Anatomy of a Mitten (Or Mitts)

Recently I was contacted by a knitter who had some questions regarding the construction of my Wine and Roses Mitts. I could tell by her question that she either did not have experience with charts, or with basic mitten construction or perhaps even both. Which is why I decided to write this post. While my patterns are not designed on their own to teach a concept or technique, Mittens themselves are not really complex.

If you look your hand, you can see essentially a tube at your wrist, and then where your your hand joins, it is significantly wider. There are different methods for accommodating this difference in width.  Another area where you will see an obvious need for an increase in stitches is at the thumb. Again, there different methods for accommodating the difference in width caused by the difference in width the thumb generates. Once you are past the thumb, it is straight to the top of the mitten where the top is handled again in different methods.

Essentially, these are the steps a pattern will take you through:

1. Knit the cuff.

2. Begin the body of the mitten, also begin the thumb gusset (widen at the base of the thumb to accomodate the extra width at the thumb unless knitting folk mittens that do not have thumb gussetts, such as Latvian or Norwegian Mittens).

3. Knit the body of the mitten, up to the number of added stitches needed for width of thumb. If working mittens that do not have thumb gussetts, such as Lavtian or Norwegian Mittens, this is where stitches for the thumbs get put on hold. Put stitches for thumb on hold and continue with the body of the mitten. When length for the body of the mitten is reached, finish the top according to the pattern.

4. Place thumb stitches that were on hold on needle, and pick up additional thumb stitches as instructed and finish thumb according to pattern.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace


2 Responses to “Anatomy of a Mitten (Or Mitts)”

  1. angelarae Says:

    It might also be helpful for her to knit a simpler pair first, then try your mitts. Those Wine and Roses really are beautiful. You probably are right about the charts, too. They can be daunting if you haven’t used them before.

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