over!

Looking for more than a pattern? You can find video tutorials for this pattern here

Materials
One 100g Skein Chunky Yarn. Shown in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (137 yds/100g)
Gauge
4 stitches per inch in Stockinette
Needles
1 set US size 10/6mm double pointed needles
Tools
Darning needle
Waste Yarn
Two Stitch Markers

Pattern Key
BO– bind off
CO– cast on
K– knit
K2tog– knit 2 stitches together
(a decrease)
M1R— Pick up bar between stitch on right needle and left needle from behind. Knit from front of needle. (an increase)
M1L— Pick up bar between stitch on right needle and stitch on left needle from the front. Knit from back of needle. (an increase)
pm—place marker
st(s)—stitch(es)
St st— Stockinette stitch

Pattern
CO 28 stitches
Spread evenly over three DPNs. (I like to use 8, 8, and 12 stitches) Join to work in the round
Cuff:
K2 P2 for two inches or until cuff reaches desired length
Hand:
At the beginning of the next round, switch to ST stitch, adding one stitch on third needle.
Begin Thumb Gusset:
Next round, knit 14 stitches, pm, M1R, K1, M1L, pm, knit around
Increase between stitch markers in this manner every third round until you have total of nine gusset stitches.
Next round, K to stitch marker, place stitches between marker on waste yarn, using backward loop cast on, CO 2 st on right hand needle, K to end.
K until mitten measure 4” above thumb gusset or until mitten is 1.5” shorter than total desired length.
Decreases:
K5, K2tog repeat until last 2 st, K2
K
K4, k2tog repeat until last 2 st, K2
K
K3, K2tog repeat until last 2 st, K2
K2, K2tog, repeat until last 2 st, K2
K2together around, pull yarn through sts, and weave in securely.
Thumb:
Place held stitches back on needle, pick up five stitches from around thumb hole, 14 st. Distribute evenly over double pointed needles. K for 1 ½ inches
(K2, K2tog) 3 times, K2
(K1, K2tog) 3 times, K2
K2tog around. Break yarn and pull through remaining 4 sts. Pull tightly and weave in securely.
Weave in all ends.
Block.
Knit Two.

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