One of the things I hope to accomplish with this site is to let people know that ‘crafting’ does not have to be overly expensive or complicated. Many Crafting “Wannabees” are intimidated by the high price of some yarns and the overwhelming patterns.
The yarn I used for this set was a Charmin worsted, priced at $1. per 50g ball. I used 5 balls for my 7 year old daughter. If your child is older or bigger, I’d suggest buying a 6th ball. I used every inch of the yarn I purchased.
My Tip #1: When making a set, always start with the hat and/or mitts. Use what you require to make these. Use whatever is left for the scarf. There is no “fixed law” on scarf length, but your hat and mitts need to fit properly.
For the mitts, I knitted in the round using multiple needles. I was amazed at how quickly the fabric grew. The multiple needles look to be complicated, but in fact they are very easy to handle once you get underway.
I cast on 32 stitches, 8 on each of 4 needles. You would likely need more stitches, as Tammy’s hands are slender. Work in a rib K1P1 for the wrist, till ribbing measures approx 2 or more inches, as desired. I used 3.75 mm needles for the mitts. You can easily adjust needle size if the yarn is knitting too tightly or loosely.
For the mitt-hand, switch to a simple stocking stitch for 3 of the four needles — simply knit all the way around. On the 4th needle, you will begin your cable:
Needle 1: K8; Needle 2: K8; Needle 3: K8, Needle 4: P1, K6, P1
Continue for 4 rows. On 5th row: Needle 1:K8; Ndl 2:K8; Ndl 3:K8; Needle 4: P1, Cable 6 Behind, P1
Your cable will be a “Cable 6 behind”= transfer 3 st to cable needle and hold behind your work, K3, then knit the 3 on cable needle.
Your complete pattern from here going forward will be:
Rows 1-7: Needle 1: K8; Needle 2: K8; Needle 3: K8, Needle 4: P1, K6, P1
Row 8: Needle 1: K8; Needle 2: K8; Needle 3: K8; Needle 4: P1, Cbl 6 behind, P1
Continue until you reach base of thumb, approx 2 inches.
My Tip #2: If possible, use child’s hand as a measure while you work. This will allow for a perfectly fitted garment.
To create the thumb-hole, for the right hand mitten, on needle 1: K3, Transfer 3 to stitch holder, K2 . Continue as before for Needle 2, 3 & 4.
Next row: on Needle 1: K3, Cast on 3, K2.
Now you can resume in pattern till mitt reaches desired length.
For Left hand mitt: on Needle 3: K2, transfer 3 to stch holder, K3. (It will help to remember that Needle 4 is your cable needle.)
Next row: On Needle 3, K2, Cast on 3, K3. Resume in pattern till mitt reaches desired length.
When desired length is reached, cut a long strand of yarn away from ball, approx 8 inches. Thread the yarn end through a darning needle, and transfer all remaining stitches one at a time from the 4 needles to the darning needle. Pull firmly to close the hole at top of mitt. (“Drawstring” method.) If a small gap remains, use the darning needle to stitch it closed.
Thumb: Transfer the 3 stitches at base of thumb from stitch holder to Needle 1. Using Needle 2, pick up 2 st vertically on left side of thumb. On Needle 3, pick up 3 st horizontally across top of thumbhole. Using Needle 4, pick up 2 st vertically on right side of thumb.
You should have a total of 10 st. If this seems too small for your child’s thumb, simply increase the number of stitches you pick up. Work thumb in round till it reaches desired length. Use a darning needle to pull remaining stitches closed using “drawstring” method.
Repeat for thumb of 2nd mitt.
By the time you’ve completed the mitts, you’ll be pretty good at a simple “Cable 6 behind” stitch. I used a “Cable 4 behind” pattern to create the matching hat. For the hat, though, I bumped up the needle size to 4mm, to make a softer, more pliant fabric.
Cast on a multiple of 10 stitches (I used 70, but base this on your child’s size.) Using 4 needles, I divided stitches as follows: Needles 1-3, 17 st each. Needle 4, 19 st. Total = 70 St.
Begin with a simple rib stitch — K1P1. Continue till headband is approx 1 1/2 inches. Then begin your pattern.
Pattern works over 10 stitches and repeats:
Row 1 -4 : P1, K4, P1, K4 .
On 5th row, cable as follows:
P1, Cble 4 behind, P1, K4 (For Cble4Behind, Tr 2 to Cable needle, hold behind work, K2, then knit 2 on Cbl needle)
Row 6-8 : P1, K4, P1, K4 .
Repeat rows 1-8 in pattern, till hat reaches desired height. Then begin to reduce.
My Tip #3: When reducing a hat built in the round, reduce an equal number of stitches for every ‘pattern’. This way you won’t have to remember how many stitches you need to reduce each row. Always “reduce” in a scattered fashion, to avoid ‘clumpy’ reductions.
Reduction row # 1: Reduce 1 stitch within 10 (total reduced = 7 of 70 st.)
Notice that I said “1 stitch within 10”, rather than every 10th stitch. You will create a much more pleasing hat if you try to stagger your reductions, and stick to your pattern as you go. I usually begin by “reducing” the Purl-stitches, to keep my Knitted and Cabled pattern intact as long as possible.
Reduction row #2: Reduce 1 st within every 9
Reduction row #3: Reduce 1 st withing every 8
Continue in this manner till you have 12 or less stitches. Then use a darning needle and the “drawstring” method to close off the remaining stitches. If there is a small hole at top of hat, use darning needle to stitch it closed.
The matching scarf in this set is “odd-man-out”, in that I did not opt to go with a cabled scarf. There are many lovely cabled scarf patterns, but for this yarn I wanted to create something that would soften its texture. After all, our 7 year old daughter would be wearing it around her neck. I wanted it to be plush and cosy, rather than simply pretty.
My Tip #4: I dislike using long, straight needles when not absolutely necessary, because they hurt my hands & wrists. I turned my “double-pointies” into “shorty” straight needles by twisting rubber bands on one end of each to act as a stopper. You can also purchase cute rubber stoppers from most yarn vendors.
For the scarf, using a 4mm needle (if fabric is not soft enough, use a larger needle) cast on a multiple of 4 stitches “plus 1”. For Tammy’s scarf, I used 29 stitches, but this will depend on your desired width.
All rows are the same, in a “staggered” double rib:
**K2, P2** (**repeat** till 1 st left) K1
As you can see, this scarf is plush and warm. Wait till you feel it for yourself!
At $1. per 50g ball, I used 5 balls of this “clour-Fun” yarn — 1 ball for the hat, 1 for the mitts, and 3 for the scarf.
Tammy has worn this beautiful set every day since it was completed! I would say we’re getting our Five Bucks Worth out of this project!!
Have fun, everyone!
If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.
However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!