Knitted Mittens: a Homemade Christmas Present

When I was growing up, my dad stressed to me that presents that were homemade meant more than presents that were bought because it meant that you put time into the present for that person.  He always made us homemade toys along with the store bought toys he gave us. He did wood working and made some really nice doll cradles, rocking chairs, toy guns, etc. I never learned to work with wood, but I did learn how to make homemade presents. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, embroidery, quilt, what every I could, and all this enables me to give homemade presents too. I haven’t done it for a while because my life has been too busy and because the things I needed to make homemade presents just were too hard to find in Korea, and if we found them, they were too expensive.  This year, we found yarn at a decent price, and I loaded up to begin making Christmas presents.  My son in law is thrilled that I can make things by hand, and he told me he thinks I should only give homemade gifts.  That tells me for sure he wants a homemade gift. I decided to make him a pair of mittens, but don’t tell him. He only reads my blog if I point him to a particular blog, and I won’t point him to this one. If you want to make mittens too, this is how I did it.


First, I got a set of double pointed knitting needles and two balls of yarn.  Double pointed needles are usually kind of small, so the yarn should be light weight yarn.

I cast 10 stitches on one needle.
Without cutting the yarn, I just continued and cast on 10 stitches on another needle.


I cast 10 stitches on each needle, and then I put them together like this.  When I began to knit the first row, I just connected all three needles and knit all the way around.

I cast on 10 stitches on one needle, then 10 stitches on the next needle, and then 10 stitches on the third needle.  I then could work all the way around.  When I began knitting the first row, I went to the first needle that I cast 10 stitches onto, knitted those then stitches, and then went on to the next needle and knitted those 10 stitches, and thin I knitted 10 stitches on the last needle.

The edge of knitting is often ribbed, so next I knit 2, pearled 2 all the way around all three needles.After I did that, I knit another row, then I knit 2 pearl 2 on the next row, and then knit another row. This gives the knitting the ribbed look.  I did the same thing again and again for 1 3/4 inches.

If I had bigger needles, I might have changed to bigger needles next, but I don’t, so to compensated for only having small needles,  I knitted around the next row and added a stitch randomly in the middle of each needle.  I will only knit at this point. I am done with knit 2 pearl 2. After the first row where I added a stitch on each needle, on the second time around, I added two stitches on each needle. On the third time around, I added one stitch again on each needle.  When I was done adding, and I had 15 stitches on each needle.  I kept knitting around, row after row until it measured 2 inches from the ribbing.

The ribbing measured 1 3/4 inches, and the whole thing measured 3 3/4 inches. It is time to begin the thumb hole.
the stitch holders I found were tiny.


I put 5 stitches from the beginning of the row onto a stitch holder.

When it measured 2 inches from the ribbing, the whole piece measured 3 3/4 inches.  At this point, I got a stitch holder. The stitch holders I found here are different from the ones I used in America, so yours may be different too.  In America, they looked like big metal safety pins. Here, they look like very small plastic safety pins.  I took 5 stitches off the beginning of the next row and put them on the stitch holder.

To make a hole for the thumb. I began to knit a row, pearl a row for 2 inches.  I didn’t go around all three needles at this point, but knit back and forth, knit a row, pearl a row.

I knitted on all three needles to the end, but I didn’t connect the three needles at this point. When I got to the end, I pearled going the other direction. I am leaving a space for the thumb.  I knit a row, pearled a row for 2 inches.

I knit all the way around again. No more pearl rows.  I knitted  until the whole thing measured 9 inches.

On the next row, I connected all three needles again and began knitting around again. At this point, I only needed to knit again, no more pearling.  I continued to knit until the whole thing measured 9 inches.

I put every other stitch onto the same needle.  It closes the top.

When it measured 9 inches, I put 18 stitches on one needle and 18 on the other. I didn’t have any stitches on the third needle.  Next, I used the third needle and slipped a stitch from one of the needles on to it, then I slipped a stitch from the other needle on to it, then back to the first needle, I slipped another stitch on to it.  I did this all the way across, so that at the end, all the stitches were on one needle.

After I cast off all the way across, I cut the yarn, and the top of the work looked a little square, so I pulled the yarn to the inside of the work, turned the work inside out, and rounded the corners.

Next, I cast off along those stitches. If you have never cast off, I knitted two, and then I pushed the first stitch on the hook over the second one and left only one stitch on the needle. Next, I knitted another stitch, and pushed the original stitch over it, then I knitted another one, and pushed the original stitch over it. I did this across.

When I turned it right side out again, the corners at the top were more rounded.

At this point, if you look at the work, it looks a little square on the end, and you don’t want that.  I cut the yarn, and pushed the yarn inside with a crochet hook.  Next, I turned the mitten inside out.  You can either use a yarn needle and sew along the corners to soften the look of the mittens on the other side or you can do what I did and crochet along the corners on each side.  Then, when you turn it right side out, you can see that the corners are not so sharp.

To begin knitting the thumb, I went back to the stitch holder and put those 5 stitches on a needle.
I thread my needles through the edge of the thumb hole and picked up threads to make 5 more stitches on each needle. I knitted into those odd looking stitches, and it evened out.

Next, went back to where I put the stitch holder in.  OI put those stitches from the stitch holder onto a needle.  Next, I picked up about 5 stitches off the edge on either side of where the stitch holder was. I had 3 needles connected to the work again.  I knit all the way around.  I kept knitting until the thumb measures 3 inches.

I knit around on three needles until the thumb measured 3 inches from the beginning of he thumb to the end.

When the thumb measured 3 inches, I cut the yarn leaving a good length.  Next, I threaded that yarn through all the stitches on the needles, took the needles out, and then pulled the yarn. It closed the thumb at the top.  I pulled the yarn through the thumb to the inside of the work again and tied a knot.


I cut a length of yarn, then I threaded it through all the stitches on the needles and took the needles out.

I pulled the yarn, and it closed the thumb.

To finish it off, you will want to find any loose yarn  like from the beginning and thread it through the work on the inside to make it look more finished.

I did this twice, and now I have a pair of mittens to give as a Christmas present. 🙂

I did the same thing twice and have a pair of mittens.  I put a giant snow flake with white on each of mine, but you don’t have to do that.  I knitted the snowflake into the mitten as I was knitting.  Try them on. They are ready to give as a Christmas gift.

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