Basic Men's Mittens

Monday, November 05, 2007
This pattern was born out of necessity. All of the patterns that I could find for men's mittens were lacking in some way. I didn't like the shaping of the thumb and top of the hand in one; I hated the gusset in another; a third was at just absolutely the wrong gauge. These are a hybrid of all the mitten patterns I've seen - the only real difference is that it's free!

NOTE: These mittens took almost exactly 1 skein of Wool-Ease Heathers (70g; 162yd). If you have the same yardage per skein and want to use just one skein, you'll have to frog your gauge swatch.

Size: Men's M/L (approx 8in/20cm circumference by 8.5in/21cm long, minus cuff)
Gauge: 22sts by 33rows to 4in (10cm)

1 skein Lion Wool-Ease Multi-color (80%Acrylic, 20%Wool) Pines Colorway [70g to 162yd]
1 set US5 (3.75mm) double-pointed needles (or however you like doing circular knitting)
2 stitch markers
darning needle

Cast on 44 stitches.
Join, being careful not to twist, and place marker (PM) at beginning of round.

Rounds 1-25: (K1; P1) repeat to end of round.
Round 26: K43; M1; K1

Gusset shaping:
Round 27: K22; PM; M1; K1; M1; PM; K22*
Round 28: K all sts
Rounds 29-30: K all sts
Round 31: K22; M1; K to marker; M1 before marker; K22
Rounds 32-49: Repeat Rounds 29-31 six MORE times (17 sts between markers)
Round 50: K22; Place stitches between markers on holder; CO1 in gap; K22
*NOTE: I did the M1 stitches using a M1L and a M1R for the first and second, respectively. I am told this makes a neater gusset, but I'm not sure I believe it.

Hand body:
Rounds 51-74: K all sts
Round 75: K19; K2tog; K24 (44 sts remain)

Hand top:
Round 76: K1; SSK; K16; K2tog; K1; PM; K1; SSK; K16; K2tog; K1 (40 sts rem)
Round 77: K all sts
Round 78: (K1; SSK; K to 3 before marker; K2tog; K1) twice (36 sts rem)
Rounds 79-86: Repeat rounds 77-78 4 MORE times (20 sts rem after round 86)
Rounds 87-89: Repeat Round 78 3 MORE times (8 sts rem after round 89)
Break yarn, leaving a long tail.
Graft remaining live stitches using Kitchener stitch.
Alternatively, gather remaining stitches through remaining 8 stitches as if closing a hat.

Move live stitches onto double pointed needles.
Round 1: Pick up and knit two stitches over gap (one on either side), then continue knitting thumb stitches (19 sts rem)
Rounds 2-10: K all sts.
Round 11: K2tog over picked up stitches; K17 (18 sts rem)
Rounds 12-16: K all sts.
Round 17: (K1; K2tog) six times (12 sts rem)
Round 18: K2tog six times (6 sts rem)
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull to gather hole closed.

Sew all yarns securely to inside. Be sure to sew yarn over thumb "crotch" such that any vestigial gaps are closed.


  • RiverCitySTL

    Thank you for sharing your pattern! I too have been struggling with finding men's mittens. I can't wait to cast on!

  • Hi, I love the look of these mittens, and am wanting to make a matching pair for myself, can anyone help me adjust this pattern? Thanks, ANnMarie

  • Thank you for the pattern - it looks great and I am looking forward to trying it. One question: What is M1?
    Thanks for your help.

  • marcross

    I would like to know what M1 and PM mean? Help!

  • KT

    Hi all -
    M1 = Make one (increase): This is done by lifting the bar between stitches and knitting into it to make a twist. See the vids at Knitting Help for more info.

    PM = Place marker.

    Annmarie - I'm working on women's mittens in the same gauge and will hopefully have a pattern up soon. If all else fails I'll calculate changes and add them to the pattern here. Stay tuned!

  • marcross

    I'm making mittens using a set of #3 double point needles and am adapting your pattern. I wanted to make a warmer pair and these were the needles I had on hand. thanks for the great note about M1, PM!

  • Help!! Round 50 says to knit stiches between the markers. But, I can't figure out where two markers have been added. I only have one which marked the beginning of the rounds. - Tom

  • Oh, never mind, I see above. PM = Place marker.

  • Jodie

    My father had a stroke several years ago and my mother asked me to purchase him some mittens this year for Christmas since he has difficulty putting on gloves. After searching unsuccessfully on the web for some to buy, I stumbled across your mitten pattern. I just finished knitting the first mitten today and I was thrilled with how nicely it turned out. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern! Also, I believe there is a K1 missing at the end of the instructions for Round 76.

  • KT

    Jodie - So glad I helped with your dad's gift! And thanks for catching the missing K1 - I have such a hard time translating my notes into typed directions, I totally depend on visitors to set me straight. Happy holidays! KT

  • Gonzo

    I am knitting these mittens for my fiance, but I am having trouble with Row 50. How do I CO1 in gap? Thanks in advance.

  • KT

    Gonzo -

    The easiest way to cast on a stitch over the gap is to do a backwards loop cast on (sometimes called the "single cast on"). Basically you want to add a new stitch in the space between the stitches before the first thumb gusset marker and after the second marker - leaving the thumb gusset stitches on a holder of some sort.

    Here's a page with tutorials for both the long-tail and backwards-loop cast ons: knittinghelp.


  • Lori

    I'm just starting to decrease at the top of the mitt and don't know what SSK means. Help Please


  • Lori

    never mind, I found that link to the how to decreas page. Thanks anyway.

  • KT

    Lori, SSK means "slip slip knit". You'll slip two stitches to your right needle, then insert the left needle into the fronts of both stitches and knit the stitches together. An alternative to this is the "slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over the knit stitch" decrease - both lean to the left instead of to the right. Here's the page in that talks about decreases: KT

  • Elise

    This pattern is great! I made my first mitten ever over two days and it's fantastic. Thanks for such clear instructions!!

  • Elise

    I am going to try this pattern, but a printable version would be a big help! :)

  • Thank you for the great pattern.

    I'm struggling with Round #78 -- should I have 2 markers on my needles?


  • KT

    Hi Ann,
    Yes, the "PM" abbreviation (found in round 76) stands for "Place Marker". You should have two markers, one at the beginning of the round (that's been there forever) plus one in the middle (that just got placed in round 76).

  • Thank you for sharing your pattern! It was easy to follow, and I learned a different increase. I repeated the pattern for a lining in Ultra Alpaca, and the resulting mitten is heavenly!

  • achoirguy

    I made a pair of the mittens using the same size needle with a slightly larger yarn. This made the mittens a perfect fit for my big hands. If I make the mittens again, I'll use a smaller needle for the cuff- probably a US-3. As it is, my cuffs came out quite large and bunch up at the bottom of the mittens. Also, the finger end is a little pointy for my taste, although it is rounding out as I wear them in.

  • KT

    Finger ends are hard to figure out - I've tried lots of versions trying not to get them either too pointy or too sharp... glad the yarn sub worked so nicely for you!

  • I love this simple, detailed pattern and the gauge is just right for the yarn I want to work with. Does the women's version alluded to exist, or can someone offer insight into how to make them smaller?

    Thank you!

  • Thank you for this pattern! I just finished a pair of these mittens (my first) for my husband this weekend -- the pattern was easy to follow and they came out great.

  • Thank you so much! I just made my first mitten from this pattern and it was magical.

    It was my first time making something that isn't rectangular or a hat, and I was nervous at first but the pattern was very easy to follow and now I feel like a rock star.

    I wonder how many pairs of these I can make before Christmas...

  • Britt

    Thanks for this great pattern! I made a pair of these for my boyfriend last year for Christmas and he loves them and wears them everywhere. I'm now making a pair for myself because, although I have small hands, they're just the right amount of roominess for me. You rock!

  • Q: Round 31 says "knit to marker; M1 before marker..." I have 3 markers (the first to indicate new rounds, then two added in round round 27).
    So, which marker am I supposed to knit to in round 31? (I'm assuming it's the first one I encounter in that row, which, if I'm correct, is the very first one placed.)

    Thanks in advance for help!
    -Mitten Knittin' Newbie

  • ...OR Does rnd 31 mean "Knit to FIRST marker; M1 *before NEXT/SECOND* marker"?

    Thanks again!

  • KT

    You'll slip the marker that is after the first 22 stitches, then knit to the next marker, make a stitch, slip that marker, then finish the round. All "M1"s are between the two markers for the thumb gusset.

  • Tessie

    Thank you so much for the pattern. My husband can never find mittens that fit him off the rack so this year I set out to make sure he had warm hands. This was perfect and fit him like a "glove" hehe.

  • Angel--bread bakin' mama

    KT, I absolutely love this mitten pattern. I added an inch or so to the cuff, so there wouldn't be a gap between coat sleeve and mitten (I hate that). I also lined the inside with fleece (I just used fabric glue--lazy, I know, but it worked great). Thank you so so much! This pattern is accessible and not intimidating to a newer mitten knitter.

  • Quinten

    Thank you for sharing... It was exactly what I needed.

  • I have been working on things for the homeless and hopefully this will be an easy pattern for me. I certainly would like a pattern for easy worsted weight socks if anyone has one.

  • I love the readability of this pattern.
    I need to make the mitten without the thumb for my friend's handicapped son( He wants all his fingers together). What should I omit to eliminate the thumb? Thanks, Jenny

  • Leeta

    please what does P stand for?
    thanx a lot

  • KT

    If you're having problems with abbreviations, I recommend checking out either of the links under "Helpful Links" in the sidebar - particularly the Master List of Knitting Abbreviations.

    P = purl.

  • Hello, love this pattern and hoping to make a pair for me Dad! I do have a question though..I am a left handed knitter and wondering if I should the order of my ssk and k2tog while I'm knitting the decrease in the hand or if this would already be taking care of because I am already knitting in the opposite direction as a right handed person?? Note that when I made a k2tog it tends to lean to the left...Can you help me out with this? Thank you!!!

  • KT

    How interesting, RB! I think you'll want to switch the ssk and k2tog, as in this pattern the k2tog leans right... however, the important thing is that the decreases lean towards the middle finger at the top of the hand - so you'll want to look at what you have and do the left/right leaning decreases so that you get that curve on each side of the mitt.

  • LOVE this pattern! Do you have a ladies version of it? Thanks!

  • KT

    Only the men's version is up right now. If I do grade this for multiple sizes I'll most likely put the bundle up (approx 6 sizes from toddler through Men's L) for sale. Keep posted!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this simple, but great pattern. I've now knitted 3 pairs of mittens following your pattern :)

  • Michelle Swanson

    Rounds 51-74: K all sts do you mean knit all live stitches or knit all stitches even the ones on the stitch holder?

  • I made a pair of these for myself with Patons Classic Wool and threw in a few stripes to make them fraternal twins.

    I have medium-to-large women's hands, and they fit perfectly. I love these mittens; thank you!

  • Denim & Lace

    One of the nicest mitten patterns Hi have knit. Very well shaped and love the finishing techniques. I Kant for homeless and others, they will love their new KT Knits Mitts.

    I will do a basic hat to go with and hopefully use the tapering technique on the top

    Thank you for sharing

  • I wanted to stop in and tell you that even tho this is the most basic of mittens, it is so nicely written. I made mine into convertible mittens but still 99% of the pattern came right from here. Thanks for taking the time. I can whip up mittens on my own, pattern free for the most part. But when I try to write it all down so someone else can understand, I realize that it is a skill I do not have. And BTW-if you ever do a women's or child sized pattern, I will no longer bother to even figure out my own!!

  • Hello :) i am making mittens for my dad, and I am giving your pattern here a go. Could you please add the stitch count between the markers in Round 50? These are the thumb stitches, correct? I am new to two-at-a-time mittens knit in the round, and I constantly need stitch-count checks to make sure I am at the same place on both mitts. It would be immensely helpful to have the thumb sitch count.
    Thanks! (Anon because I can't remember the password for my google plus account!)

  • Babbs Hollywood

    I don't like the holes the M1 technique leaves in the gusset. I modified the pattern and did the normal knit 2 in one stitch to increase. Also, check your gauge! I had to go down to a size 1 needle!

  • Babbs Hollywood

    I thought maybe I am doing the M1 wrong so I looked at the videos and saw my technique was, in fact, incorrect.

  • Tmr728

    In rounds 32-49 you have a note that states there should be 17 stitches between the markers. If in round 27 when the markers are initially placed and there are 3 stitches between to start with and then adding 2 stitches 1 right 1left for six more times shouldn't there only be 15 stitches between the markers?
    Thank you for the pattern.

  • KT

    Hi Tmr728, The instruction is 6 MORE times, after you've done one set already that increased - so 7 TOTAL times = 17 stitches.

  • Copyright Notice

    All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.