Muffatees are like fingerless gloves, except there are no proto-fingers — the muffatee is, instead, a type of cuff or tube that covers the forearm, the wrist, and the palm of the hand, with an opening for the thumb and a single opening for all the fingers. Muffatees keep your hands and forearms warm while still allowing for use of the fingers (I’m typing this while wearing a pair!).
There are patterns online for all kinds of knitted and crocheted muffatees (also called wristees, wristlets, or (mistakenly) fingerless gloves), but I decided to design my own. While I generally like the fabric produced by knitting more than that produced by crochet, I knit slowly and crochet fast. Also, I wanted to incorporate the knitting feature called “short rows” into my crocheted version, to customize the fit around the palm and wrist, and I wanted to crochet lengthwise rather than around the arm. I couldn’t find anything like that, so I made my own.
QUIKEE MUFFATEES (click pics to embiggen)
This pattern can be made in any yarn* using an appropriate size hook, since it is based on two measurements from the hand of the person for whom the muffatee is destined. Note: if using dk or sock yarn, modify the pattern thusly — do a set of short rows, a complete row of hdc, and a second set of short rows — this will ensure the palm portion will fit rather than being too snug.
I made the set shown in the photos from Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted, using a J (6mm) hook. Following the pattern as written with that or a similar yarn will give you muffatees to fit a woman’s large hand or a man’s medium hand.
Step one: Measure one of the recipient’s hands in two places. First, measure around the knuckles at the top of palm, pulling the measuring tape snug. Subtract 1/2 inch from this measure. This is measurement #1 and it will determine your total number of rows and the placement of your short rows. Second, measure from the base of the little finger to the bottom of the bump formed where the palm meets the wrist. Subtract 1/2 inch. This is measurement #2 and it will determine the length of your short rows.
Cast on a number of stitches equal to the desired length of your muffatee. I wanted my pair to cover about 2 inches of my wrist, and I cast on 26 + 1. Hdc in the first chain and in every chain across (26 hdc). Chain two and turn. Hdc in the back loop only of the first chain and the back loop of every stitch across. Chain two, turn. Continue in this way until the width of the piece equals 1/2 of your knuckle/palm measure (measurement #1). For me, this was 6 rows.
Short Rows: The purpose of short rows is to create a sort of dart. In the muffatee pattern, the short rows add width to the palm while allowing the wrist portion to stay narrower and thus more fitted.
When you’ve completed the row of hdc that makes your piece equal to 1/2 of measurement #1, chain one and turn. Slip stitch in the first stitch and in every following stitch until the number of slip stitches equals the length of the palm (measurement #2). (see first pic below). For me, this was 12 stitches. Chain one and turn. Slip stitch in every stitch back up to the top of the piece (see second pic below). Short rows completed.
Chain two and turn. Hdc in back loop only of first short row stitch and in all short row stitches. When you have hdc ‘d in the final short row stitch, yo as to hdc in the next stitch, insert hook in the same stitch as the last slip stitch of the first short row (see arrow in pic below), yo, insert hook into back loop of next stitch, yo and pull through all loops on hook (otherwise, you’ll have a hole at the base of the short row section). Continue to hdc in back loop of each stitch to end of row. Chain 2, turn. Continue rows of hdc in back loop until width of piece, including short rows, is equal to the knuckle/palm measure (measurement #1). For me, this was 12 rows total.
When the piece reaches the desired width, you will be either at the wrist end or the palm end (the palm end contains the short rows). If at the wrist end, cut your yarn, knot or secure it, and start at the palm end with a new piece of yarn. If at the palm end, you can simply continue.
After completing the final row of hdc, chain one and turn. Fold your piece in half lengthwise, matching up edge stitches. Slip stitch to close the tube for the desired length from the bottom of the forefinger knuckle to the top of the thumb opening (#1 in pic below). For me, this was 6 slip stitches. Next, slip stitch in one edge only, which serves to carry the working yarn along the edge of the thumb opening for the desired length of the thumb opening (#2 in pic below). For me, this was 9 stitches. At base of thumb opening, resume slip stitching through both edges to create the tube for the wrist (#3 in pic below.) Before tying off once tube is fully sewn up, allow recipient to try on muffatee and see if thumb opening is appropriate size.
When tying off the working yarn, leave a long tail (6 inches or so). Thread tail on a tapestry needle and work hidden through seam to base of the thumb opening. Take a stitch or two across base of thumb opening to secure that area. Work tail securely back into fabric and clip end. Work in tail from your starting chain.
There — now you have your individual pattern with the requisite numbers of rows and stitches. Make a second muffatee and enjoy.
*I made a pair for a friend, using a double strand of thin, varegated boucle. Very warm and cute.