Introduction: Fingerless Mittens

About: Life is short. Create lots of pretty and useful things. I spend a lot of time sewing. I sew mostly clothing, including costumes, casual and business clothing. I am branching into making quilts and other fun i…

Fingerless mittens help keep your hands warm without blocking any dextarity for your fingers.  You can write, type, pick up small items while keeping your hands warm.  As it turns out they are a quick easy knit and you can be as creative as you like with the designs.  I was able to make two pair from one ball of yarn, so they can also be a great stash buster if you have little bits of left over yarn. 

These were knitted flat then the sides are sewn together, leavaing an opening for the thumb. If you want you can add a thumb gusset after you sew the side seam.  I will include just a little bit on that too.

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:

1    pair straight knitting needles, american size 4 or 5.  I used size 5 on most of these mittens.
1   4 ounce ball of yarn, size 4.  I used Deborah Norville's Everyday soft worsted and Vana's choice on some
1   cable needle or stitch holder (not pictured, but a double point needle is a good cable needle choice)
1    yarn needle 

stitch guage - but any ruler or tape measure can be just as effective

Step 2: Guage

Guage is the term used when describing how many stitches per inch and how many rows per inch so that your results match the intended sizes for these instructions.  It is not quite as important for these mittens as it would be for something that is more fitted. Depending on the pattern stitch you pick some are more stretch and forgiving than others. For this project if you find that your guage does not match,  you can either use a larger or smaller needle or even add to or reduce the stitch count.  

For these mittens, cast on between 39 and 42 stitches, depending on the multiples for the patterns I used.  
Guage: 11 stitches and 13 rows equaled two inches.  

The picture with the turquois yarn shows how to measure your guage.  To measure the guage just mark two inches by two inches, and count how many rows and how many stitches fit within that two inch section.    

Step 3: Sections and Measurements

Starting from the wrist and moving up parts of the mittens are as follow:
  1. a ribbed cuff
  2. the body of the mitten
  3. a finished ribbed edge
I found it much easier to work in measurements than counting rows.  The basic design is work a ribbed cuff the length and style that you want.  Some people prefer to have a long cuff and fold it up on itself like a sock cuff which would need to be three to four inches; others prefer a short cuff, just enough to keep the wrist warm.  My preference is just a short cuff about 1/12 to two inches long that does not fold.  

The body of the mitten is where you can really get creative.  Use this area to try out new stitches you may want to use again later on a larger project like a sweater.  You can use lacy, cabled or all over designs.  The only rule you really need to remember is to reverse any directional patterns for the opposite side.  These instructions will be for the cable design.  The body of the mitten needs to be the approximate measurement from where your hand joins the wrist to where your fingers join the hand. 

The finished edge is four rows of ribbing.  Some like less, but I thought it looked more balanced with the four rows instead of only two.  You can add more or less depending on what you find to be most comfortable.  ( I really like patterns that let me make the choices).  After you make one pair, get creative.  Just remember to take a couple of notes so that you can duplicate your results for the opposite gove.

When  you sew the sides together, sew up from the wrist cuff and down from the finger cuff leaving about an inch and a half for your thumb opening. 

Step 4: Instructions

Cast on 40 stitches, using a long tail cast on and allowing enough yart tail to use when sewing sides together.
Work in Knit 2 Purl 2 ribbing for 1 and a half to two inches, or more, depending on your preference.  For the ones pictured, this was about 10 or 11 rows.


Begin pattern

1st row above cuff, right side:  Knit 5, Purl 2, Slip 3 stitches to cable needle*, hold in front, Knit next 3 stitches from the left needle, Knit the three stitches from the cable needle, Purl 2, Knit 25.  
*Special note: I actually used a double point size 5 needle to hold my stitches, you could also slip them onto a smaller spare needle or stitch holder, then transfer them back to the needle when you are ready to knit them.  

2nd row, wrong side: Knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches or if you prefer to count, Purl 25, Knit 2, Purl 6, Knit 2, Purl 5.  Repeat this row for all of the wrong side rows as long as you are working on the body.

3rd row, work in pattern, Knit the knit and purl the purl stitches.  This will be Knit 5, Purl 2, Knit 6, Purl 2, Knit 25

4th row, repeat row 2
5th row, repeat row 3
6th row, repeat row 2

7th row, repeat row 1 - this begins the pattern again.

Work in pattern for a total of 3 repeats, or 4 if you have longer hands or want a longer glove.  

Finish with 4 rows of Knit 2 Purl 2ribbing, then bind off in pattern.  Leave a yarn tail long enough to stitch the sides.


Row 1:  Knit 25, Purl 2, Slip 3 stitches to cable needle, hold in back of work, Knit 3 from left needle, Knit 3 from cable needle, Purl 2, Knit 5
Rows 2, 4 and 6: Purl 5, Knit 2, Purl 6, Knit 2, Purl 25
Rows 3 and 5: Knit 25, Purl 2, Knit 6, Purl 2, Knit 5

Finish:  Stitch up from bottom of wrist cuff  and down from the finger cuff with the yarn tails.  Leave about a one and a half inch opening for the thumb.

Step 5: Extras

If you want a thumb gusset, pick up four stitches across the bottom of the  thumb opening.  Create your stitches so that the purl side is on the inside of your mitten and the knit side is on the right side.  at the end of each row increase by picking up one stitch as you work your way up the thumb gusset.  Work the last two rows in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing and bind off in pattern.

Step 6: Gifts

Our office is cold if you sit by the window so I made these to give as gifts for co-workers.  They wear them and I get to know that they use and enjoy the gifts. If you look closely you can get some ideas for kinds of patterns that work well.  It is a great way to practice new stitches and test stitches you may want to use on something larger. I was able to make two pair from each ball of yarn.  You could get even more creative and combine colors for a striped pair.  In that case I would probably just use a simple stockenette pattern. (knit all of the outside and purl all of the inside rows.)

Visit my blog;

Holiday Gifts Contest

Participated in the
Holiday Gifts Contest