Mittens with a top down thumb by Elizabeth Felgate

Mittens with a top down thumb

September 2014
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
21 stitches = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
113 - 430 yards (103 - 393 m)
6-8 yrs, 8yrs-woman’s small, woman’s medium, woman’s large-man’s small,man’s medium,man's large
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for £3.70 GBP buy it now

A mitten knitted completely knitted top-down, in the round, seamlessly, including the thumb.

Why did I want a mitten with a thumb worked from the top down? Just as there are many advantages to working the body of the mitten or sweater top down so there are to the thumb:

  1. I want to try my thumb on to make sure the length is right without having to guess whether the next decrease will bring the thumb in too much (I have made more than one pair with thumbs too short that way! -OK maybe that it just me….).

  2. I find that decreasing at the top has an unfortunate effect on the integrity of my fabric - too often the tops of thumbs end up a bit holey after a while. Starting with a firm cast on is a much better bet in this regard - not to mention that if you like you can seamlessly cast on the width of the whole thumb in one go to make it even tougher. I provide both options in the pattern.

  3. All the knitting on your mitten runs in the same direction, giving a seamless appearance.

  4. It is always fun to try a new way of making something!

This recipe-pattern is designed to give you a pleasantly-shaped and well fitting mitten with an interesting construction technique. Use it as a blank canvas to free your creativity, or as a good workhorse to turn out those many pairs of mittens families need. Full standard sizing details are provided for each size, but to get the best, most custom-fit, try it on as you go!

Yarn choices
I have included a few of the yarns that this pattern has been test knit using, but most wool and acrylic yarns should be suitable. Knit with 4-ply yarn and you have a light elegant mitten (what most of us in the temperate UK would wear even in the middle of winter), in DK you have something firm but still flexible. Knit it at aran weight and you will have something really wind and snow proof for colder climes or those who feel the cold.

Instructions are written for one at a time magic loop, but are easily adapted for your preferred circular method.

Note that the instructions provided are for a basic, plain stockinette mitten. For details of how I worked the blue sample with the detail stitch or placed the stripes on the brown-and-grey pair you can refer to the notes on my project pages. Detailed notes to help with varying the design to your own taste are also provided in the pattern.