Friday, November 18, 2016

Freebie Friday - Basic Fingerless Mitts

When we learned about basic crochet stitches, we learned that to work an "increase" typically means working two stitches into the same place. 

This week's pattern will give us the opportunity to practice making increases in a way that will create a "gusset" or widening of the fabric.  We're going to use a gusset to allow room for thumbs in a pair of fingerless mitts.

The pattern is available on Ravelry, or you can download a .pdf copy here.  There are lots of photos making is suitable for adventurous beginners.  Of particular interest is the Appendix, which will help you resize it to fit anyone, and give you ideas on how you customize it by adding a little flair.

Let's go over how using increases can create that extra room.  Our gusset begins with a single crochet increase, a regular single crochet, and another single crochet increase for a total of 5 stitches.

I've placed markers on the outermost stitches, that is, stitch #1 and stitch #5.  We'll move our markers up as we go.

After working an increase row, work an even row (without increases).  This helps keep the fabric from puckering our bunching up too quickly.

The next increase row calls for an increase in the first stitch and the last stitch, which means my gusset is now 7 stitches wide.

Move markers up, and work an even row before the next increase row.

You see where we're headed, right? 

Alternating increase rows and even rows, we widen that section of fabric from 5-7-9-11 and finally 13 stitches in between markers.

The next step is where we turn the gusset into a thumb hole.

Crocheting right up to the first marker, skip 13 stitches and work into the 14th stitch.

Here's how that looks from the top...

... and how it creates a row of stitches we can work future rows into.

Here's how those gloves look when they're finished!

Here's some of the ways I've taken this "vanilla" pattern and spiced it up a bit!  How about changing up the yarn?  This pair is in JoAnn Sensations Rainbow Boucle... with that wonderful gradient color and texture.

A stretchy alternate color cuff?

My grandsons ask for "those things on the side so you can climb buildings" - making them instant Super Heroes. 

A photo tutorial on how to make the spikes is included in the pattern!

If you ever need extra mother-in-law points, add plastic scales from The Ring Lord and make Dragon Scale Gauntlets.

I can attest to the point earning power of Superawesomeglowinthedark Super Hero scale gloves.

Or simply jazz up the fabric by adding an  inch of a different stitch pattern after closing the gusset.  In this case, I added a row of broomstick lace.

Whether you like them plain or dressed up, gussets are a wonderful thing!

Til next time... keep warm out there.

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