Writings from my little corner of modern domesticity.

Knitting Pattern: Emergency Fingerless Mitts

Have a special treat for everyone today. I’ve been knitting these things for a couple of friends, after whining about not having anything to knit only to have them buy yarn and demand the goods (not really- I offered), and I decided I should share.

The first pair was knit out of necessity to keep my hands warm while knitting in the winter, actually, thus the “Emergency” part of the name. They were knit off-the-cuff, with just me knowing what I needed and how to get there, and custom-fit to my hands. Thus, I can’t promise the fit for anyone else off the pattern; it’s basically my notes as I decided to write down what I’d done for future reference. My hands are a woman’s size small, 7″ish around just above where the thumb separates from the hand.

But first, the ones I just made for Emily, out of a bulky blue wool-acrylic blend for which I had to scale the pattern somewhat, as the original used your standard worsted-weight yarn (you know- that Red Heart all of us have somewhere).

The yarn was a pleasure to work with- quite soft and fluffy and not hard to knit. Emily’s pair was the third pair of these that I’ve made, though the first for which I’ve had to alter the pattern.

Speaking of which…

Emergency Fingerless Mitts


  • 1 ball worsted weight yarn (I used about half of a 3-oz ball, so about 1.5 oz should do)
  • Double-pointed needles in US sizes 3 and 5, in sets of 4, or whatever size needed to meet gauge
  • 3 stitch markers
  • A stitch holder

Gauge: 4 stitches/8 rows per inch on the size 5s in straight stockinette.


  1. CO 32 sts with long-tail caston on size 3 needles, divided 10-10-12. Join, not twisting.
  2. (K2, P2) across round. Place marker on first needle. Repeat 16x or to desired cuff length.
  3. [round 17] Switch to size 5 needles. K across.
  4. K 3 rows
  5. K10. K4, place marker, M1. K2, M1, place marker, K4 (should reach the end of the needle). K across rest of round.
  6. K across
  7. [round 22] K to 1st marker keeping the marker 4 from the start of the needle, M1, K to 2nd marker, M1, K across.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until 2nd needle contains 26 stitches.
  9. [round 34] K10, K5, removing marker. Place center 16 sts on stitch holder, removing other marker. K across, joining across the excluded stitches.
  10. K around. Rep 4x or to bottom of pinky.
  11. Switch to size 3 needles. Work (K1, P1) ribbing across. Rep 5x.
  12. BO loosely. Cut from yarn source.
  13. Return to the thumb, dividing sts evenly over 3 needles, size 5. Pick up 2 sts from “bridging” row above. [18 sts total on needles]
  14. Join yarn, marking 1st needle (preferably the “top” one along the “bridge”). K around.
  15. Sl1, K1, psso. K2, K1, Sl1, psso (requires some fiddling) K around.
  16. K2tog, K2tog. K around, shifting sts to more even arrangement [5, 4, 5]
  17. K around. If necessary, repeat to bottom of thumb knuckle creases on hand.
  18. Switch to size 3 needles. K1, P1 around. Rep 3x, or to top of knuckle creases.
  19. BO loosely. Cut yarn.
  20. Finish, weaving in ends. If desired, leave long ends on the thumb and use to close any holes which may exist from the M1s previously.


Ta-da! If anyone tries the pattern and needs help, don’t hesitate to ask. It can be tricky working from someone’s scribbled notes, I know. I can post photos of key steps if need be from the next pair I make, which should be in the next couple of weeks.



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