Sunday, June 27, 2010

How to knit a basic French bath mitt & how there's still beauty in imperfection!!!

Hi everyone,  I hope you all are enjoying your Sunday.  It's been so busy the last couple days that I haven't been able to post my photos of my knitting project - the French bath mitts.  I've got the basic pattern here, which I'll share with you.  I wasn't able to get photos showing how to cast on since I was doing this on my own.  The next project, I'll have my dad help me with that :) :)  Before we get started, I thought I'd share with you a photo of the very FIRST thing I ever learned how to knit...a pair of Norwegian two-color mittens. I learned how to knit while I lived in Bergen, let me preface this by saying, it took me forever to learn how to cast on stitiches properly....but once I learned that, then everything else was easy...and this is what I joke!!! it's like counted cross-stitch...but three-dimensional!!! Oh, looks like they need some repairs...

Okay...on to the good to make a French bath mitt. I want to say up front that this project was knit in a hurry...and for that I'm sorry.  I'll be more detailed in my next  project. I did include some links to cover some of the basics that I didn't cover here...just in case you had questions.  This is just a simple, simple pattern..and you can do any style of knitting pattern you want to...the important thing is that the dimensions are right...OR customize them to fit your hand...whatever you prefer. It's a really easy pattern to manipulate.  I first saw something like this in Piecework magazine and decided to make some. Once I realized how easy the pattern is, I just made ultra simple ones, that were beautiful and functional...but also easy on the wallet in terms of cost of materials!!!  These are great for washing your body, face, or dishes for that matter...just make sure you clean them in between uses :) :) Or as a gift, include a nice bar of soap inside :) :) :)

What I used to begin this project:
*Set of 5 double pointed needles - Size 4.5 mm (USA 7)
*Cotton yarn..a small skein is enough to make one mitt, at least..anything left I'd save for use in another project and add a stripe of color somewhere.

Finished size should be 5"in wide x 7"in high..or whatever size fits your hand best. This is a standard size that will fit most hands. NOTE...5" wide when layed out flat is actually 10"inches knit in the round..remember that for later..

Now I'm going out from the fact that everyone knows how to knit basic knit and if I mention something you don't know how to do, let me know..and I'll try and get some photos next illustrate.

Always knit a test swatch FIRST to verify gauge and guarantee correct finished project size.  The width is the most important for this project.  You don't those mitts too wide or too tight.  The height...well, you just keep knitting until you reach the desired height..but the width is the most important here.  The pattern is simple and extra rows can be added to reach correct height...but the width can't be changed once the project is knit up.

I knit a test swatch of 20 stitches wide by 24 rows.  When I measured it, I counted exactly 5 knit stitches per inch...

5 stitches/inch x 10 in. total = 50 stitches to cast on.
NOTE: I did lower it by 2 stitches to that I would have an even number of stitiches on each needle. That was just my personal choice.  Here I will be casting on 48 stitches...for a nice YouTube video tutorial on how to cast on stitches using one needle, click hereYou can check out the website listed at the end of the video. It's actually pretty good...and I love the video makes everything so easy to understand!!!

Divide the stitches evenly among four...yes, I said FOUR double pointed needles.  This is very common in Europe...and I actually prefer using four needles and knitting in with a fifth...It's a more even rounded shape...and there is much less stress at the pressure points/corners of your project :) :) :)

Before you start knitting in the round, make sure the stitiches are pointing in the same you don't end up knittnig a mobius :) :) :)

Add a row marker at the beginning of the first row, so you can keep track of where the beginning of the row is.  Since I'm using double-pointed needles, I placed the row marker one stitch in from the beginning, so it won't fall off.  As you're knitting...just transfer the marker from the left needle to the right needle...and knit as usual :) :) I also use  a row counter to keep track of how many rows I've actually knit.  I will actually take notes on each project and write them down, included number of rows if I make these again, and I don't knit a test swatch..I can refer to a previous project!!!

Here you see my row marker with the number three on it. What that means for that I've already knit 2 rows and I'm about to begin row three. You can use whatever method is easiest for you, for counting...just make sure you keep track of the length...!!!

Join your knitting together...and begin knitting in the round, until the piece measures 7 inches from the bottom. If you are not sure how to join your knitting in the round using double-pointed needles click here.

As I was going through my knitting bag...I found a real handy tool that combines a row marker AND row counter all in one. This is nice...because I always lose my row counters...and these, I never I switched out the old row marker...for this one :) :)

Once the mitts have reached the desired length... make sure half the stitched are placed on one needle and the other half on another pictured below...cast off and weave in the ends...Here's a here. Now this is for a sweater, but the principle is the same..and will work for this project, too.  Here's another fun video I found on how to weave in the yarn ends once your done knitting. She demonstrates this on a sweater, but you can use this technique on the bath mitts, too. Click here for the video.

This is what the finished project looks like. It's very simple and knits up within a few hours.  Now, I was knitting this while watching a movie last night...and the movie must have been really good because I forgot to stop knitting after 48 rows...but I kept on knitting until Row my project ended up being 8 inches in height..and 5.25 inches in width...So my project didn't come out exactly right...and that happens from time to time. that's okay.... I'm a bit of a rebel knitter anyway...and I still find beauty in this, even though I know where all the mistakes are...but I'll never show them to you :) :) 

Now this was a project done in quite a hurry.  I'm going to make another project and take much more time with it, so you really have more of an idea of how I do things...and also I'm not normally this careless in my knitting :) :) :)  I've also knit quite a few hats, mittens and socks..and they're fun and easy to do as well!!!

Here are some more lost/forgotten counted cross-stitch projects and one knitting project that I dug up while I was searching out my knitting needles. I'm telling you...I really do have all sorts of goodies stashed away!!!!

The words on the cross-stitch hoop says "She worketh willingly with her hands.."

Well that's it from Oregon today...I'll make sure to have more detailed photos etc for the next knitting project.  Thanks for stopping by. I love it when  you leave comments!!! Love and hugs, Heather :) :) :)


Miss Antoinette K. said...

Oh, your cross stitching is beautiful!!!!! I really liked the first one! WOW, that is too technical for me being a crocheting person I have not had the knack for knitting at all!


Miss Antoinette

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

HI Miss Antoinette,

thank you!!! You know knitting isn't that hard..but then again, I'm a much better knitter than crocheter :) :) It's like that with a lot of people I meet who knit or crochet...One is heavily favored over the other :) :) I am teaching myself crochet and I've made a couple doilies!!! I love them...they're hard..BUT it's vintage..and if I want the good stuff, I'll have to make it myself :) :) :)...

Those mittens are much easier to knit then they look!!! How are things with your family? Hope everything is going well!!! Much love and hugs, Miss Heather :) :) :)

Teresa said...

Especially love the bottom two cross-stitch pieces (but then again, I'm a stitcher/quilter). You need to frame them, Heather! Have a great day. Teresa in Atlanta

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Hi Teresa :) :)
Thanks for stopping by to pay me a visit :) :) Yeah, I would love to frame all my cross-stitch pieces. I just don't have the money to do that anytime soon. It's a bit expensive...and being unemployed, it's just not something I can afford at the moment. However, I do plan on doing that as soon as I have money for that :) :) :) I have a lovely counted cross-stitch that a friend made/frame for me. It was a total surprise. She made it over the summer and was thinking of someone to give it to. She thought of me :) :) What a neat gift!!!
Have a great week, Teresa!!! How's the powdered laundry soap working for you?
Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

aimee said...

LOVE those beautiful Nordic mittens! So pretty!!You are quite talented:)

Wanted to say that I've been enjoying your photo scripture posts; Psalms 121 is my favorite chapter in the Bible and your other choices are awesome too!

Thought of you this week as I was taking loads of photos of beautiful Victorian homes:)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Hi Aimee...Thanks for the compliment on the mittens. I do enjoy knitting those quite a bit. ..haven't made any in awhile. I still have my Norwegian patterns that I bought while I was in Norway. They're really nice!!! Someday I'll blog about how I learned to's a funny story..funny to me anyway :) :) ..and I have what I call the perfect three knitting books to buy if you are going to teach yourself knitting in Norway!! :) :)

I'm glad you like those Scripture pictures. They're fun to make and more fun to share!!! It does my heart good to hear that you like them. Others do too :) :)

OH oh post some pretty Victorian house pics when you have a chance :) :) :) After watching that special on Galveston I can see why people choose to live there in spite of the weather risks. !!! but Victorian homes are just gorgeous. There's a book on Victorian homes of the West Coast. There's some real interesting ones..and one that's in CA looks very similar to one built in OR...It hink they might have been the same architect plans.. Anyway, you should try researching that..there might be some hidden gems not far from you :) :) Post pics please :) :) Love and hugs, Heather :)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Hi Aimee...I'm such a silly...I was thinking of someone else visiting Galveston,'s really late and I should be getting some sleep. There are some great old Victorian charmers out there...but no matter where you are...those Victorian homes are super beautiful. There's somethng about those houese that I love..They tend to have lots of nooks and crannies..and house with nooks and crannies..well, that's just cool!!! Hugs, Heather :)

aimee said...

It is quite all right--you should see what happens when I am posting or making comments late at night (or in the early morning)--LOL!!!
I will be posting some pics soon though of the Victorian homes I saw and I hope that you will share a link to your friend--when she posts pics of historic homes in Galveston:)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Hi Aimee,
Yeah, I can hardly wait for pics!!! I love Victorian homes and homes up through teh 1930s...but my favoritse are Victorian up through about 1920 or so...lots of character, plenty of nooks and crannies, ..:) :) :) I don't know if I'll ever live in a home like that ever...but if I was ever able to build my own home, I'd build it Victorian style :) :) :) Or if you ever watched any of the Anne of Green Gables movies or saw the tv series Road to Avonlea...those homes I LOVED!!!! Love and hugs, Heather :)