Quickie checker-board mug hug

My Twitter friend, Corinne, (@MotherScuffer) needs a quick make for her partner’s birthday.  So here’s a mug hug how-to.  I wouldn’t aggrandise it with the label ‘pattern’, since although it’s coming straight out of my head I can hardly believe it’s original.

So.  I work these things with double yarn – knitting two balls of yarn simultaneously.  Bear in mind this is going round a mug – some people drink with them still on, so you probably want to avoid fluffy, shedding types of yarn.  I have to admit, I go with acrylic, partly because I have a lot of it left from the zigzag blanket, but also because it washes so well.

If you choose two related colours, say a light blue and a dark blue, or burgundy and pink, you get a lovely tweedy effect.  Or you can go for a sharp contrast – orange and green is good together.  So is yellow and red.

I tend to default to 5mm (US 8) or 6mm (US 10) needles.  Up to you – the thinner your needle, the tighter your knitting is going to be.

For an ordinary (UK ordinary) sized mug, I would go with 15 stitches.  For a larger mug, increase this number in multiples of 3.

The design is easiest to work with the mug you’re knitting for – or one like it – by your side.  There are no hard and fast rules for sizing these things.

Cast on 15 stitches, using two strands of yarn.

Row 1: knit to end
Row 2: purl to end
Row 3: knit to end
Row 4: *K3, P3, repeat from * to end
Row 5: *P3, K3, repeat from * to end
Row 6: as row 4

Rows 4 – 6 form the pattern.
Continue in pattern until your hug is roughly 1cm (1/2″) too short for the mug, wrapped around the mug horizontally starting from the handle.

Repeat rows 1-3.
Cast off.

Now, join the top two and bottom two stitches of your hug, leaving a gap in the middle for the handle.

You can either leave the hug plain, or embellish by stitching on a heart cut from felt, or embellish with buttons, or a little message/label embroidered in backstitch on felt.