Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to Make Your Kids Mitten-Phobic

Maxie the Clown Fun Mitts, from Gifts & Novelties by Mary Maxim, c. 1960

Considering a first grader can be suspended for bringing a camping utensil to school, and an 11 year old’s electric motion detector merits the bomb squad, these Dead Clown Mittens will cause the principal’s head to explode.

Of course, those clowns are dead. Just look at their eyes! Everyone knows that when someone has x’s for eyes that means they’ve bought a one way ticket to Corpse City.

Otherwise, this Dead Tired Sleep Mask would make no sense at all.

But who, you ask, is the beloved clown whose death inspired these Memorial Fun Mitts?

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Of Mary Maxim Knitting Worsted/Double Knitting or Sayelle*Nantuk allow 2 ozs. White, 2 ozs. Red, 20 yds. Black.
One Pair Mary Maxim Knitting Needles No. 8 (American No. 5).
Okay, just because a dead clown is back on his feet and leering at us, doesn’t mean he’s an Evil Clown. Right?

Hang on, is that a shadow on his drum or a blood stain?
TENSION: 5 1/2 stitches and 7 rows to one inch measured over the stocking stitch on No. 7 needles, or any size needles which will give the correct stitch tension.

W., White; R., Red; B., Black.
What, you want to see the abbreviations? Can’t you hear the shrieks of Maxie’s victims as they are drummed to death?

Oh, all right, here you go, you heartless monster.
ABBREVIATIONS: K., knit; p., purl; st., stitch; sts., stitches; inc., increase or increasing; dec., decrease or decreasing; tog., together; sl., slip; p.s.s.o., pass slipped stitch over; ins., inches; rep., repeat; w. fwd., wool forward; st. st., stocking stitch; M.C., Main Color; C.C., Contrast Color; ch., chain; s.c., single crochet; d.c., double crochet; tr., treble crochet; rem., remain or remaining; w.r.n., wool round needle.
Don’t spend too much time memorizing all of these. There’s a killer clown on the loose!
NOTE: Always remember to cross the two yarns at the back of the work when changing from one color to another to avoid leaving a hole in the work.
Make sure you follow this NOTE to the letter. Otherwise, Maxie will slip through the holes made by your careless knitting. Next thing you know, you’ll be trapped inside his drum, your cries for help drowned out by the jaunty tune of a circus calliope.


BACK: Right Hand.

Using W. wool, cast on 20 sts. and work 4 rows in k. 1, p. 1 ribbing. Change to st. st. and follow graph, reading from A to B for k. rows, and from B to A for p. rows, dec. as indicated until 8 sts. rem. P. one row for foldline.

And don’t write to me claiming that clowns are harmless. I’ll have you know that it’s perfectly reasonable to be afraid of clowns!

Especially when you realize that these “fun mitts” have no thumb. Instead, the mitts are folded over like a sock puppet to form Maxie’s blood soaked grin.

Trust me, there’s nothing worse than wearing dead clown sock puppets when you’re trying to restart your dead car to get away from the Six Feet Under Fun Park.
**Continue in R. wool and st. st., inc. one st. at each end of next 4 rows. (16 sts.) Work 24 rows in st. st, finishing after a p. row. Cast off.**

Left Hand

Work as for right hand for 4 rows, then change to st. st. and work from graph, but reading from B to A for k. rows and from A to B for p. rows. Complete as for right hand when graph has been completed.
Good news! The police sketch artist managed to produce an excellent likeness of Maxie.

It’s so helpful for knowing exactly when to start panicking.
FRONT: Both alike.

Using W. wool, cast on 20 sts. and work 8 rows in k. 1, p. 1 ribbing. Change to st. st. and work 16 rows. Place markers at each end of the row to mark side seams. Then work 14 rows in st. st.

Now dec. one st. at each end of every alternate row until 8 sts. rem., finishing after a p. row. P. one row for foldline.

Change to R. wool and work from ** to ** as given for back.
While clowns are definitely evil, dead clown mitts might still be an appropriate fashion accessory for your toddler. For instance, they’re perfect if you happen to have an adorable goth baby.


Press lightly under warm iron and damp cloth. Sew side seams from cast-on edge to marker. Sew cast-off edges tog. Place this seam even with side markers, fold along foldline. Sew down each side. Embroider face as illustrated. Make small pompoms to decorate hat.
Or say, if you happen to have an Evil Clown’s love child.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. THE most terrifying post I've ever read - it should come with a government health warning!!!

    I can safely say I won't be knitting those in a hurry...

  2. Probably a good idea - you don't want to be responsible for your mittens leading to a school-wide lockdown. ;-)