New England Boiled Wool Mittens | Classic Yankee Article
Gauge: 5 stitches equal 1 inch.
On size 4 double-pointed needles, cast on 12, 15, and 15 stitches, a total of 42 stitches on 3 needles. Knit 2, purl 1 until wristband measures 4 inches.
Then, first round: place last purl stitch on first needle. Purl 1, knit 2, purl 1. Knit rest of round, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches.
Second round: start thumb gore. Purl 1, increasing 1 stitch in each of the next 2 stitches, purl 1. Knit around, and knit rounds 3, 4, and 5, maintaining the 2 purl stitches as a marker.
Sixth round: purl 1, increase in the next stitch, knit 2, increase in the next stitch, purl 1 (8 stitches, including 2 purls) . Knit around. Knit 3 more rounds.
Continue to increase this way every fourth row until you have 14 stitches for the thumb gore, including the 2 purl stitches. Knit 3 more rounds and place the 14 stitches on a string.
Cast on 10 stitches to bridge the gap and divide the stitches 18 to a needle (total 54 stitches). Knit up 4 to 4-1/2 inches from thumb for the hand.
Begin decreasing in next round:
Knit 2 together, knit 7. Repeat around. Knit 2 rounds. Knit 2 together, knit 6, and repeat around. Knit 2 rounds. Knit 2 together, knit 5, and repeat around. Knit 2 rounds. Knit 2 together, knit 4, and repeat around. Knit 1 round. Knit 2 together, knit 3, and repeat around. Knit 1 round. Knit 2 together around. Break the yarn and draw up the remaining stitches on the tail, using a yarn needle. Darn the tail back and forth across the tip of the mitten. Thumb: Pick up from thumb gore 7 stitches on each of 2 needles and 1 stitch from each side of the thumbhole, a total of 16 stitches on 2 needles. Pick up the 10 stitches from the palm side of the thumbhole on a third needle. Knit 2 rounds, Next round, decrease 1 stitch on each end of the third needle. There are now 8 stitches on each needle. Knit 2 to 2-1/2 inches
Next round, decrease: knit 2 together, knit 2, and repeat around. Knit 1 round. Next round, knit 2 together, knit 1, and repeat around, Break yarn and draw up remaining stitches on the tall, using a yarn needle, Darn the end into the tip of the thumb. Work all other loose ends into the fabric of the mitten.
Crochet a loop at the edge of the cuff for hanging the mitten to dry. Use the tail left from casting on, if possible, To shrink: soak the mittens in boiling hot water, squeeze them out and dry them on a radiator. I shrink mine in the drier on the hot setting, but this takes out some of the oil. Some men say to dry them in the freezer. This takes a long, long time, Some Claim they soak their mittens in fish gore, then wash them in hot water. However you choose to shrink your mittens, the first shrinking will not complete the trick, but the mittens will continue to shrink in use. Don’t give up.