When you’ve got nothing left to lose… (a tale of mitten knitting)

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…Janis Joplin had it right, there is nothing quite so freeing than finishing up a project to realize it is an epic craft fail. That means “you can’t screw it up any worse!” so you can have fun playing with it! First I’ll show you how my mittens turned out (because if I lead with the “before” picture no-one would read this post.)

DCF 1.0

Here is the before picture of my awful mittens, what’s up with those thumbs? The only way these would be useful is if I was going to take up hitchhiking.


So I decided to make a running seam along the inside of the thumbs to make them a tad slimmer without adding too much bulk. BTW, I know all you proper knitters are saying “just rip it out and start again” but Lindsay don’t play that game. It’s onward or nothing. I’ll never be a proper knitter 🙂


The other mistake was that I did not measure correctly for length and started decreasing too soon so my mittens were too short so I employed a method every lazy knitter should know: The Steam & Stretch! I held my iron about 1/2″ away from the mittens (made from a bulky wool blend) and steamed away, stretched that sucker for all I was worth, flipped it over and repeated on the other side. I did this twice for each mitten. Here you can see the length I was able to get:


OK, tragedy averted, I can wear them and they don’t look too funny, I would like to spruce them up and also hide the fact that when I seamed up one mitten it was not lined up perfectly so I crocheted on an edging. This is a great way to use up leftovers. I had 2 yarns that I used to make my cabled head wrap (free pattern and video here) and I added some ladder yarn that I have been hoarding for about 8 years:


I held them together and, starting on the inside of the mitten (wrong side) half-double crocheted in every other stitch. I thought about sewing felt hearts and buttons on the back but aired on the side of caution because I was really liking them now!

That brings me to my mitten knitting tip of the day:

You see, if I had made one of these I would have been so discouraged there is no way I would have made a second one so knit 2 mittens at a time and knit them flat! This is the pattern I used for the mittens. It is a good basic pattern but I have a few changes I will make next time. I mean no disrespect for the writer of this pattern, anyone who posts a free pattern is aces in my book but I would not cast on 2 stitches to the thumb, and in the decreasing rows I would alternate the decreases, the first being k2tog then SSK and so on because I think every other decrease should slant the other way so all of my stitches point to the tip of the mitten, that’s my theory anyway. That said the pattern is simple and you can knit 2 at once! And it works for all sizes too! That is if you measure right LOL!

DCF 1.0

You know, now that I look at before photo I really don’t think they were all that bad. After I finished them last night I wanted to throw them in a snowbank. It is amazing what stepping away from your work when you are frustrated can make! That’s it for me today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

12 thoughts on “When you’ve got nothing left to lose… (a tale of mitten knitting)

  1. I did copy your pattern for the mittens and thought I would give them a try. I am a not so good of a knitter when it comes to reading a pattern. What changes on the pattern did you do differently??? I like your mittens and think they came out nice…I also knit 2 socks at the same time because, like you, if I finished one the second one would never be done….


    1. I knit according to the pattern but next time I wont CO 2 on the thumb (I will just keep the 14 stitches that are on the holder and knit those) and when I decrease I will alternate the decrease stitches like k2 tog, k8, ssk, k8, k2tog, k8, ssk, k8 instead of k2tog each time. Hope that makes sense 🙂


  2. So gracious for you to share with us what you thought was a disaster. Your improvements did make a difference, but the first mittens would have been wonderful for doing thumbs up on videos! You are always a wonder, and a delight. Happy Crafting…


  3. What a hoot! My socks always come out that way and need blocking. Since I loom knit I got one of the sock looms that has enough pegs and sliders to make two socks at a time. My problem is getting them to come out the same length, so by doing them at the same time I remember what I did, just like you and your circle needles. Unfortunately by the time I got good at socks the family confessed they really preferred store bought socks and no one will wear wool!


  4. Good for you Lindsay! Now you need to put a pink edging to your headband the same as your mittens. Girl, you’ve done something I wouldn’t do but love those homeknit mittens. TFS


  5. Good on you, Lindsay for sharing this whole journey. The end products are wonderful, and it is a learning process for all of us. There usually is a way to improve our creations when we’re not satisfied with them, and so doing illustrates levels of creativity and smarts. Your levels are high, Girl! 🙂


  6. Well you have yourself some good mittens there, I do not see any flaws. I too hate ripping out knitted or crocheted work, (is it called “frogging” by those true knitters?), so I only rip when I decide to make something completely different, and only if at the beginning of the whole thing. Carry on! 🙂


Tell me what YOU think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.