Ellerbe Mitts by Naomi Parkhurst

Ellerbe Mitts

no longer available from 1 source show
January 2011
DK (11 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 7 - 4.5 mm
45 - 60 yards (41 - 55 m)
medium, large
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This pattern is available from payhip.com for $5.00.

Ellerbe Creek runs near where I live in Durham, North Carolina.

There is now a matching Ellerbe hat pattern! A purchase of either of my Ellerbe patterns means a US$2 discount on buying the other. Discount is automatically applied at checkout.

The mitts are knit from the top down (from fingers to wrist). Most of the knitting is plain stockinette, with a motif from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury: Cornflower stitch. The motif makes a vertical stripe down the back of the hand and also decorates the thumb gusset. It resembles embroidery, but is actually elongated stitches pulled over the surface of the knitting. To enhance the effect, I recommend solid colored yarn, variegated yarn, or deliberately creating stripes using multiple different yarns.

An advantage to knitting mitts in this direction is that you can make the cuffs as long as you like, which is useful for keeping your arms warmer and for using up the last bits of yarn.


  • Small: hand is 6.4 inches 19cm around; cuff is 5.7 inches 14.5cm.
  • Medium: hand is 7.2 inches 18cm around; cuff is 6.5 inches 16cm.
  • Large: hand is 8 inches 20cm around; cuff is 7.2 inches 18cm.

For this project, I would recommend treating the first mitt as a swatch; if it doesn’t work out, it’s not all that much knitting to redo it.

Materials needed:

  • ~50 yards of DK (or light worsted weight yarn). I used handspun yarn to design the mitts.
  • Size 7 needles (double points or circulars, depending on your preferred method) or the correct size to achieve gauge; also a spare knitting needle of similar size (it doesn’t have to match).
  • Two cable needles or two pieces of scrap yarn. (optional)
  • A little bit of smooth waste yarn

You need to know how to cast on, bind off, knit, purl, yarn over, slip stitches, decrease, and knit in the round. The instructions are not written for any particular method of knitting in the round – you choose how to arrange the stitches for double pointed needles, Magic Loop, or two circulars. I provide both written instructions and a chart for the stitch pattern.

There is one unusual decrease used: Bunny Ears Back. I have put a separate PDF download for this on the Ravelry page for this pattern and on my blog. There is also a Ravelry group dedicated to this technique and other variations—Bunny Ears Decrease Fans.

We had a knitalong for these mitts.