Kevin's Story

Kevin was a smart funny kid with ideas. And one day he wanted me to make him a giant mitten so little by little over years I knitted him a giant mitten. Kevin grew up to be a fine young man helpful and considerate of others. He volunteered in helping the homeless and helping troubled teens. This he did quietly and even his family knew little if anything about it until after his death in the back seat of a car that had a head on collision with a van when he was 25 years old.

He was a lot more too. He wrote poetry, wanted to work in the music industry after finding out he didn’t have what it took to have his own band. He loved life and his friends.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hi Folks,

I have to eat my words. There was box in the mailbox waiting for me from a family friend for Kevin's Mittens with seven pair inside.

Sorry I spouted off the other day. I should have known that help was coming.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and mittens too.

Kevin's Mom

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Message from Kevin's Mom 12-12-09:

Hi Folks,

Once I was able to get a new internet server and could get back onto the web after months of absence, the first thing I did was check to see if I had any messages or donations of mittens to post.

It was nice to see that this site has gotten 50 to over 100 hits a week for some time now. But not one of you have told me of your mittens for those in need.

I haven't even gotten a request for mittens from those that may need them.

My email box was nothing but web traffic reports and spam. I'm very glad that you find my free mitten pattern worth your time and for those of you who needed the pattern to warm your families hands I'm glad share it with you.

Yes, there was donations from others and mittens made by me in the time I was absent here. I was hoping that others out there were looking for a way to help people and that my son could be remembered in this way.

So take the free mitten pattern I worked so hard on and make the mittens you need. But please help someone out in one way or another and tell me you did it in Kevin's name. And be happy that you are not missing someone enough to need to do what I have here.

And if you are missing a loved one comment on that also when you tell me about your donation. Others just might want to hear about it too. I know I would.

Thank you for visiting, Kevin's Mom

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Still Knitting Mittens

Hi Folks,

Kevin's sister got married this summer and I didn't realize just how much time it would be taking away from all parts of my daily life. I need to up date the contributions and mitten knitting and this will take a bit of time as I go through the emails and letters. I'd like to thank all of you for waiting patently. And I hope that the lack of questions about the mitten pattern means that it is sound.

Feel free to comment and or email me with any questions, links to other free mitten patterns (knit or crochet) you think others people would like to use, or just comments about the mittens you are making.

Kevin's Mom

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kevin's Mittens - Charity Mitten Pattern

By Kevin’s Mom

(Feel free to use this Mitten Pattern free of charge. But please do not reprint it as your own pattern or for any money. I took the time to make it for charity work and would not like to find that my kindness was abused.)

This is a simple plain serviceable tightly knitted, either hand mitten pattern. It may look complicated but this pattern is for all sizes, tot to man's extra large. (I had it color coded to make it easier but the reformating of the blog changed it to black.)

Size 3.00, 3.25 or 3.50 double pointed or #3 or #4 US Needles set of four or five whichever you need to obtain the gage of 30 rows, 23 stitches in wool in a four inch or 10 cm test patch of stockinet stitch in or 22 rows, 28 stitches synthetic this means you will need to go two sizes smaller if you are using synthetic yarn or you can use a #3 sport/baby weight synthetic yarn and use the wool pattern gage.

I used #4 Worsted weight yarn of any color or kind, but wool works best because it stays warm when wet. I could have made the pattern in a looser stitch to accommodate the synthetic but since mittens should be in a fairly tight stitch already that didn’t fix the problem. I would usually just say that when using Synthetic yarns you should move to a smaller needle because synthetics tend to be thicker then wools or other yarns this didn’t work because with the thicker yarn it was approaching the limit of how small you could go in needle size. So either use a smaller size yarn like #3 Sport or baby weight or just move two sizes smaller in the pattern to made the right size mittens.

You’ll need 2 or more Split ring type stitch markers or yarn scraps of a different color so your markers don’t get lost off the end of the double pointed needles.

Stitch holder or waste yarn to hold stitches

Yarn needle and/or crochet hook of a size to catch yarn without pulling it apart but still get through the stitches easily I used ‘0‘ US or 2mm.

Mitten Sizes: (K) toddler/ (J) toddler large/ (I) small child/ (H) child/ (G) large child/ (F) teen/ (E) women/ (D) women large/ ( C) men/ (B) men large/ (A) men extra large.

(N) Infant/ (M) baby/ (L) toddler, no thumb, mitten pattern to follow.

Cast On loosely 26/ 26/ 28/ 30/ 32/ 34/ 36/ 38/ 39/ 42/ 45 stitches on three or four needles in groups of three’s to start with.

Rib Cuff standard (Knit 2, purl 1) repeat to end of round. Any extra stitches at the end of round - If one Purl, if two Knit 1, Purl 1.
For 9/ 9/ 11/ 13/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/ 19/ 21/ 23 rounds.

Next Round - Knit row adding a Make1 stitch*, 2/ 2/ 2/ 3/ 3/ 3/ 4/ 4/ 4/ 5/ 6 times, evenly around row.

*(There are two methods of doing a Make 1 Stitch. Some people use the yarn between two stitches method but this can leave a small hole. I use the second method on my mittens. In this method you use the stitch in the row below. You just catch the top of the loop of the stitch below with your right needle and place it on the left needle stitching it as you would any other stitch in the pattern with no holes. This also has the added benefit of being able to do it on either side of the stitch as needed. Only remember that when you make it after the stitch not to use the stitch you just used but the one below.)

Knit 2/ 3/ 3/ 4/ 4/ 5/ 5/ 5/ 6/ 6/ 6 rounds.

Increase Round: Place Marker, K1, Make 1 in left side of lower row first stitch, Make 1 in right side of lower row next stitch, K second stitch as usual, Place second Marker, K rest of round. Or - Mk(K1, M1, M1, K1)Mk, K to end.

Knit 2 rounds moving Markers up work as you go to mark first stitch.

Inc. Round: Inc. with a Make1 just like last Inc, round in first stitch after the first marker and in front of the stitch just before second marker, knitting all stitches in between. Or - Mk(K1, M1, K?, M1, K1)Mk, K to end.

Knit 1 round.

Repeat last two rounds until you have 8/ 10/ 10/ 12/ 12/ 12/ 14/ 14/ 14/ 16/ 16 stitches between markers.

Knit 1 st. (Move next 6/ 8/ 8/ 10/ 10/ 10/ 12/ 12/ 14/ 16/ 16 stitches to stitch holder or waste yarn for later use in making thumb.)

Cast On 2/ 2/ 2/ 2/ 2/ 3/ 2/ 3/ 3/ 3/ 4 stitches after the knit 1, knit the rest of round beyond the stitches on holder.

Knit next 13/ 16/ 18/ 20/ 22/ 24/ 26/ 28/ 31/ 33/ 35 rounds moving first Marker up work as you go to mark first stitch of round.

Decrease Rounds to close over fingers: At this point I move all stitches onto three needles in groups of five’s, I find it easier to keep count this way. (Knit any extra stitches in rounds from here on.)

(Skip next two round for the two toddler sizes.)

Dec: (K2tog, K3) repeat to end of round.

Knit 1 round. (2 rounds for teen thru men’s sizes.)

Dec: (K2tog, K2) repeat to end of round.

Knit 1 round.

Dec: (K2tog, K1) repeat to end of round.

Knit 1 round.

Dec: (K2tog) repeat to end of round.

(Repeat last round only if there are more then 8 stitches left on needles.)

Cut a long tail of eight inches and thread on yarn needle to pull the tail through remaining stitches. Pull tight and tuck tail into inside of mitten and into back of stitches cut off remaining end.

Collect stitches from stitch holder onto two needles with equal stitches on each. Now collect the cast on stitches on a third needle and if they are loose you can give them a twist before slipping them on the needle. Then add a stitch or two on either side from between the cast on stitches needle and the needles holding the other thumb stitches. (If you add two to a side these stitches must be knitted together when you knit the next round. They are to help you close the hole that forms when you add the thumb.)

You should have 10/ 12/ 12/ 14/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 17/ 19/ 20 stitches on your needles now. (Or a few more that will be incorporated into these numbers after the first thumb round is knitted.)

Mark first stitch of thumb. Do Not knit tail into first stitches if you tuck your tails this way as it will be used to re-enforce the thumb later. Knit first stitch on the right side of the thumb stitches for one mitten and the last stitch of the left side for the other. The rounds come out even but the tail gets woven into the inside of the mitten and will re-enforce the thumb in an ‘out of the way’ manor this way.

I just knit the first stitch with an 8 inch long tailed yarn like it was knotted on but without a knot. Or you can just attach it by a slip loop (# Instructions at end of pattern.) a few stitches down. This yarn sometimes loosens but is easily pulled tight again before tucking the tail. This slipped stitch knot is removed and the tail tucked on the inside. There is no knot to rub the wrong way using this method. (The long eight inch tail at the beginning of the thumb I use to fill in any holes and reinforce where the thumb joins at the cast on seam then I work it under a few backs of stitches down the back of the thumb, cutting off excess.)

Knit for 7/ 8/ 10/ 10/ 11/ 13/ 14/ 16/ 17/ 19/ 21 rounds.

Decrease: (K2tog, K2) repeat to end of round.

Knit 1 round.

Dec: (K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Cut a long tail of six inches and thread on yarn needle to pull the tail through remaining stitches. Pull tight and tuck tail into inside of mitten, turn inside out and in tuck tail into back of stitches cut off remaining end.

Turn inside out and tuck any remaining tails. Cut off extra yarn tail and turn right sided again. Your done to make the second mitten.

# Slip loop - Make a loop of yarn and with a crochet hook under a stitch a few rows down in the work. With the tail end pull a second larger loop through the first loop and pull working end of the yarn until snug. This should hold until the first few stitches are made and can be easily pulled out and moved into the back of work to have the tail tucked to finish the work. You can also use a yarn needle under a stitch and wrap the end of the yarn around that a few times if you prefer.

Infant/Baby/Toddler Mittens: These have no thumb to keep little fingers warmer by keeping them all together. And an I-cord up the sleeves too keep them from getting lost.

Cast On loosely 22/ 24/ 26 stitches.

Rib Cuff: Mark first stitch and move it up work as you go. (Knit 1, Purl 1) repeat to end of round. Continue for 4/ 5/ 6 more rounds.

Next Round - Knit row adding a Make1, 2/ 3/ 4 times, evenly around row.

Knit 15/ 18/ 21 rounds.

Dec: (K2tog, K2) repeat to end of round.

Knit 1 round.

Dec: (K2tog, K1) repeat to end of round.

Knit 1 round.

Dec: (K2tog) repeat to end of round.

Cut a long tail of six inches and thread on yarn needle to pull the tail through remaining stitches. Pull tight and tuck tail into back of stitches cut off remaining.

Make crochet chain or I-cord.

I-cord: Leave a long tail of six to eight inches.

On double pointed needles

Cast on 2 stitches.

Knit these stitches (first, second) Do Not Turn. Slide stitches to other end of needle. Using work yarn from left side in back and continue to knit first, second stitches again, in that order.

Repeat until you have a cord long enough to reach from one wrist to the other across the back of baby/child/adult and pull end tail of six to eight inches long through last row of stitches. Attach to cuff of mittens by tails.
Push mittens through arms of jacket or coat so that they can be used but not lost.

Abbreviations in quick guide:
CO - cast on, Cuff - Rib stitch, Inc. - increase, K R - knit rounds,
Mk - marker, Inc T - increase for thumb, M1 - make 1, Rep. - repeat,
Save - move to stitch holder, Dec. - decrease, K2tog - knit 2 together,
K? - Knit number changes until increased number obtained. Mitten Sizes: (K) toddler/ (J) toddler large/ (I) small child/ (H) child/ (G) large child/ (F) teen/ (E) women/ (D) women large/ ( C) men/ (B) men large/ (A) men extra large. (N) Infant/ (M) baby/ (L) toddler, no thumb, mitten pattern to follow.

Kevin’s Mittens Quick Look Guide
K-T, J-T, I-C, H-C, G-C, F-Tn, E-W, D-W, C-M, B-M, A-M
CO 26/ 26/ 28/ 30/ 32/ 34/ 36/ 38/ 39/ 42/ 45
Cuff 9/ 9/ 11/ 13/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/ 19/ 21/ 23
Inc. 2/ 2/ 2/ 3/ 3/ 3/ 4/ 4/ 4/ 5/ 6
K R 2/ 3/ 3/ 4/ 4/ 5/ 5/ 5/ 6/ 6/ 6
Inc T Mk(K1, M1, M1, K1)Mk, K to end.
K R 2
Inc. Mk(K1, M1, K?, M1, K1)Mk, K to end.
K R 1
Rep. last two R’s ‘til
8/ 10/ 10/ 12/ 12/ 12/ 14/ 14/ 14/ 16/ 16
Save row K1, Move(6/ 8/ 8/ 10/ 10/ 10/ 12/ 12/ 12/ 14/ 14)
CO 2/ 2/ 2/ 2/ 2/ 3/ 2/ 3/ 3/ 3/ 4, K.
K R 13/ 16/ 18/ 20/ 22/ 24/ 26/ 28/ 31/ 33/ 35
Dec. (K2tog, K3)
K R 1 (2 teen thru Men)
Dec. (K2tog, K2)
K R 1
Dec. (K2tog, K1)
K R 1
Dec. (K2tog)

collect 10/ 12/ 12/ 14/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 17/ 19/ 20
K R 7/ 8/ 10/ 10/ 11/ 13/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 19/ 21
Dec. (K2tog, K2)
K R 1
Dec. (K2tog) Repeat if more than 8 stitches remain on needles

Baby N-I, M-B, L-T
CO 22/ 24/ 26
Cuff: 4/ 5/ 6
Inc. 2/ 3/ 4
K R 15/ 18/ 21
Dec: (K2tog, K2)
K R 1
Dec: (K2tog, K1)
K R 1
Dec: (K2tog)

Sorry. I had the guide in neat, color coded, columns for easy reference, but the way the blog reformats things, it lumped them together and changed the colors to black.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Return of the Missing Knitter:

First I’d like to say I didn’t fall off the earth like some people supposed.

Next I’d like to thank those of you that have hung in there waiting for my return.

I was sick, got back logged and had to meet other responsibilities first.

I did make a few animal puppet mittens; frog, lion, and pig in children’s sizes. I hope to make more mittens in the future.

If you have a free pattern for mittens and would like a link added to the blog just let me know and I’ll check it out.

My test knitters are out there and will get my free pattern tested out as soon as they can I’m sure. They are very nice people and very busy people too.

Thanks again, Kevin’s Mom

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Puppet Mittens

Hi Folks,

I know it has been a while. I'm still waiting for the test knitters to get back to me on the mitten pattern I worked so hard on. I've been knitting mittens and donating them, but I got to thinking. What do I do with the mittens once the warmer weather comes and the shelters aren't taking them for lack of storage?

I was grocery shopping and saw a magazine, Creative Knitting on the shelf. It was the March issue and it had knitted hand puppets in it. A frog, elephant, lion and puppy dog. And when I got the magazine home there was a link to the web for a pig and a mouse for free. You can find them under the web bonus tab there.

I used a smaller needle size to make them child size, embroidered the eyes instead of buttons and made two of them to make a pair of mittens out of them.

I'll be making more of these for the kids at the shelter. They are mittens in the winter and toys the rest of the year. I think Kevin would have liked that.

Kevin's Mom

Monday, January 5, 2009

Test Knitters Wanted:

I’ve never really appreciated what a person goes through to get a knitting pattern out there before. And I am aware that a multi-sized pattern is not a great place to start.

I have been working hard at writing a multi-sized knitting pattern for this Kevin’s Mittens Charity blog and I am having a bit of a difficult time of it. Although I don‘t, to my knowledge, knit anything without changing something in the pattern to my liking and I have made a number of things from scratch. I’ve never written out a pattern in anything other then my own short handed way of writing it down before.

This is the first pattern that I’ve come up with to share. So, I’m trying to do it right. And then there is the fact that I’m a continental knitter so adding pictures to help get my point across for beginning and visual knitters is a difficulty. And added to that is the multi-sizing. I’m having to knit it up in all 14 sizes (Infant to men’s extra large.) in different kinds of yarn.

I’ve found that synthetic yarns have more of a size variant to wool then I realized and just changing the needle size doesn’t always fix the problem. This is most true for tighter knitted things like mittens. And I don’t want to waste other peoples time by putting a pattern out there that needs a lot of restarting and fixing up.

I’m not striving for perfection. I just don’t want to put people off by putting out a bad product.

So I’ll be needing some people to be test knitters for me. This is strictly voluntary because it is for charity. So if you think you are interested let me know in a comment here.