Making and designing these mittens was a new and fun learning experience! These mittens are no beginners project; however, if you know how to knit, purl, increase, decrease and knit with two colors, I promise you can conquer these Nightmare Before Christmas inspired mittens.
Step 1: Materials and Cast On
To make this project you will need...
- Size 2 Double Pointed Knitting Needles
- 3-4 Locking Stitch Markers
- Darning Needle
- 50 Grams (each) of Fingering Weight Wool Yarn in...
-White (or Cream for a more "distressed" look, Bright White is a little too much against the black and looks a little strange)
- Knitting Charts from...
-Chart for Left hand: http://www.chart-minder.com/charts/57eaebdd23a94f...
-Chart for Right hand: http://www.chart-minder.com/charts/57e690bf23a94f...
Cast On 56 stitches using the "long tail" cast on method
Step 2: Corrugated Ribbing (The Cuff) / Start the Knitting Chart
Starting Your Mittens in the Round
Lay your needles into a square (making sure to not tangle your stitches)
Start knitting in the round by joining the first stitch with the tail and the working yarn of the the black yarn.
The second stitch is a white purl stitch.
Start to purl the second stitch and introduce the white yarn into the work, then move the white yarn to the back of the work (to move it out of the way).
*Knit the next stitch Black
Purl the next stitch White*
Repeat from * to * for all stitches for either 10, 11, or 12 rows depending upon how long you want your cuff.
I made 12 rows of corrugated ribbing because I like a slightly longer cuff on my mittens.
Starting the Knitting Chart
The 1st row of the knitting chart is a plain black row. At the end of each needle, increase one stitch (using your preferred method of increasing (I like to knit through the bars of the knitting)). Knit one row with only the black yarn (you do not have to carry the white yarn along the back, just knit with the black yarn).
The 2nd row of the knitting chart is *Knit one Black, Knit one White* and repeat in this way for the entire row (for easy knitting, hold the black in your left hand and your black yarn in your right hand).
The 3rd row is another plain black row
Step 3: Continuing With the Knitting Chart / Increasing for the Thumb
Continuing with the Knitting Chart
Continue with the knitting chart knitting one black stitch for every black stitch and one white stitch for every white box. Be mindful of your tension of your floats. If your floats are too tight, your knitting will pucker. If your floats are too loose, your knitting will be very uneven.
Increasing for the Thumb
After knitting the pyramid shapes, knit one row of plain black.
On the next row, you need to increase for your thumb.
Knit the first two needles of your mitten. Place a stitch marker.
In between the first two needles, increase one stitch by using a right leaning increase (as shown on the chart and in the video).
Finish the rest of the row in pattern
On the next row, knit until the thumb stitch, slip marker, knit the first stitch of the thumb, and then increase another stitch (using a left leaning increase) in the opposite color
Knit the rest of the row
On the next row, knit the entire row in pattern, there are no increases on this row
All of the increases will be work on the outer edges of the thumb. When you're at the begging of your thumb, you make a right leaning increase. When you're at the left side of the thumb, you make a left leaning increase.
Then after every increase row, Knit a plain row.
Be mindful of where you are in your knitting chart (make sure you're paying attention to the different patterns in the mitten).
Knit until you reach the face panel of Jack Skellington to continue on to the next step.
When the thumb is completely done (which will be in the middle of Jack's face panel) there will be 20 stitches in the thumb section. When you reach about 10 stitches in the thumb section, you will want to introduce another needle to knit the thumb stitches on separately.
Step 4: Wrapping Floats for Long Jogs in Jack's Face
When you are starting Jack's Face, you will notice that there are far too many black stitches at the beginning of the chart to carry the white yarn all the way across due to the fact that the float would be way to long, so you need to wrap your stitches.
Please refer to the video because this is very hard to describe in words. You need to wrap a float every time you have a float that is going to be longer than 4 stitches. So when you knit the black row, wrap your floats every 3-4 stitches.
Same goes for any of the white stitches in the face. If there are more than 4 stitches of the same color in that area, you need to wrap a float so that your floats are not so long as to be able to fit a finger through.
Step 5: Putting the Thumb Onto Stitch Holders / Continue Knitting Jack's Face
When you have 20 stitches for your thumb, you need to put your stitches onto locking stitch markers. I like to use the clover locking stitch markers, because they are small, have a blunt end, and lock into place. However, if you do not want to spend the money, you may use safety pins or even paper clips.
Knit until you have reached the thumb, and then slip your stitches purl-wise onto the locking stitch markers. Put 5 stitches on each locking stitch marker for a total of 4 stitch markers.
Then knit onto the next needle, make your first few stitches very tight to reduce the size of the hole in between the two sides of the mitten. Continue knitting Jack's face until you finish his face and have reached the top of the mitten for the stripes.
Step 6: Stripes for the Top / Decreasing for the Top of the Mitten
Knit Stripes for the Top of the Mitten
Knit 6-10 (or more depending upon how long your hand is) row of stripes after Jack's face. I knit 10 rows of stripes because my fingers are slightly longer than average. You'll want to knit your stripes until about 1 inch until the end of your middle finger.
Decreasing for the Top of the Mittens
Knit 2 together, knit to left side of the front of the mittens, Slip Slip Knit
Do this for both sides.
Continue decreasing every row until there are 8 stitches left on each side of the mitten (16 total)
Step 7: Binding Off the Top of the Mittens
Using a Kitchener stitch, sew up the top of the mitten. The video does a great job of explaining it since it is a very visual process.
After you have bond off the top of your mitten, it is time to knit the thumb.
Step 8: Picking Up and Knitting the Thumb Stitches
Slip all of the thumb stitches off of the stitch holders (20 stitches) and pick up two more stitches on the actual mitten. If this sounds confusing, refer to the video for picking up stitches (22 stitches total).
After picking up the stitches, knit to the base of your thumb nail (or half an inch left if you have a big thumb nail).
Then decrease for the top of thumb.
Knit 2 together, knit to the other side of the thumb (knit 9 stitches after the Knit 2 together if you have 22 total stitches) then knit a slip slip knit and knit the rest of the stitches. (20 stitches)
Continue in this way until there are 10 stitches left
Bind of in the way that you would for the top of a hat (take a darning needle with the tail of the yarn and go through all 10 stitches and then weave in your yarn ends).
Step 9: Weaving in the Yarn Ends
Weaving in the ends of your mittens is very easy due to the fact that there are floats on the inside of the mitten. You can weave in your ends in between the floats. It is super easy, and honestly is the easiest way to weave in the ends of your knitting.
Step 10: Enjoy Your Mittens!!!
If you have finished these mittens, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have just completed one of the hardest projects I have ever made or designed. You should be proud of yourself for completing such a difficult project, and now you have Jack Skellington Mittens for the winter! Happy Knitting!!
(Picture of me wearing the mittens I made)