Oh, I’m just smitten with a mitten! And how impossibly cute are these little red fellas?

Humans have used mittens for millennia: gloves found at the Egyptian Pyramids resemble mittens but the earliest properly identifiable mittens date around 1000AD in Latvia where mittens continue to be part of the national costume.

Crocheted mittens went viral this year when US senator Bernie Sanders wore a splendid crocheted pair to the Biden inauguration:

…become the inspiration for many a social media meme:

…and some ridiculously cute amigurumi projects, including this one by Tobey King of Tobey Time Crochet that sold for $20,300 on eBay! (The proceeds went to Sander’s favourite charity Meals on Wheels):


Start with a magic ring:

Magic Ring

When closing the magic ring, don’t pull on the yarn tail too sharply or you’ll break it. Pull it gently to close.

The mittens are worked in continuous rounds so place a stitch marker in the 1st stitch of each round, moving it up as you begin the next round and use a piece of paper (or a row counter app) to keep your place.

Follow the pattern carefully, looking out for the repeating rounds (4 to 10) and for the decrease stitches (dc2tog) that will shape the hand section of the mitten and which begin in round 11

 

DECREASE STITCHES (dc2tog):

1 Insert hook into first stitch

2 Yarn over and draw through the loop

3 Do not complete the stitch as normal

4 Instead, insert the hook into the next stitch

5 Yarn over and draw through the loop

6 There should now be 3 loops on your hook.

7 Yarn over and draw through all three loops on your hook

8 Your two stiches will now be joined into one at the top

Finish off the hand section of the mitten after round 13.

The thumb is a tiny piece of amigurumi that you may find a little fiddly. Flip the piece after round two so that the yarn tail can be poked inside and so that you create a tiny acorn cup shape. As you work, press the piece between your fingers to flatten it and have the next stitch to be worked facing you. Work that stitch – taking care not to go through the back too – turn and press the piece flat again. Here’s a little tutorial that shows you this technique:

Crocheting skinny parts!

 

It also helps greatly if you work in good light. Not only will the stiches be harder to see in poor light, your eyes will struggle to focus and you’re just going to end up frustrated. Some of you may have fancy-pants crafting lamps but a good desk lamp is just fine. My old lady eyesight also thanks me when I work over a surface that contrasts in colour to the yarn I’m working with.

At the end of round 7, pick up the hand section you already made and insert the hook into one of the round 13 stitches. Work dcs around this hand section and then around the 8dcs of the thumb, joining them into one.

Subsequent rounds will form the mitten cuff.

Make two. Pop them on your cat.

Mittens for kittens: I was powerless to resist.