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How to Knit Mittens: Step-by-Step Tutorial (2023)

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tutorialshow to knit mittensReady to learn how to knit mittens? You’ve come to the right place! This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through all of the materials, techniques, and tips needed for knitting your own mittens.

From choosing yarn weight and needle size recommendations, casting on stitches, shaping the top of a mitten with Kitchener stitch, and even providing wet blocking instructions – this guide has it all!

Whether you are just starting out or an experienced knitter looking for inspiration, this article is sure to teach something new about knitting cozy winterwear.

So grab your needles and let’s get started learning how to create some beautiful handknit mittens!

Key Takeaways

  • Gather essential supplies: yarn, needles, tapestry needle, crochet hook, measuring tape, and stitch markers.
  • Pay attention to thumb placement and colorwork.
  • Use the Kitchener stitch for seamless finishing.
  • Get creative with custom mittens.

Materials You Will Need

Materials You Will Need
As you begin knitting mittens, you’ll need to gather some essential supplies. To start, you’ll need an appropriate yarn weight like worsted or Aran weight yarn along with corresponding double-pointed needles in a size US 4-8.

Also, have on hand a tapestry needle for weaving ends, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, a measuring tape for sizing, and stitch markers to denote important divisions in your knitting.

Yarn Weight and Needle Size Recommendations

For cozy mittens, choose a medium or bulky weight yarn like the soft alpaca blends in the Nova Platina set – their smooth finish will make your stitches glide smoothly. Mitten patterns call for a heavier gauge yarn and larger needles to create a warm fabric.

Follow the label’s recommendations for needle size based on your chosen yarn’s weight. Swatch with a few needle sizes near the middle of the range to determine your perfect combination for the fabric you desire.

Double-pointed Needles

Bamboozled beginners often find that quality double-pointed needles make knitting mittens a cinch. Opt for smooth, tapered tips in hardwood, aluminum, stainless steel, or laminated birch. Match your needle size to the weight of the yarn. For fingering or sport weight yarns, try US size 1-4 needles.

Worsted or aran weights work well with US size 5-8 needles. Having a set with 4-5 needle sizes allows flexibility. Use a 12-16 inch cable length. With practice, magic loop knitting is another option, but dpns give superb control when knitting mittens in the round.

Tapestry Needle

You’ll also need a sharp yet blunt-tipped tapestry needle to weave in ends and seam up any gaps.

  • Thread yarn through the eye easily
  • Weave in ends on the wrong side
  • Join pieces together
  • Sew up holes
  • Add embroidery

A good tapestry needle is key for finishing knitted pieces smoothly and invisibly. Choose one with an eye big enough for your yarn and a point blunt enough not to split stitches.

Crochet Hook

Don’t fret – a spare crochet hook has you covered. Select a crochet hook in the size recommended for your yarn. A crochet hook lets you pick up dropped stitches or fix mistakes in your knitting project.

Having the right crochet hook on hand helps you master knitting techniques, creating beautiful mittens and more.

Crochet Hook Size Yarn Weight Common Uses
B/1 Super Fine Doilies, socks, baby items
E/3 Light Shawls, scarves
H/5 Medium Hats, cowls

Measuring Tape

Without a measuring tape, you’d be lost trying to get those mittens to fit just right. When diving into the tutorial on how to knit mittens, mastering measuring tape techniques is crucial. Ensure your mittens align with your intended sock size by referring to knitting patterns and yarn weight guidelines.

The gusset shaping, a pivotal part of mitten construction, relies on precise measurements. So, make friends with your measuring tape; it’s your key to crafting cozy mittens that fit like a dream.

Stitch Markers

To make your knitting process smoother, consider using stitch markers as handy tools to keep track of your progress when following a mitten knitting pattern. Stitch markers come in various shapes and sizes, so choosing markers that suit your style and preferences is essential.

They can be plain and functional or decorative, adding a touch of flair to your project. When marking stitches, place them strategically, especially when creating the thumb hole. Using markers in your mitten stitching will help ensure your work stays on track and results in beautifully crafted mittens.

How to Knit a Mitten

How to Knit a Mitten
Let’s delve into the process of knitting a mitten, covering essential steps such as casting on and starting the cuff, knitting the hand and thumb, shaping the top of the mitten, finishing with Kitchener stitch, and weaving in ends, with an optional blocking step for that perfect finish.

These instructions will guide you through each stage, ensuring you craft a cozy and well-fitting mitten with ease.

Casting on and Starting the Cuff

As you embark on the journey of crafting cozy mittens, imagine yourself at the beginning, where casting on and creating the cuff is like laying the first brick of a warm and snug fortress for your hands.

Start by selecting your preferred yarn, considering both warmth and aesthetics. The choice of cuff length and casting techniques will determine the mitten’s style – whether it’s a snug fit or a longer, stylish cuff.

Dive into the world of mittens with these versatile cuff variations and yarn choices, setting the stage for a pair of handcrafted wonders.

Knitting the Hand and Thumb

Now, as you shape the hand of your mitten, your fingers will start to take form, and you’ll soon feel the excitement of creating a cozy winter accessory that fits just right. Pay attention to thumb placement; it’s a crucial aspect of mitten sizing. If you’re adding colorwork techniques, ensure they align neatly along the hand.

Watch out for common mitten mistakes like uneven tension. Keep knitting the hand until it reaches your desired length, and then we’ll move on to thumb shaping.

Shaping the Top of the Mitten

Shape the top of your mitten by decreasing the number of stitches gradually, creating a snug and comfortable fit for your hand.

  • Decreasing Stitches: Begin by evenly distributing the remaining stitches onto double-pointed needles. Use a technique like k2tog (knit two stitches together) to reduce the stitch count.
  • Thumb Techniques: If your mitten has a thumb, maintain the thumb gusset stitches while decreasing around it to shape the top.
  • Colorwork Tips: For colorwork mittens, maintain the color pattern as you decrease to ensure a seamless design.

These techniques ensure your mitten fits perfectly.

Finishing With Kitchener Stitch

To achieve a seamless and polished look for your mitten, seamlessly join the stitches using the Kitchener stitch technique.

  • Insert the needle as if to purl into the first stitch on the front needle and pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the needle.
  • Next, insert the needle as if to knit into the first stitch on the back needle, again pulling the yarn through and leaving the stitch on the needle.
  • Repeat these steps, alternating between front and back needles, until all stitches are worked.
  • Gently tighten the yarn, weave in the ends, and you’ve mastered the art of Perfecting Mitten Seams with this essential finishing technique.

Weaving in Ends and Optional Blocking

For a polished finish, make sure you expertly secure loose yarn ends in your project. Statistics show that well-woven ends can significantly enhance the durability of your handcrafted items.

Additionally, consider the option of wet blocking. It has been found to increase the overall quality of knitting projects, providing a smoother and more professional appearance. Blocking benefits your mittens by giving them a more defined shape and a tidy, uniform look.

To weave in ends, use a tapestry needle and follow the fabric’s natural stitches for an invisible finish. Blocking tools like Knitter’s Block or a Sweater Care Collection can simplify the process and yield better results.

So, take the extra step and elevate your mittens to a professional level with end weaving and optional blocking.

Tips for Knitting Mittens

Tips for Knitting Mittens
When knitting mittens, there are several key points to keep in mind for a successful project. First, choosing the right yarn and needle size is crucial to achieve the desired warmth and texture. Adding colorwork or patterns can elevate your mittens, and customizing the fit for different hand sizes ensures comfort.

Be sure to avoid common mistakes that can lead to frustration, and don’t forget to follow tips for knitting the second mitten to match the first seamlessly.

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needle Size

When selecting the appropriate yarn and needle size for your mitten project, consider the specific yarn weight recommendations and corresponding needle sizes outlined in the knitting socks tutorial you’ve been following as a starting point.

The yarn weight used for socks is typically fingering or sport weight. Match this up to the corresponding needle size on the yarn’s label or check an online yarn and needle size chart.

Heavier yarns like worsted or bulky weight can also be used for thicker mittens.

For color, stick to solid hues or simple colorwork patterns for your first mittens.

Choosing the right yarn and needles for your skill level will set you up for mitten knitting success.

Adding Colorwork or Patterns

Try adding some pizzazz to your mittens with fun stripes, Fair Isle motifs, or intarsia using contrasting yarns. Choose colors and patterns that complement the main yarn. Utilize a chart or graph for colorwork patterns.

Embellish with pompoms, embroidery, or surface crochet. Knit a few swatches to test out colors and gauge before starting. Be adventurous and draw inspiration from nature, traditional motifs, or modern geometric designs.

Play around with different color palettes. Contrasting colors will make the details stand out.

Customizing the Fit for Different Hand Sizes

Cast on a few more stitches to make the mittens roomier if you have larger hands. Try measuring around the hand just below the knuckles for the right size number. Or add specific increases like the backward loop increase between the thumb gusset and pinky for a custom fit.

Getting the right number of stitches for hand size will ensure a perfectly snug mitten that is enjoyable to wear.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

To avoid the mittens being too tight, measure your hand circumference carefully before determining the number of stitches to cast on.

  • Take time to shape the thumb gusset to prevent holes or gaps.
  • When doing colorwork, maintain consistent tension to avoid puckering.
  • Follow mitten patterns carefully, especially for thumb placement.
  • Knit the second mitten immediately after the first to match gauge.

Tips for Knitting the Second Mitten

When knitting the second mitten, make sure to carefully refer back to your notes on the first one for stitch counts and measurements. Taking detailed notes while knitting the first mitten will ensure accuracy for the second one.

Check your gauge frequently and block it to match the dimensions of the first mitten. Referring to photos throughout the process can also help in matching details such as colorwork. By paying close attention to counts, gauge, and blocking, you will end up with a perfectly matched pair.

Wet Blocking for Knitted Mittens

Wet Blocking for Knitted Mittens
Wet blocking is an essential finishing technique for knitted mittens that helps smooth and shape the fabric. Next, we’ll cover the key steps for wet blocking your mittens, from soaking to drying, along with the best tools to have on hand.

Explanation of Wet Blocking and Its Benefits

You’ll love how wet blocking transforms your knitted mittens! Wet blocking is a crucial technique that enhances the shape, texture, and overall appearance of your mittens. The benefits of wet blocking are numerous. It evens out your stitches, making your mittens look more professional.

It also helps to relax the fibers, ensuring your mittens are as soft and comfortable as possible. Plus, wet blocking can correct any sizing issues and ensure a snug fit. In the next sections, we’ll delve into the blocking techniques, materials, and essential wet blocking tips for beginners to master this craft.

Steps for Wet Blocking Mittens

Now, for wet blocking mittens, carefully follow these essential steps to ensure your finished knitwear turns out beautifully.

Start by filling a basin with lukewarm water and adding a small amount of wool wash. Gently immerse your knit mittens, making sure they are fully saturated. Let them soak for about 15-20 minutes.

Afterward, gently squeeze out excess water, avoiding wringing or twisting. Lay your mittens flat on a clean, absorbent towel and roll them up to remove even more moisture.

Now, using your blocking tools, shape the mittens to the desired size and dimensions, paying special attention to any stitch patterns or cables.

Allow them to air dry completely, taking advantage of the blocking benefits to ensure your mittens maintain their shape and fit perfectly.

To achieve the best results with your mitten-blocking process, consider utilizing some essential tools, including Knitter’s Block, Sweater Care Collection, and a Sweater Care Brush. The Knitter’s Block provides a flat, smooth surface for shaping and drying your mittens.

The Sweater Care Collection reduces excess moisture without causing damage. And the Sweater Care Brush gently aligns the fibers for better definition. With the right tools, you’ll have perfectly blocked, beautiful mittens to enjoy wearing all winter long.

Top 3 Knitting Needle Sets for Mittens

Top 3 Knitting Needle Sets for Mittens
When knitting mittens, having the right tools is essential. For knitting quality mittens, consider the versatile Nova Platina interchangeable needle set for smooth knitting, sharp Stork sewing scissors for trimming, and Hekisn’s large eye blunt needles for easy threading and finishing.

Nova Platina Interchangeable Needles Set

Using Knitter’s Pride’s deluxe Nova Platina interchangeable needles, you’ll smoothly knit brilliant mittens. Their pointy tips easily glide through mitten colorwork. Choose a smaller needle size for ribbing the cuff, providing stretch.

For stranded techniques, select a needle that allows fabrics to relax. Check gauge and adjust needle sizes to ensure a proper fit. Finally, mattress stitch fronts and then bind off tops tidily. With quality tools, your mittens emerge expertly knit.

Stork Sewing Scissors Gold

Elegantly trim threads with these dazzling gold scissors for a polished look. Though charming, keep the blades covered when not in use. Spot clean gently with a soft cloth to prevent chipping the gold finish. Store properly to avoid nicks.

Embroidery scissors require special care for longevity. For best results, follow basic habits and review owner recommendations regarding durability. Use a cutting mat to protect the blades. With proper maintenance, these stork design shears will snip perfectly for countless projects.

Large Eye Blunt Needles Set

Wait until you impale those bulky mittens with these giant harpoons – they’ll never come undone! Banish wobbly strands and limp tassels forever! Snatch up this trio of sturdy goliaths. Their eyes are cavernous, swallowing even the thickest yarns. Forget frustrating threading and rethreading; you’ll lace these bad boys in one smooth motion.

When blocking colorful mittens, securely sew in ends and define shapes using these unbreakable needles.

Last Thoughts on Knitting Mittens

Last Thoughts on Knitting Mittens
Completed your first pair of knitted mittens? Congratulations! As you cast off your final stitches, reflect on the new skills you’ve gained and consider what inspiring knit designs you might tackle next.

Looking ahead with all that you’ve learned, knitting can continue to open up a world of cozy and creative possibilities.

Final Tips and Advice

Take care of finishing and weaving in ends before giving your handmade mittens a wash. When knitting mittens, pay close attention to mitten design, colorwork techniques, thumb placement, and mitten sizing to achieve the best fit.

Avoid common mistakes such as uneven increases, twisted stitches, and inaccurate gauge.

Inspiration for Your Next Knitting Project

After knitting your mittens, consider a cozy pair of knitted slippers next. Customize them with your favorite colors or motifs. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Make the soles with non-slip rubber for safety.

Measure carefully for a perfect fit. For your next pair of mittens, try two-color designs like Fair Isle or stranded colorwork. It goes quicker when knitting the second mitten. Check a pattern’s project gallery for tips before casting on.

With each new technique learned, you’ll gain skills to make your vision a handmade reality.


Knitting mittens may seem daunting at first, but with the right materials, tools, and steps, it’s like a walk in the park. With this step-by-step tutorial, you now have all the information you need to start knitting mittens of all shapes and sizes.

From choosing the right yarn and needles to avoiding common mistakes, you can use this guide to help you create mittens that fit perfectly. Once you have finished your mittens, you can use wet blocking to give them a professional finish.

With this tutorial, you now have the skills to knit mittens like an expert. So why not get creative and create a unique pair of custom mittens that will be the envy of all your friends?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.