Here are a few basic cuff options that work well for either mittens or gloves. The ribbed cuff is the most common, probably because the elasticity of the stitch pattern helps keep the mitten on the hand. For this master pattern, you can work the ribbed cuff in single (lxl) rib, or, if your stitch count is divisible by four, in double (2x2) rib. You can double the cuff length if you prefer to fold it over for added warmth or a different look.
Here are some playful cuff treatments. The loop stitch cuff requires a little extra yarn, but the result is worth it. You can also work your cuff in a novelty yarn like the one shown here for added texture and color. Just be sure to choose a novelty yarn that is warm and not itchy to the sensitive skin on the underside of the wrist.
There are a few different ways to work a thumb. Some mitten patterns involve increasing along one side to form a gusset. The master pattern in this chapter uses a thumb that requires no added shaping to the body and lies flat when the mitten or glove is off the hand. To work this thumb, you slip a thumb's width worth of stitches onto a holder and cast on the same number of stitches in their place—much as you work a buttonhole— and continue knitting until the rest of the mitten or glove is finished. Then you slip the stitches from the holder back to the needle, pick up the same number of stitches plus a couple more around the edge of the thumb-hole, and knit the thumb in the round to the desired length. Working the body of a mitten or glove in a repeating stitch or color pattern is easier when this type of thumb is used. You can also have a little fun and knit this type of thumb in an accent color.
After you have worked the cuff and knit the body of the mitten to the desired length, you can shape the tip as either a rounded tip or a pointed tip. The rounded tip is achieved by working a short series of decrease rounds and then pulling the cut tail through the last remaining stitches, cinching it tight, and fastening it off.
You can use this master pattern to knit mittens and gloves for the whole family, from toddler to adult men's. Choose from several different cuff treatments or create your own. Instructions for rounded-tip mittens, pointed-tip mittens, and basic gloves are presented together: Simply follow the instructions for the style of your choice.
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