Fingerless Mittens


The fingerless mittens knitting pattern is a quick project that uses small amount of yarn. I have found that I often have enough yarn left after knitting a pair of socks to knit these.

The pattern was designed for my sister who wanted to knit a pair of fingerless mittens using the lovely Mini Mochi yarn.  I used a Trekking sock yarn from my stash in shades of blue, taupe, grey and russet to knit a pair of fingerless mittens for myself. I like using sock yarn to knit fingerless mittens because the wool element gives warmth and comfort while the nylon element adds durability to the mitten. But any pretty sock yarn or 4 ply yarn can be used to knit this pattern successfully.

The Pattern

Knit 2 the same for the pair – there is no difference between right and left hands in this basic fingerless mitten pattern.



  • dpns    –    double pointed needles (I prefer bamboo needles)
  • k1        –    knit 1 stitch
  • p1        –    purl 1 stitch
  • st st     –    stocking stitch = knit all stitches when working in the round
  • m1L  & m1R  –    Twist Collective shows how to do this here.
  • k         –    knit
  • sts       –    stitches


  • 1 ball of sock yarn or 4 ply yarn (approx 40g)
  • set of 2.75mm dpns
  • stitch marker
  • sewing needle

Using 2.75mm dpns and 4 ply sock yarn cast on 52 sts loosely. I use a slightly larger sized needle, usually 3.25mm, to cast on and then change to the 2.75mm needles before starting the rib.


  • On first round of k1,p1 rib join into a round (13 sts on each dpn needle).
  • Work 3 more rounds of rib for the narrow rib.
  • (I also do a version with a deeper rib and for it I work 9 rounds of rib).

Then knit 21 rounds of stocking stitch or the length you would like for the wrist section.


Shaping for Thumb

  • Set up round:  m1L, place marker, k to end of round
  • Round 1:  k to the marker, slip marker, k to end of round
  • Round 2:  m1R, k to marker, m1L, slip marker, k to end of round
  • Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until there are 21 sts between the marker and the start of the round.  These are the thumb sts.
  • Then k 5 rounds slipping the marker each time you reach it.


  • Next:  place the 21 thumb sts onto a piece of wast yarn and remove the marker.
  • Cast on 2 sts (the easiest way is to make loops onto the needle you have just finished knitting with). The 2 new sts will be part of the thumb.  K to the end of the round.  (54 sts)
  • Next:  k 21 rounds (16 rounds if you chose to knit the deeper cuff).
  • Work 4 rounds of k1, p1 rib (8 rounds of k1, p1 rib for deeper rib edge).
  • Cast off in rib.


  • Slip the 21 sts that are on the waste yarn onto 2 dpns.
  • Starting in the centre of the 2 cast on sts pick up and k3 sts then k5 sts from the needle – you have 8 sts on needle 1.
  • k10 sts onto needle 2.
  • k6 sts onto needle 3 and then pick up and k2 sts – you then have 8 sts on needle 3.  (26 sts for the thumb)

For thumb with narrow rib:

  • k 4 rounds in st st
  • Then work 4 rounds of k1, p1 rib
  • Cast off in rib.

For thumb with deeper rib:

  • k 2 rounds in st st
  • Then work 7 rounds of k1, p1, rib
  • Cast off in rib.


I used a skein of hand dyed sock yarn by Flamboyance Yarns to knit the deeper cuff version for my sister. Brocade is sumptuously dyed in shades of bramble berry, grey, mauve with a touch of teal, green and rust… in a splendid wool, cashmere and nylon blend.


I hope you enjoy knitting the Fingerless Knitting Pattern.  It is a great way of showing off the lovely colours in hand dyed sock yarns and uses a small amount of yarn. You will often have enough yarn left over from knitting a pair of socks to be able to knit a pair of fingerless mittens.


Sew in any loose ends. If you have any little gaps where you have joined the yarn for the thumb you can close these up as you do this.

To Block or Not to Block?


In the main you don’t really need to block your fingerless mittens. However, if you have been knitting a fair isle or stranded pattern you will find that the blocking process smoothes out any irregularities in your knitting. The only time I block basic fingerless mittens is when they are destined to be a present for someone else. I pin out both mittens together so that they are identical.

I hope that you have enjoyed knitting the fingerless mittens. Please leave your comments about knitting this pattern.


About Nicolette


  1. Fingerless mittens. 13 stitches on each needle. On 3 needles # 39 stitches. I put 16 – 20 – 16. Maybe this can help some knitters. Thank you for this very nice & easy patern

  2. Nice pattern
    How do you divide the 52 stitches on 3 needles

  3. I like tis pattern. But you should mention that it is done on a set of 5 needles, as you mentioned 13 stitches on each needle. or 17 sts. on 2 needles and 18 sts on third needle, or does it matter if you use 3 or 4 to divide the stitches?

    • Hi Gigi, I’m in the UK and normally, when I’m knitting on double pointed needles I use a set of 5 needles and whether I’m knitting fingerless mittens or socks, the stitches are always evenly spread across 4 needles and I am knitting with the 5th needle. Happy knitting, Nicolette

  4. You were kind enough to answer my question on this many months ago. I never thanked you for your response, very sorry about that! I wasn’t exactly sure on your answer but have not gotten back to the mittens. 8 stitches to 1 inch wide is the gauge I believe.
    Anyway, Happy Holidays!!

  5. Lesley Cullen says:

    Do you think I could knit these gloves on my circular needles and adapt your pattern to make full mittens? Cant find a 4ply pattern for full mittens anywhere. Thank you.

    • I don’t see why not. You could use something like the round toe shaping for shaping the end. That toe shaping is about one and a half inches long. The round toe shaping looks nice from any angle. Just a matter of trying the mitten on to see where you should start the shaping and I’d keep a note of how many rows you knit so that you can make both the same. I’d love to see a photo of your finished mittens to see how they turn out. That would be so interesting.

  6. Donna legare says:

    Thank you for this pattern. Very kind of you to share your talent.

  7. I’m really confused by the second part of the thumb section. What do you mean by pick up?

    • “Starting in the centre of the 2 cast on sts pick up and k3 sts then k5 sts from the needle – you have 8 sts on needle 1.
      k10 sts onto needle 2.
      k6 sts onto needle 3 and then pick up and k2 sts – you then have 8 sts on needle 3.”

      When you have placed the 21 stitches for the thumb (that have been on the piece of waste yarn) onto 2 double pointed needles, you will have a section where you had cast on 2 stitches before you started knitting the hand. You start in the middle of this section and you pick up and knit (make) 3 stitches, then knit 5 stitches (giving you 8 stitches on needle 1). knit 10 stitches onto needle 2. Then using needle 3 knit 6 stitches, then pick up and knit 2 stitches (from the other half of the gap created by the 2 cast on stitches). This gives you a total of 26 stitches spread over 3 needles that you will be knitting to make the thumb.

      I hope this is of help to you Catie. Happy Knitting, Nicolette

  8. What’s the difference between making a stitch (m1) and knitting a stitch (k1). I just got to the thumb part after doing my 21 rounds. I have no clue what I’m supposed to do next. m1???? what does that mean? Thanks.

    • Make 1 or m1 is a generic way to say ‘create one new stitch’. So basically, every time you read m1 it means you are increasing by one stitch. Tincanknits explains how to do an m1 very clearly here. I hope that helps you Sheila.

  9. Your pattern is very well written but too big for me. How would I make it smaller.

  10. Cath Donlan says:

    Well I love your blog ,found you just yesterday.I think I’m a processor ha ha !
    I’m now half way through my first mitten. It’s just great thankyou…oh and the squirrel ,he’s just adorable !
    Thank you so much ,

    • Nicolette says:

      Thank you for commenting on the Knitting Squirrel. I’d love to see a photo of your finished mittens. I love the squirrel – he was made by a fabulous artist in Alaska! I bought him on Etsy.

  11. i love this pattern and have started working on a pair! one question i have about the shaping for the thumb… in round 2, should i slip the marker before or after the 2nd M1? thank you for your help and for the pattern!

  12. Love this pattern.. have shared on Facebook 🙂

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