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Free Pattern: Flutter-Your-Fan Two-Needle Mittens

It's autumn, and summer is gone -- gone in a scarlet swirl of leaves on the chilly wind. Dramatic, no? Well, really I'm only pretending to be sad, because I live in the Pacific Northwest, where chilly is about as bad as it gets in the fall. Yay, fall! And guess who needs new mittens?

A while ago I worked out a knit-flat mitten that was essentially a simple variation on that old slipper pattern (but with a thumb).

This week, with the weather getting nippy, I decided to revisit mittens while curling up with a good movie. My kiddo recently picked up a VHS copy of Gone With the Wind (how's that for different levels of nostalgia?) so naturally my thoughts turned to fans and lace. Lace is easy knitted flat -- which took me back to my two-needle mittens, which led to this free pattern. Enjoy!

*Note: I did not post gauge (I'm naughty that way) but as long as you don't knit super-loose, this should turn out fine. Also, a gauge swatch is about the size of a mitten anyway. But... if you really must get gauge, cast on 24 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for about 10 cm or 4 in or as long as it take Scarlett to sew up those curtains. If your swatch width is pretty much the width of your hand (don't worry about length for now) then this pattern should work for you in whatever size yarn and needles you use for that swatch. So there.


Sport weight yarn (wool or acrylic-wool blend work best); I used two 50g balls
Straight needles size 3.75 mm (US 5)
Darning needle

*If you want a sturdier mitten, use worsted weight yarn and the same size needles, or if you want a larger mitten, use both larger needles (one or two sizes up) and worsted yarn. This pattern is try on as you go, so it's easily adaptable to different yarns and needle sizes. Keep in mind the lace will look chunkier if you use worsted yarn.

Flutter-Your-Fan Two-Needle Mittens pattern

CO 48 stitches

Begin with mitten cuff:

On RS (Right Side) Knit 2, Purl 2
On WS (Wrong Side) Knit 2, Purl 2
Continue in 2x2 rib for as long as you want your wrist cuff (about 5 cm or 2 in for example)

K2, P2 rib cuff

Next, the mitten hand:

When cuff is desired length, begin the feather and fan pattern for the hand, using the following techniques:

Knit – k
Purl – p
Yarn Over – yo
Knit Two Together – k2tog

Feather and Fan Pattern:

Row 1 (RS): Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *(k2tog) 4 times, (yo, k1) 8 times, (k2tog) 4 times; rep from * to end (you will do one repeat only)
Row 4: Purl

Repeat rows 1 – 4 until mitten hand just touches the tip of your longest fingertip, ending on WS row.
(My mittens used 10 pattern repeats, and my hands are on the small-medium side.)

After several repeats, the lace pattern emerges!

Reduce for top of mitten hand:

On RS of mitten k2tog till end of row -- 24 st
Purl 24 st on WS
On RS, k2tog till end of row -- 12 st
Purl 12 st on WS
On RS, k2tog till end of row -- 6 st
Purl 6 st on WS
On RS, k2tog till end of row -- 3 st

Cut yarn leaving a fairly long tail (you will need this to stitch down half the hand of the mitten with it) and with darning needle, pass through all three remaining stitches and pull tight, bind off securely.

Stitching the mitten hand:

With darning needle and mitten turned inside out, carefully stitch from the mitten tip about 3/4 down the inside of the hand, stopping at the point your thumb starts. Bind off yarn. Turn mitten right side out again.

Inside-out mitt, stitched down inner side to the crook of your thumb.

Making the thumb:

With fresh yarn, pick up 20 stitches straddling the seam of your mitten, 10 on one side, 10 on the other. (That's right, I said straddling.)

20 thumb stitches picked up, 10 on either side of the mid-seam.

Knit these stitches back and forth in stockinette stitch starting on WS row:

Purl WS row
Knit RS row
Repeat until length just touches the tip of your thumb. (For my small-medium size thumb, that was 6 cm or 2 in from the picked-up stitches.)

Reduce thumb:

On RS row, k2tog till end of row -- 10 st
Purl 10 st on WS
On RS row, k2tog till end of row -- 5 st
Purl 5 on WS row
On RS row, k2tog two times, k1 -- 3 st

Cut yarn leaving a fairly long tail (you will need this to stitch down the remainder of the mitten with it) and with darning needle, pass through all three remaining stitches and pull tight, bind off securely.

Finishing your mitten:

With darning needle and mitten turned inside out, carefully stitch from the thumb tip down the inside of the thumb and then down to the bottom of the cuff. Bind off yarn. Turn mitten right side out again, weave in ends, and then knit another. Block mittens if desired.

Sewing up the outside of the thumb with mitten inside out
and then down to the end of the cuff finishes off your mitten!

Wear your mittens somewhere special, like the library, coffee shop or to the beauty salon. Wave your hands daintily while you enjoy the admiration of non-knitting friends. Feel like the belle of the ball, despite that autumn chill.

Ready to make mitten #2?


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