I finally got around to finding my ball of Boku scraps and adding some thumbs to the fingerless Hyphening mitts I was making for my friend Ken back in November, when I visited him in New York! I was dashing (Ha! ha! that is a Pune, or a Play on Words) to finish these for him as a thank-you gift for letting me stay at his place. I misread the amount of yarn called for in the pattern, brought only 1 skein of yarn, and thus ran out of yarn before I got to the thumbs, so I ended up giving him a 3-D drawing pad instead. But he’s quitting his Corporate Suit job soon and taking up a new, thrilling, idealistic, creative job at a nonprofit, so I thought it would be a good congratulations-on-the-new-job present instead.

Pattern: Dashing, by Cheryl Niamath, from Knitty Spring 2007

Size made: the larger size

Yarn used: Plymouth Boku, one skein and a tiny bit more, colorway 4 (brown, purple, green, yellow)

Needles used: US size 7/4.5 mm circs for the main part of the mitts; US size 6/4.0 mm DPNs for the thumbs

Date started: 11/28/07, on the airport shuttle on my way to the airport; finished knitting by 11/29/07 (it took about 3.5 or 4 hours per mitt), but had run out of yarn and put these in hibernation for a couple of months

Date finished: 2/18/08

Mods:First of all, I made these much shorter than the pattern called for–hyphens instead of dashes–bound them off after the 15th row after the last cable twist.

When I resurrected the project tonight, I inserted afterthought thumbs: snipped a single stitch on each mitt about 2.5” down from the top edge, and unraveled to either side until I had 5 sts above the hole and 5 stitches below. I put these live stitches on DPNs, then picked up an additional 3 sts on each side of the hole for 16 sts total. I knit 1 round, then worked the thumb in 1×1 rib for a total of 9 rounds, and bound off with a suspended 1×1 rib bindoff. Easy as pie, and it took probably half an hour.

Notes: The mitts are pretty loose-fitting on me, but probably will work well for my friend, assuming he doesn’t have tiny, skinny, bird-boned hands. Because I don’t have a professional photography setup, these pictures were taken with flash and look terrible.




Also, I added a couple more things to that bearded hat that make it even more amazing.

First of all, I added some ties to the back, to keep it fitting snugly around the neck:

Then I thought about what I would want if I had a beard of my very own, and I said to myself, Well, I would want to store things in it. That’s what I would want. So I added a little pocket to the inside of the beard, with a button flap, so now Rahul or I can hide little treasures in the beard. If we lived in Boston or Hong Kong or another place with RFID-based public transit cards, I could put my Charlie Card or Octopus Card or whatever in the beard and just casually wave my chin over the sensor as I went by, like the Subway Knitter’s mittens, but with more panache.
Here it is with a cell phone inside:

And open:

And buttoned closed:

I have not yet extracted any promises from Rahul regarding his wearing this hat in public, but he did go and look at himself in the mirror for a while and adjust his mustache (he prefers a narrower mustache, with the bottom edge folded up) and then announce that he wanted to grow a big gray beard himself.

Here he is, working on a marketing assignment about cereal.

Here’s how I added those modifications:

Ties: At about 5.5” back from each side of the beard, at the lower edge of the cap, I picked up 6 sts with the yarn single-stranded on a size 6 DPN and knit an 8.5” tie in 1×1 rib, slipping the last st of each row and knitting the first st.

Pocket: Cast on 15 sts single-stranded on size 6 DPNs. Work in half-linen st for 3.5” (3” wide), knitting the first WS row instead of purling to create a ridge at the top of the pocket. Bind off.

Pocket flap: CO 15 sts single-stranded on size 6 DPNs with long-tail cast-on. Work 7 rows half-linen st, ending w/WS row. Work 6 or 7 sts (last st s/b k), yo, k2tog, work to end. work 1 row even. k1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. p1, p2tog, work to last 3 sts, ssp, p1. k1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. BO all sts. Use yarn tail to buttonhole-stitch around the edges of the buttonhole to tidy it up.

Sew the pocket in place, then sew the pocket flap directly above it. (I used the yarn tails to do the sewing, and just whipstitched around the edges, being careful not to pull too tight.) Sew button to pocket in location corresponding to pocket flap buttonhole.

I knitted the pocket pieces separately and sewed them on because I wanted them to be as invisible as possible from the outside, and I thought picking up stitches would be more visible. I used half-linen stitch because it doesn’t have a lot of stretch, and I thought it would make for a more stable and strong pocket.

Half-linen stitch is:

Rows 1 and 3 (WS): purl

Row 2: *k1, sl1 wyif* across

Row 4: *sl1 wyif, k1* across

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