Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Free Pattern: Fast & Easy Fingerless Mitts

Red pair is made from Gedifra Fashion Trend Color; Brown pair is made from Malabrigo Merino Worsted.

After making about a gazillion pairs of these for Christmas gifts this year, each pair tweaked a bit from the last, I finally came up with what I believe to be an easy-peasy pattern for fingerless mitts that yields a lovely finished pair in very little time. You could easily do a pair in an evening if you're a fast knitter. I averaged one mitt per night, just because I get bored knitting the same thing for too long. I thought I'd share the pattern I came up with for anyone interested in giving them a try.

(Note added 1/20/10 - I've written a second version of this pattern for those who would like to knit these mitts in the round instead of flat. You'll find the circular version here.)

Yarn: 50 g of your favorite worsted weight (I use grams here rather than yardage because in every pair I made, I was able to get a pair out of a 50 gram ball, regardless of yardage, and I had a little bit left over.)

Needles: US 7

Abbreviations: K = knit; P = purl; SS = stockinette stitch; M1 = make one increase

Size: This pattern will fit an average woman's hand. After working the thumb, you can adjust the length of finger portion of the mitt to accommodate a number of hand sizes.

Both Mitts:

Cast on 34 stitches.

Work K1, P1 rib for 18 rows.

Work SS for 4 rows, ending on a purl row.

For Right Mitt:

K17, M1, k3, M1, K to end of row.
Next row: Purl.
Work SS for 2 rows.

K17, M1, K5, M1, K to end of row.
Next row: Purl.
Work SS for 2 rows.

K17, M1, K7, M1, K to end of row.
Next row: Purl.
Work SS for 2 rows.

K17, M1, K9, M1, K to end of row.
Next row: Purl.

You should have 42 stitches at this point.

K28, turn work, P11.

For Left Mitt:

K14, M1, K3, M1, K to end.
Next row: Purl.
Work SS for two rows.

K14, M1, K5, M1, K to end.
Next row: Purl.
Work SS for two rows.

K14, M1, K7, M1, K to end.
Next row: Purl.
Work SS for two rows.

K14, M1, K9, M1, K to end.
Next row: Purl.

You should have 42 stitches at this point.

K25, turn work, P11.

For Both Mitts:

On these 11 stitches, work K1, P1 rib for 4 more rows or until you reach desired thumb length. Bind off loosely. Break yarn leaving approximately 18" tail. With tail yarn, seam up thumb from top to bottom. After seaming, continue using tail yarn to pick up two stitches at the base of the thumb and then K to the end of the row. Rejoin yarn.

Next row: Purl.

Work remainder of the mitt in SS to desired length, minus one inch, ending on a purl row.

Work six rows of K1, P1 rib. Bind off loosely. Seam mitt down outside edge.

42 comments:

aspen said...

I cast on for these using some Noro Kureyon I had laying around (one of those "no project in mind" purchases.) I'm almost to the thumb on the first mitt and the pattern is working out great so far. Thanks for sharing it!

Lisa B. said...

Oh good! I'm glad you're enjoying it. I did a pair out of Kureyon as well...I love how they come out looking totally different due to the wide color variegations of the yarn. I'd love to see a picture of yours when you're done!

Sarah said...

I love these gloves! Did you use regular needles or round needles?
Thanks!

Lisa B. said...

Hi Sarah...so glad you like them! I knit them flat (though I used circular needles because I almost always do) and seamed them up the outside edge. You could totally do them in the round, though...just put them thumb stitches on a holder and pick them up once the rest of the mitt is done.

Anonymous said...

so this is the first time I have ventured out on my own and found a pattern the read by myself and knit without a class or friend instruction. I have made it all the way to purled 11 stitches (thumb part). once I knit the 18 and then turn work and purl the 11 do I have to continue turning the work with each row until I get the thumb long enough?

I love the pattern, and found it to be very easy to understand. Its a great pattern to use when you are branching out on your own to find projects you enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I meant once I knit the 28

Lisa B. said...

Yes, after you've worked the 28 and purled back the 11, you continue working back and forth on the 11 stitches only until you reach the desired thumb length. HTH! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm still pretty new to knitting and I have a question. I don't have size 7 needles, but I do have 6 and 8, would it be ok to knit these with those? I figured it may take more or less yarn depending on the needles, but would it greatly alter the pattern if I just change the needles by one size?

Lisa B. said...

Well, what's most important in any project is getting gauge with the yarn you're using. The needles in the pattern are the recommended size, but depending on how you knit (tight or loose), it isn't uncommon to go up or down a needle size to get gauge. The best thing to do is swatch. Do one swatch using the 6s and one doing the 8s and see if you are getting gauge with either of them and then adjust as necessary.

That said, if you're not into swatching for small project like this, it probably would not be the end of the world to just wing it. If you're using a worsted weight yarn as recommended in the pattern, I'd say go with the 8s, unless you are a very loose knitter, then try the 6s first. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions about the pattern.

Anonymous said...

I have smallish hands & like tighter mittens, so I knit these up on size 4's & they turned out perfectly. Great pattern!

jenthegypsy said...

Hi - I'm a relatively new knitter and this is the first pair of gloves I'm attempting. So far, so good. Now though, I'm at the "seam the thumb" part. What is your recommended way of seaming? From the inside or the outside? Do you use the mattress stitch? Thanks for the pattern and the advice!

Lisa B. said...

Hi Jen...glad you're enjoying the pattern! Yes, I use mattress stitch to seam the thumb, with right sides facing. HTH! :)

Anonymous said...

i have made everyone in my family a pair for Christmas a great pattern i was just wondering what alterations i would have to make to do them in a mans size thank you

dizzydesi said...

Great pattern! I will definitely be knitting more of these. Thank you so much for sharing!

Amy said...

I'm starting these this weekend and can't wait! What cast-on do you recommend? I was thinking of attempting my first Twisted German Cast-on so it's stretchy. What do you use?

Lisa B. said...

Amy, I used the long-tail cast on, but any sufficiently stretchy cast on should work fine! :)

Amy said...

Lisa, I'm trying to figure out how to do this pattern on 2 circ's and I'm stuck at the thumb part. Not sure what to do there. Any advice on how to do the thumb?

Lisa B. said...

Amy, if you've already worked the thumb gusset and are at the point in the pattern where it tells you to work only on the thumb stitches before going on to the rest of the mitt, I'd suggest putting the 11 thumb gusset stitches on a holder or scrap yarn, working the rest of the mitt first, and then going back to knit the rest of the thumb at the end. Does that make sense?

Amy said...

I've made the increases and I'm at the part where you tell me to turn and purl the 11 stitches, but I haven't done that yet. If I put the 11 stitches on a holder, how do I join the rest of the mitten together without a gaping hole? I feel like I'm missing something.

Lisa B. said...

After you put the thumb stitches on a holder, you'll finish that round and then when you are on the next round, make sure you knit the stitch before and the stitch after the held stitches very snugly. That will help eliminate any gap. (It will also help if you have a few of the stitches after the thumb on the same needle as the ones before so you aren't trying to join them where the needles meet.) When you pick up your thumb stitches later, there will be a gap where the two sides of the thumb meet, and that's why you'll need to pick up two additional stitches at that spot. But since you've done the mitt part first, you'll be picking up the extra stitches for the thumb from the mitt fabric, whereas in the pattern you're picking up from the thumb to close the gap as you're finishing the mitt. Hope this helps!

Lisa B. said...

Amy - this might be a little late to help you, but I just finalized a second version of this pattern that is written specifically to work them in the round. It's published here. http://lisabeamer.blogspot.com/2010/01/fast-easy-fingerless-mitts-v2-circular.html
Hopefully this will clarify any other issues you're having, but if not, let me know! :)

Amy said...

You're my new best friend. :-)

Lisa B. said...

Aw, thanks! LOL Glad I could help! :)

reading-angel said...

Thanks so much for posting this pattern! I'm going to be helping some girls learn how to knit on Sunday and they expressed an interest in making mitts and I have been looking all over the internet for a simple pattern with basic stitches to teach them on, and this looks perfect.

Lisa B. said...

Reading Angel...that's great! Yes, this would be a good pattern for that. I hope it goes well! Good luck sharing the fibery obsession with others! :)

Angela Hines said...

The knitting lesson went fairly well with one but the other girl had to leave early and didn't learn much beyond casting on. I'll see them again this next weekend.

Just curious, do you know what the gauge for this should be? I made a pair for myself and they fit fairly well, but I'm trying to make some for my mom and her hands are smaller and I keep either making them too big or far too small. Usually I don't swatch on mitts, but I find myself needing to and I can't quite work out what the gauge needs to be. I think it will also help in making sure the girls have the right needles/yarn weight to get mitts of the right size.

I apologize if I just didn't see it somewhere...

Lisa B. said...

Angela, I really didn't worry much about gauge in this pattern. It is written to be made with worsted weight yarn, so I recommend using whatever size needles you need to get the gauge stated on the ball band for your yarn. That should give you the right fabric density intended for the mitts. Since it is only a one-size pattern, you could try adjusting needle size, up or down, to accomplish a slightly larger or smaller mitt, though that will affect the fabric density a bit. Or you could try going down and using a DK weight yarn with appropriate needles to get a smaller mitt. The only other option would be to swatch and do the calculations necessary to match up your stitches per inch to the hand size o the recipient and adjusting the stitch counts in the pattern. Hope this helps! Good luck! :)

missLeane said...

Hi Lisa :)
Thankyou for this simple pattern. I'm currently stuck on this step
Work remainder of the mitt in SS to desired length, minus one inch, ending on a purl row.

I don't understand what you mean by minusing one inch?

Lisa B. said...

The last inch of the mitt is worked in ribbing, not stockinette. So, it just means to measure from where you are at that point in the pattern out to the desired length for the finger section, and then sutract one inch. That is how much farther you'll knit in stockinette, then the last inch you'll do in the ribbing pattern. :)

missLeane said...

Oh, I forgot to ask also, when picking up the two stitches, do you do it on either side of the seamed up thumb tube or just on one side of it?

Amy said...

After I seamed the thumb I picked up two stitches and continued knitting the rest of that row, per the pattern instructions. I then rejoined my working yarn. The next step says to purl, then SS.

Somewhere after seaming the thumb, my work got turned around and the SS is facing the wrong side. So now my right side has a few row of bumps above the thumb. I'm hesitant to unravel because 1) I'm a beginner and not quite sure if I'll be able to insert the needle back in correctly, and 2) Once I get down to the row that needs corrected, I won't know what to do. Any tips would be much appreciated! I really love this pattern and am hoping I can fix it so I don't end up making this same mistake with the left mitt! Thank you!

Amy said...

I managed to fix my backwards SS so now all is good. One mitt down - one more to go! :)

Lisa B. said...

Great, Amy! I was just getting ready to reply, but I'm glad you were able to figure it out on your own! :)

Heather said...

I'm confused as to why you have different stitch numbers between the increases... K17, M1, K3, M1, K to end, but the next row is K17, M1, K5, K to end. I've got my increases lined up for the first one but two stitches over for the second one. Sorry that I don't understand, I've only knitted scarves before now.

Lisa B. said...

Good question, Heather! Actually, each time you do an increase, you are making a new stitch. So, the next time an increase row comes around, there are two new stitches in that section from the last time you increased. So, where you cited you M1, K3, M1, those two M1s become new stitches, thus, to continue forming the gusset in the correct shape (look at your hand and see how the thumb goes out at an angle from it, it doesn't go straight up and down? That's the shape we're creating), you continue to increase on the outside of the new stitches you created the last time you increased. I hope this helps!

Heather said...

Yes, thank you. I'm glad that I stopped working on it until I heard your answer because I re-read the pattern and realized I had not read the "two rows of SS" in between the increases.

Thank you for helping me learn shaping on your pattern. I have only done scarves until now, and I actually only taught myself to knit 6 weeks ago.

Marina said...

Hi Lisa!

I have to say: I looove this pattern I already have purple and brown pairs!! =D first one I knitted flat and the other in the round. I got a question though, why are the increases diferent from a pattern to the other? the flat one between the M1 first you K3, then K5, then K7 and in the round are all the same... sorry to bother you with this but it kept being on my mind, you know?? anyway, thanks again for the pattern!!!

Lisa B. said...

That's an excellent question, Marina. I have no idea why I wrote it that way. LOL I'm surprised no one brought it to my attention before. Basically, though, I think I probably assumed people would know that the stitches between the M1s would grow by 2 after each increase round, thus yielding the new stitch count noted in the pattern. But I've gone back into the in-the-round version of the pattern and clarified it now. Thanks for pointing that out!

Lechuguita said...

Hi Lisa!

First I want to thank you for posting this pattern, it is easy to follow and is very beautiful.

Recently I knitted the mittens following your instructions and they were perfect, but a little big for my hands,however the thumb fits perfect, I imagine that by adjusting the amount of stiches around the thumb it will fit me better, does that sounds logical to you??

Finally I made a translation into Spanish of your pattern and I wonder if you are interested to publish it in Spanish. My blog has nothing to do with knit so I thought maybe you could post it on your blog as an "alternative" version in Spanish. If you are interested my e-mail is lechu.blog@gmail.com.... I have no intention of publishing it without your permission, but I think the pattern is great and it would be good for all weavers in Spanish.

Sorry if the english is no so good (google help me a little) :)

Thanks again

crabseyesincustard said...

Hello Lisa, I'm following your flat-knit pattern version, and have just finished seaming the thumb.
Quick question - Where it says to pick up two stitches from the base of the thumb, what exactly does that mean?
Thanks so much for making this pattern available, I think like most of your commenters I'll be knitting a few of these as presents!! xxx

Lisa B. said...

You'll have the live stitches for the thumb that were on your holder/waste yarn, but as you work around them, when you come to the spot at the top of the thumb -- between your thumb and your first finger -- there will be a gap, and if you don't pick up a couple of stitches there, the gap will be visible. This helps fill that gap and also make the thumb fit better. Hope this helps!

julie61880 said...

I want to thank you so much for this pattern! I have made 10 pairs of mitts...so far...and plan on making many more. My church has a glove/mitten tree for the holiday. I am making the mitts for that. I have been buying the inexpensive stretchy gloves to wear under the mitts for a little extra warmth. Thank you, again!