Beginners Fingerless Mittens


Beginners Fingerless Mittens

©Jen Best 2022 

These mittens are worked from side to side. The length is approximately 22cm, but this will depend on your tension. To adjust the length, change the cast on stitches or wet block them longer if they’re too short once they’re made. Soak them in water for an hour then pin them to shape on a mat/ironing board with rust free pins until dry. Once they’re dry they will retain their pinned shape. You can then sew up the sides, leaving a hole for your thumb.

 The amounts in the chart below are an estimate and may change depending on your tension. I’ve rounded measurements up so you may have yarn left over. You can gather the leftovers and make them into stripy mittens, following the 2 colour stripe stitch pattern below.

Yarn Weight

Needle size

Cast on Stitches

Yarn amount

2 colour stripes yarn amount





Yarn A 200m. Yarn B 200m





Yarn A 100m. Yarn B 100m





Yarn A 70m. Yarn B 70m





Yarn A 60m. Yarn B 60m





Yarn A 50m. Yarn B 50m

Super chunky                           




Yarn A 45m. Yarn B 45m

Stitch Patterns

Garter stitch - Knit every row

Stocking stitch - Knit one row, purl one row

Vertical 2 x 2 rib (when worked from the bottom up this is horizontal rib) - Knit one row. Purl 2 rows. Knit one row

These 4 rows make the pattern

2 colour stripes - Work in yarn A for 2 rows in what ever stitch pattern you prefer. Join in yarn B and work 2 rows in yarn B. Carry yarn A up the side, bringing the yarn in front of yarn B, being careful not to pull tight. Work 2 rows in yarn A. Carry yarn B up the side, bringing the yarn in front of yarn A, being careful not to pull tight. Work 2 rows of yarn B. Repeat the 2 rows of colour, always carrying the yarn you are going to work with up the side of the work, and keeping the tension even.

The stitch patterns above are easy to learn and suitable for beginners. You could substitute them for any stitch pattern you want to try. You may need to adjust the cast on for other stitch patterns.  You are essentially making a rectangle of fabric which will wrap around your hand, and then sewing the sides together, leaving a hole for the thumb to poke through.

Make 2 mittens the same

Choose your yarn and your stitch pattern. Cast on the number of stitches appropriate to your yarn on the chart above, making sure you leave a long tail at the beginning of your work for sewing up later.

Work in your chosen stitch pattern until the piece wraps nearly around your palm. Alternatively measure around your palm and work to 1cm less than your palm measures. You are working to a negative ease of 1cm. Negative ease means the fabric will stretch around your hand, rather than be loose around your hand (positive ease).

Cast off in knit, leaving a long tail. Use the cast off tail to sew the sides together, down to the thumb hole, and use the cast on tail to sew up the side of the mitten to the thumb hole. I would use whip stitch to sew up my sides. Weave in the tails and block if needed. The easiest way to find the best place for the thumb hole is to try the mitten on as you stitch. If you can’t try it on (you’re making a pair as a surprise for example) a good general rule is to make the thumb hole nearly half way down the side. 


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