Go Big Or Go Gnome : Knitty.com - Winter 2018

Go Big Or Go Gnome

Go Big or Go Gnome, a free knitting pattern from Knitty.com. Free knitting pattern for a DETAILS HERE.


Go Big or Go Gnome

beauty shotby


Is it the beards? The pointy hats? The brim drooping over the eyes? I don't know what it is about gnomes, but I sure can't stop knitting them! I've designed a few 3D gnomes, but I wanted to see if I could bring their whimsy to colorwork and these mittens were born of a desire to put them where I could see them and smile. I'm looking forward to wrapping these fellows around steering wheels, mugs, and shopping bag handles all winter long!

Knit using stranded colorwork, these mittens only have two colors per row. I live where it’s pretty cold and windy, so I substituted a ribbed cuff for a more traditional colorwork approach because I like to tuck my mittens into my parka and keep out the winds. To balance the size of the gnomes against the height and width of the different sizes, I’ve created different charts for every size.

spacer model: Sandra Schira

spacer photos: Sarah Schira, Sandra Schira

Print Essentials Print Everything


XS[S, M, L, XL]
XS is child/adult, the other sizes are all adult


Circumference: 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5] inches/ 16.5[18, 19, 20, 21.5] cm
Length: 5.25[6, 6.5, 7.5, 7.75] inches/ 13[15, 16.5, 19, 19.5] cm
Choose a size about 0.5”/1cm larger than the circumference of the widest part of your palm.


Leading Men Fiber Arts [75% superwash merino, 25% nylon; 463yd/423m per 100g skein]; colors:
spacer [C1] Dames At Sea; 1[1, 1, 1, 1] skein
spacer [C2] Sand Castle; 1[1, 1, 1, 1] skein
spacer [C3] Poison Apple; 1[1, 1, 1, 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 #US 1.5/2.5mm needles for small circumference in the round

spacer stitch markers
spacer scrap yarn
spacer yarn needle


32 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette stitch
34 sts/ 40 rounds = 4 inches/10 cm in stranded colorwork


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

C2 will form the background and the beard. It is very important that you choose colors that will pop against this. C1 and C3 can be somewhat similar in shade to each other but should strongly contrast to C2.

This pattern is identical on the front and back. You will use the same chart for both halves of the mitten.

When increasing for the thumb gusset using M1R and M1L, in the initial rounds, always lift a strand of C1. When you're working rounds that have C2 and C3, always lift C3. This makes the gusset lines much crisper and cleaner.

For the thumb decreases, it may seem like you are working with the wrong colour when doing the centered double decrease. But by slipping two as if to knit them together and then working a stitch in what seems like the wrong colour, you will see that it lines up so that the stripe continues up the central stitch after you pass the slipped sts over.


  • Stranded colorwork (Fair Isle): here and here


XSmall | Small | Medium | Large | XLarge


Using C1, cast on 52[56, 60, 64, 68] sts. Distribute sts across needles as you prefer and join for working in the round.

Ribbing round: [K1, p1] around.
Work ribbing as set until cuff measures 2.5[2.5, 2.75, 2.75, 3] inches/ 6[6, 7, 7, 7.5] cm.

Increase round: [Work rib as set across 16[18, 19, 21, 22] sts, M1R] three times, work rib to end. 55[59, 63, 67, 71] sts.
Gusset setup round: K 27[29, 31, 33, 35] sts, pm, k1, pm, k to end.

Left Mitten, hand round: Work Left colorwork chart for your size, work thumb gusset chart for your size, work Left colorwork chart for your size again.

Right Mitten, hand round: Work Right colorwork chart for your size, work thumb gusset chart for your size, work Right colorwork chart for your size again.

Continue as set until you have finished the gusset chart. 21[23, 25, 27, 29] sts between gusset markers.

Separation round: work colorwork chart for your size, slip gusset sts onto scrap yarn, work colorwork chart for your size.

Continue working colorwork chart as established. If needed, repeat round 39[43, 47, 52, 52] until hand (above cuff) measures 4[4.5, 5, 5.75, 6] inches/ 10[11.5, 13, 14.5, 15] cm or until 1.5[1.5, 1.5, 1.75, 2] inches/ 3.5[3.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5] cm less than desired length before proceeding to decreases.

When chart is complete, 10[10, 10, 14, 14] sts rem. Cut both yarns, leaving a 6 inch/15cm tail. Thread C3 on yarn needle and thread through remaining sts.

Return held sts to needles. Rejoin yarns and work across the sts in the stripe pattern established in the gusset. Using C2 or C3 to maintain stripe sequence, pick up and knit 1 st over the gap. Distribute sts across needles as you prefer and join to work in the round.

Work stripes as established until thumb measures 1.25[1.25, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75] inches/3[3, 3, 3.5, 5]cm, or 0.25 inches/0.5 cm less than desired length.

Work the thumb decrease chart for your size. Cut both yarns, leaving a 6 inch/15cm tail.  Thread C3 on yarn needle and thread through remaining sts twice.


Weave in ends, closing any holes at the base of the thumb. Soak and block to measurements. Trim ends.


designername Sarah loves gnomes. A lot. To her delight and her family's astonishment, lots of other knitters have joined her in #nevernotgnoming. When she's not designing gnomes, she's working on knitting patterns for everyday adventures.

See more of her designs and find her podcast at her website.

Pattern & images © 2018 Sarah Schira.