How to Knit Mittens

How to Knit Mittens

Are you a beginner eager to learn how to knit mittens? Knitting mittens can be fun with the right guide and materials. As a novice knitter, you can avoid straining by choosing a simple guide and having all your materials ready.

Intermediate and advanced knitters can also enjoy knitting mittens with DPNs and circular needles. To learn more about knitting mittens and their patterns, read on!

How to Knit Mittens with Straight Needles for Beginners

How to knit mittens with two needles for beginners
Image source: All Free Crafts

Most novice knitters find it easy to learn how to knit with straight needles since they are simple to manipulate. Some projects like mittens and socks are tubular, making DPN and circular needles more suitable to knit with.

Does this mean you cannot knit mittens with straight needles?

No! Like in other tubular projects such as sweaters, you can use straight needles to knit stunning mittens. 

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to knit mittens with straight needles:

Step 1. Prepare all the Materials

Before knitting mittens, have the materials ready to avoid wasting time looking for yarn, for instance, when implementing how to change colors in knitting. What do you need to knit mittens with straight needles?

    • A pair of straight needles, preferably US 6 or US 5.
    • Yarn; worsted weight #4 yarn or #4 medium weight yarn
    • Stitch markers
    • Stitch holders
    • Yarn needle

Once you have all your materials ready, you can start knitting.

Step 2. Cast On Stitches

To start knitting mittens, cast on the number of stitches depending on the size you prefer. In this case, cast on 32 stitches using the US 6 needle and the worsted weight #4 yarn. 

If you are not familiar with this skill, you can follow this guide on how to cast on knitting. Ensure you use an easy-to-follow technique like the long-tail cast-on to avoid messing with your project!

Here is an easy-to-follow video that will help you implement this step.

Step 3. Ribbing

To create the cuff:

Row 1: k1, p1 the entire row.

Repeat Row 1 instructions to have ten rows or to your preferred length.

Step 4. Wrist

After you complete making the cuff, you can knit the wrist by executing the following:

Row 1: Knit 2 stitches, knit front and back, knit 26, knit front back, knit 2

Row 2: Purl all stitches

Row 3: Repeat row 2

Row 4: Repeat row 2.

Row 5: Knit 16 stitches, place marker, knit front and back, knit front back, place marker, knit 16 stitches.

Row 6: Repeat row 2

Row 7: Knit 16 stitches, slip marker, knit front and back, knit two stitches, knit front and back, slip marker, knit 16 stitches.

Row 8: Repeat row 2

Row 9: Knit 16 stitches, slip marker, knit font/back, knit four stitches, slip marker, knit 16 stitches.

Row 10: Repeat row 2.

Row 11: It is more like row 9, only that you will replace k4 with k6.

Row 12: Repeat step 2

Row 13 – Row 16: Alternate row 11 and 12 instructions.

Then slip the stitches between markers onto a stitch holder and continue knitting.

Row 17 – Row 38: Knit in stockinette stitch.

Row 39: Knit two stitches, knit two stitches together for the whole row.

Row 40: Repeat row 2.

Row 41: Knit 1, knit two together for the entire row.

Row 42: Repeat row 2.

Row 43: Knit 2 together for the whole row.

Row 44: Repeat row 2.

Step 5. Thumb

How to knit mittens
Image source: Macj

    • Slide the stitches from your stitch holder onto the straight knitting needle and knit the stockinette stitch until ten rows or your preferred length.
    • Knit two together for this last row and sew your thumb.

That’s how to knit mittens for beginners using straight needles. Whether you want to gift them to someone or add a professional touch, you can utilize care labels or woven labels. You can also learn from this video how to knit mittens with straight needles. 

How to Knit Mittens with Circular Needles

How to knit mittens for beginners
Image source: New England’s Narrow Road

To knit small tubular projects on circular needles, knitters employ a technique known as the magic loop method. Depending on your skill level, you may find it easy or difficult to execute. For instance, beginners can have a hard time, but they can use it with more practice.

How do I knit mittens with circular needles? 

Below are instructions on how to knit mittens in the round:

Step1. Cast On Stitches

Using worsted-weight wool, cast on 30 stitches. This number can change depending on the size of the mitten you want to knit. Wondering how you can obtain the accurate number of stitches? Multiply the stitches of your gauge with the circumference of your hand (round your knuckles).

Step 2. The Cuff

    • Divide all the stitches evenly on the two halves of your needle.
    • Pm, join the knitting and continue knitting in the round. If you are not familiar with joining knitting in circular needles, here is a tutorial on how to join knitting in the round.
    • K1, P1 in ribbing for around 3 inches.
    • Use the stockinette stitch to knit the hand section.
    • Increase a stitch at the edge of the last row. You can learn how to increase a stitch in knitting to implement this. 

Step 3. The Thumb Gusset

Easy mittens knitting pattern
Image source: Handy Little Me

In this step, you will be creating a foundational shape that you will knit on for your thumb. To create the thumb gusset:

    • K15, pm, inc1, k1, inc1, pm, k to end.
    • Inc2 in the gusset markers every three rounds until you get 11 gusset stitches.
    • Slide the gusset stitches on a stitch holder or a piece of waste yarn.
    • At this point, you have a gap due to the gusset; cast on one stitch over it and knit to the end to have a total of 31 stitches.
    • Continue knitting evenly until the little finger’s length.
    • Decrease three stitches in this round to have 28 stitches.

Step 4. Shaping the Mitten’s Top

    • K5, k2tog to end of round.
    • Knit the next row.
    • Decrease four stitches in each round until you have four or eight stitches left.
    • Cut the working yarn, thread it through the live stitches, and pull it tight to close the tip.

Step 5. Thumb

    • Transfer the 11 gusset stitches onto a circular needle of the same size.
    • Pick a stitch and knit it over the gap to have a total of 12 stitches.
    • Join and knit in the round till the thumb measures to the length of your thumb’s center.
    • K2tog, k3, k3 on the entire round.
    • K2tog, k2 on the next round.
    • Knit the following round.
    • Decrease three stitches on the following round to remain with six stitches.
    • Cut yarn, thread it through the stitches, and pull it to close the tip of the thumb.

Step 6. Weave in Ends

After you complete knitting the mitten, you need to secure it to avoid unraveling. You can utilize this guide on how to weave in ends knitting for all your dangling yarn ends.

How to Knit Mittens with Double Pointed Needles

Knitting body newborn blue primrose mittens
Image source: Crazy Hands

To knit mittens with DPNs, you will need worsted weight yarn, size 8 double-pointed needles, and a 4.5sts/6sts per inch gauge. It’s essential to have all these materials ready before you start knitting.

So, how do you knit mittens with DPNs?

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to knit mittens with four needles:

Step 1. Cast On Stitches and Distribute on DPNs

    • Cast on 24 stitches and distribute them evenly on three DPNs.
    • When doing this, ensure the row is not twisted.
    • Join the knitting in the round using the fourth needle.
    • K1, p1 in the first row.
    • K1, p1 in the next 16 rows.

Step 2. The Cuff

Row 1: Knit all stitches.

Row 2: K4, M1, k4, M1, K4, M1, M1, k4, M1, k4, to have 30 stitches.

Row 3: K28, pm, M1, k1, M1, pm, k3, k3, pm, M1, k1, M, PM, K to end.

Row 4: Knit all stitches.

Row 5: K to marker, sm, M1, k to marker, M1, sm, k to end to have 34 sts.

Row 6 -Row 13: Repeat row 4 and 5 four times to get 42 sts.

Step 3: Thumb Stitches

Thumb sts placed on hold
Image source: Tin Can Knits

    • To set aside thumb stitches, knit to marker, remove the marker, slip ten stitches on a stitch holder.
    • Knit to the end of the row to get 32 stitches.
    • Continue knitting 14 rows or until you reach the knuckle of your pinky finger.

Step 4. Shaping the Top of the Mitten

When shaping the top section of the mitten, you will have to do decreases to maintain the right shape. Here is how to go about it:

Row 1

    • Knit one and slip two stitches to the right like you are knitting.
    • Slide the left needle into the two stitches and knit them together.
    • Then k10, k2tog, k1 till you get 28 stitches.

Row 2 – Row 4

    • (K1, SSK, k8, k2tog, k1) twice

Row 5 – Row 6

    • (K1, SSK, k6, k2tog, k1) twice.

Row 7

    • (K1, SSK, k4, k2tog, k1) twice.

Row 8

    • (K1, SSK, k2, k2tog, k1) twice.

Step 5. Close the Top

    • Cut the working yarn, leaving around a 10 inches tail, then thread it on a yarn needle.
    • Pass the thread through the stitches, pull it to close the top of your mitten, and weave in the ends. You can view this video to understand this better.

Step 6. The Thumb

To continue knitting the thumb, start by picking up the stitches you had set aside. When executing this step, slip the stitches onto two needles while ensuring you don’t drop a stitch.

In this case, you will have five stitches on each double-pointed needle. But one side has closed stitches. So, how can you obtain them?

You can create stitches by picking them up from the edge. This easy-to-follow guide on how to pick up stitches in knitting provides clear instructions. Pick a total of four stitches on the third needle.

Knit the thumb for 13 rounds or till you get to your thumb’s tip and k2tog 7 for the last round.

Step 7. Complete Your Project

Like the top of the mitten, cut the working yarn and thread it to close the tip of your thumb. Once you’ve secured this section, you will notice a few gaps which you can close with the leftover yarn. 

Now you can enjoy your warm mittens or gift someone!

Knitting abbreviation







Slip, slip, knit


Knit two stitches together


Place marker


Slip marker


Make one



5 Mitten Knitting Patterns To Explore

Patterns aid in knitting incredible garments, but they can be difficult to understand if it’s your first time to explore them. You can follow this guide on how to read knitting patterns to try the following:

    1. Misty Morning Mittens Pattern

Misty morning mittens pattern
Image source: Noble Knits

Looking for a free pattern that will help you create warm mittens? Misty Morning Mittens pattern comes at $0.00 and uses bulky yarn to make a warm garment for your hands. 

If you are a beginner and feel unprepared for DPNs or circular needles, this pattern is ideal for you. The pattern works two halves flat then seams them to complete the mitten.

The mittens work up fast, so you can complete them in one sitting!

      2. Classic Mittens Pattern #615

Classic mittens pattern
Image source: Free Vintage Knitting

The Classic Mittens Pattern #615 is an intermediate project that utilizes DPNs. The pattern has clear instructions from the beginning to the end for easy knitting. All the requirements, such as the type of yarn and the kit, are also available.

So, what if you are a beginner but want to try out this pattern? The Classic Mittens Pattern #615 provides a two-needles mitten knitting alternative. It has easy-to-follow instructions for novice knitters too.

This pattern also provides detailed information for different sizes. So whether you want to make a small, medium, large mitten for children or adults, it instructs you on this

      3. Onni Mittens Knitting Pattern

The onni mittens collage
Image source: KATIMAARIA

Do you like knitting in cables? If yes, the Onni Mittens knitting pattern is for you! This pattern incorporates unique cables that create a diamond shape, decorating your knitting project.  

Whether you are a loose or tight knitter, the pattern guides you to ensure your mittens turn out great. The mittens are knitted with double-stranded worsted yarn and US size 10 needles.

You can check out this tutorial on how to knit the Onni Mittens if you want to try this project.

      4. Baby Bunny Mitten Knitting Pattern

Simple knit mittens pattern
Image source: Love Crafts

If your friend is expecting a bundle of joy, this pattern can help you create the perfect surprise gift for them. It features bunnies on the hand, making them a charming choice for babies.

The mittens are also thumbless for easy fitting on a baby. The pattern uses a size 1 needle and sport weight yarn, but you can use other yarn types for a smaller size.

Knitting mitten pattern

Skill level

Misty morning mitten patterns

    • Beginner level

Baby bunny mitten knitting pattern

    • Advanced level

Classic mittens pattern #615

    • Beginner level
    • Intermediate level

Onni mittens knitting pattern

    • Intermediate 
    • Advanced level


Creating mittens can be a great experience, especially with the right guide on how to knit mittens. The project is versatile and can use different needle types, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t knit with circular needles.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced knitter, you can choose a pattern that suits you to create stunning mittens for your loved ones or your clients. So which of these patterns will you be trying next?