Super Simple Mitts

super simple fingerless gloves pattern

The look of these quick and simple fingerless gloves is inspired in part by Tante Ehm’s wonderful Camp Out Fingerless Mitts, with that wide band of garter stitch around the knuckles. But for this I’ve boiled it down to the essence: a glove you can easily whip out in a bunch of colors or that any beginner can make. If you can cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, you’re golden. There are no increases or decreases; no picking up stitches. And for anyone who’s been wanting to try double-point needles, I think a simple mitt like this is a great place to start.

Old pros will think this is the equivalent of posting a recipe for PB&J, and will only care to know that I cast on 32 stitches on US6 DPNs. The ribbing is 2×2; about an inch at the cuff and 2 around the knuckles. The thumbhole is a 1.5-inch stretch that was knit as if flat, starting at the 4.5-inch mark, before the piece is rejoined in the round. Total length is 8″. (For the record: I lightly toast my bread, let it cool slightly so as not to overly melt the peanut butter, and then barely wave jam in the bread’s general direction, for a goopless sandwich. How about you?)

For my fellow beginners out there, I’m spelling it out in full detail below.

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P A T T E R N   |   queue it on Ravelry

These would likely be classed as M/L if sold retail. For a bigger or smaller hand, add or subtract to the cast-on count in any multiple of 4 stitches (needed for the 2×2 ribbing). So 28 or 36 would work equally well. If you want your gloves to be shorter or longer, or the ribbed sections to be different proportions, knock yourself out! You could even rib the entire glove. Just be sure you have enough yarn for whatever alterations you make. [Oct 2012: See also my fully ribbed Marl Mitts version.]


  • Approx 100 yards aran-weight wool (pictured is Berroco Blackstone Tweed in Wintry Mix)
  • 4 double-point needles, size US6
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends


Approx 7 inches around by 8 inches tall


CO = cast on
DPN = double-point needle
K = knit
p = purl
BO = bind off


CO 32 stitches on one US6 DPN (see note above for alterations)

Divide stitches onto 3 DPNs as follows: Slide stitches to far end of needle. Slip the first 12 stitches onto another DPN (needle 1), then the next 8 stitches onto another (needle 2), leaving 12 on the original needle (needle 3). Join for working in the round, making sure stitches are not twisted around the needles*
Round 1: Holding your working yarn and tail together for the first 4 stitches and using a 4th DPN to knit, *K2, P2. Repeat from * until the end of the round. (Drop your tail after those first 4 stitches but do not cut it off. You can use it to keep track of which needle is needle 1. Whenever you’re back to the needle with the tail hanging below it, you’ve completed one full round.)
Repeat round 1, forming 2×2 ribbing, until piece measures 1 inch
Switch to stockinette: Knit all stitches, all rounds, until piece measures 4.5 inches, being sure to end with needle 3
Next row: Hold needle 3 in your left hand as if it were a straight needle to begin knitting thumb section back and forth. Slip the first stitch onto your free needle, then purl the rest of the row, ending with needle 1
Next row: Turn the work so that needle 1 is in your left hand, with the right side of the glove facing you. Slip the first stitch onto your free needle, then knit the rest of the row, ending with needle 3
Continue working back and forth in this fashion, slipping the first stitch on every row, until the opening measures 1.5 inches, ending with a purl row.
Rejoin for working in the round; knit two rounds
Resume ribbing, k2/p2, until piece measures 8 inches
BO loosely in rib pattern
Weave in ends


*If you haven’t done this before, put your yarn and needles down for a minute and form a triangle in front of you with your hands — fingers and thumbs touching. Think of the side of the triangle formed by your two thumbs as needle 2. The fingers of your left hand are needle 1; the fingers of your right hand are needle 3. Now arrange your cast-on stitches into a triangle the same way, a triangle pointing away from you, with all of the stitches running along the inside of the triangle. Your working yarn and tail should be hanging from the tip of needle 3, the top right of the triangle.

super simple fingerless mitts

54 thoughts on “Super Simple Mitts

  1. In case anyone wonders or is interested, that green Noro version of this that I posted a few days ago did have some increasing going on — I gradually upped it by 6 stitches between the wrist and thumb, then decreased by 2 before starting the knuckle ribbing. That yarn has effectively no give, so the glove had to be shaped to fit. Not necessary with any reasonably springy yarn.

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  4. Quick question, if you are doing the small size, and using the magic loop method, would 10 stitches, starting a few stitches in from the begininning of the round be a good estimate on the thumb hole?

    • Hi, Natalie. I’m not a magic loop person, but it shouldn’t make any difference here, that I can think of. The thumb section is knitted flat — back and forth from the last to first stitch of the row and back — rather than in the round. Then you rejoin at the top of the thumb slit and resume working in the round.

  5. I modified the pattern just a bit to knit these with super-bulky yarn on 10.5 needles. They turned out wonderfully! Thank you for the pattern!

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  7. ok, so i’m an idiot. I cannot figure out the thumb hole. Do you begin on needle three on the pearl side?

    • Yep, exactly! Work back across the three needles from the “wrong side” (the inside or purl side). Then turn again and work back the other direction from the right side. Back and forth, just like when you knit a flat piece. It’ll seem really awkward for the first couple of rows.

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  9. I am a complete knitting novice, so if this is a dumb question…sorry. Instead of using multiple DPNs, could this be done using a circular set?

  10. hi: I used dpns and got a bit of laddering. I did try and make the first stitch a tight one. Suggestions?

  11. I just made these and it was my first project with double pointed needles. Thank you so much for the great instructions! I’m feeling very confident now to try out more patterns with my DPNs!!

  12. Thank U for this easy pattern. I have been searching for fingerless gloves and now u answered my wish. As soon as my wireless printer arrives, I can copy the pattern to start and make them for my Grandaughter.

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  14. Hello Karen, I have been trying to print the pattern for Super Simple Mitts and have had no luck in doing so. Do you know why I cannot print it. I have never tried DPN’s and noticed that you said it would be a great project to try them on so I would like to do this also. Really like this pattern for Super Simple Mitts. Thank you. Will be anxiously waiting for your reply.

    • Hi, Ruth. I’m sorry — I’m not sure what you mean exactly. It’s just a web page, so the only thing to do is hit print in your browser’s menu and that should do it!

  15. Thank you so much for this pattern! The pattern was clear enough for me to learn to use double pointed needles and make a quick pair of gloves! Thanks again :)

  16. So for the thumb section do you bind off the stitches for needle 3 and then co again when you finish the thumb hole???

    • No, there’s no need to bind off or CO anything. You simply work that section back and forth as if flat, then rejoin in the round to complete the mitt.

  17. You just made me smile! Your PB&J recipe… :-D
    Thank you for the Mitt pattern. Encouraging enough for me to try! Stay tuned! (wink-wink!)

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    • You can really divide them up however you like, as long as they’re fairly even. If you do as I’ve described above, you’ll have 12, 8 and 12.

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  21. Hopefully this isn’t a dumb question – but if you’re just slipping the first stitch from one needle to the other when working on the thumb section, how dow that first (and last stitch) not become one very long thread at each side of the thumb hole? To me it would make more sense if you just went ahead and purled (or knit) that stitch as you would the others.

    • You get a little bit nicer looking edge if you slip the first stitch of each row (which then gets worked at the end of the following row), but you can certainly knit/purl it if you prefer!

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  23. I am looking for a fingerless glove pattern knitted on a circle needle .Any ones you know of?I also want to knit with a worsted weight.

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  29. I’m a newer knitter to mitts so I’m having trouble with thumb hole section. Where the pattern says ‘next row: hold needle 3 in your hand….to begin knitting back and forth….’ I’m completely lost as to what i’m supposed to do here! Is there any chance of a video for this section of the pattern as I’m more of a visual learner rather trying to figure out written patterns. I’ve purled from needle three to needle one but I don’t think I was supposed to do a ‘round’ of knitting? Help!! Thank you for any help in this matter!

    • Hi, Stephanie — not sure how this got missed before. It sounds like you’re doing it right. If you’ve purled back across the WS, that’s the first row of the flat section. Just turn the work and knit back across the RS, then repeat!

  30. When I made these I ended up with two thumb holes. Any idea why? Is it because I made them on normal circular needles instead of DPNs?

    • Hi, the process is the same regardless of what type of needles you’re using — you’ll work that stretch back and forth as if knitting flat, then rejoin in the round as described.

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