Sunday, December 7, 2014

MMABO Mitt ~ A Super Simple Free Knit Pattern with Easy Crocheted Bind Off

(So simple you could probably make one in the time it took to read that title....)

It's been pretty darn chilly in Wisconsin lately, and for me cold weather means cold hands - especially when I'm working on the computer. My right hand (or "mouse hand") gets extra chilly, so I like to keep a few fingerless mitts on my desk, ready to stave off mouse-induced frostbite.

Up till now my mitts have all been crocheted, but since MMABO (Mrs. M's Accidental Bind Off) entered my life a few weeks back, I've become rather addicted to it. I've spent way too much time binding off stockinette swatches just to see if the bind off really works (it does), and is really as stretchy as it seems (it is - see photo near end of post).

Then it struck me - if I made one of those swatches slightly wider and longer, and ran a seam up the side, I'd have a dandy little knitted mitt, and a really simple pattern to share.

It worked out pretty well:

Here's the super simple pattern:


~ Any yarn you like with the appropriate size needles
~ Crochet hook the same size as your needles or slightly smaller
~ Darning needle

Leaving an extra 10" tail, using long-tail cast on or your preferred stretchy cast-on, cast on enough stitches to fit loosely, but not floppily, around your wrist.
K 4 rows.
P 1 row.
Continue in stockinette (K 1 row, P 1 row) until piece measures 5½" (or to desired length), ending after K row.
K next row (WS facing).
Using a crochet hook the same size as, or smaller than, your needle size, bind off with MMABO (click here for tutorial). Bind off will be done RS facing.
Cut yarn and join top edge stitches with Invisible Join or preferred join.
Bring side edges together. Using starting tail, working RS facing, sew edges together to form a tube, leaving an opening for the thumb. (Use invisible garter stitch seam on first 4 rows, and mattress stitch seam on stockinette rows. Click here for an excellent tutorial on both techniques.)
Weave in ends and block as desired.

P.S. Disciplined knitters will block the mitt before seaming.

Some tips, ideas, and pattern notes:
  • You can of course use any stitch pattern you like for the body of the mitt.
  • A row of reverse stockinette worked just before binding off helps tame the curl of stockinette.
  • If you're handy with the dpns or circulars, work the mitt in the round to bottom of thumbhole, then back and forth to desired height of thumbhole, then in the round to the end.
  • A seaming option: leave a 6" tail at the top, and seam down to the top of the thumbhole, then use starting tail to seam from the bottom edge to bottom of thumbhole.
  • For a super simple MMABO coffee cup cozy, make a shorter swatch - say 17 or 18 rows - and seam it all the way up.
  • Lavender mitt was made with Plymouth Encore yarn, size 6 needles, and a US F/5 3.75mm hook to bind off. Mitt is 30 stitches wide x 35 rows of knitting tall (with bind off, 36 rows). Finished measurements after blocking: 6" tall by 6" around.
  • Green hand-dyed mitt was made with Superwash Merino DK by Ogle Design, size 7 needles, and a US F/5 3.75mm hook to bind off. Mitt is 27 stitches wide x 35 rows of knitting tall (with bind off, 36 rows). Finished measurements before blocking: 5½" tall by 5½" around. (I haven't blocked this mitt yet, as the yarn is so delightfully squishy it looks fine to me without blocking.
If you love to embellish, that smooth field of stockinette would make a lovely backdrop for some buttons, appliqué, or embroidery.

And did I mention that MMABO truly is stretchy? Here's an illustration:

MMABO Mitts are fun to make and fun to wear. They're perfect for a quick and custom gift - so get out that special bit of hand-dyed from your stash and whip up a pair today!

(Or, like me, you can make a single one for your mouse hand.)

You may do whatever you like with the items you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern or reproduce its text without permission. Links are always welcome.

Thanks for viewing, and happy knitting (with crocheted bind offs)!

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  1. That's a great design! I just love the Limpet Mitt you designed... I just need to make the 2nd one!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Yay for warm hands! :-)

  3. Hey this new bind off is awesome!! Looks great and pretty easy to do. Getting the right bind off in knitting can be really challenging, not too much stretch but not too tight either. I love your idea of using a provisional cast on and then using your bind off!! You are BRILLIANT!!

  4. Oh I love these mitts. I am adding them to my list of things I want to make. :) Thanks. :)

  5. These look super simple and perfect for me! I make mittens and gloves for everyone else, but not for me! Thank you.

  6. Tis the season for fingerless and I love your adaptations. I need buttons now

  7. I am going to make some for sure. They look pretty easy to do. Now to check my yarn stash.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern...another for my want to make list, Sue! xx

  9. Good morning Sue, I haven't been to blogland for a couple of weeks due to several illnesses but now I try to catch up a little. You have written so many posts since I last had a look at your blog. And the pattern for the mitts is just brilliant, especially because I wanted to do some for my sister as a Christmas present. So I will try it immediately! The landscape photos just look gorgeous, it looks freezingly cold and christmassy. We do not have December weather here in Germany at all. It is much too warm and there is no snow, just a mixture of sun, rain and fog. I hope we'll get some winter weather, as well. Hope you are all fine, Viola

  10. I love them. I made something close to this last year minus the brilliant bind-off of course. I put some needle felting on one pair and a crochet flower on another, but I think that was too busy, the buttons are perfect.

  11. Love the wrist-warmers with the posh elastic bind-off. I always find my thumbs get cold though and need to find a pattern with a thumb-warmer!

  12. Great idea to wear mitts while typing... and the crochet bind off??? Someone finally came up with directions! I taught myself to knit from a book when I was but a wee child, and I couldn't figure out the two-needle bind off, so I used a crochet hook and came up with something quite similar to yours. What's that they say about necessity being the mother of invention? That's the only way I could bind off for year and years and years! Then I finally taught myself to knit a bind-off from a magazine a few years ago when I made my first pair of socks.

    Love the button embellishment idea! Really cheers the fiber colors!


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