These are Susie Rogers Reading Mitts. Yep, the pattern is old enough that they aren’t texting mitts. They’re reading mitts. This is the old Susie’s Reading Mitts from Dancing Ewe Yarns (now closed) updated by the original designer, Susie Rogers. You can work from the English directions. Or the French directions. Or the Polish or Korean directions. I picked English since my Korean is a little rusty. It’s a great little free pattern with an international pedigree. Thousands of Ravelers around the world have knit these mitts and taken the time to post their knits to a Ravelry project page.
My mitts have a bit of history. They are knit from String Theory Merino DK in the Rose Madder colorway. Wonderful yarn.
In 2014 I knit myself a hat. Jo Klim’s Dawnlight Slouchy Hat. It was beautiful. Was is the operative word. Somehow it didn’t work well on my head and I wasn’t wearing it much. But I really liked that yarn. So eight years later, I unraveled the hat, steamed the yarn while it was on my swift, and started over.
I knit my mitts slightly under gauge, using size 4 US needles. Instead of picking up one stitch at the beginning of the thumb, I picked up two. In fact, I picked up two stitches together and knit them as one and another two and knit them as one. Then on the next row I knit those two stitches together. That worked well to pretty much eliminate those pesky holes at the base of the thumb. My size called for 13 stitches in the thumb gusset. I knit until I had 15 stitches. The result is an excellent-fitting mitt that’s a tad long (5.5 inches, as the pattern directs) to the start of the thumb gusset.
I really like these mitts. I know I’ll wear them often, though probably not while reading.
Next up is another incredible freebie mitt: Gansey Wristers by Kalliopi Aronis. I knit mine in yarn that’s been in my stash since 2017: the discontinued Kollage Yarns fingering weight Sock-a-licious. My “was” theme continues. Sock-a-licious was 70% merino, 20% nylon, and 10% silk. I wanted something with excellent stitch definition for this pattern and Sock-a-licious fit the bill.
These mitts are a foray into the slow knit movement. It was fun. I used US needle sizes 1 and 1.5. I wanted the mitt to cover more of the hand so after round 116 I added 16 rounds of knit 2 rounds purl 2 rounds. And for a longer thumb, I knit 10 rounds (rather than 6) before starting the ribbing. The top of the thumb, elongated this way, came out a tad wide because there are no decreases in the thumb. If I knit these again I might decrease a few stitches about half way through the added thumb rounds. But the mitts are still a great fit.
These next mitts you’ve seen before: Alicia Plummer’s rather barrel-shaped Raw Honey mitts. This time I used a new-to-me yarn: Berroco Lanas. Berroco says it’s a “special blend of South America wool.” It’s good worsted weight yarn. I found it at a wonderful price point at Fillory Yarn a few months back.
Raw Honey is a roomy fit on most hands. But that’s OK by me. The chevron pattern is an easy knit that looks complex but knits easy.
Here’s another recent version of Raw Honey.
For this pair I used the now-discontinued Sugar Bush Yarns Bold. Wear this pair while you’re directing traffic. Yep, “Clover” was that bright of a shade.
For the next two pair of mitts I gave myself a yarn chicken challenge. Would I or would I not have enough yarn in one skein of Malabrigo Rios to knit two pair of fingerless mitts. And the answer is…”Yes.”
First is another in a long stream, actually 12, of Fetching(s) I’ve knit. At 21,274 project pages on Ravelry, Fetching is the most-knit pair of fingerless mitts on the web. Inquiring minds want to know what’s the second most-knit pair? It’s Susie Rogers Reading Mitts. Fetching is a free pattern published on Knitty and designed by Cheryl Niamath. I made zero modifications to the pattern. It used up 46 grams of yarn (96.6 yards) of my 100 gram skein of Rios.
Jessica Ayr’s Narragansett Fingerless Mitts was even a more dainty yardage gobbler than Fetching. All it needed was 44 grams (92.4 yards).
Narragansett mitts use what I think of as “cheater” brioche. I am not casting aspersions on brioche or trying to elevate it by dubbing it a cheater stitch. However, despite buying Nancy Marchant’s first book and her Craftsy class and taking an in-person brioche class from Olga-Buraya-Kefelian, and even though these designers are excellent teachers, I haven’t been able to learn brioche well enough to fix mistakes or use two colors of yarn. True Confessions time.
But I can manage this mitt’s knit-in-the-row-below kind of brioche. It’s still very difficult to fix mistakes. But the stitch is easy enough that I can keep my head together and power through it. As with all brioche, it’s the texture of the stitch that commands the knitter’s and wearer’s attention. Ayrs’s pattern is an excellent and fun knit. Give it a try. If you are brioche-impaired like me, tell yourself that it’s not real brioche.
100 grams of yarn, two pair of mitts. I even have 17 yards left for my Rios oddments bag.