Custom Size Conversion

I would like to knit my boyfriend a pair of mitts, and I stumbled on this pattern from knitty.com that would be perfect. The problem is (and there’s always a problem, it seems! ) that the smallest size given is too big for him, so I’d need to make them smaller… but how?

The other problem factoring into this equation is that I’m using leftover yarn that I used to knit him a hat, and that throws the gauge off. I already used this conversion calculator to convert the gauge.

So, how would I figure out how to adjust the original pattern to fit my boyfriend’s hands?

The repeat of the pattern appears to be 4 stitches. So you could decrease the number of stitches that you cast on by a multiple of 4 and be able to work the pattern rather simply that way.

There are 6 stitches per inch in the gauge for the pattern, so, for example, you could eliminate 12 stitches for a 2-inch decrease.

I’ve just frogged this mitten for the third time. I’m in love with the pattern because they match a hat that I knit last year, so I don’t want to give up completely yet, but I’m afraid I might have to if it doesn’t work for me the next time.

I’m working with Malabrigo worsted Merino. The first time I started, I cast on 36 stitches on US size 5 needles. I chose the needle size because the pattern calls for needles that are, I thought, one size too small for the recommended yarn. The next time I started, I cast on 36 again but used size 6 needles. Again, the mitt was way too tight, so I started again and went by the smallest size the pattern offers. This time the mitt was enormous.

I’m going to cast on 42 stitches this time. I encountered problems at the first increase when I modified the size.
{K12[10], m1} 4[5] times. 52[56] sts.
If I CO 42 sts, how would I increase?

The next time I encountered problems is at the thumb gusset.
K3 in patt, slip marker, m1, work to next marker, m1, slip marker, k to end of round in patt. Repeat these 2 rounds 5[6] more times. There will be 15[17] sts between markers.
I repeated the rounds until there were 11 sts between the markers. Was I correct to do that, and should I go for 13 this time?

The yarn used in the pattern is a thinner worsted weight, and is knit at a tighter gauge. The stranded color technique will produce a tighter gauge than single stranded. Did you do a gauge swatch, are you doing the 2 colors?

On the incs you’re only starting with 6 less sts, so maybe k 11, m1 k12, m1, k11, m1, k12, m1. That should give you 50 sts for the hand. I’d say 13 sts between the markers at the thumb gussets should work.

I regret that I did not make a gauge swatch. I’m using leftover yarn and fear that I have just enough for the gloves. I should start making them more often, though…! And I could have measured the gauge before I frogged the last mitt, but I was too frustrated to think of it. Oh well, what’s done is done!

I’m doing the two colors, so I was thinking that had something to do with the tightness.

I’m going to cast on again soon. Hopefully it works out this time!

Thank you for the advice and help!!

I have no idea where they get these ape hand measurements from. They’re way too big. I spent all last winter making mittens for adult males in my family. We tried them on a lot of people and came to this conclusion: Most adults wear a medium size unless they’re big men or have short hands or long fingers like a drummer. My average measurements are 7 inches around or 3 1/2 inches per side across. I make a three inch cuff and my length from cuff cast on to the top of the mitten is 10 1/2 inches. With a 2 1/2 inch cuff like this pattern calls for, the proper height would be 10 inches. It is 2 1/2 inches from the top of the cuff when the ribbing is finished to the thumb opening. The thumb length is also 2 1/2 inches. If your boyfriend has small short hands, these two distances would be 2 inches and 9 1/2 to 10 inches total length of mitten, depending on whether you want a 2 1/2 or 3 inch cuff. Hope this helps. Please feel free to send me an email if you need more help.

Have your boyfriend trace his hand on a piece of white computer paper and see if my measurements are right for him. Keep in mind that a hand is curved, not linear. You will need to add about half an inch to his measurements for ease of movement. Otherwise, he’ll feel that he is crammed into these mittens, especially at the thumb and top of the mitten. You might want to make a test mitten in stockinette stitch rather than the pattern stitch in cheaper yarn before you take the plunge on this pattern. It never hurts to have an extra pair anyway in case they get lost.