Introduction: How to Make Warm Mittens Using a Round Loom
Many years ago, when I was working at a craft store, they brought in some round and rake looms. I was in hog heaven, because I had used that type of loom in my youth, and they had disappeared while I was in Florida. I had been looking for replacements ever since. It was at this point that I learned that there are people out there who knew a lot more about looms than I did, so I proceeded to learn from them. One person I learned from a whole lot was Anne Bipes at www.loomknitting.com (Yep, she is still there, if you want to learn more visit her web page).
After learning how to do the double stitch and purl on the round loom, I decided to make some really warm mittens, and write the pattern. One day, at the store, after I had made my first pair of warm mittens, a lady come in, tried them on, and declared them “Wisconsin worthy”. She explained that during a Wisconsin winter, if your mittens aren’t warm enough, well it wasn’t worth thinking about. Pretty high compliment, one I will never forget.
Here is how it works. I will do my best describe how to do the e-wrap, the double stitch, and the purl stitch, with pictures. So let’s get started. This pattern is on an intermediate skill level.
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Thick wool yarn, (wool will keep you warm even when wet)
24 peg round loom (the pegs on this loom are a little closer together so makes a tighter weave)
Yarn needle (it can be a plastic one)
e-wrap – Make a slip stitch loop and attach it to the first peg, the one just right of the anchor peg. First take a pretend pencil and write a series of cursive, lower case e’s in the air. Using that same movement, wrap the yarn around each peg. So the yarn goes under the peg, up the right side of the peg, over the top, down the left side and back under the bottom and over to the next peg. Keep going, keep going, keep going, etc. When you reach the first peg, keep going with another layer. You need at least two rows of e-wrap to make a knit stitch. Once the second row it done, starting with the first the last e-wrap you made, use your loom pick, and pull the bottom loop up over the top loop, and off the peg.
Double stitch: E-wrap 3 rows. Using the loom pick, pull the bottom loop up over the top two loops and off the peg. This makes the stitches very close together and makes a warmer knit fabric.
Purl: Instead of the e-wrap, you place the yarn below what would be the bottom loop.
Using the loom pick, reach under the now top loop (down the groove that is on the front of the peg), grab the bottom yarn, pull it up through the top loop (you now have a loop on your pick). Pull the whole thing off the peg
and put the new loop (the one on your pick) back on the peg. The purl stitch is the one loop by itself.
Ribbing: This is a way to make cuffs, etc. fit tighter. E-wrap one, purl one, e-wrap one, purl one, etc. until you reach the end of the row (you should end with purl). Turn and repeat, only this time start with the purl and end with the e-wrap.
This will be a flat piece of work. You will not be going round and round like you would for a hat. When you reach the last stitch on the first row, pause and take that last stitch and pull it off the peg, twist it upside down and reinsert it onto the peg. This will allow you to first let go of the yarn without it unraveling, and when you add the second stitch it will truly be a second stitch. This helps your edges be nice a tidy.
If you just don’t get how I described a term, google the terms (i.e. “round loom double stitch”) and you will find other ways that it has been described and even some mini videos of how it is done.
Do the thumbs first. That way when you get the hand of each mitten done, you can quickly put it together and glow in the sense of accomplishment.
Thumbs - make 2
Cast on 9 pegs for double stitch. Work 22 rows of double stitch or about 4 inches. When you are one with the last double stitch row, go round one more time and pull the bottom stitch over the top stitch. You will only have one set of loops left. This helps reduce the bulk at the tip of the thumb.
When done, cut a long (2+ feet). Using the needle, go around the outside of the loom, putting each loop on to the yarn of the tail.
Be sure that you didn’t miss any loops, because once the stitches are off the loom, it’s the world’s biggest pain to try and pick up the missing loop.
Pull all the loops off the pegs, and pull tight into a gather, (this is how you remove a hat and the body of the hand from the loom).
Turn your thumb inside out, and using the needle and tail yarn, whip stitch the thumb close, tying off the yarn at the bottom.
Turn the thumb right side out and try it one for size. You did Great!
Hands – make 2
Cast on 22 stitches, work for a ribbing for 14 rows, (this should be about 3 inches long).
Once you have your ribbing done, e-wrap two more rows, and work the double stitch for 50 rows or a little over 8 inches. Once you have reached your goal of length, go round one more time and pull the bottom stitch over the top stitch. You will only have one set of loops left. Cut a long tail and repeat what you did to finish the top of the thumb.
Turn your hand piece inside out, and using the needle and tail yarn, start whip stitching the hand close.
When you reach where the thumb should go, tuck the thumb inside the hand, with the seam edge facing the top of the mitten. Now, whip the edges of the hand to the bottom of the thumb. Go all the way around the thumb.
When you reach the top of the thumb weave the yarn tail down to the bottom of the mitten.
When you reach the bottom of the thumb, finish whipping the rest of the mitten closed. Weave the tail of the yarn into the mitten.
Turn the mitten right side out and try it on. Warm isn’t it. I bet you could have a snow ball fight with these and your hands would stay warm. These now go under the tree fro my Hubby for Christmas. Enjoy!