Elizabeth Zimmermann was right: fancy mittens with lovely stranded
patterns knit in small gauges are probably best made in May.*
Mittens knit in January should be thick and warm and finished
quickly so you can get back outside and play. Shelburne mittens
are knit in a bold cross-stitch rib that really stands out in
a bulky yarn. No need for a cable needle; you simply work a knit
2, purl 1 rib, but on every other row, you cross the knit stitches
by working the second stitch first. A tweedy merino-alpaca blend
and longer-than-usual cuffs make these mittens perfect for deep
winter, and the superwash wool keeps them from shrinking and
felting with wear, as mittens are apt to do. With sizes for both
children and adults, you can outfit the whole family with new
mittens to celebrate the New Year.
Circumference of hand: 5.5[6.5, 7] inches in pattern stitch,
unstretched; to fit 6-6.5 [7-7.5, 8-8.5] hand circumference when
Hand length: 5.5[7.5, 9] inches
Cuff length: 3.5[5, 4] inches
Total length, from cuff to fingertip: 9[12.5, 13] inches
Felted Tweed Chunky [50% merino wool/25%
alpaca/25% viscose; 55 yd/50 m per
50 g skein]; 2 [3, 3] skeins. child: wode (289) [shown above] woman: blue shadow (284) [shown immediately below] man: grey pebble (283) [shown above]
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
set US #9/5.5 mm double-point needles OR
long US #9/5.5 mm circular needle OR
short US #9/5.5 mm circular needles
holder or waste yarn
13 sts/18 rounds = 4 inches
in Stockinette stitch
16 sts/20 rounds = 4 inches in pattern stitch,
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
It is very hard to check gauge in ribbed stitches, so before you
begin, take the time to knit a swatch in stockinette stitch. Then
check the gauge of your mittens after you’ve knit a few
inches of the cuff in cross-stitch rib. It should stretch comfortably
around the hand of the intended wearer.
All three sizes of mittens use nearly all of the recommended
yarn; if you intend to save your gauge swatch or make any alterations
to the pattern (a longer cuff or hand, for example), you should
purchase an extra skein. To make the child’s size in a
set of 3 mittens, you will need 3 skeins.
The thumb on the child’s and man’s mitten is plain
reverse Stockinette stitch (purl every row in the round). The
thumb on the woman’s mitten has a two-stitch crossed rib
running up the outside center.
Cross-stitch 2x1 rib (worked in the round over a multiple of
3 sts) Round 1: [Skip 1 st and knit into 2nd
st, then knit into skipped st, then slip both sts from needle
together; p1] to end Round 2: [K2, p1] to end
M1p: Make 1 purlwise. With point of left-hand
needle, from back to front pick up bar running between last st
on right-hand needle and first stitch on left-hand needle, and
purl into the front of it.
MITTENS (make 2)
Using needles of your choice, CO 21 [27,
30] sts. Place marker and join to work
in the round, being careful not to
Work even in cross-stitch 2x1 rib until cuff measures
3.5[5, 4] inches from CO edge.
Thumb gore setup: For child and man’s sizes: Work 11[-, 14] sts in pattern
as established, pm, M1p, p1, M1p, pm, work in pattern to end
of round. For woman’s size: Work -[12, -] sts in pattern as established, pm,
M1p, work 2 knit sts of rib in pattern (crossing if necessary),
For all sizes: work 2 rounds even.
Thumb gore increase round: Work to first marker in pattern,
slip marker, M1p, work to next marker in pattern, M1p, slip marker,
work to end in pattern.
Work 2 rounds even.
Repeat the last 3 rounds 1[1, 3] more times; 7[8, 11] sts between
Woman’s size only: work 2 more
rounds even in pattern.
Separate thumb: Work to first marker in pattern, slip next 7[8,
11] sts to waste yarn or stitch holder removing markers as you
go, CO 1[2, 1] st(s) over gap, work to end of rnd in pattern.
21[27, 30] sts.
Work even in patt until fingertips are just covered, or
about 8.5[11.5, 12] inches from CO edge, ending after a pattern
Decrease for top as follows: Rnd 1: [K2tog, p1] to end. 14[18, 20]
Rnd 2: [K1, p1] to end.
Rnd 3: [K2tog] to end. 7[9, 10] sts rem.
Break yarn, leaving 6-inch tail. Thread
tail though remaining sts twice and fasten off inside mitten.
Transfer thumb sts from waste yarn to
dpn or preferred circular method. Leave an 8-inch tail tucked
into the body of the mitten and pick up 1[2, 1] st(s) over
gap, pm, and work in rev St st for child’s and man’s
mitten; and for woman’s mitten work in rev St st with
a 2-st cross-stitch rib over outside center of thumb, as established.
Total of 8[10, 12] sts for thumb.
Child’s and woman’s
Work even until tip of thumb just covered,
or approx 8 rnds.
Decrease round: P2tog around. 4 sts
Break yarn, leaving 6-inch tail. Thread
tail through rem sts twice and fasten off inside mitten.
Work even until about 1 inch from tip
of thumb, or approx 7 rnds. Tip round 1: Work in pattern to last
two sts, p2tog. 11 sts rem. Tip round 2: Work even in pattern.
Rep last 2 rnds once more. 10 sts. Tip round 5: Work even in pattern. Tip round 6: P2tog around. 5 sts rem.
Break yarn, leaving 6-inch tail. Thread tail through rem sts
twice and fasten off inside mitten.
Use tails from thumb to close up any gaps at base of thumb.
Weave in ends. Block gently if desired.