Lambing Mitts


Recently I offered to knit fingerless gloves for a friend. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t my own idea until about 10 minutes after the conversation. But truthfully, I didn’t mind making these. I was between projects and had been itching to try this pattern.

In Minnesota, winters get cold. Really cold and hand knit items add extra layers for inside and outside. Sometimes we need something to keep our hands warm but fingers accessible. This pattern allows the wearer to cover or uncover as much of their fingers as they like.

VarsityMitt7I love this pattern. The pattern is simple but interesting. Knit two at a time, they knit up very fast. I love the pattern, especially how it switches to garter stitch for the fold over.

Clearly I don’t like adding thumbs to fingerless mitts. I think it adds unnecessary bulk and, truthfully, I find the work tedious. And as far as fingers go, it’s the pinky that gets super cold. I’ve never heard anyone say, “My four fingers are toasty warm, but my thumb is freezing.” The thumb gussets are the only place I ran into any problems with this pattern. The pattern is set up in a basic 2×2 repeat between knits and purls. But at the beginning and end of each round, the knit stitches are split. That means the thumb gusset stitches are added between the end of one round and the beginning of the next, splitting the stitches between the two needles. Which wouldn’t be a problem if I was just going to put them on waste yarn. But for binding off, it was trickier on magic loop doing two at a time. This was different from how I’ve done gussets in the past which usually has the increases surrounded by a stitch on each side of the markers. But it worked out.


I used the K1, K2tog-tbl Bindoff which is my go-to bind off. I think it’s a beautiful bind off that adds a lovely braid to the end of a project. I might not do it again on this pattern, though, as it curled the thumb gusset and top edge out more than I would prefer. Overall, I love this pattern.

VarsityMitt3Let me tell you about what I hated, though. I hated this yarn. This was Mesa from Tahki Yarns. It was soft. The color was beautiful. The swatch from the yarn shop was so pretty with a gentle gradient effect. I spent more than I should have for this superwash Merino. I should have figured out I would have trouble right away at the cast on. One ball was casting on thick worsted. The other was casting on worsted, but on the light end. Until it was suddenly lace weight. And that was the story of the yarn. Sometimes it was thick. Sometimes it was lighter than sock yarn. The color was different on each ball despite the same color and dye lot number. I kept knitting because I’m not one to give up on yarn and I could always give the mitts to someone else. In the end, one of the mitts was slightly smaller than the other. I had to go up a needle size from the pattern and even then knitting the largest size, these were NOT large enough. And I was sure this would felt on washing based on how the yarn stuck together and bonded if I had to unknit or even on the ball itself. It didn’t. Which honestly surprised me. The giftee took the mitts, said they fit and said he loved them, but I did not ask for payment for this yarn and was 100 percent ready to make another set if he was at all unhappy. Seriously, the more I think about it, the more unhappy I am about this yarn.VarsityMitt2

In the end, I would knit this pattern again. And I will not ever purchase this yarn again. I’m not even sure I will use what’s left over.

Skills required
  • Knit
  • Purl
  • M1R/M1L
  • Bind off
  • Knitting in the round

Have you ever knit something you loved in a yarn you didn’t? Did you finish the job? Let me know in the comments!

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