Do your fingers get frosty while texting? Have you missed a call because you couldn’t get your gloves off fast enough? Maybe you’ve tried a pair of the touch screen gloves available seemingly everywhere, but you just prefer mittens and like to knit! This pattern guides you through a basic pair of mittens knit on double pointed needles (DPNs).
Conductive yarn is knit with the working yarn as one strand in the upper hand and thumb of the mitten, enabling you to perform basic tasks on your smart phone or tablet like answering calls, pinching and zooming on maps, or switching the track on your latest favorite album.
Yarn: Two skeins of worsted or aran weight yarn (shown: Kollage Yarns Glisten in 7317), stainless steel thin conductive yarn
Needles: US size 7 (4.5mm) double pointed needles, or adjust to obtain gauge of 5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
Optional: DPNs in one size smaller than main needles for tighter wrist ribbing
Notions: scrap yarn, stitch markers, tapestry needle
Sizes: small (medium, large)
First, knit a swatch to double check your gauge. Don’t skip this step if you want your mittens to fit properly! In addition to variations in yarn thickness and density, your yarn tension and stitching style also affects gauge. It may seem inconvenient but so is knitting an entire mitten before figuring out it’s the wrong size! Knit up a swatch that’s at least 20 stitches by 15 rows.
Even if you have to start over on a different size needles, you can keep the finished swatch with your extra yarn so you know the gauge on whatever needles you tried (don’t forget to label the swatch with what size needles you tried).
This project is suitable for intermediate knitters and intrepid beginners. Double pointed needles can seem intimidating at first but are easier to wrangle than they look.
Our favorite free online resource for learning to knit is knittinghelp.com. There you can find a thorough introduction to knitting, videos of almost every stitch in English and continental style, and tips and tricks.
This pattern uses a few common stitches and abbreviations:
- CO: cast on
- K: knit
- P: purl
- PM: place stitch marker
- SM: slip marker to right needle
- wyif: with yarn in front
- 1×1 rib: K1, P1, repeat
- SSK: slip two stitches knitwise, place stitches back onto left needle and knit them together
- K2tog: knit two together
- M1: make one stitch on the left by picking up bridging strand from lower row and knitting into the back (M1R)
Using smaller needles, loosely CO 26 (28,30) stitches using the long-tail cast on, which is very stretchy.
Distribute sts on DPNs as follows: 8:10:8 (8:12:8, 10:10:10).
Join to work in the round (be careful not to twist the row) and work in K1, P1 rib for 18 rnds.
If you’ve got ’em, DPNs one size smaller than your main needles will create a stretchier, snugger rib at the cuffs of your mittens.
Next round: Swap to the larger sized DPNs and knit all sts.
Next round: *K4, M1* three times, K6, *M1, K4* twice, M1, K0 (2,4) for a total of 32 (34, 36) stitches.
Next round: Knit.
- Left mitten: K to last 4 sts, PM, M1, K1, M1, PM, K3 for a total of 34 (36, 38) sts.
- Right mitten: K3, PM, M1, K1, M1, PM, K to end of row for a total of 34 (36, 38) sts.
Round 2: K even.
Round 3: K to marker, SM, M1, K to next marker, M1, SM, K to end of row for a total of 36 (38, 40) sts.
Repeat rounds 2 and 3 four more times (five increase rows) for a total of 44 (46, 48) sts.
- Left mitten: K to marker, remove marker, slip 10 sts onto waste yarn, knit to marker, remove marker, K to end leaving a total of 34 (36, 40) total sts.
- Right mitten: K to marker, remove marker, K3, slip 10 sts onto waste yarn, remove marker, K to end leaving a total of 34 (36, 40) total sts.
Tie the scrap yarn loosely enough to slip over the largest part of your thumb. Try it on now– fun!
K 10 rnds even.
Pick up conductive yarn and hold together with regular yarn as a single strand for the remainder of the hand.
K even for 6 (10,14) rows or until the knitting reaches the base of the nail on your pinky finger.
Next round: *K1, SSK, K11 (12, 13), K2tog, K1* twice for a total of 30 (32, 34) sts.
Knit 3 rnds even
Next round: *K1, SSK, K9 (10, 11), K2tog, K1* twice for a total of 26 (28, 30) sts.
Knit 2 rnds even.
Next round: *K1, SSK, K7 (8, 9), K2tog, K1* twice for a total of 22 (24, 26) sts.
Knit 1 round even.
Next round: *K1, SSK, K5 (6, 7), K2tog, K1* twice for a total of 18 (20, 22) sts.
Knit 1 round even.
Next round: *K1, SSK, K3 (4, 5), K2tog, K1* twice for a total of 14 (16, 18) sts.
Cut yarn, leaving a 12in tail. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and thread through all stitches once without removing from the DPNs, then thread through all stitches again, removing the needles as you go.
Pull tail to tighten and weave in end.
Move 10 thumb sts to DPNs and discard waste yarn. Using new strand of main yarn, pick up 4 (6, 8) sts knitwise along inside of thumb (14 sts on needles).
Using new strand of main yarn, pick up 4 (6, 8) sts knitwise along inside of thumb (14 sts on needles).
PM for BOR.
K 13(15,17) rounds even, or until thumb sts just cover tip of thumb.
Next round: (K2tog) around.
Cut yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail. Thread yarn onto tapestry needle and thread TWICE through
remaining stitches, removing the needles at the end. Pull yarn tight.
Turn inside out and weave in ends with a tapestry needle before cutting tails short.
If your mittens turn out with clear DPN segmentation, you can gently block them with steam and stretch to reshape.
The conductive yarn should make good contact with your skin on the inside of the mitten while also touching the screen on the outside of the mitten. The conductive yarn is soft enough not to scratch the screen.
Do not handle hot objects with your new conductive mittens!
Play thumb-heavy games and take selfies in the cold!