Saturday, January 08, 2011

Hand Socks!

My brother and his wife gave me this lovely sock yarn for my birthday (either 10 months late or 2 months early, depending on how you look at it). It's been waiting patiently for me to turn it into something, but I hadn't found the right pattern for it.

Add to that cold winter walks from the subway to the office and the need for something more than the fingerless mitts I knit while driving across the U.S. from Portland, Ore. to Brewer, Me. in October. But there weren't any free patterns online that were striking my fancy.

I slipped a hand-knit sock over my right hand and realized the standard number of stitches I use for all my socks was also perfect for my hand. And so was born the hand-sock.

This pattern is totally super for using sock yarn you want to show off in a more visible place than your feet, and there aren't any increases to stretch out the stripes (which is more important if you're using a more uniformly-striped yarn). You get a nice tube that lets the yarn flow the way the sock-gods intended. It's highly customizable, so you can add or take away stitches and rows to make it fit just right.

I'd love to see what yarn you save from being trampled on and hidden, so send me your pictures! (And of course I'll keep an eye on the Ravelry page.)

Hand Socks (They're mittens!)

Yarn: Sport weight yarn (about 100 grams total)
(Fingering weight modification is at the bottom. It only changes how you work the thumb.)
Needles: US1 (2.25 mm)
Gauge: Not super important; this pattern assumes you've either knit yourself socks before and kind of know how many stitches you should use, or you have pretty average adult female hands.

Twisted rib: [k2tbl, p2] over a multiple of 4 stitches

CO 60 sts.

Cuff: Work 18-20 rounds of twisted rib.

Hand: Knit around till stitches reach space where the thumb meets the hand. (A couple of extra rows are better than too few. You want all the ribbing to be on the wrist and not up on the hand.)

Thumb round: k5; break yarn, leaving a tail a few inches long (comfortable for weaving in later); k9 (or more as necessary; this will be about half the thumb stitches) with scrap yarn; finish knitting around with mitten yarn.

The red yarn is the scrap yarn holding the stitches for the thumb.
The tails are inside the mitten for now.

Fingers: Continue knitting around till mitten is just shy of tallest finger. Begin decreases:
Round 1: [k3, k2tog] around (48 sts)
Round 2-3: knit
Round 4: [k2, k2tog] around
Round 5-6: knit
Round 7: [k1, k2tog] around
Round 8-9: knit
Round 10: k2tog around
Round 11: knit
Break yarn and thread through stitches. Finish off.

If you've never done this before, I assure you: there's nothing to be afraid of.
People do crazier things, like cutting the stitches, and even that isn't so bad.

Thumb: Remove scrap yarn, picking up the live stitches. There will be one less stitch on the top than the bottom. Pick up 2 stitches on the left side; knit across top. Pick up 1 stitch on the right side; knit across bottom. Total 20 stitches. Knit until stitches reach top of thumb, then begin decreases:
Round 1: [k2, k2tog] around (15 sts)
Round 2: knit
Round 3: [k1, k2tog] around (10 sts)
Round 4: knit
Round 5: k2tog around (5 sts)
Round 6: knit
Break yarn and thread through stitches. Finish off and weave in all ends.

Now do all of that one more time for the second mitten. They're designed so you don't have to worry about left hands and right hands, because really, who needs that?

Fingering Weight Modification: Use US2 needles with sock-weight (fingering) yarn. Follow the rest of the pattern as written. For the thumb, still knit 9 or 10 stitches on scrap yarn. When it's time to knit the thumb, pick up enough stitches on the side so you have 22 total thumb stitches. Knit till the thumb is long enough. K2tog around (11 stitches remain.) Knit one round. K2tog around, ending with a K1. Break yarn and thread through stitches.

No comments: