Instructables

Making my mittens convertible (flip-tops)

Picture of Making my mittens convertible (flip-tops)
When I was hunting for my last pattern for a pair of knit mittens, I wanted a pair of convertibles rather than straight up mittens or fingerless mittens. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any I liked... This is how I solved my pattern problem.

You'll need:

A pair of knit fingerless mittens (this time, I made "Owlings", by Kerrie James - the link will take you to it's Ravelry page)
A ball of the same or co-ordinating yarn
Appropriately sized double pointed needles (4)
A large eyed sewing/darning needle

You may also choose to attach a button to each mitten, to hold the flip-top in place.

Having taken a look at the Owlings pattern online, it appears that it is currently unavailable for download - you need to contact the designer for the pattern. Any simple fingerless mitten will work, although, for this particular set of instructions, I'd suggest something in a DK/light Aran (worsted) weight yarn, based on around 40 stitches CO. A simple but effective pattern would be something like Fetching, from Knitty.

Ready? Off we go...
 
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Step 1: Set up & knit

Picture of Set up & knit
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Arrane the mitten in front of you, palm down, and work out a point on the mitten which will sit across your knuckles. This is where the flip-top will attach to the main body. Along this row, pick up 21 stitches on one needle and leave the needle in place. Call this needle one. Cast on 21 more stitches across 2 needles (2 and 3). Join these new stitches to the picked up ones, making sure that the stitches are not twisted and they are the right way up! To join the needles in the round, I slip the first stitch from needle 1 onto needle 3, and cross the last stitch from needle 3 onto needle 1, and then slip the last stitch on needle 1 to needle 2, and cross the first stitch on needle 2 back to needle 1. There's some pictures showing this.

I continued to knit in pattern for 18 rows - in this case, knit 4 purl 1 rib. Those of you keeping up with the maths will realise I made a small error here, and tried to fit a stitch pattern that takes 5 stitches into a cast on of 42, leaving me 2 stitches spare - I just increased one repeat on needle 2 and one on needle 3 to be knit 5 purl 1 instead, to get rid of the odd stitches. It doesn't look too funny (although I wish I'd worked it out better), and it's only a problem if you're knitting in pattern - if you knit the entire piece in stockinette (plain knit stitch all the way around), you won't have any problem.

18 rows of knitting brought the flip-top to the final knuckle of my middle finger - you may need to do more or less.I have quite short fingers though! Once it reaches that point, it's time to start making decreases and doing some shaping.

I worked the decreases on every other row, as follows. It should subtract 6 stitches by the end of each round.
R1 - Knit 5, Knit 2 together (K2tog) - repeat to end (36 remaining)
R2 - knit
R3 - K4, K2tog - repeat to end (30 remaining)
R5 - K3, K2tog - repeat to end (24 remaining)
R7 - K2, K2tog - repeat to end (18 remaining)
R9 - K1, K2tog - repeat to end (12 remaining)
R11 - K2tog - repeat to end (6 remaining)
R12 - K2tog - repeat to end (3 remaining)

Once you're down to the final 3 stitches, cut the yarn to around 6" (15cm) long. Thread the tail of yarn onto your darning needle, and pass the needle through the remaining 3 stitches. Removing the knitting needles, and pull tight. Push the needle through to the inside of the flip-top, and tie off through a couple of stitches. Weave the end into the knitted fabric, and trim. Thread the needle onto the cast on tail and weave this in to the main body of the mitten.

Repeat this process again for the second mitten - make sure you're working on the right side of it, otherwise you end up with 2 left/right mittens!