Fingerless Piano Mitts and Mini-Mitts

Fingerless Piano Mitts





The Piano Mitts with a lacy edge were designed for my daughter’s piano teacher, who has poor circulation and needs to play piano in cool conditions at times.  The Mini-Mitts, plain and simple, were designed to use a small amount of luxury yarn!  The basic pattern can be endlessly adapted to fingerless mitts for your computer, knitting, photography, biking, teenage, or other uses.  A great use for leftover sock yarn.  Consider personalizing them by placing a motif on the back of the hand. 

One size fits many.

Yarn requirements:

Piano Mitts: 2 skeins Baby Cashmere (60% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, 10% cashmere; 25g skein, 109 yds/100 m) or approximately 140 yards or less of any fingering weight yarn

Mini-Mitts: 1 skein Baby Cashmere Baby Silk (80% alpaca, 20% silk) or any soft and warm fingering weight yarn may be substituted. Most sock yarn comes in 50g or 100g skeins, so will make more than one pair.

Gauge: 28 stitches per 4 inches in stockinette (10 cm). These are designed more for indoor wear, so the gauge is looser than one might otherwise knit socks.  Knitting at a looser gauge is also the key to fitting many, and to comfortable indoor wear.  Also, yarn that is a little too fragile for hard wear as a sock will work well in this project, though any fingering weight yarn will be suitable.

Needles: I used size 2 (3 mm) needles on the stockinette portion, but I am a loose knitter. Others might use size 3 (3.25 mm) to get gauge. You may use two circular needles, a set of double pointed needles, or the Magic Loop method at your discretion. I recommend using one size smaller needles on the ribbing and the first six rows of stockinette.

Accessories: 2 or 3 stitch markers.

Pattern notes: The Mini-Mitts take exactly one 25g skein of Baby Cashmere (as in, you will probably need to unravel your swatch if you make one). The Piano Mitts as knitted take a little over one 25g skein. Three skeins will make two pair of mitts with plenty left over.

It would be easy and fun to dress up the backs of the gloves with a lace motif or a cable. As written, a motif can be placed and appear centered by (1) placing a fourth marker after 20 stitches knit to mark the beginning of the back of the hand, and centering the motif over the last 20 stitches of the round; as written, this will place the thumb in the proper position for the right hand.  To make the left hand version, modify the set-up round to: k12, place marker for beginning of thumb gusset, k4, place marker for end of thumb gusset, k4 (place marker to mark back of hand).  Otherwise, the mitts are completely symmetric as written and will fit either hand unless you place a motif on them.

If you would like to make mitts for a man with a large hand, cast on 48 or 56 stitches, and do two more increase rounds.  You will need to place 20 thumb gusset stitches on a holder in that case.  Other directions remain the same, though you may wish to make the mitts longer as well, of course.

You may use the increase of your preference for the thumb gusset, but I would suggest paired lifted increases (also called Make 1 Right, and Make 1 Left), see tutorial here:


Piano Mitts and Mini-Mitts

Cast on very loosely 40 stitches on smaller needles, using a stretchy cast-on (long-tail cast-on is a good choice). Divide as desired among needles, and join to work in the round, being careful as always not to twist. Place marker to mark beginning of round, if desired, or beginning of round may be between two needles.



For Piano Mitts (eyelet edging):

Round 1: Purl.

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: [k2 tog, yo] to end of round.

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: Purl.

Round 6 and all following rounds of ribbing: [K2, P2} to end of round.

For Mini-Mitts (plain): Round 1 and all following rounds of ribbing: [K2, P2] to end of round.

For both: Continue in K2 P2 ribbing for 2 – 2 ½ inches (5 – 7 cm) or desired length.  Directions for both mitts will be the same from this point on.

Then you will be changing to stockinette (knit every round) for the Palm.

Set-up round: K4, place marker, k4, place marker, knit to end of round.

Rounds 1 & 2: Knit.

Round 3: K to first marker, slip marker, K1, increase one, knit to one stitch before second marker, increase one, K1, slip marker, knit to end of round. (Increase round.)

Repeat rounds 1-3 seven more times. (Change to larger needles on round 7.)  You will have 56 stitches total on the needles, and you will have 20 stitches between the two markers.

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 (knit). [As written, the glove really does fit almost all, but for an unusually long or wide hand, you could knit more plain rounds at the point, until the glove just reaches the ‘crotch’ of the thumb.]

Hold Stitches for Thumb: On next round, k to 1st marker and remove marker. K2.  Thread a piece of waste yarn onto a yarn needle, and use this to slip the next 16 stitches to waste yarn to hold for thumb.  Cast on 4 stitches, i.e. with overhand loop method, onto right-hand needle.  K2 from left-hand needle as usual (therefore joining again to knit in the round), and remove second marker.  Continue knitting in stockinette in the round for the hand stitches (total of 44 stitches on the needles).

Top of Hand: Knit approximately ¾ inch (1.5 to 2 cm) in stockinette (knit every round), or to desired length.  Then change to smaller needles and knit 8 rows K2 P2 ribbing. Bind off VERY LOOSELY in ribbing pattern. (Could also use Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off or Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off.)

Return to Thumb Stitches and place 16 held stitches on your needles, dividing as desired. Join in yarn, leaving a 6 inch (15 cm) long tail, and knit these 16 stitches. Pick up and knit 1 stitch into the small gap between the held stitches and the 4 cast-on loop stitches (try knitting into the back of the stitch you pick up). Pick up and knit the 4 cast-on stitches. Pick up and knit 1 stitch into the gap between the cast-on stitches and the held stitches on the needle. Join in the round (22 stitches on the needles).

Knit one round until you reach the first picked-up stitch. Knit 2 tog. Knit 2. SSK (slip one stitch as if to knit, slip the next stitch as if to knit, knit both slipped stitches together). (20 stitches.)

Knit 1 round.

Change to smaller needles and knit K2P2 ribbing for 6 rows. Bind off VERY LOOSELY in pattern.

Weave in ends, using the long tail at the thumb gusset to neaten up this area as needed.

Pattern copyright 2007 Catherine Ryan, modified 5/08 and 7/10, all rights reserved. Permission granted for personal use.

17 responses to “Fingerless Piano Mitts and Mini-Mitts

  1. Barbie O. in Montreal

    I have fallen in love with the cabled version you did for your daughter but having trouble trying to figure out how to go into the cable from the rib portion as there is the p2 section between the two k2 sections and have not found directions in all my different reference books–closest I have come is a chain cable in one of the Harmony guides but that is over 9 sts. and I figured it would be a 10 st. pattern (p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, then remainder of round in stocking st.). Any suggestions? Trying to make fingerless mitts for my nephew and these would be perfect…

    Cheers, Barbie O.

  2. Pingback: » Blog Archive » more fingerless mitts

  3. oooo… just what I want for my friend in the adirondacks… thanks for the great pattern!

  4. Thank you for the fingerless piano mittens! They look nice and comfy and fun to make!

  5. Sheepmom (Daren)

    Found you through a question on Ravelry’s yarns about what to do with 1 skein of sock yarn. I have small amounts of handspun and other favorite leftover yarns that this would be perfect for, and 2 daughters. Thank-you very much! Will let you know how they came out!

  6. I love the way these look. I’m looking to knit my first pair of fingerless gloves with homespun that came out to 19-22wpi. These look like they could be the “it”! Thanks for sharing your pattern.

    I have one question… you refer to two kinds of mitts (Piano and Mini) with two different yarn requirements. The photos show what looks like the same mitt (white) as the other (brown) except for the eyelet decoration at the cuff. Am I missing something painfully obvious, or is one of them not pictured? I’m getting ready to duck, I have a feeling it’s the painfully obvious one. I’m a fairly new knitter, can you tell?

  7. Thank you for the lovely pattern!

  8. Pingback: Knitting Blog? Well, yes « Hither and Yarn

  9. Julie from Oregon

    I made these for my adult daughter and she loves them for driving on cold mornings. Thanx for your easy to follow pattern. I looked everywhere for a pattern and yours is the best and cutest.

  10. i used your pattern and borrowed the cabled owl from a hat pattern for the top of the palm, and my friend said they were the best birthday gift she’d ever gotten! if anyone needs help fitting a cable pattern onto these gloves, i’ve pretty much mastered it.

  11. Hi – I made the piano mitts for my daughter and they fit perfectly. I would say the pattern came out to be a “medium”. My daughter-in-law would like a pair as well but she is very petite and usually wears a child’s large in gloves.
    How do I modify the instructions to be smaller and fit her hand?

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  13. Just a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding pattern .

  14. Pingback: » Blog Archive » I’m in! I’m in!

  15. excellent pattern, my daughter is an organist, so i loved finding a simple pattern to show off lovely handpainted kid and silk yarn.

  16. Just made these as a last minute Christmas gift. Perfect! Easy pattern to follow, and worked up lovely. Many thanks.

  17. Pattern really looks very easy to knit.

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