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Archive entry for February 2008

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February 2008

Mittens for the Forces

Forces_mittens.jpg

These are double layered mittens which have suddenly become popular again (probably more the height of fashion a year or so ago - as well as half a century ago). This pattern is from February 1940. Here the thumb is left free; in some designs of this era, the thumb and forefinger are left free - your "trigger finger " I assume.
"The glove mitts are a sensible idea, ensuring both warmth and freedom of movement. Instructions are given for both men's and women's sizes".
The different sizes are achieved by using different wool weights and needles.

Instructions (both hands alike)

Using No. 14 (2mm) needles cast on 48 stitches, and work in k2, p2 rib in rounds for 2½ inches.

Next row: Knit twice into every stitch.

Now slip every alternate stitch (ie every "made" stitch) on to No 12(11) needles and leave the original 48 sts on the No14 needles on the outside of the work.

[Editor's note: The original instructions expect you to continue to knit on the larger needles, leaving the outer sts on the No 14 needles. I found this very awkward; I thought it would improve as I got further up the glove but it did not.
So I took the trouble, after I had slipped the sts as shown, to thread the outer sts onto waste yarn (slippery yarn, as the Tweed wool is felty), and then when I had finished the inner glove, rethread them back on to the 14 needles.]

Continue on the No 12(11) needles, on the "made" sts, in rounds of plain knitting, and work 2 rows straight.

3rd round: Knit twice into first st, knit to the last st, knit twice into it.
Knit 2 rounds.

6th round: Knit twice into first st, knit to the last 2sts, knit twice into next st, k1.
Knit 2 rounds.

9th round: Knit twice into first st, knit to the last 3sts, knit twice into next st, k2.
Knit 2 rounds.

Continue in this way, increasing on every 3rd row at either side of the thuumb, until there are 66 sts on the needles.

Divide for thumb
Next round: K8; leave next 50 sts a holder (or holders); cast on 4 sts in waste wool and knit them onto the working needle; knit remaining 8 sts of round. [20sts]

Continue on these 20 sts for 22 rounds.
Next round: K2tog all round.
Next round: Knit
Next round: K2tog all round.
Draw thread through remaining sts and fasten off.

Rejoin wool to continue with the main part of the mitten:
remove the waste wool and pick up 4 sts at the base of the thumb, then knit the 50 sts from the holder. [54sts]

Work 18 rounds straight on these 54 sts.

Divide for fingers
Next round (forefinger): K10; leave leave next 38 sts a holder (or holders); cast on 4 sts in waste wool and knit them onto the working needle; knit remaining 6sts of round. [20sts]

Work 3 rounds straight on these 20 sts, then work 4 rounds k1, p1 rib. Cast off loosely in rib.

Next round (middle finger): Remove the waste wool and pick up 4 sts at the base forefinger. Knit first 6 sts from holder; cast on 4 sts in waste wool and knit them onto the working needle; slip the last 6 sts on holder onto a needle and knit them. [20sts]

Complete as for forefinger.

Next round (third finger): Work and complete as for middle finger.

Next round (little finger): Remove the waste wool and pick up 4 sts at the base third finger, and knit the remaining 14 sts from holder. [18sts]

Work as before over these 18 sts.

Over-mitten
Now return to sts left on the No 14 needles at the wrist.
[Editor's note: Or - thread the sts on the spare wool back on to the No 14 needles.]
Join in the wool at the beginning of the round, (base of the thumb), and with No 11 (10) needles, work backwards and forwards in stocking stitch, (one row plain, one row purl), for 5 inches.

Next row (right side facing): K2tog; k21; k2tog; k21; k2tog.
Work 5 rows straight.
7th row: K2tog; knit to centre; k3tog; knit to the last 2 sts; k2tog.

Continue in stocking stitch, decreasing as for 7th row on every 6th row until 37 sts remain.
Work 3 rows straight.
Then decrease in the same way on every row until 9 sts remain.
Cast off.

Making up
Press stocking-stitch portions with a damp cloth. Darn in all ends. Insert zip down side of outer mitten, starting at top and ending with the pull just above the thumb; join the remainder of seam across top of fingers. The edges of the outer mitten should fit nicely round the thumb; finish these with a row of double crochet.

Mit_zips.jpg

Materials

Example shown is knitted in 3 x 25g balls Rowan 4ply Tweed.

Set of 4 each of numbers 14, 12 and 11 (UK size) needles for the smaller size, and 14, 11 and 10 for the larger size.
A number 12 crochet hook.

Two 4-inch zip fasteners.

Tension

Approx. 8st to 1 inch

Rowan 4ply tweed tension: 28st and 40rows to 4 inches (10cm) using No 11 (3mm) needles.

Size matters

To fit size 6¼-7, or 7½-8½ inch hand.

A word on the wool.

Original calls for 2oz 3 ply for girl's size [sic] and 3oz 4ply for man's size.
I have often read that older 3 or 4 ply wools were thicker than 3 or 4 plies of today; I have not really noticed that before in practice - however I think a large man's mitten could be knitted in guernsey 5ply or a light weight DK, like Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

 



Balaclava.jpg
This 'good old Balaclava helmet' was included in the item "More Knitteds for the Forces".
I know - they are nice and warm - and they can be useful on the slopes - but I'm given to understand that beanies are more the thing currently, so I have spared you the details!
Let me know if, (your imagination no doubt fired by the hunk on the left), you want to knit it.

I'm afraid I also have to report that George says these are the silliest mittens he has ever had. Good thing he was not called upon to be in the Home Guard 50 or more years ago, eh?.

February 2008

Chunky Honeycomb Scarf

Honeycomb_scarf2.jpg

"Reversible scarf for the cold days ahead". This is a very pleasing pattern from October 1963, and is a suggestion for "pre-Christmas plans". The pattern is the same on both sides, so great for a scarf, and can be knitted in basically any wool weight; ensure you use needles a couple of sizes larger than normal for whichever weight you choose, and do a proportional calculation on the gauge, so your scarf is not too wide.

Instructions

Cast on 73 stitches.

First row: K1, * p1, k1; repeat from * to end.

Repeat this row for the moss stitch border 8 times more.

10th (increase) row: Moss 8, (increase in the next st, moss 6) 8 times; increase in the next st, moss 8. [82 sts]

Change to pattern rows as follows:

1st row: moss 5, p3, *k6, p6; repeat from * to last 14sts; k6, p3, moss 5.
2nd row: moss 5, k3, *p6, k6; repeat from * to last 14sts; p6, k3, moss 5.
Repeat the last 2 rows 4 times more.

11th row: moss 5; *slip the next 3 sts on to a cable needle to the back of the work; k3, p3 from cable needle; slip the next 3 sts on to a cable needle to the front of the work; p3, then k3 from cable needle; repeat from * to last 5sts; moss 5.
12th row: as first.
13th row: as second.
14th row: as first.
Repeat the 13th and 14th rows 4 times more.

23rd row: moss 5; *slip the next 3 sts on to a cable needle to the front of the work; p3, then k3 from cable needle; slip the next 3 sts on to a cable needle to the back of the work; k3, p3 from cable needle; repeat from * to last 5sts; moss 5.
24th row: as second.

These 24 rows form the pattern. Continue straight until the work measures 46 ins, ending with a 12th or 24th pattern row.

detail

Next (decrease) row: moss 8 *k2tog; (p1, k1) 3 times; p2tog, repeat from * 3 times more; k2tog; (p1, k1) 4 times. [73sts].

Work 9 rows moss stitch over all stitches.
Cast off.

Finishing - Press work very lighty, taking care not to spoil th texture of the patttern. Cut the remainig wool into 7½ inch lengths; take 3 lengths of wool together each time, fold in half, and, with a crochet hook, knot through short ends to make a fringe. Trim fringe.

Substituting the wool - I used a vintage wool, Phildar Brisants. This is a fine double knitting, which is normally knitted on no. 9 (3¾mm) needles. The cabling make for a tighter tension, and the recommended needles (UK No 6) are 2 sizes larger than usual for a DK. I went with no. 8 needles, instead of 9s, but should have gone larger I think.
My scarf measures less than the 12 inches wide of the original; I knitted to the length I wanted.

If you want to use chunkier wool, then decrease the number of sts proportionally. The pattern is worked over 12sts.

Materials

Original call for 9oz of Patons Moorland Double Knitting

Example shown is knitted in Phildar Brisants.

One pair of No. 6 (5mm) needles.

Tension

Equivalent to 20st and 26rows to 4 inches (10cm) measured over stocking stitch.

Size matters

Width: 12 inches
Length: 46 inches

A word on the wool.

This pattern is for double knitting wool, and from memory Moorland DK was slightly heavy-weight.
You can knit a scarf in anything you want - obviously - see "Substituting the wool".

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

 

Honeycomb_scarf.jpg

© Christina Coutts 2007

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