Tag Archives: Red Scarf project

Mini-Mitts and Piano Mitts pattern!

Plain and slightly fancy fingerless gloves, of amazingly soft and warm alpaca/merino/cashmere yarn (elann.com Baby Cashmere).

They look better on:

I’m providing the pattern for free, below. (Sorry for the delay; I went through a fair amount of gymnastics to make a .pdf file, and now I can’t get it uploaded. So please do that copy and paste thing if you like the pattern).

But I have a request. If you would, please consider, in exchange, making a donation to the Red Scarf Project. The Orphan Foundation of America does wonderful things for young men and women, who also are accomplishing wonderful things, with very little support. A dollar or three can make a difference in someone’s life. Here’s Norma’s (of Now Norma Knits) main blog and Red Scarf Project blog, which have buttons to donate directly. And if you e-mail Norma to let her know you donated, she’s having prize drawings here and there! Talk about a win-win situation! Of course, if you’d like to knit a beautiful Red Scarf for the project, here’s the information you need for that (only 3 more weeks to do so!).

Thanks for thinking about it, and enjoy the pattern!


Fingerless Piano Mitts




One size fits almost all.

Yarn requirements:

Piano Mitts: 1-2 skeins elann.com Baby Cashmere (60% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, 10% cashmere; 25g skein, 109 yds/100 m)

Mini-Mitts: 1 skein elann.com Baby Cashmere

Elann.com 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 (10 cm). These are designed more for indoor wear, so the gauge is looser than one might otherwise knit socks. Also, yarn that is a little too fragile for hard wear as a sock will work well in this project.

Needles: I used size 2 (3 mm) needles, 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. You may wish to use one size smaller needles on the ribbing.

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 barely over one 25g skein; perhaps just one if you make the cuff short. 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. If so, remember that the pattern will look best not centered, but placed a few stitches to one side of what seems to be center, since the thumb is more towards the palm. Also remember to do a mirror-image for the second one, since the motif will make them asymmetric, left and right hands. Otherwise, they are completely symmetric as written.

You may use the increase of your preference for the thumb gusset. 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. 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:

Round 1: Purl.

Round 2: Knit.

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

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: Purl.

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

For Mini-Mitts: Round 1 and following: [K2, P2] to end of round.

For both: Continue in K2 P2 ribbing for 2 – 2 ½ inches (5 – 7 cm) or desired length.

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

Round 1: K1, place marker, knit to one stitch before end of round, place marker. You may remove beginning of round marker if you wish.

Rounds 2 & 3: Knit.

Round 4: K to first marker, increase one before marker, knit to second marker, increase one after marker, knit to end of round. (Increase round.)

Repeat rounds 2-4 six more times. You will have 54 stitches total on the needles, and you will have 16 stitches between the two markers.

Repeat rounds 2 & 3 (knit).

Now, knit a final increase round as follows: K to first marker, slip the marker and increase one AFTER marker. (If you are using the lifted increase, K1 first and then increase.) K to second marker, increase BEFORE marker (again, if using lifted increase, increase before the last stitch before marker). Knit to end of round. 56 stitches on the needles.

Repeat rounds 2 & 3 (knit).  [As written, the glove really does fit almost all, but for an unusually long or wide hand, you could knit more rounds at the point, until the glove just reaches the ‘crotch’ of the thumb.]

Hold Stitches for Thumb: On next round, k to 2nd marker and remove marker. Slip next 16 stitches to waste yarn to hold for thumb (8 between 2nd marker and end of round, and the following 8 stitches between end of round and 1st marker). Cast on 4 stitches, i.e. with overhand loop method, onto right-hand needle, then join to rest of live stitches and continue knitting in stockinette 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), then knit 6 rows K2 P2 ribbing. Bind off VERY LOOSELY in ribbing pattern. (Could also use Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off.)

Return to Thumb Stitches and place 16 held stitches on your needles, dividing as desired. Join in yarn, leaving a long tail, and knit these stitches. Pick up and knit 1 stitch into the small gap between the held stitches and the 4 cast-on 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 (26 stitches on the needles).

Knit one round until you reach the first picked-up stitch. Knit 2 tog. Knit 4. Knit 2 tog (or SSK). (24 stitches.)

Knit 1 round.

Change to 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, all rights reserved. Permission granted for personal use.

Proof that one size fits almost all, almost miraculously:

9-year-old hand  * * *  Guy hand

Same glove on everyone, I promise!