Moondust Mittens

I made a pair of Moondust Mittens from the lovely Pom Pom Magazine Issue 26 (Winter 2018) for a Christmas gift. The pattern is for fingerless mittens, which I modified to make full mittens.

The yarn

The yarn I chose is Malabrigo sock in ‘eggplant’ or ‘aubergine’ which is a sort of shimmery deep purpley grey. I purchased it from the lovely Yarn and Knitting (YAK) in Brighton, in October 2018.

It is 100% superwash merino wool, and which I don’t love using superwash, the softness and the practicality of being able to machine wash it lends itself well to gifting it to folks who have skin sensitivities and/or are not woolly yarn nerds!

The pattern

The pattern was quite easy to follow. Interestingly, the ‘right side’ (outside) of the mitten is reverse stockinette (which is just the ‘wrong side’ of knitting every stitch in the round). This creates a nice background for the cables and the mitten itself is worked on the wrong side so that you can simply knit every stitch in the round.

My first cables!

This is the first thing I’ve ever made with cables! What I learned quite quickly is that when the pattern says to hold the cable needle ‘in front’ or ‘in back’, it means in front of or behind the working needles – it is not referencing the right side or wrong side, or front or back of the work. This may be painfully obvious to folks who are very familiar with making cables, but for me this was an important discovery!

The little cables look like tracks winding their way up the mitten.

Cuff ribbing

I really loved the fact that the cuff calls for ribbing that is made by knitting a stitch (k1) and then purling the next stitch through the back loop (p1tbl). The twist created by purling through the back loop seems to add enough tension that my ribbing is not absurdly loose (as I sometimes get when I do k1-p1 ribbing.) I think the result is quite pretty.

Photo of the cuff of a handknitted mitten showing the knit 1 purl 1 ribbing.
K1-P1tbl ribbing at the cuff of the Moondust mittens

Modifications to make full mittens

After knitting the thumb gusset and putting the thumb stitches on hold:

  • I finished the cable sequence (for me, this was Rounds 8-12),
  • Worked the cable sequence 2 more times as written, 
  • On the 3rd time through the cable sequence, I worked the cable sequence as written Rounds 1-10, then
  • Worked Rounds 11, 12, and 1-6 with modifications and decreases.

I calculated that I needed to get from 52 stitches (pattern size 2) down to 20 stitches, so I needed 8 rounds of decreases (Rounds 11, 12, and 1-6.)

Closed fingers decrease sequence

Working in magic loop, I had 26 stitches on each needle (26 stitches for the front half of the mitten and 26 stitches for the back half of the mitten). I decreased as follows:

First half of mitten (first side of magic loop): Sl1, K1, PSSO, work pattern to 2 stitches from the end, k2tog
Second half of mitten (second side of magic loop): Sl1, K1, PSSO, work pattern to 2 stitches from the end, k2tog

Ready to start decreasing for full mittens!

I preserved the cable sequence as much as possible, but when my decreases ran into the cable sequence, I just purled the stitches that would have otherwise been cables. (I’ve posted photos of my modification notes on my project page on Ravelry and I’m happy to transcribe them on request! I just don’t want to go posting them all over.)

Once I was down to 20 stitches (10 stitches on each needle), I closed with Kitchener stitch.

Closed thumb

For the thumbs, after picking up stitches as per the pattern instructions, I worked around and around to a length that would be *just* before the tip of the thumb, then decreased from 16 stitches down to 4 stitches in the same manner as above (3 rounds of decreases). I left a few inches of a tail, cut the yarn, and pulled the tail through those last four stitches. I initially tried Kitchener stitch but the result was a very squared-off thumb, which looked ridiculous. I found this method to look a *lot* better.

Stitch surgery

I noticed while nearing the end of the second mitten that I’d messed up some stitches quite a ways back. Thankfully, the mistakes were on the palm-side which is 100% reverse stockinette stitch and easy to repair. So I performed my first proper stitch surgery with a crochet hook and felt disproportionately proud of the accomplishment.

A partially knitted mitten lays on top of a bag with a column of stitches ripped back for repair.
A successful stitch repair in progress

The end result…

I think they turned out pretty splendidly!

Hurrah, finished Moondust mittens!
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