Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Knitting Pattern: Umskipti (Fingerless Mitts)

According to the Internet, "umskipti" is the icelandic word for transition. I liked that as a name for this project because it evokes the transitions between the elements of this pattern (eyelet rounds, twisted rib, stockinette, and garter stitch) but also because it's the first pattern I've ever sat down and designed, knit, and recorded, which marks a transition of my own - into the realm of knitting design.

I've wanted to start designing patterns for a while now.  I've been knitting for years and I think I have a pretty good grasp of the art.

I wanted to start with something small that would be easy to work out, easy to share, and easy to knit.  I thought a cozy, bulky pair of fingerless mitts would be a great place to start.

This pattern has three of my favourite elements in knitting - eyelet rounds, twisted rib, and garter borders.  I love how twisted rib seems to pop so much more than a regular rib, and I think eyelet rounds add a touch of whimsy to items that might otherwise come off a little utilitarian. Garter borders just look clean and cozy at the same time.  I wanted all these things, and I wanted something that would be super comfy.

I had one almost complete ball of Álafoss Lopi by Ístex (89.5 grams of a 100g ball), and I figured out that should be just enough for a cozy set of fingerless mitts that I could wear at work (it gets chilly in that call centre).

Alafoss Lopi in Golden Heather

I'm beyond happy with the result.  I think the mitts are absolutely adorable, and I love the chunky look that the bulky yarn gives it.  I'm glad I went with the eyelet rounds - it jazzes them up a bit, and I think the garter border around the fingers finishes the look really well.  The slight variations in the yarn colour are something I adore about this particular colourway.

Let me know if you like this pattern!

Yarn:  I used one ball of Álafoss Lopi by Ístex, but any bulky/12ply yarn should do. This yarn is a little scratchy at first, but it softens up beautifully over time, and it is beyond warm. The colourway I used is Golden Heather (9964).
Needles: I used 6mm (US 10) circulars, but you could easily knit this on DPNs as well.
Techniques: knit, purl, knit 2 together, knit through the back loop, yarn over, knitting in the round.

The Pattern:

CO 20 stitches.  I used the backward loop cast on as it's what I was taught first and it tends to be my go-to.  If you prefer a sturdier cast on, feel free to CO in whatever style you prefer. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Place a marker if you like, but the tail of the yarn is what I usually use for small projects like this. It's pretty obvious where you started.  If you need to adjust it for size, make sure to do so in multiples of 2 stitches.


Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Round 3: (yo, k2t) around
Round 4: purl
Round 5: knit

Begin twisted rib (ktbl, p)"
Knit in 1x1 twisted rib for 3.5-4". Mine was about 13 or 14 rounds.

Transition at wrist:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Round 3: (yo, k1, yo, k2t)x4, (yo, k2t) the rest of the round (Increase by 4 stitches to 24 stitches)
Round 4: purl

Knit 3 rounds
To create the hole for the thumb, switch to knitting flat. Purl back, with the wrong side facing you, and then knit stockinette for 6 rows, creating a gap for the thumb.

When you come back on the 6th row, which should be a knit row, join again at the thumb hole you created, and continue to knit in the round for 4 rounds.

Garter border at fingers:
Round 1: purl
Round 2: knit
Round 3: purl
Round 4: knit
Round 5: purl

BO loosely.  Too tight and you won't have room for your fingers to move around.

Thanks for knitting! I'd love to see other people's FOs of this, so make sure to do a project page on ravelry (if you're not on ravelry, why aren't you?!).

If you want to sell your FOs from this pattern, feel free to do so (obviously not an industrial scale).

This pattern is also on ravelry.


  1. I was browsing the masses of fingerless gloves on Ravelry, and fell in move with your design as soon as I saw them.

    I'm ill & disabled, and although I love crafts, I do have problems with my hands, especially if they get cold. I need two different types of gloves - those which support, and those which keep me warm.

    I do love cables, and there is a lot of choice with cable design fingerless mitts, but yours are different - in a very good way.

    I love how you have combined the different stitch elements, and the fact that they use chunky yarm means it won't take long to make them!

    So, I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for the pattern and to tell you not to give up with designing, because these stand out from the crowds of so many very similar designs. I'm actually amazed that in all the time since you posted this pattern, nobody else has bothered to take the time to thank you!

    Regards...Diane in the UK..

    1. Diane! Thank you so much for your kind comment! I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply - I am really bad at checking on this blog and languishes from time to time. I'm so pleased that you like this pattern, and I hope you have found that they keep your hands just the right temperature. I still have the pair pictured here and where them every winter - often over fingered gloves, just for that extra oomph.

      Anyway, thank you so much for your comment and your kindness. :)