So-You-Can-Stick-Your-Fingers-Out Mittens

Contributed by Karen Shrade

These are seed stitch mittens with a flap above the palm. I designed them this way because I am lazy. There is no picking up stitches, no button or buttonhole, and no curling problem when you work them flat with two straight needles.

If you want to do them circularly, the numbers don’t change. The top shaping is different, though: you just do a double decrease at the beg and at the halfway point on every other round. Otherwise, it works the same.

I tried them out this weekend and they work quite well. I could slip my fingers out, use a key, or snap my hood, and then retract my fingers quickly into the warmth.

The pattern is written out for women’s mittens, but notes for men’s mittens are included at the bottom.

• Worsted weight yarn. I got 2 mittens (easily) out of a 100 g. skein. I used Karen Simply Soft for my first try and then Encore Colorspun for the second. Both worked fine. The colorspun seems a little lighter, though.
• Size 4 (3.5 mm)and 6 (4.5 mm) needles.
• 2 Stitch holders and 2 ring markers

Gauge: Approximately 4 sts to the inch in seed stitch with size 6 needles, but it isn’t critical.

Single Rib Stitch pattern
Row 1: * K1, p1 *.
Row 2: * P1, k1 *.

Seed stitch Pattern
All rows: k1, *p1, k1 *.

With size 4 ndls and worsted weight yarn, cast on 36 sts and single rib for 20 rows (or more if you want a longer cuff).

Change to size 6 ndls and k 1 row, decreasing 1 st at center (35 sts).

Work 9 rows of seed st (or more if you want a longer cuff).

Start the thumb gusset

First row (RS): work 17 sts in seed st, place marker, (p, k, p) into the next st, place marker, work 17 sts in seed st.

Next row: (Keeping in seed stitch pattern) Work 17, slip marker, , p1, k1, p1 slip marker, work pattern to end.

Next row: Work 17, slip marker, inc in the first and last stitch between markers (keeping seed stitch pattern), work pattern to end.

Next row: Work 17, slip marker, k1, (p1, k1) twice, slip marker, work pattern to end.

Continue in this manner till you have 13 sts between the markers. Then work one wrong side row even.


First row (RS): Work 18, slip 11 sts to a holder, work to end.

Next row: work 17, p2 tog, work to end.

Start the flap:

First row for right mitten (RS): Work 19, slip next 15 sts to another holder, turn and cast on 17 stitches, k1. You have 37 sts on the needle.

First row for left mitten (RS): k1, slip 15 stitches to a holder, turn and cast on 17, seed st to end.

For both mittens: At each end of the cast on section you will work 2 sts together. This keeps it nice and neat.
For the left mitten, work 19, p2 tog, work 13, p2 tog, k1.
For the right mitten, k1, p2 tog, work 13, p2 tog, finish in seed stitch.

Now, work on these 35 sts in seed stitch. When 20rows are complete, place markers on each side of the center purl stitch.

Top of mitten

Dec row 1 (RS): K1, k2tog, (p1, k1) to 3 sts before first marker, k2 tog, k1; Slip marker, p1, slip marker; k1, k2 tog, (p1, k1) to last 3 sts, k2 tog, k1: 4 sts decreased.
Dec row 2: K2, (p1, k1) to last st before marker, k1; slip marker, p1, slip marker; k2, (p1, k1) to last st, k1.
Dec row 3: K1, p2 tog, (k1, p1) to 3 sts before marker, p2 tog, k1; slip marker, p1, slip marker; k1, p2 tog, (k1, p1) to last 3 sts, p2 tog, k1
Dec Row 4: Work in seed stitch even, k1, (p1, k1) to end.
Rep these four rows 3 times: 11 sts rem.

Last row: (K2 tog) twice, sl1, k2 tog, psso, (k2 tog) twice: 5 sts.

Cut yarn and thread through these sts, pulling up tight and fastening off.
Now, go back to the flap stitches. Put them back onto a size 6 needle, and join yarn. Work 14 rows of seed stitch, this time starting and ending with a p stitch. Bind off loosely. Sew the flap to the inside of the mitten. Then sew the side seam of the mitten.

Return to the 11 thumb stitches, and work 12 rows. You will start and end with P1. Last thumb row: K2 tog twice, sl1, K2 tog, Psso, K2 tog twice: 5 sts. Cut yarn and thread through these stitches, pulling tight. Sew seam.

Notes for a Man’s mitten

For a man’s mitten, cast on 40 stitches and rib for 25 rows.

Dec 1 st at center of next row for 39 stitches. You will work the mitten the same way as above.

Thumb gusset will inc to 15 sts and the thumb will be worked on 13 sts.

The flap is worked on 17 sts.

You have to work dec rows 1 and 2 again for the top shaping.

This mitten fit my husband.

I hope you like the mittens.

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