Whichaway Mitts

Whichaway Mitts free knitting pattern from Fringe Association

OK let’s face it, there are (at least) two things I can’t get enough of: this Anna yarn and tubes with thumb slits. What can I say? I mentioned when I posted the Stadium Mitts and Stadium Hat patterns that I had enough yarn left to knit another pair of the mitts. But when I picked that yarn back up, something else came off my needles.

I’ve had this very simple idea in my head for a long time, and the ebony and ivory Anna seemed like the perfect yarn to finally make it with: a pair of knitted tubes with the thumb slit placed dead center, colorblocked half and half. So there’s no top or bottom — you can pull them on thisaway, thataway or one of each. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and I still have 50 yards of the natural left to play with! (It’s like the fishes and the loaves, this yarn.)

Although it’s just a few simple mods from the other mitts, I’ve written out the pattern details below for the benefit of beginners or anyone who just wants to cast on and go!

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Whichaway Mitts pattern

For these mitts (and the coordinating Stadium Hat and Stadium Mitts) you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination. You could also use four different colors, or omit the colorblocking and knit them solid, or whatever your heart desires. The beauty of a project this simple is how easy it is to make it your own!

Construction notes:
The thumbhole portion of these mitts is worked in flat rows (with two stitches of garter at each end), treating the three needles holding live stitches as if they’re a single left-hand needle, and turning the work with each row, before rejoining in the round at the top of the thumb opening. In order to be able to wear the mitts either direction, as pictured, it’s critical that the cast-on and bind-off edges both be stretchy. I’ve used the long-tail cast-on and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off, but you may use whatever stretchy cast-on and bind-off you like. Directions for EZ’s sewn bind-off follow the pattern.


  • approx 60 yards (30 yards each of two colors) of Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric you like — the stretchy ribbing will fit a wide range of hands regardless of precise gauge
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 5 stitches and 6.25 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 6 inches; length is 5.75 inches


With color A and a US8 needle, and using the long-tail or other stretchy cast-on method, CO 32 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs (12, 8 and 12 sts). Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, and join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Knit in the round
Rounds 1–12:  *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round

Create thumbhole
(For this worked-flat portion, all odd-numbered rows are WS rows, and all even-numbered rows are RS rows)
Row 13: turn work (WS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 14: turn work (RS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Rows 15–17: continue alternating WS and RS rows as above
Row 18 (RS): Switching to color B, knit all stitches
Row 19–22: resume alternating WS and RS rows in pattern as established in 13 and 14

Rejoin and finish knitting
Round 23: rejoin in the round; *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 22–34: *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off (below) or other stretchy bind-off.

Weave in ends. Repeat from beginning for second mitt.


How to work Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off:
Wrap the working yarn loosely four times around the mitt, add a few inches for a tail to weave in, and break the yarn. Thread this long tail through a tapestry needle. Step 1: Pass the needle purlwise through the first two stitches on the needle and pull the tail through, leaving the stitches on the needle. Step 2: Pass the needle back through the first stitch knitwise, dropping that stitch off the needle, and pull the tail through. Repeat these two steps until one stitch remains on the needle. At this point, my method when binding off in the round is to pass the needle purlwise through that last stitch plus the front leg of the first bound-off stitch, neatly closing up the round. Then pass it knitwise back through the last stitch, drop the needle, and weave in the end.


<< Favorite/queue the Whichaway Mitts at Ravelry >>


CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
WS = wrong side
RS = right side

16 thoughts on “Whichaway Mitts

  1. find the shortest size 8 circulars you can find. Amazon has a 9 inch and that would probably work.

  2. Love this design! The colorblocks are fun and stylish. This would be a terrific pattern to use up some of my handspun yarns.

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  5. I have some Lion Brand Woolease that I used to make half grey/half cream boot cuffs. I would love to make these mitts to match my cuffs, but the yarn is #5 bulky. Any ideas on how many stitches I should CO to have these mitts not end up too large? I normally use a #10 – 16″ circular needle to make the cuffs. I would be willing to try the dp needles if I had the correct # of stitches to start out.

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