The helpful and very talented Amber Ellison whipped up the pattern after several viewings of The Holiday. You know, the chick-flick rom-com that has Cameron Diaz dancing around an idealised English country cottage with a glass of red in her hand, wearing a pale cream version? Yes, that’s the one.
Some of us started a Ravelry knit-along last winter, and it’s still the best place to seek support if you get stuck, or want to make changes to the pattern. This year, Suzanne Glittrgirl of GlittyKnittyKitty made one. It’s grey, snuggly and superb, and she blogged it here.
There was a day when we decided between us, that every good handmade jacket deserves an equally good pair of matching mittens and made a tryst to create them for this. Mine are small, short, but then my Fireside sleeves are long. They look very cute, and have been attracting lots of comments when worn together, these chilly November mornings.
Like lots of our patterns, it’s a recipe. You can do a different cable design, do it without cables, do it much longer at the wrist, or at the fingers. You could make a proper thumb, you could close the tops and make full mittens. All these things are possible with imagination and creativity. You can do it.
You will need:
1. The last of your Fireside yarn. One ball is fine. If you haven’t yet made a Fireside, obtain extra so you have enough.
2. Some DPNs OR two smaller or one large circular needle size 4.5mm
3. A blunt bodkin for sewing in the ends.
4. Two small buttons (not essential)
5. Some chutzpah (extremely desirable)
Here’s what I did.
Using the last ball of this gorgeous Rowan DK from making my Fireside, and a size smaller needles, cast on 40 stitches and join to continue in the round. If you have very big hands you might need more stitches. If you have very small hands you might need fewer. We’re presuming all along here that you’ve made a Fireside, so you will know where you’re at with your tension and by now have a pretty good idea how many stitches it will take to get around your wrist.
40 is a good place to start.
You need 16 sts for the Fireside’s sleeve cable pattern, and however many more you need to get around your wrist. I made them quite snug so they will tuck under the sleeve of my Fireside.
So, 16 sts for the cable + (10 purl + 2k sts) x 2 = 40 altogether
You could do it any other way that looks good to you. More rib gives a snugger fit, and more reverse stocking stitch matches better with the jacket. Your call.
Reverse stocking stitch when working in the round is all purls.
First row = 10 sts purl, 2 knit
Then start on the chart from the centre cable in the Sleeve Pattern from Amber Ellison’s Fireside. (or any other cable you like)
2 knit, 10 sts purl to end.
Continue for approx 3”. If you want to do these to be longer in the wrist and therefore warmer, you might go for as long as you like here. If you want to wear them with other jackets that might be a good idea.Elbow length could look rather elegant, but might not fit inside the sleeve of your Fireside. Again, your call.
When reaching the wider part of the hand, increase by KFB (knit into the front and back, making one stitch into two) in the last stitch in the part of the cable where the two end ropes cross, and do it again in the first stitch immediately following the cable cross. That would make 42 sts.
Continue for about 0.5” and then increase again if you need to, by KFB somewhere in the reverse stocking stitch part of the cable where it won’t show. Keep going.
Try them on, and when reaching the right place for the thumb separation, approx 1.5″ from your first increase row, choose a sensible place in the design to remove your thumb stitches, and put 8 sts on a piece of scrap yarn. Continue knitting the rest of the stitches around in a tube for about another inch or more.
You could start some 1×1 rib on the palm at this point to add some elastication:
Cast off the top of the mitten in pattern, when it’s long enough.
Pick up the 8 thumb sts from the scrap yarn and make two additional sts from the body of the mitten and knit one row (or more) and then cast off.
Sew in any loose ends and enjoy!
Put a button loop in the bottom, and a discreet button on the inside sleeve of your Freside so you can slip them off without losing hold of them. You might not need to do this, because there can’t be many reasons you’d have to take them off, can there?