Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


When winter winds blow snow across the fields and vibrant flowers have long since faded, the ghosts of chrysanthemums remind us of the coming spring. These mittens are a stylized interpretation of the chrysanthemum, which even on a chilly day will warm your hands with its delicate bloom.

Using traditional Norwegian shaping and construction technique, the Chrysanthemums mittens’ stranded colourwork is knit at a tight gauge to keep your hands warm and protected from the wind.

The cuff’s design reflects the pleats and lace of a Victorian dress sleeve, while the smooth ply of Louet Gems in cream and pewter adds an elegant touch.

spacer model: Heather Desserud spacer photos: Melissa Flynn and Heather Desserud



Hand circumference: 8 inches
Length: 10.5 inches



spacer [MC] Louet Gems Fingering [100% Superwash Merino Wool; 185 yards/50 g skein]; color: 30 Cream; 1  skein

spacer [CC] Louet Gems Fingering [100% Superwash Merino Wool; 185 yards/50 g ball]; color: 43 Pewter; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set of 5 US #1/2.25 mm double-point needles
spacer 1 long US #1/2.25 mm circular needle for magic loop method
spacer 2 short US #1/2.25 mm circular needles for two-circulars method

spacer Yarn needle
spacer scrap pieces of yarn in a contrasting color, or stitch holder



40 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches in stranded stockinette stitch


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

Left vs Right hand: There are two charts, one for the left and one for the right hand. The cuffs and backs of the hands are the same – the two hands differ in placement of the thumb on the palm. Use the appropriate chart for the appropriate hand.

M1: make 1 stitch by inserting left needle, from front to back, under strand of yarn running between last stitch on left needle and first stitch on right needle. Knit this stitch through the back loop for 1 increased stitch.

Instructions for the Cable Cast On can be found here

The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page.
Click below and print each resulting page.

Left handRight handThumb, cuff and legend

Make 1 left and 1 right mitten. See Pattern Notes for further information.

Cast on 74 stitches in MC and divide across needles as you prefer. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.

Work picot edge as follows:
K 4 rounds.

Round 5: [YO, K2tog] around.

K 4 rounds.

Round 10: Fold the hem so that the cast-on edge is lined up with your needles. K together 1 stitch from your needles and 1 stitch from the cast-on edge all the way around.

Begin working Cuff Chart (right or left as appropriate) using MC and CC. Work until Cuff Chart is complete.

Body of Mitten
Begin working Main Chart. The thumb gusset will take shape as you proceed with the increases.

When you reach the thumb line (round 14 of the Main Chart), slip the 16 thumb sts as indicated on the chart onto scrap piece of yarn or stitch holder (without working them), and cast on 11 sts over the gap using cable cast-on method.

Continue working Main Chart to final round, including decreases. Break off yarn, and using tapestry needle, thread through the remaining 6 sts and pull tight. Thread this yarn down through top of mitten to the inside.

Return the 16 held thumb sts to one needle. Pick up and k 12 sts over cast-on sts, then 1 st on either side of thumb hole. Divide on needles as you prefer and work Thumb Chart starting with palm facing up (front side of thumb). 30 sts.

Finish thumb in same manner as mitten tip by pulling yarn through the remaining sts and weaving ends inside. Repeat for second mitten.

Weave in ends and block lightly.


Heather (also known as strikkehedda) is a writer and communications consultant by day, but by night she designs mittens for the frigid Ottawa winters. When not knitting or working, Heather spends her time cycling, playing her purple violin, and spoiling her dog, Percy, who has his own ideas about the best use of yarn.

You can find her online at