Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Oregon Wood Worker
beauty shot

One of my favorite blogs to check belongs to Karen Barbé. She is a textile designer from Santiago, Chile. Her blog is filled with beautiful photos of her work which ranges from needlework to weaving to screen printing. A few months ago, I read an old blog post in which she used the palm leaf stitch to cover a canvas rug. I loved the texture and plumpness of the stitch when worked in yarn and I wanted to find a way to use it on my knitting. After playing around for a bit, I came up with Olla.

These mittens are quick knit in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica. They start from cuff and are worked up to the finger tips. The set-up for the palm leaf stitch is knit into the fabric of the mittens so it is easier to embroider later. The thick and thin nature of Wool Clasica works perfectly with this stitch and the result is a beautifully textured leaf pattern. These mittens are easy enough for a beginner and can be made quickly as a last minute gift.

Olla is an old norse name meaning ancestor's relic. I chose this name because it reminded me of cold places where you might need a nice thick pair of mittens to keep warm.

spacer photos: Anna and Soshi Sudo
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Adult S[M, L]
shown in size S (grey) and L (blue)

Hand circumference: 6.5[7.5, 8.5] inches
Bottom of palm to finger tip: 6.5[7, 7.5] inches
Cuff length: 4 inches
Thumb length: 3.3[3.4, 3.6] inches



Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica, [100% wool;138 yards/126 meters per 100g skein]; 1[ 1, 2] skeins
spacer Grey pair uses color 19, Dove.
spacer Blue pair uses color 45, Lapis

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US #9/5.5 mm needles for working in the round

spacer stitch markers
spacer stitch holder or waste yarn
spacer yarn needle



14.5 sts/22 rounds = 4 inches (10 cm) in stockinette stitch

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

M1: Use the backwards loop method to create a stitch and place it on the right needle. If you find it easier, you can work a yo where an M1 is indicated, and on the following round, work the yarnover through the back loop to twist it and close up the hole.

To make it easier to embroider the leaf pattern onto the mitten, the embroidery pattern set-up is knit into the fabric of the mittens. Yarn overs and purl bumps on RS rows will be used to indicate where to make embroidery stitches.

CO 24[28, 32] sts.
Distribute across needles as you prefer and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Cuff round 1: Knit.
Cuff round 2: Purl.
Work Cuff rounds 1-2 3 more times.

Round 1, Size S only: [K6, m1] 4 times. 28 sts.
Round 1, Size M only: Knit.
Round 1, Size L only: [K11, yo] twice, k10, yo. 35 sts.

All sizes: Round 2: Purl.
Round 3: (K2, ssk, yo, k3) 4[4, 5] times.

Round 4: Purl.

Repeat Rounds 3-4 3 more times.

Round 11: (P1, k1, ssk, yo, k2, p1) 4[4, 5] times.

Round 12: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 11-12 once.

Start Thumb Gusset:
Round 15: M1, (p1, k5, p1) 4[4, 5] times. 29[29, 36] sts.

Round 16: Knit.

Round 17: K1, (k1, p1, k3, p1, k1) 4[4, 5] times.

Round 18: M1, k1, m1, place marker, k to end of round. 31[31, 38] sts.

Round 19: Knit to marker, (k2, p1, k1, p1, k2) 4[4, 5] times.

Round 20: Knit.

Round 21: M1, k to marker, m1, slip marker, (k3, p1, k3) 4[4, 5] times. 33[33, 40] sts.

Round 22: Knit.

Round 23, size S only: K to marker, (k2tog, k5) 4 times. 29 sts.
Round 23, size M only: Knit.
Round 23, size L only: K to marker, (k2tog, k10) twice, k2tog, k to end of round. 37 sts.
Round 24: M1, k to marker, m1, slip marker, k to end of round. 2 sts increased.
Round 25 and 26: Knit around.
Repeat Rounds 24-26 once more.

Sizes M & L only: Repeat Rounds 24-25 once more.
33[39, 43] sts, 9[11, 11] sts between start of round and thumb gusset marker.

Separate thumb, next round: Slip 9[11, 11] thumb sts to a holder or scrap yarn; using backwards loop method, CO 2 stitches, knit to end of round; k1. This is the new start of round. 26[30, 34] sts.

Next round: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, ssk. 24[28, 32] sts.

Knit 12[15, 17] rounds.

Decrease round 1: [K2, k2tog] around. 18[21, 24] sts.

Decrease round 2: Knit.

Decrease round 3: [K1, k2tog] around. 12[14, 16] sts.

Decrease round 4: Knit.

Decrease round 5: K2tog around. 6[7, 8] sts.

Break yarn, thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle and pull through the remaining stitches. Tighten to close the hole and secure.

Return the 9 [11, 11] thumb sts to the needles. With RS facing, rejoin yarn and pick up and knit 2 sts in the crook of the thumb, over the cast on stitches. Knit across the held thumb stitches and join for working in the round. 11[13, 13] sts.

Round 1: Slip the first picked up st onto the last needle of the round, so that it becomes the last st of the round. K2tog, k to last 2 sts, ssk. 9[11, 11] sts.
Knit 9[10, 10] rounds.
Decrease round: K2tog 4[5, 5] times, k1. 5[6, 6] sts.

Break yarn, thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle and pull through the remaining stitches. Tighten to close the hole and secure.



Cut a length of yarn about 90 inches long. Thread the yarn through the needle and pulling it so that the ends of the yarn are even. You will be using two strands of yarn for each embroidery stitch.

Step 1: Choose one pattern section on the cuff and insert the tapestry needle from the WS to the RS in yo marked 1.

Step 2: Next pick up both legs of the stitch above the purl bump marked 1 and pull the needle through.

Step 3: Return needle to yo 1 and pull through.

Make sure not to pull the embroidery stitches too tight. A little loose is better so they can stretch when the mittens are worn.

Continue the leaf pattern by repeating steps 1-3 for each number of the chart in order. Weave in ends.

Work the embroidery chart a total of 4[4, 5] times around the each cuff, in each lace motif.

Weave in all ends and block.


Anna lives just outside of Tokyo with her photo-geek husband. She spends most of her time knitting whatever takes her fancy and if she has any time to spare she enjoys sewing, reading, snapping photos and exploring.

For updates on what she is working on or her other patterns, check out her blog or find her on Ravelry as Etta.