Checkboard Mittens

Checkboard Mittens

These mittens are easy to knit, suitable for advanced beginners. It is a basic checkerboard pattern, with blocks made up of 4 stitches and rows. It matches our Checkerboard Scarf pattern. They would look lovely made up in soft wools. I, unfortunately, am allergic to wool, so I made mine out of an acrylic. These mittens are best knit with solid yard. Patterned and self striping yarn would camouflage the pattern. Whether you make the scarf and mittens or just the mittens, they are sure to keep you warm!

1 skein (5oz – 140g – 256yd – 234m) worsted weight (4) yard
(I used Red Heart – Soft Yarn – Color 9770 – Rose Blush)
#8 knitting needles
#6 knitting needles
Tapestry needle
1 stitch holder
2 stitch markers

Women’s Average/Large. (To customize, increase or decrease hand and thumb length as needed.)

NOTE: When I refer to a “stripe” I am talking about 4 rows of the pattern below that create a box; it does not refer to the entire 8 rows of pattern, which create 2 “stripes”.

INSTRUCTIONS – Make 2 mittens. Right and left hand are the same.
Ribbing: (36 stitches)
Cast on 36 stitches using #6 needles.
Row 1: (right side) (K2, P2) repeat across row.
Repeat Row 1 until cuff measures 4 ½”. End at the end of a right side row.
On wrong side: K2, Increase 1 in the next stitch. Continue pattern to last 3 stitches from the end of the row. Increase 1 in the next stitch. P2. (38 stitches)

Hand: (38 stitches)
Change to #8 needles.
Knit in the following pattern:
Row 1: (right side) P1, *K4, P4; repeat from* 4 times; K4, P1.
Row 2: K1, *P4, K4; repeat from * 4 times; P4, K1.
Row 3: repeat Row 1.
Row 4: repeat Row 2.
Row 5: K1, *P4, K4; repeat from * 4 times; P4, K1.
Row 6: P1, *K4, P4; repeat from * 4 times; K4, P1.
Row 7: repeat Row 5.
Row 8: repeat Row 6.
Continue working pattern until piece measures 2” from the end of ribbing. (For my mittens I completed 12 rows, completing 3 “stripes”.

Thumb Gusset:
NOTE: The thumb, or stitches between the markers, is worked in the stockinette stitch. (Knit 1 row, purl 1 row.)
Row 1: Work 18 stitches in pattern; place marker on needle; increase 1 stitch on the next 2 K stitches; place marker on needle. Work remaining 18 stitches in pattern. (40 stitches)
Row 2: Work pattern for 18 stitches; purl the stitches between the markers; work 18 stitches in pattern.
Row 3: Work pattern for 18 stitches; slide marker; increase in next stitch; K to stitch before next marker, increase in next stitch; slide marker; work remaining 18 stitches in pattern. (42 stitches)
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until there are 14 stitches between the markers; end by working Row 2. (52 stitches)

Placing Thumb on Stitch Holder and Working Hand:
Work 18 stitches in pattern; remove marker; knit 14 stitches for thumb; place thumb stitches on holder; work remaining 18 stitches in pattern. (36 stitches)
Work remaining stitches in pattern (see note) until piece measures 7 ½” from start of hand; end by working a wrong side row. (For me that was 13 “stripes”)NOTE: The blocks in the mitten pattern were created by working 4 stitches by 4 rows. Now, stitches 18 and 19 will create a “half” block. (2 stitches by 4 rows) These will become the mitten fold when they are sewn together.

Top Shaping: (36 stitches)
NOTE: The top of the mitten is worked in the stockinette stitch.
Row 1: *K2, K2 together; repeat from * across row. (27 stitches)
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: *K1, K2 together; repeat from * across row. (18 stitches)
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: *K2 together; repeat from * across row. (9 stitches)
Cut yarn leaving a 20” tail. Thread into a tapestry needle and slide through remaining stitches, removing them from the needle. Pull yarn tightly and fasten securely. Leave yarn for sewing mitten together later.

Thumb: (14 stitches)
Slide stitches from holder to the needle. Attach yarn and purl row.
Work even in stockinette stitch until thumb measures 2 ¼”. NOTE: Measure from the “V” created where the thumb is attached to the hand on the inside.
Next row: *K2 together; repeat from * across row.
Cut yarn leaving a 12” tail. Thread into a tapestry needle and slide through remaining stitches, removing them from the needle. Pull yarn tightly and fasten securely. Leave yarn for sewing thumb together.

Sew thumb together.
Fold mitten and sew seam.
Turn up cuff. (Or for extra warmth… leave cuff unrolled if playing in the snow 🙂



Note about patterns: We are sharing patterns we have designed and made for our own children, families and friends. Every effort is made to share information in a clear and accurate manner. We offer preemptive apologies for any mistakes that may be made. Please let us know via comments or emails if you stumble upon a mistake or if you encounter directions that leave you scratching your head! We will rectify the situation as soon as humanly possible!
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  1. You don’t specify an actual gauge for these mittens. I looked back at the scarf instructions and being a scarf, well, I can see why you mention that gauge is not critical. But for the mittens, there really should be a gauge to go by as each knitters gauge is different…. I do love the checkerboard pattern though and want to give it a try, but I detest wasting time knitting and then having to rip it out because it is too small or too large. Would appreciate your feedback as soon as possible…tis almost winter in Southern Ontario! 🙂

    1. I'm so sorry, Deborah, I didn't do a gauge. Michelle is the one that does most of our knitting patterns, and SHE'S very good at including gauges. I more or less started knitting, following a basic mitten pattern, but making the cuff and pattern to suit my fancy. If it is helpful at all, I tend to be a textbook knitter, and usually am spot on the gauges on the yarn I buy. Sorry 🙁

      1. Thanks Kimara for your prompt answer, I am giving it a go and we shall see what happens! 🙂

        1. After working one mitten, as suspected, my gauge is way off. Using the needle sizes given, I ended up with a mitten that is too wide, but instead of ripping it out, I will make the other one and use them as ‘over-mitts’…mitts put on overtop of another pair of mitts for extra warmth on those -20C days. I bought some new yarn to make a matching mitt/scarf and hat set so will adjust gauge accordingly. OH! and I made the thumb on Double Pointed needles instead of the standard 2 needles, I picked up one stitch in the upper ‘v’ of the thumb/palm area and then divided the stitches evenly onto 3 needles (5 per needle) and worked in rounds until desired length was reached. I then did one round of K2 tog, K1, one round K and then final round K2 tog and ended up with 5 stitches left to draw tight. Worked extremely well. As another commenter mentioned, I would like to adapt the pattern to using DPN for the entire mitt too…maybe for the matching set 🙂 If I do, I will update gauge, instructions if you like. Thanks again for your great inspiration with this pattern – funky and fun! 🙂

          1. If you do make the adaptations, and write them up, I will gladly add your pattern to mine. As I said, I am not the creative knitter, Michelle is. It would be great to include a knitted in the round set of instructions. Thanks 🙂

          2. Hi Kimara

            After making the mitts using your pattern, I spent some time re-working the pattern so that they can be made using DPNS. I also created a hat and a cowl with the same pattern. They can be viewed at:

            Thanks for the inspiration…I ran with the idea 🙂


          3. Thanks for sharing 🙂 They all turned out great. The checkerboard it a fun pattern to knit.

  2. Hi, i’m a relatively new knitter and some of the terminology is still very new to me. In the instructions it says to slide the markers. I was wondering what exactly that entails, is it the same as a slip marker? I usually google terms i don’t know and nothing is coming up. It would be wonderful if you could answer soon as i had planned to give these mittens as a late christmas gift!

    1. Yes, "slide the marker" would be the same as "slip marker". We don't have editors and we often use our own lingo : ) Have fun making the mitts.

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