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Friday
Feb142014

Whit's Knits: Seed Stitch Mittens and Hand Warmers

Many of us would agree, I think, that seed stitch is one of knitting's most refined patterns, as elegant as Grace Kelly and as classic as argyle. But what may go a little under appreciated is the feel of seed stitch.

A firm seed stitch has a wonderfully satisfying texture, like warm pebbles on a garden path or like crisp kernels on a sweet cob of corn. In the dark, I'd take a swatch of seed stitch over stockinette any day! And so I thought, why not put the feeling of seed stitch literally at my fingertips?

In Purl Soho's Alpaca Pure, seed stitch couldn't really feel any better. Soft and cozy, dense and hefty, Alpaca Pure seriously ups the pleasure ante on these Seed Stitch Mittens and Hand Warmers!

Finger-hugging mittens for the frigid cold and finger-liberating hand warmers for the milder months of early spring, both are super easy to make and both feel absolutely incredible! -Whitney

Materials

Mittens

Hand Warmers

Gauge

18 stitches = 4 inches in seed stitch

Sizes

Women's Small/Medium (Medium/Large)

  • Finished circumference around cuff and palm: 7 1/3 (8 1/4) inches
  • Finished length from Mitten hem to Mitten top: 12 (13 1/2) inches (adjustable)
  • Finished length from Hand Warmer hem to Hand Warmer top: 9 1/2 (11) inches (adjustable)

Mittens Pattern

(Note: The photos in this pattern show the size Small/Medium.)

Cuff

Cast 33 (37) stitches onto three double pointed needles.

Place a marker and join for working the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Round 2: *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 6 1/2 (7 1/2) inches from cast on edge, ending with Round 1.

Thumb Hole

Next Round: With scrap yarn, [p1, k1] 2 times, p0 (1), cut scrap yarn.

Slip 4 (5) scrap yarn stitches back to left needle.

With the working yarn, work Round 2.

Palm and Top

Continue to repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 4 3/4 (5 1/4) inches from thumb hole (or until mitten fits to right below tip of middle finger), ending with either round.

Next Round: Knit.

Next Round: K0 (1), *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. [22 (25) stitches]

Next Round: K0 (1), *k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. [11 (13) stitches]

Next Round: [K2tog] 5 (6) times, k1. [6 (7) stitches]

Cut yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and sew it through the remaining stitches. Pull tight and bring the tail to the inside of the mitten.

Thumb

Slip a double pointed needle under the right legs of the 4 (5) stitches right below the scrap yarn.

Turn the piece upside down and slip a second double pointed needle under the right legs of the 4 (5) stitches that are now right below the scrap yarn.

Remove the scrap yarn and turn the piece right side up again.

Set-Up Round: With a new needle and joining new yarn to the bottom stitches, [p1, k1] 2 x, p0 (1).

With the right side facing you and using the bottom needle, pick up three stitches between the bottom needle and the top needle.

With a new needle and the right side facing you (which means flipping the mitten upside down), work the top 4 (5) stitches...

FOR SIZE SMALL/MEDIUM

...[K1, p1] 2x.

FOR SIZE MEDIUM/LARGE

...[P1, k1] 2 x, p1.

BOTH SIZES

With a new needle and the right side facing you, pick up two stitches from between the top and bottom needles. [13 (15) total stitches]

Place a marker and with the same needle k1, p1, k1 from the first needle. The stitches are now evenly distributed [4-4-5 (5-5-5)] and ready to work in the round.

Finish Set-Up Round: *P1, k1, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 1: *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Round 2: *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. **

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until thumb measures 2 1/8 (2 3/8) inches (or until thumb is 3/8 inch shorter than the actual thumb), ending with either round.

Next Round: Knit.

Next Round: [K1, k2tog] 4 (5) times, k1 (0). [9 (10) stitches]

Next Round: [K2tog] 4 (5) times, k1 (0). [5 (5) stitches]

Cut the yarn, thread it onto a tapestry needle and sew the tail through the remaining stitches.

Bring the tail to the inside of the thumb and weave in the end.

Weave in any remaining ends and make a second identical mitten!

Hand Warmers Pattern

Cuff and Thumb Hole

Work the Mittens pattern from the Cuff section through the Thumb Hole section.

Palm

Continue to repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 3 (3 1/2) inches from the Thumb Hole (or until the Palm reaches your middle finger's knuckle), ending with either round.

Cast off loosely in knit stitch.

Thumb

Work the Thumb section of the Mittens to the **.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until thumb measures 1 1/4 (1 1/2) inches from the thumb pick up (or until thumb reaches the middle of your actual thumb's knuckle), ending with either round.

Bind off loosely in knit.

Weave in the ends and make a second identical hand warmer!

Reader Comments (19)

Wow! These do look well elegant!
All I need now is a pattern for a matching hat! My boyfriend demanded a hat from me and this would be a perfect pair for him! Do you happen to plan a hat pattern to go with this as well???
February 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterViviane
Hi Viviane-

We don't have a seed stitch hat pattern but we do have a bunch of other hat patterns that you can see here: http://www.purlbee.com/hats-knitting/

Thank you for getting in touch!

Molly
February 14, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Looks great, on my 'to do list'!
February 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHanne
They look beautiful, and how clever are you doing the thumbs!! xx
February 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy at love made my home
Would worsted twist yarn work as well? Would love to match my seed stitch wrap! Anxiously awaiting the hat pattern too...
February 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
Cast 33 stitches on THREE double pointed needles?
February 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
These are lovely! I just completed my first pair of socks, and have been thinking I need to learn to do mittens next. I will definitely do these, because they match my seed stitch cowls, and your insturctions look so wonderful, thank you!
February 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayley
These are absolutely gorgeous and I would LOVE to make these.
But, as an advanced beginner, I'm having a really tough time understanding how to knit the part of the thumb.
Any chance you could make a video demo for this? I surely will not be the only who will benefit greatly...
Thanks!
February 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commentershelly
Do you have another website where I can print from? This one is 28 pages -- would like pattern only. Thank you for your anticipated reply.
February 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBetty
Is there no left and right mitten?
February 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen
Hi Betty-

If you go to the bottom of the story and click on "print" you will get to the printer friendly version of this pattern which is 19 pages long. That 19 pages includes the opening non-pattern section of the story. So if you print from page 5-19 you'll get the whole pattern.
We realize this is long but it's because of all the photos. If you'd like to print a version without the photos you can copy and paste only the text you want into a Word or Text doc and print from there.

Thanks for getting in touch and good luck with the project!

Molly
February 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Shelly-

Thank you for the suggestion! We don't have plans to do a video of this in the near future but we'd be happy to help you try to figure it out. Do you have any specific questions?

Thanks again for getting in touch!

Molly
February 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Susan-

Yes, you cast 11 stitches on to each needle. If you've never worked with double pointed needles you might want to check out our double pointed needle tutorial here:

http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-working-rnd/2008/7/25/double-pointed-needles.html

Thank you!

Molly
February 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Oh I just love these! They are so pretty, I wish they were crochet, I don't know how to knit yet. Thanks for sharing and the lovely inspiration though!! Happy new week! xo Holly
February 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
Hi Kathleen,

Nope! Since the shaping at the top of the mitten is even all the way around, you can wear either mitten on either hand.

Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions!

Whitney
February 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Kerry,

Sure, Worsted Twist would be nice too, although a tad looser. Also, keep in mind that Alpaca Pure comes in the same palette as the Worsted Twist, so you might consider mixing the two fibers but coordinating the colors.

Thanks for the great question and please let us know if you have more!

Whitney
February 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have a question about knitting the thumb as well. I get the first step, and pick up the 4 stitches above and below the scrap yarn, but then you lose me. I'm confused as to how to pick up the 3 stitches in the next step. Do I just slip them onto the needles? In the pictures it looks like the tail end of the yard is on the end...I'm not sure how that happens, with mine it's in the middle with the 3 stitches on the end. I'm missing something there...
March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
Hi Brooke,

When you pick up the 3 stitches, you should simultaneously knit the 3 stitches. So, you should insert the right needle into the work, wrap the working yarn counterclockwise around the needle (like for a regular knit stitch), then pull the loop through the work, ending up with a stitch on the right needle.

In general, when a pattern tells you to "pick up stitches" this is what you do! Please let us know if you have any other questions and thanks so much for this good one!

Whitney
March 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i am in love with this sheep!!! i am so beginner!!! i hope I can make it one day!!!
i am really in passion with it!!! :-)
super!!!
April 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterisa

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