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Easy Custom Fit Mittens!

**Apologies! I left off the directions on picking up and knitting the thumbs on your mittens! I can’t find my exact pattern notes so posted at the end is a video on how to pick up and knit “after thought anything” and also how to bind of using the kitchner stitch.**

To knit this simple mitten pattern you will need to know basic knitting skills, casting on for a toe-up sock, how to knit using the magic loop method and how to pick-up stitches. If you need help with any of these methods please feel free to contact me.

This pattern is very basic. The hardest and fanciest thing about it is that it is knit from the fingers-down. I like doing it this way because it allows for easy adjustment for a custom fit. It is also nice to not have a seam at the finger tips. This could be a challenge for the beginner, but once you accomplish the cast-on the rest is easy. I recommend learning or reviewing: Judy’s Magic Cast-On, and Magic Loop Knitting (these are just two examples of videos on Youtube, please feel free to watch and learn from others-eventually I hope to have my own up to share!).

You can knit this two-at-a time very easily! In fact that is my preferred method, but I have written this for just one at a time for the purpose of teaching the skill of knitting in the round with the magic loop method. If you can handle two balls of yarn-go for it!

*This pattern can be saved in your Ravelry library or print it from here-I like to use the booklet setting to get a nice size for fitting in my knitting bag!

Easy Custom Fit Mittens:

You will need:

  1. Chunky or Worsted weight WOOL yarn (you want them to be cozy warm!)
  2. Circular Needles: For chunky use size Nine (5.5mm) or For Worsted use a Seven or Eight (small enough to get  a tight stitch but keep some stretch)
  3. Scissors
  4. Scrap yarn
  5. Crochet hook or tapestry needle for weaving in ends


8 stitches or the equivalent of one inch for your yarn gauge (as to start a toe on a sock) Judy’s Magic Cast-on is a great technique , the Turkish wrap cast-on also works well. Cast-on half the stitches on each needle.

Knit the finger portion:

Round 1: Increase every stitch (K1,M1) all the way around for both needles. (16 total stitches)

Round 2+: Knit every round until it fits the hand to the highest knuckle (usually on the middle finger). If the hand it should fit isn’t near-get a measurement in inches and knit until then.

Round 1A: Knit increasing every other stitch (K2,M1) You should have increased by 8 stitches for a total of 24 stitches.

Round 2B+: Knit every round until you reach the thumb junction.

*you might check after a couple of rows to see if you need an additional increase round-such as for a pair of mens gloves. If so, I would do it as (K3,M1) after round 2b-then continue on.


Thumb Placement: you will need about 4 inches of contrasting scrap yarn now

There are two options for the placement of the thumb: Side, and front. A side thumb just sticks out of the side and tends to be easier to put on children. The front thumb gives sort of a puppet mouth and is just slightly over from the side-more to the front (as pictured). The side thumb can be worn on either hand. If you choose the front thumb, there will be right and left handed mittens.

Side Thumb:

Knit scrap yarn into first 5 stitches of the round for bulk yarn, or about a 1/4 inch. This is half the radius of what the thumb will be. Continue to knit normally finishing the round.

Front Thumb:

Right hand:

Knit 3 (or just under 1/2 inch), K5 (or 1/4 inch) with scrap yarn. Continue to knit normally to finish the round.

Left hand:

Knit to 8 stitches before the end of the round (or about 3/4 inch-make it the same as the other mitten). K5 with scrap yarn (or 1/4inch) K3 (or just under 1/2 inch to finish the round). Continue in the round knitting normally.

Knit the Palm:

Knit rounds until you reach the top of the wrist. This would be the measurement from the thumb joint down to the wrist.

Optional: At this point if you want a snug cuff with negative-ease you will need to decrease a few stitches. Decrease by knitting two together evenly around. Example: If you want to decrease by two stitches, K2tog for the first two stitches of each half of the round.

*If you decrease be sure that the total number of stitches will work into any patterning you may have added or want to add to the cuff.

Work the Cuff:

A rib pattern makes a nice fitted cuff. You can do any combination you like. K2,P2 is a nice standard or K3, P2 is a little more decorative. Do this as many rounds as it takes to achieve the length of cuff desired. You will want at least 2 inches for a nice fit.

Knit one or more plain rows before casting off to make a nice selvage edge for the mitten. Or, you can alternate knit and purl rounds making a raised decorative selvage.

Cast Off.

Pick up and knit the thumb:

Until I find my notes and/or knit another pair this is the best I can do to fix this part of the pattern. Watch the below video if you don’t know how to knit an afterthought thumb with waste yarn. Basically you will be picking up the stitches and then removing the waste yarn.  I usually add stitches by picking up 2 additional stitches on either side, this will also help to close the gap.

Knit in the round with either dpn’s or with circ’s using the magic loop. You will knit until just at or above the thumb knuckle.

Begin decreases by knitting two together evenly. You will only want to do this 1 to 2 times.

Knit another round or two until thumb is the correct length.

Bind off using the kitchen stitch.

Here is the video of what knitting as an afterthought with scrap yarn looks like and the kitchen stitch bind off:

Here is another video of knitting a thumb on a mitten with magic loop and picking up extra stitches to close the gap. She also goes over decreasing: *note her pattern has a thumb gusset and mine does not-although I might have to adapt this pattern to have one in the future!*


Try them on and have warm cozy hands! For more patterns, lessons, and friendship please click to follow by email and sign up for the newsletter.

I really  hope the literal ‘after thought” thumb directions make sense and the videos help. Again, I apologize for my earlier mess up. If I ever publish another pattern I will be sure to include all of the instructions and not to loose my notes! lol

This pattern was written by Heidi Palmer. You may use it for yourself, family and friends. She also doesn’t mind if you sell products made following this pattern. The pattern itself however, may not be sold. You may link to and make tutorials with this pattern as long as the author is given credit. Thank You!