Knitting Patterns

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mitten Recipe! Free Pattern!

Basic Mitten Recipe

You can use this pattern for any weight yarn and any size needles. I suggest that you consider slightly smaller needles than you would normally use for your yarn in order to create a dense, warm mitten fabric! This pattern does not require changes for handedness – the mitt will work for either hand.

Needle Size

Cast On

Thumb Increases

Yarn Weight




Dk, sport, sock (held double)








Worsted, Aran










Adult woman medium-large.


4 oz yarn (approx)

Double-point needles, stitch markers, safety pin, tapestry needle

Pattern Notes

If you are going to start out with a k2p2 rib, you will need to cast on a multiple of 4 stitches. If you want to increase the mitten size, increase by multiples of 4 st. A k1p1 rib requires a multiple of 2.

Make 1 (M1)

There are many methods of M1. My favorites are:

1. On the increase row, yo; k through the back loop on the next row.

2. K1below: k1 in the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle, then k1 in the stitch on the left needle.

3. Pick up the yarn between 2 stitches with the left needle, k through the back loop of this picked up yarn.

Mitten Recipe

Cast On and Ribbing

Using the cable cast-on method, and consulting with the chart above, cast on the number of stitches you are using onto 3 or 4 dp needles. My favorite method is to divide up the number of stitches you are using into 3 or 4 needles. On needle 1, cast on the number of stitches you intend plus 2 additional st, then move the last 2 st to the next dp needle and continue your cast on.

Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Hint, for a good, snug join, you can either:

1. Cast on an extra stitch and then k this last st tog with the first st on the first needle, or

2. Carefully move your last st to the first needle, and the first st to the last needle (crossing the two); continue with these st as usual.

Begin k2p2 ribbing (or whatever rib pattern you like); continue for at least 3.5 inches. Pull the yarn firmly as you move from needle to needle. Finish at the end of a round, indicated by the presence of the tail of your cast on yarn.

Begin Hand; Increase Round

Next round, k, increasing 4 st evenly spaced around. Continue in st st (knit plain without increasing) 3 more rounds.

Increase for Thumb, also called Thumb Gusset

Round 1: k3, pm, m1, k2, m1, pm, knit around (4 st between markers).

Round 2: k

Repeat rounds 1 and 2, increasing 1 st after the first marker and 1 st before the second marker on odd-numbered rows until you have the desired number of thumb st between markers.

K one additional round after the last increase round.

Next round, k3, place st between markers on a safety pin, piece of waste yarn, or st holder. Cast on 2 (using backward loop method), continue around.

Continue to k all rounds until you are about 1” from the desired top of mitt, or the established mitt is slightly above your pinky finger.

Shape Top of Mitten

Check the number of stitches and make adjustments if needed. You will need to have a multiple of 7 stitches. Increase or decrease if needed, and k one more round plain. Then begin shaping rounds:

Shaping Round 1: *k5 k2tog* around.

Round 2: k

Round 3: *k4 k2tog* around.

Round 4: k

Round 5: *k3 k2tog* around.

Round 6: k

Round 7: *k2 k2tog* around.

Round 8: k

Round 9: *k1 k2tog* around.

Round 10: k

Round 11: k2 tog around.

Break yarn, thread yarn through remaining st, pull tight and fasten off. Pull yarn to the wrong side and weave in.


Pick up st from holder or waste yarn onto 2 dp needles. Using a 3rd dp needle, pick up and 4 st from the thumb opening: 2 from cast on st, 1 on each side. Move stitches around so that you can k2tog on each side of the thumb opening: k 1 st from holder together with 1 picked up st on each side. The beginning of your round will be the right side of the st that have been on the holder. Your stitch count will be the thumb st from the chart above plus 2. K around 12-15 rows or so.

Next rounds:

1. K1 k2tog

2. K

3. K2 together around.

Break yarn, thread yarn through remaining st, pull tight and fasten off. Pull yarn to the wrong side and weave in.

Hint, if you find that you have annoying holes or spaces at the thumb join, you can turn the mitt to the wrong side, thread a needle with a short amount of yarn, take several stitches around the hole, pull up the yarn and tie the ends together.

When you have done this pattern a couple of times, you can go crazy with variations! Use your favorite color work pattern, make stripes, use k and p patterns, have fun!

© 2011 Jennifer Thompson Miller, M.A.

Please consider mittens for charity!

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