October 20, 2009

Fingerless Mitts parts 1+2: Recycled Sock Mitts!

Remember the Fingerless Mitts Times 3 project I had in Craft: 10 back in February? Well, now that it’s getting colder, I want to share the tutorials with all of you do stuff! readers! I’m dividing the 3 mitt types into 2 parts, because the first 2 go together – the 2 different recycled sock mitts, shown together below.  So I’m just going to cut and paste my original article/tutorial, which was edited and cut down a bit to fit in the magazine… here we go!

V1and2-bothsockmitts

I always have cold hands, but being a crafter, photographer, all-around doer of stuff, I feel trapped when my fingers are covered, so fingerless mitts are the perfect solution! Way back in my early knitting years, when I feared patterns and loved fat yarn and quick knits, I developed my super easy, fingerless, shapeless, fat and squishy “ninja mitts,” as I’ve always called them. Then when I dove into recycled crafting I cut up some old socks and came up with a couple versions of sock mitts – which are warmer than you’d think, and super comfortable! All the mitt designs are great for finger mobility, can be pulled up over balled fists for extra warmth, or can be taken off the thumb and pushed back onto wrists for eating or added dexterity. Once you make yourself a pair or three, with all that mitt agility, you will indeed feel like a ninja!

no-sew sock mitts no-sew sock mitts

Version 1: No-Sew Sock Mitts

Materials

  • 1 Pair of socks that won’t unravel easily
  • Scissors
  • Optional sewing machine or embellishing materials

V1FigAstep1 V1FigCstep3

Step 1: First Cut.
Cut the first sock straight across the ankle, just above the heel (above, left).

Step 2: Cut the Thumbhole.
Try on the footless sock with the end that was the top at your thumb and check where you want the thumbhole to be. For mitts that will keep your hands warmer, put the thumbhole down further from the top; for mitts just meant for wrist-warming, the hole can be closer to the top. Make a small cut – smaller than you think it should be – then try on the mitt to see if you need to make it bigger (below). Make small snips until it fits comfortably.

Step 3: Repeat for second mitt.
Hold the first mitt up to the second sock and repeat the two cuts to match (above, right).  If the socks have noticeable seams, keep them on opposite sides of the thumbholes on the two mitts.

V1FigBstep2

Step 4: Optional sewing or embellishment.
4a. This is the “no-sew” version, so this step is completely optional, but if you want to use a pair of socks that will unravel, you can sew a zig zag stitch around the bottoms and thumbholes of each mitt to prevent that from happening (below).  If you decide to sew around the mitts to prevent unraveling, it’ll create a cute ruffled edge.

V1FigDstep4a

4b. If you want to dress up your mitts, you can add some decorative buttons, stitching, or other embellishments – be creative! (below)

V1FigEstep4b

Version 2: Multi-Sock Mitts

Materials

  • 2 or more pairs of socks with similar thickness and stretchiness
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with zig zag stitch

I’m showing you how to make a basic 2-sock pair of mitts, but you can use the same concepts to take pieces from several socks and make a crazier set. You can even use the leftover feet from version 1 and incorporate them into some multi-sock mitts!

multi-sock mitts multi-sock mitts

Step 1: Cut up socks.
Cut each of the socks into 2 or 3 loops, cutting straight across the ankle just above the heel, somewhere in the middle of the ankle, and if the foot is not too worn, cut just below the heel and above the toe. The loops do not need to be the same width, but each sock should be cut symmetrically to its mate. (below)  The heels and toes can be tossed in your scrap fabric stash, or the trash.  (side note: I made that “diagram” in like 3 seconds because I was under the impression that Craft’s illustrator would re-do it, but they printed mine!  I was a little bit horrified when I saw it printed, but now I laugh about it…)

V2FigAstep1 v2diagram

Step 2: Design your mitts.
Put the loops in order, switching between the two different patterns. Your mitts will look best if you use the tops of one pair for the tops of the mitts, and the tops of the other pair for the bottoms. (below, left)  If one pair of socks is a bit bigger or stretchier than the other, use that one for the bottoms of the mitts.

Step 3: Sew them up.
3a. Turn the loop second from the bottom inside out and put it over the bottom loop, with the top edges aligned (below, right).

V2FigBstep2 V2FigCstep3a

3b. Use a zig zag stitch to sew the loops together around the edge (below, left).  The stitching will make a ruffled edge, especially on thinner, stretchier types of socks.
3c. Repeat sewing each loop until the top one (below, right).  The fabric will stretch a bit when sewing, but try not to stretch it too much.

V2FigDstep3b V2FigEstep3c

Step 4: Create the thumbhole.
Sew the last loop on the same as the others, but leave a hole about 1-1.5 inches wide for the thumbhole. Be sure to lock the ends of this stitch well by sewing back and forth several times since there will be tension on this stitch at the thumb (below, right).  If you want to make your mitts extra neat, sew a zig zag stitch around the thumbhole edges.

V2step3c V2FigFstep4

There you go!  I wear these multi-sock mitts all the time!  They are warmer than you might think, perfect for autumn days or cool evenings – and easy to take off the thumbs and pull down around wrists as wristwarmers when you don’t want your hands covered.  Love them!  Coming later this week, part 3: Knit Gradient Mitts!

mitts times three

Filed under: general crafts,tutorials — leethal @ 2:04 pm
  • oooh I’m going to make some of those striped ones. I have a few pairs of socks that have holes in either the toes or the heels. I have been meaning to throw them out for ages…

  • oooh I’m going to make some of those striped ones. I have a few pairs of socks that have holes in either the toes or the heels. I have been meaning to throw them out for ages…

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  • I love the multi sock mitts! These are fantastic. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  • I love the multi sock mitts! These are fantastic. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  • These are great! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • These are great! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Great Tutorial!!! I have been wanting a pair of these. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great Tutorial!!! I have been wanting a pair of these. Thanks for sharing.

  • These are fantastic! Now I have an excuse to choose socks based on what I want wristwarmers to look like when the heels wear out!
    Can I post a link to this on my site http://www.thereusesite.com? I’m always looking for great ideas to pass on to my readers.
    Thanks so much!
    Carrie@thereusesite.com

  • These are fantastic! Now I have an excuse to choose socks based on what I want wristwarmers to look like when the heels wear out!
    Can I post a link to this on my site http://www.thereusesite.com? I’m always looking for great ideas to pass on to my readers.
    Thanks so much!
    Carrie@thereusesite.com

  • Nikki

    I just love your blog. Great stuff on here!

  • Nikki

    I just love your blog. Great stuff on here!

  • emily

    Really cute, great idea! You have a beautiful smile:)!

  • emily

    Really cute, great idea! You have a beautiful smile:)!

  • jj

    H O W D Y ~ ~ ~
    Just darling ~ WONDERFUL ~ wrist warmers !!!!
    I’m a TEXAN ~ Displaced up North in the FROZEN TUNDRA !!!
    & I AM L O V ‘N Your C *O*O*L* ~~~ IDEA !!!!
    T H A N K S !!!
    God Bless!
    jj

  • jj

    H O W D Y ~ ~ ~
    Just darling ~ WONDERFUL ~ wrist warmers !!!!
    I’m a TEXAN ~ Displaced up North in the FROZEN TUNDRA !!!
    & I AM L O V ‘N Your C *O*O*L* ~~~ IDEA !!!!
    T H A N K S !!!
    God Bless!
    jj

  • Deb

    Have a green pair of “proper” ones used for outdoor pursuits / shooting etc and love them as they keep me so warm. Will be making a few of these for Crimbo … and I’m not even remotely creative but I’m sure I can do the simple ones! Great – thanks

  • Deb

    Have a green pair of “proper” ones used for outdoor pursuits / shooting etc and love them as they keep me so warm. Will be making a few of these for Crimbo … and I’m not even remotely creative but I’m sure I can do the simple ones! Great – thanks

  • Marlee

    I was going to crochet some mittens but this is much easier! I have an idea. Sew the toe section to the upperside so that you can cover your fingers if you want. They sell those kind in the stores. You can either go fingerless or not. Just add a button to keep the toe in place until needed.

  • I was going to crochet some mittens but this is much easier! I have an idea. Sew the toe section to the upperside so that you can cover your fingers if you want. They sell those kind in the stores. You can either go fingerless or not. Just add a button to keep the toe in place until needed.

  • JD

    I really like the ones with the buttons and decorative stitchings. It’s nice to see a tutorial like this because, well, a) I have insanely cold hands, b) I like a good craft, and c) I love fun socks. I’ll be making a few of the no-sew pairs. Now, only to find some cheapo, fun socks . . . TO THE DOLLAR STORE!

  • JD

    I really like the ones with the buttons and decorative stitchings. It’s nice to see a tutorial like this because, well, a) I have insanely cold hands, b) I like a good craft, and c) I love fun socks. I’ll be making a few of the no-sew pairs. Now, only to find some cheapo, fun socks . . . TO THE DOLLAR STORE!

  • Jennifer

    They look wonderful, but how can I tell if a sock is liable to unravel a lot? Are there certain materials I should be looking for, or what?

  • Jennifer

    They look wonderful, but how can I tell if a sock is liable to unravel a lot? Are there certain materials I should be looking for, or what?

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  • Verena

    I work on the computer all day at my job and also do photo restoration on the side. At age 56, arthritis is becoming an unwelcome guest across my right knuckles. As I was surfing for arthritis gloves or fingerless gloves to keep my hand warm while working, I ran across your post and pictures. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have a hand-warmer for work tomorrow and will be making more to coordinate with my work clothes!!

  • silviaamaral

    Hi, I loved your idea to warm hands.
    I'll put the suggestion in my blog, ok?
    Bye

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  • Paige

    how do you knit the gloves

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  • cute!

  • Hannahsmithmusic

    Thanks for teaching me how to continue love for socks and hand warmers :)

  • Justine

    I love the idea! Great idea for a Christmas present too.

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