These gloves were inspired by Calcifer from Howl's Moving Castle - one of my favorite Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli movies. If you're reading this and you've never seen a Miyazaki movie, please slot one in for your next movie night.
I'd like to start off by saying that though these are a really fun project and I'm hoping they'll be dearly loved by my intended recipient, this instructable is probably not the place to start knitting. You sort of have to be willing to go temporarily insane in order to put up with 4+ different colors hanging off your project.
Also, this is my first time ever writing up a knitting pattern that I've designed, so if I've forgotten something or a part needs further clarification, please let me know and I'll try to address it.
With all that - lets get started on the Miyazaki mittens!
Step 1: Yarn Selection and Needles
For this pattern I used US sized 00 double pointed knitting needles (1.75 mm). I used 3 different types of yarn: Loops and Threads: Woolike (white, 1 skein), Lion Brand: Vanna's Glamour (black, 1 skein), and Lion Brand: BonBons, Party (1 package, I used the teal, bronze, red, copper and gold, which will be referred to here as blue, brown, red, orange, and yellow).
You may use other yarns if you like but try to stay in the same weight range as the BonBons. I add this because you may note that all of the yarns used here are wool free. I'm sadly very allergic to wool and can't work with it for long periods of time, but I know there are a huge variety of fine and light weight yarns in gorgeous that are either wool blends or full wool and I encourage you to use your favorites.
Other tools you will find useful: A second set of double pointed needles (these should be either 1's or 0's, close in size to the 00's being used for the actual knitting), safety pins (a variety of sizes), and little loops of thread or some sort of stitch marker.
Step 2: Cast On
Using your white yarn, cast on 88 number of stitches, spread evenly over 4 of your 5 double pointed needles.
Begin knitting in the round, ensuring that your stitches are not twisted when you join them.
Knit 4 rows.
Tip: When working with double pointed needles you will have a stitch that is stretched between two needles. I find that when I've worked a full needle, and gotten to this stitch it is helpful to continue knitting a few more stitches from the next needle before starting a new one. This moves the stretch point around your knitting and makes sure that the finished product doesn't have a gap between two stitches running all the way up the final piece.
Step 3: Picot Edge
Knit one row where you are knit the following pattern: yarn over, knit three stitches together, yarn over.
I knit three stitches together by transferring one stitch onto the working needle, knitting the next two together, then slipping the first stitch back over the two I just knitted together.
Knit 4 more rows where you knit every stitch.
Use your second set of double pointed needles to pick up the stitches that you originally cast on. Work the next row by knitting together one stitch from each set of needles (one from your current working row and one from your original cast on.
Step 4: Latvian Braid #1
I do two latvian braids in this pattern, one above and one below the name section, to act as borders. A latvian braid is created by twisting your yarn before knitting. I'm actually going to link you to a video that I find very helpful in explaining this stitch as it is hard to demonstrate with only pictures.
Please note that this is not my video, just one that I find very useful for this stitch.
The pattern in words:
- Knit one setup row, alternating 1 stitch with black yarn and one stitch with white.
- Purl one row with the yarn in front of the knit stitches, twisting between every stitch (You may choose which direction you would like to twist, up or down)
- Purl one row with the yarn in front of the knit stitches, twisting the opposite direction as the last row,
- Knit one row all white stitches.
Step 5: Lettering
Knit 4 rows all white stitches.
Knit the next seven rows with the the pattern for the lettering.
Knit 5 rows all white stitches.
A few notes. This is the first place you'll be working with multiple colors where they don't alternate every stitch. If the gap between two stitches of the same color is 4 stitches or less, you don't need to worry about it, just hold the yarn to the back until you are ready to knit with it again. If the gap is more than 4 stitches, you will need to twist the two yarns together between another stitch to hold it in place so that there are not long loose strands for fingers to catch on as you put the glove on. Simply do a half twist with the two colors of yarn, the continue knitting with the color you were working with.
If you have a lone straight section of 1 color, for example the L in Calcifer, you need to twist the yarns together about halfway up to ensure that the stitches don't pull apart at all. Do this by doing a full twist with both yarns just before the new color and immediately afterward.
This is also a great place to personalize these gloves. I put the name of my intended recipient on the inside of the wrist, opposite Calcifer's name.
Step 6: Latvian Braid #2
Repeat the steps for your first latvian braid to complete the border around the lettering.
Step 7: Palm/Main Body of the Hand
Now you get to the fun part, namely the color pattern.
In general you just want to follow the chart for this section. However there are some tricks here.
I kept my long black thread confined to the palm where you will be working the soot sprites. For these I tried to knit one whole sprite before moving the yarn to another location. For sprites that have to be knitted on the same row I would do the following: Start with the first sprite, knit the white stitch followed by black followed by white. Transfer all three stitches back to your working needle. Knit them again in black (3 black stitches). Transfer the last two back to the working needle. Knit one black stitch, the slip the next stitch onto the needle next to it. Continue working your row. When you come to this spot on the next round, slip all three black stitches onto the current needle and start knitting at the white stitch after them. On the round after that knit the first black stitch with white thread, slip the center stitch to the current needle, then knit the next black stitch with white thread. This allows you to make the soot sprite without shuttling the black and forth all the time.
Calcifer's face. For this I would knit one row of the colored section and leave the colored thread at the end. When I got around to the colored bit on the next round I would slip all of the stitches that required color over to the current needle and turn the project over (so you are seeing the inside of the glove). I loop the white thread over the colored one to anchor it, then purl my way across the colored section, making sure to loop through the long white thread on occasion. In purling on the opposite side of the fabric you create knit stitches on the correct side and don't waste thread looping back and forth. (I know this is confusing, I will try to add pictures as I finish the second glove)
For the black in Calcifer's face I cut a piece from the non-working end of my black yarn. I started the mouth using the center of this piece of yarn so that I had two working ends (one for each eye). While the double working ends are not necessary and may have been more work than absolutely necessary, the second piece of yarn makes it so you don't have to carry the black all the way from the palm which is much nicer in the long run.
Start the thumb where the green marked squares are. Work the thumb pattern at these points on every round (I find markers for the stitches to be very useful here). When you've reached the end of the thumb increase pattern, continue knitting these stitches in white for 17 more rows. Place the 22 thumb stitches on holders (large safety pins). Cast on 11 stitches and knit them in white for the remainder of the palm pattern.
Step 8: Fingers
Each of the fingers are done a little differently to account for the differences in finger size.
Since I started on the side with the pinky, I started knitting the pinky first.
Move all the stitches onto stitch holders, (11 from the thumb cast on, 10 on either side of that, 12 on either side of those, 11 on either side, and 11 on either side).
Starting with the two sets of 11 farthest from the thumb cast ons: cast on 2 stitches. Knit the pinky pattern. Bind off as explained in the next step.
Move the next two sets of 11 stitches (on either side of the pinky) onto working needles. Pick up 4 stitches from the base of the pinky - the two that were cast on, one before the cast on's and one after the cast on's. On the opposite side of the finger (away from the pinky), cast on 6 stitches. Knit the ring finger pattern. Bind off as explained in the next step.
Move the two sets of 12 stitches (on either side of the ring finger) onto working needles. Pick up 8 stitches from the base of the ring finger- the six that were cast on, one before the cast on's and one after the cast on's. On the opposite side of the finger (away from the ring finger), cast on 4 stitches. Knit the middle finger pattern. Bind off as explained in the next step.
Move the remaining stitches (33) onto working needles. Pick up the 6 stitches from the base of the middle finger- the four that were cast on, one before the cast on's and one after the cast on's. Knit the first row. When you get to the last stitch knit two together (the last stitch of the current row and the first stitch of the second row). This will leave you with 36 stitches. Knit the index finger pattern. Bind off as explained in the next step.
Step 9: Binding Off
At the end of each finger you should be left with 3-4 stitches.
There are two different ways you can do this bind off:
1: Place each stitch on a very tiny saftey pin. Pull the safety pins through the top of the finger so that the finger is inside out (The pictures show this being done one row earlier). Pull the end of the thread through each stitch in order to finish the finger. Pull tight and weave in the end.
2: Staying on the outside of the finger, pull the end of the thread through each stitch in order to finish the finger. Push the end of the thread through the top of the finger so it dangles inside. Pull tight and weave in the end.
I find that the first method makes a smoother ending for the inside that is against wearers finger. But the second method doesn't involve weird transferring of stitches and so is easier to accomplish. Either way you'll get a beautiful glove.
Step 10: Weave in the Ends
Your finished glove is going to look like a mess on the inside. You want to take a little crochet hook and weave all the loose ends into the glove being careful no to let the colors show on the exterior of the glove.
Step 11: Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this pattern and the results. Working with multiple colors can be a little crazy but you can create some beautiful pixelated knitting with it. Please post pictures if you create something based on this instructable!
Step 12: Pattern
I've attached the actual patterns that I used to make this glove. There are different patterns for the right and left hands which are the same but mirrored for your convenience. I start knitting at the bottom right corner of the pattern so that as I knit the design appears exactly as it is on the page.