How to Knit Mittens

Once you master the steps of knitting mittens, you can make them quickly and easily. They are an appropriate gift for both children and adults. Or if you're looking to do a good deed, try knitting mittens to donate to charities in the winter months and help keep someone warm.

Create a template by tracing your dominant hand, with the thumb extended and fingers held together. Make an arc around the fingers, adding about 1/4 inch along the side of the hand.

Use your double-pointed knitting needs to figure-eight cast on some stitches. The number of stitches you cast on depends on how pointed you want your mittens to be.

Knit one row around. Place a stitch marker after finishing the first row to make the start of the row. The row you cast on will be loose.

Knit the second row, adding four stitches. Increase by four stitches every other row.

Compare your developing finger pocket to your template. Increase stitches every other row until you reach the width of your template.

Mark your last stitch increase with your stitch marker when the finger pocket is the right width.

Work straight until you get to the angle of the thumb webbing on your template.

Place what you've knitted so far on stitch holders or spare needles.

Cast on two stitches each needle with a figure-eight cast-on. Increase by two stitches every other row until the thumb is wide enough. Keep comparing your developing mitten to your template.

Put the main part of the mitten back onto the needles. You may want to put the thumb stitches on a holder.

Join the thumb to one edge of the mitten to make a specific right or left mitten. Join the thumb to the palm with four stitches.

Line up the thumb and finger pocket and three-needle bind off your desired number of stitches.

Mark the start of the row when you've finished joining the thumb and palm. Form the thumb gusset by decreasing a stitch every third row. This will make a gradual slope that will fit well.

Knit until the palm of the mitten reaches the bottom of the palm of your template.

Knit another two rows once you reach the base of the palm on the template.

Knit in ribbing until the cuff is at the length you desire and then bind off.

Weave in the ends, and you're ready to start the second mitten.


After knitting the first row, you can tighten the cast-on row by gently tugging on the legs of the stitches. Make sure the stitches don't bunch or stretch. Wider is better than too tight. Keep note of when you increase stitches and how many stitches you increase by. This will make knitting the second mitten less of a guessing game. Knit in the ends as you come to them so you don't have to weave them in later.

Things You'll Need

  • Double-pointed knitting needles
  • Skein of yarn
  • Stitch holders, scrap yarn, or spare needles
  • Split stitch markers or paper clips
  • Hand template
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