Cuthaig Plaid Mitts
These traditionally-patterned fingerless mitts are worked in a combination of two plaid knitting techniques – two-stranded intarsia and applied crochet. The bigger checks and horizontal contrast stripes are worked as part of the knitting, while the vertical contrast stripes are inserted after the knitting is completed. This approach is much simpler than working four colors in intarsia – especially when one is a one-stitch wide stripe.
The Cuthaig Plaid Mitts are worked flat to simplify the intarsia patterning. Then the vertical stripes are created with applied crochet chain stitch. Finally, in an unusual technique, the thumb gusset is picked up from side stitches and knit in short rows to create the depth.
The ladies version of the pattern uses double-stranded lace weight yarn for featherweight warmth, while the men’s version uses a beefier sock yarn. The other difference between the two is the length of the cuff, with the ladies version 1”/2.5 cm longer.
The Cuthaig Plaid Mitts name comes from the Scottish Gaelic cuthaig or blend in English. For more Scottish flair, work the mitts in three colors from your favorite clan tartan.
My blog now features a photo tutorial on the applied crochet chain technique used to create the vertical stripes. Find it at: http://woolly-wits.blogspot.com/2014/05/crochet-chain-applique-tutorial.html.
Skills Needed to Successfully Complete This Pattern: elastic cast on, knit, purl, ribbing, work with yarn bobbins, k2tog decrease, bind off, short row, wrap-and-turn, weave in ends, applied crochet chain stitch, sew seam.
Smaller hand size directions are in front of parentheses (larger hand size directions are inside parentheses).
Hand circumference: 7”/18 cm (8”/20.5 cm) Will stretch slightly for larger hands.
Length: 6 ¾”/17 cm (6 ½”/16.5 cm )
• Three different colors of fingering (sock) weight yarn (see note on color selection below). Approximate yardage:
• MC1: 175 yds/160 m
• MC2: 68 yds/62 m
• CC: 38 yds/ 35 m
• Size US #4/3.5 mm (US #5/3.75 mm) circular needle or 7”/18 cm or longer double-point needles OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE
• Size US E/3.5 mm (F/3.75 mm) crochet hook
• 6 Bobbins
• Yarn needle
• Lace weight: 26 sts and 32 rows = 4”/10 cm in plaid pattern stitch with yarn held doubled.
• Sock weight: 20 sts and 35 rows = 4”/10 cm in plaid pattern stitch with yarn held doubled.