Who wants to make anything twice, really?
And is there any (really good) reason why your mittens need to match? I’ve decided that no, they don’t really need to match. And making them ‘fraternal’ rather than ‘identical’ means that I can explore colour twice, instead of just once! This makes for double fun, and helps me avoid ‘second mitten syndrome’.
My cozy Waves mittens got a small hole near the fingertips. They’ve been sitting on my windowsill for the last 3 weeks, awaiting repair. I don’t want to wear them, because the hole will get worse, but it’s been COLD here in Edinburgh and I need mittens. The solution?! I couldn’t possibly do the 15 minutes of repair work. Much more sensible to cast on an exciting new pair, right? Mending can wait.
I have a new website to build and a MOUNTAIN of new design work due months ago, but all of a sudden it became critical that I cast on!
The World’s Simplest Mittens is a free pattern! Download it now, it’s sized from toddler on up to large adult! The best thing about this pattern, in my opinion, is that you can make them again and again, in various and sundry yarns, because we included instructions for sock weight, DK weight, Aran Weight, and even Chunky weight yarns!
I followed the chunky weight instructions this time. To make up this weight I held 3 strands of sock yarn together with a single strand of mohair-silk lace. I had recently seen somebody (brilliant) on Instagram do something like this, and obviously the idea had lodged in the back of my brain! Check out our tutorial on how to make marls by holding yarns together if you haven’t tried this technique (it’s FUN FUN FUN!).
I cast the first mitten in the dark, while watching a movie with the kids. I didn’t think much about the colours, and couldn’t see them properly. After a few rounds with the dark blue mohair, I thought I didn’t really like it. So I switched to the hot pink, which blended more with the other reds. The next morning, I saw the work in the light of day and thought perhaps I did really like that dark blue marled in, and decided to work the mitten tip with blues added back in.
Once the first one was done the key was to cast on IMMEDIATLEY for mitten two. I thought I’d go a little ‘nautical’ or ‘christmas’ themed, and do one red and one green mitten. I thought they’d be kinda ugly cool. Success there!
Alexa and I live a continent + an ocean apart, so at times we find out what the other is working on via the other partner’s Instagram posts! Sometimes I worry when I am doing an ‘off topic’ knit, and I post about it, that Alexa will be annoyed because I’m so far behind in the design work that was due yesterday. Because of this, I was a bit anxious when I shared photos of these mittens.
But, as I revealed my mitten #procrastiknitting on Instagram, it turned out that the same weekend, she was knitting a set of marled mittens for Bodhi! So we were not only both #procrastiknitting, we were doing it at the same time, AND following the same free pattern… What a wild coincidence!
December 26, 2021 @ 6:13 pm
I always use your pattern World simplest mitten and I do both at the same time. This way, no second mitten syndrome..
December 18, 2021 @ 1:19 pm
First of all, thank you so much for offering such a wonderful pattern for free! I have a quick question. The pattern says for a child’s mittens, ” continue knitting every round until piece measures 3” from end of thumb gusset. Does that mean 3” from the top of the thumb gusset or from where you started the gusset?
Thanks again 😌
December 21, 2021 @ 9:39 am
First, you’re welcome!
You’ll measure the 3″ from the point of separation between thumb and hand (not from beginning of gusset). ~ Em
March 1, 2020 @ 9:41 pm
Hi, beautiful mittens. I’m going to try this pattern. I love the marled effect and your colours!! Can you use two worsted weight to achieve the bulky weight? Trying to use up some leftover yarn.
March 2, 2020 @ 12:58 pm
Hi Tammy – That sounds about right, you probably need to try it or do a swatch to know if it’s too dense, although mittens are better if they are a little denser.
February 16, 2020 @ 9:15 am
I usually make fraternal mittens, and can identify with starting a new pair and not mending a small hole.
This winter however I’ve had a new experience….. mitten replacement. My grandson lost one of his 18 month old dino/lizard fraternal mittens. Despite being offered the chance of choosing a completely new design he requested a new lizard one.
Argh……. the horror of replacing one half without its twin for checking the stitch count and shape. Then….. Phew, I found a few notes, the replacement was made and after exacting quality control I am informed ‘they match’. To him different gloves are normal…… as long as they’re the same size/shape.
February 15, 2020 @ 11:52 am
I really like your patterns! Right now I’m working on your Sea Wall sock pattern which is turning out well. Thanks!
February 8, 2020 @ 5:56 am
I use my left over wool to make pneumonia vest . They need them in Africa
February 8, 2020 @ 3:16 am
More multi coloured patterns please. Really good for left-over wool.
February 7, 2020 @ 10:27 am
Great mittens! I can’t wait to knit from your pattern, especially as you give instrux for many weights of yarn!
February 7, 2020 @ 7:46 am
I love your worlds simplest mitten pattern, but I have a hard time sewing the holes closed. I would love to see a tutorial showing how to do it correctly.
February 7, 2020 @ 3:24 am
Same as with socks, identical mittens with patterned yarn isn’t only boring but most of them time won’t really work, either. Even if you knit two-at-a-time, often they aren’t identical anymore when you finish. I’ll keep to “close cousins” ;)
Unfortunately it isn’t cold enough in Northern Germany to have a real need for mittens…
February 6, 2020 @ 10:01 am
I was just thinking this about socks – why do they actually have to match? I agree that using different colors will keep me going to finish #2.
February 6, 2020 @ 8:50 am
So much to love about this pattern. I have a basket at home with mismatched mittens. When one of the boys came in with a wet paw, I would toss that on the radiator and pull another one out of the basket. A mother’s dream come true. It is clear you and Alexa are kindred souls. Happy stitching!
February 6, 2020 @ 6:43 am
I love your mitten patterns and someday I will make Waves! Do you have ideas on how to make the tubular cast on easier to understand? Do you have a learning video on this ( for me) difficult cast on?
April 2, 2020 @ 9:51 pm
Hi Elizabeth – Do you mean casting on for knitting in the round? Or the tubular cast on?
February 5, 2020 @ 7:34 pm
I’d like a very simple socks pattern for kids
February 7, 2020 @ 2:30 pm
Hi Margaret – We’ve got it! You can check out the Rye Socks or the Rye Light