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Hedgerow Mitts

By Amy Ripton

the Hedgerow Mitts

arrow Download a printer-friendly PDF of the pattern
Photos by Chip York

Clara's Note
Colorful hand-dyed yarns are fabulous to look at on the skein, but sometimes can be a little tricky to knit. The more striking the color combinations, the more they tend to obscure any stitch patterning you wanted to use. Lace, ribbing, openwork, it all gets hidden behind the swirling flashes of color.

A few hand-dyers have been experimenting with more subtle colorways involving one main hue. By sticking to this single tone and playing with the depth and saturation of colors that make up that tone, the hand-dyer manages to create a skein that is theoretically one color but, in fact, is a living assembly of highlights, shadows, contrasts, and subtleties.

Semisolids let you do more—lace, cables, ribbings, and stunning Fair Isle and intarsia—while still giving you the satisfaction of working with an ever-changing yarn.

These mitts use two different weights of succulent Merino-based hand-dyed sock yarns from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, a favorite at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, and our very own Knitter's Review Retreat.

Other semisolid sock yarn possibilities for these mitts include Alchemy Juniper, String Theory, Dream in Color, Sundara Yarn, Hand Jive Nature's Palette, Lorna's Laces, Socks That Rock, Shibuiknits Sock, and Koigu Premium Merino.

I hope you enjoy Amy's pattern, which was inspired by Jane's Hedgerow Socks. Have fun experimenting with different yarns to see how they behave, and find your favorite.

Pattern Introduction

the men's Hedgerows Mitts
When I saw my friend Jane's Hedgerow Socks, I knew I'd knit them. I finished my first pair using a beautiful, subtly variegated yarn from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and knew I'd knit them again. And when I repeatedly slipped a partially knit Hedgerow sock over my hand to show curious friends how attractive and stretchy the stitch pattern was, I knew mitts were in my future.

I wanted to play with the strong verticality of the stitch pattern and use it to wrap the hand elegantly while maintaining Hedgerow's handsome simplicity. I also wanted to design mitts that would wear like iron and truly warm the hands.

Finally, I wanted the finished pattern to transition easily from size to size and gender to gender without fuss. Simply by changing yarn weight, the size of these mitts changes to accommodate both a woman's and man's medium to large hand.

Both sizes are designed to be dense and warm while also being rugged and comfortable. I knit the women's pair using Spirit Trail Alexandra in a colorway that echos river water in wintertime, and I knit the men's pair in Spirit Trail's luxurious cashmere-blend Paivatar in Myst.

I knew I'd hit my mark when I took the mitts to be photographed by my friend Chip York, and both the rugged Chip and his elegant wife Anna Marie loved these Hedgerows for hands.

Skill Level
Advanced beginner.

Finished Size
Information in red relates to the women’s size; information in blue relates to the men’s size; information in black relates to both sizes.
Fits Women’s Medium to Large (Men’s Medium to Large), about 7½”/19cm (9”/23cm) hand circumference and 10½”/26.5cm (9½”/24cm) long. Because the stitch pattern is so stretchy and flexible, these mitts can be easily made larger or smaller by going up or down a needle size.

The difference between the men’s size and the women’s size is accomplished by using a thicker yarn and working at a larger gauge.

Materials
Yarn
For women's size (shown at the very top of this page): About 200 yards (180 m) of fingering weight sock yarn. I used half a skein of Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra (hand-dyed 100% superwash Merino wool, 382 yds [349 m] per skein).

For men's size (shown in the Pattern Introduction): About 250 yards (229 m) of sport-weight sock yarn. I used a skein of Spirit Trail Fiberworks Paivatar (hand-dyed 80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon, 250 yds [229m] per skein).

A note about yarns: This pattern will work well with any hand-dyed yarn that has a subtle color scheme that's either semisolid or only discretely contrasting. Yarns that have been dyed a more dramatic combination of colors may obscure the stitch motif.

Needle - Set of 5 double-pointed needles, US 1 (2.5mm) or size needled to obtain gauge.

Notions - A stitch marker to mark the beginning of round (optional), tapestry needle.

Gauge
For women's size: 32 stitches = 4 inches/10cm in stockinette stitch.
For men's size: 28 stitches = 4 inches/10cm in stockinette stitch.

Abbreviations
K knit
K2tog knit the next 2 stitches together
Kfb knit in the front and the back of the next stitch
P purl

Ribbed Stitch Pattern (multiple of 6 stitches)
Rounds 1 and 2: *K2, p1, k1, p2, repeat from * to end of round.
Rounds 3 and 4: *K1, p1, k2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Pattern
Loosely cast on 60 stitches. Divide the stitches evenly on four double pointed needles. Join into a round, being careful not to twist the cast on row. Mark the beginning of your round with your stitch marker.

Cuff
Round 1: * K4, p2, repeat from * to end of round. Repeat this round for 1"/2.5cm.

Arm
Begin the Ribbed Stitch Pattern. Work until the piece measures 4½"/11.5cm (3½"/9cm), or until the mitt is the desired length from the cuff along the arm to the base of the hand.

Hand
Next round: * Work 28 stitches in pattern, p1, kfb, repeat from * once more – 62 stitches.

You’ve just increased one stitch between the purl stitches on either side of the hand. Continue increasing between the purls in this manner for the next five rounds, incorporating new stitches into the pattern, adding one pattern repeat on each side of the mitt – 72 stitches.

Work even in pattern for 1"/2.5cm.

Thumb Gusset
Next round: Work 28 stitches in pattern, p1, kfb, work 5 sts in pattern, p1, kfb, work in pattern to end of row. You've just increased one stitch between the purls on either side of the thumb. Continue increasing between the purls in this manner for five more rounds — 84 stitches.

Work even in pattern for 2"/5cm.

Next round: Work 29 stitches in pattern, move the next 18 stitches to a stitch holder or waste yarn for thumb, cast on 6 stitches to bridge the gap, work in pattern to end of round – 72 stitches.

Top of Mitt
Work even in pattern for 1"/2.5cm.
Next round: Work 31 stitches in pattern, k2tog, work 36 stitches in pattern, k2tog, work in pattern to the end of the round – 70 stitches. You are decreasing away the additional pattern repeats on each side of the hand. Continue decreasing in this manner for five more rounds – 60 stitches.
Work 2 rounds even in pattern.
Next round: *K4, p2, repeat from * to end of round.
Work in ribbing as established for ½"/1.5cm.
Next round: Work 26 stitches in ribbing as established, k2tog, work 28 stitches in ribbing as established, k2tog, p2 – 58 stitches.
Next round: Work 25 stitches in ribbing as established, k2tog, work 27 stitches in ribbing as established, k2tog, p2 – 56 stitches.
Work in ribbing as established for ½"/1.5cm.
Bind off loosely.

Thumb
Replace 18 held stitches onto needles, distributing as evenly as possible. Join yarn and work in k4 p2 ribbing. Pick up and knit 8 stitches across cast on edge above thumb – 24 stitches.
Work in k4 p2 ribbing for 1"/2.5cm.
Bind off loosely. Weave in ends and enjoy!

About the Designer
Amy Ripton is an editor, writer, and web content specialist with a background in Celtic and Appalachian Studies and far too much on her plate. She can be found around the DC area knitting, contra-dancing, singing, story-telling, baking, laughing, reading, sewing, camping, or blogging at crazylanea.com and booksforears.com. Except when she can’t be found at all.

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