How to Handknit Glittens, A Basic Pattern

Glitten Anatomy

Glittens!!!! If a glove married a mitten, and they had a baby, you'd get a Glitten. Thumb and pointer fingers are articulated, while the pinkie, ring finger and middle finger live together. This pattern is for a women's medium hand, and is pretty easy to make larger or smaller, try using smaller or larger needles and corresponding yarn. Knit twice or more the number of rows for the cuff for a snowballer armwarmer version.

Copyright is as follows: You are free to knit as many of these as you like to keep, give away, or sell FOR CHARITY, and are not a company or professional designer. If you are a commercial entity, please contact me {staceyatredlipstickdotnet} for info. This pattern may be printed out for personal use, but not for commercial use. No hard copying without my written permission, please.

  • One set # 8 US double pointed needles for cuff.
    One set # 9 US double pointed needles for body of glitten.

  • I'm using a lovely blend of merino, alpaca and silk, an industrial yarn I got on the cone from School Products. It makes 10 wraps per inch PREWASHED, it blooms after washing. The correct needle size for this yarn is an 11 US. I believe glittens need to be knit tight and windproof, hence the smaller needle. Use any wooly yarn that will give you the correct gauge after washing.

  • After handwashing and airdrying, I got 3.5 stitches X 5 rows per inch in the jersey section.

  • Using size #8 US, cast on 26 stitches, then join, making sure not to twist. I used a cable cast on, not too tight. The cuff consists of this knit/purl pattern:

    knit/purl glitten cuff stitch

  • Easy way: K2, P1 round and round until you've completed 14 rows. DO NOT restart the stitch sequence at the beginning of the row, ignore that. Just K2, P1 until you have 14 rows. How do you know? Count the purl bumps on the diagonal.

  • Change to the #9 needles, start the main body by knitting 2 rounds.

  • Starting thumb increase section: K2, place marker, increase 2 stitches in the next stitch like this - K1, with stitch still on left needle, yarn over, then K1 in the same stitch. You've turned 1 stitch into three. Place another marker.
  • Knit one round.

  • K2, make one left leaning increase AFTER the marker, K3, make one right leaning increase BEFORE the marker. Knit to end of round.

  • Knit one round.

  • K2, make one left leaning increase AFTER the marker, K5, make one right leaning increase BEFORE the marker. Knit to end of round.

  • Continue like this, increasing every other row until there are 11 stitches between the markers.

  • Knit 2 rounds.

  • K2, put the 11 thumb stitches on a yarn holder. Cast on 2 to make a bridge between the first 2 stitches in the round and the stitches after the thumb stitches. Knit to end of round.

  • 15 rows should have been knitted on the main body. If your hand is longer, add a few rows after the increasing for the thumb reaches 11 stitches. Just knit straight, (stop increasing) then put the thumb stitches on the cord.

  • Start mid main body: Knit 11 or 12 rows straight, or until you reach the crotch of your pointer finger and middle finger comfortably.

  • Pointer finger: You are at the beginning of the round, go back 1 stitch, rip it out and replace it on the left needle.
    The point is to center the pointer finger above the thumb, this is an ambidexterous glitten, good on either hand, no front or back.
    You will now make sure that 4 stitches are on the right side of the center of the 2 made stitches above the thumb "bridge", and 4 stitches are on the left. These 8 sts. INCLUDE the 2 thumb cast-on stitches.

    *Put these 8 stitches for the pointer on a yarn holder, cast-on 2 new stitches to form another bridge, and knit 10 or 11 rounds ON THE MAIN BODY, or as many as you need to reach the top of the pinkie.

  • Close the top of the Main Body: *K2 together, K2*. {repeat what's between *-* for one round}, Knit the last stitch.

  • Knit 2 rounds. {If you have longer fingers above the top-o-the-pinkie line, now is the time to add some extra rows for length}.

  • *K2 together, K1* for one round.

  • Knit one round.

  • Cut yarn, leaving at least an 8" tail. Put the tail on a yarn needle, run it through the remaining stitches, and gather tightly, run it through the stitches a few more times to lock it in, and cut.

  • Knit the Thumb: Evenly distribute the stitches on the yarn holder onto your #9 needles. Pick up another 4 stitches from the crotch of the thumb and main body {the 2 cast-on stitches, and any handy loop from the beside those, Be consistent regarding which loop you pick up}.

  • Knit one round, beginning with one of the loop stitches.

  • Knit each cast-on stitch together with the picked-up loop next to it, reducing those 4 stitches to 2, knit the rest of the round.

  • Knit 8 more rounds, or as many as you need to reach the top of the thumb in question.

  • *Knit 2 together* for one round.

  • Gather the remaining stitches together on a yarn needle, just like the main body.

  • Knit the Pointer finger: Put the stitches back on your double pointeds and pick-up/knit-together the 4 stitches the same way you did for the thumb.

  • Knit as many rounds as you need to get to the top of the pointer. I knit 11 rounds.

  • *K2 together* for one round, gather remaining stitches, same as thumb.

  • You are 50% done!

  • Do it all again.

  • Then:

  • Finishing: Weave the ends in, then hand wash in lukewarm water with Ivory Liquid, a little roughly. Rinse twice in same temperature water, roll and squeeze in a towel, and lay flat on a drying screen {very important} in the shape of your hand. Turn inside out to dry tommorrow.

  • You just made a really warm pair of Glittens.
Glitten Notes, Patterning:

CUFF: There are so many possibilities here, the simplest being a fur or novelty yarn, angora, mohair or possum, etc. Make it longer, do colorwork, texturework, lace or cabling, change it and make it yours. Cables with more than 2 stitches in them will need some extra stitches to keep the width stable, as cables pull in, and change the gauge. No need to go nuts trying to figure it out, for a 4 stitch cable {2 over 2}, cast-on 2 more stitches for each cable. 3 over 3, increase 3 more per cable. Evenly space decreases in the first round of the main body to re-achieve the correct amount of stitches.

MAIN BODY, POINTER AND THUMB OPTIONS: The main body is a pointed rectangle, essentially. Easy to work in the same options as the cuff, the difference being the bottom part of the thumb is knitted at the same time. A traditional way of resolving this, if your doing 2 colors in a row, is to seed stitch the thumb, decrease part of the main body and pointer finger later in the colors you're using:


X=color A
O=color B

or just make up your own tradition. Graph it out as you go for later reference. Experiment, frog it and experiment again.

Change colors at strategic points. Stripe it.


The easiest way {and a favorite of mine} is to change needle size and yarn thickness, as Hilary's already done {dk yarn and 3.0 and 3.25 mm needles for her 3.5 yr old}. Fatten the yarn up for a guy, or add a few more stitches in the main body, and a few more for each finger. No big deal. Add length by adding rows in the straightaways.

You take it from here. It's a basic pattern, begging you for embellishment.

Glittens Forever!
Questions or Comments?

Beam me up, Scotty.....

©2004 Staceyjoy Elkin, all rights reserved. Permission for electronic duplication of this pattern is granted with the limitation that this entire notice remain intact. This pattern may not be reproduced in hard copy, with the exception of personal use, or for profit without my written permission.