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Free Pattern: Winter Twilight Mitts

Jul 23, 2008

Winter Twilight Mitts
by Laura Rintala

I have never made fingerless mitts before. And, I really never had any intention of making any, until this past winter when the temperatures dipped, unseasonably for our area, and days and days of cold weather seeped into the Interweave offices, leaving them so chill that my hands would stiffen as I attempted to type. The idea of making fingerless mitts, and making them sooner than later, also began to seep in.
A walk in the woods one blustery winter day was all it took for the inspiration. The sun was completely hidden by a thickly overcast sky. As the sky began to darken, a purple hue rose up. That sky was not one of those flat, gray cloudy days, but puffs of fast moving clouds racing over a gray plane. These puffs gathered and pooled rose and purple color giving the sky unexpected depth. And the barren winter trees created a stark lacy relief to that color and became the framework for the mitts.
The mitts are identical on all four sides requiring only one chart. Work across the chart as usual for the first half of the stitches, then work back across the chart from left to right to work the last half of the stitches. The cashmere yarn worked on bamboo dpns is the icing on the cake: pure knitting bliss. Wearing the finished mitts is almost as nice as making them—just not quite so fun.

Laura Rintala is managing editor of Interweave Knits magazine.

Not a subscriber to Interweave Knits? Click here to become one and see more great knitting patterns and tips in every issue.

(P.S. from Sandi: Laura had to keep a sharp eye out when I was taking the extra photos of these mitts to make sure that these pretties did not sneak their way into my pockets or purse, never to be seen again (well, not until the first snow day, anyway). I mean, who could blame me? Purple. And cashmere. And trees. They are STUNNING and maybe I will have to break my "no stranded colorwork" rule to make myself a pair. Oh, and one final point: Laura designed the first mitt freehand. No charting, not until the second mitt and the pattern writing. Freehand. On the needles, in other words. I just can't get over that one.)

Download the free pattern for the Winter Twilight Mitts!

Sandi Recommends

Want to learn more about the techniques of stranded colorwork knitting? One of my favorite books is The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, by Ann Feitelson--an Interweave classic from 1996 that is still going strong. The patterns are stunning, the technique chapters give me great confidence every time I am faced with colorwork projects, and the sections on history make the women of the Shetland Isles come alive: "[Knitting] was absolutely a financial necessity. The more you could knit, the more you could eat." There is a wonderful chapter on how to select colors, which for me was worth the cost of the book all by itself. (If you like having someone read to you, click here to learn more about the audiobook version of The Art of Fair Isle Knitting so you can listen to the stories of the Fair Isles while you knit!).

Purchase the book The Art of Fair Isle Knitting

Want more colorwork mitt patterns? We've got Michele Rose Orne's Composed Mitts and Donna Kay's Little Gems Mitts waiting for you in our pattern store. (Not into colorwork? There are cabled and ribbed and lace mitts (oh my!) in the store, too.) Below are convenient links to the Interweave Store:

Purchase the Composed Mitts
Purchase the Little Gems Mitts
Shop for other glove and mitten patterns in the Pattern Store

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. She is flying along on the Camisa (dang, that's pretty yarn!!), and hopes to be able to wear it for you before she leaves for Canada!

Related Posts
+ Add a comment


Loshakova wrote
on Jul 29, 2008 5:51 PM

The Eastern cast-on makes me curse.  I vastly prefer the crochet cast-on with short-row toe as described here:


CynthiaW@3 wrote
on Jul 29, 2008 6:30 AM

Actually, I have a question.  Could the eastern cast-on be used for a pi shawl or anything starting in the center?

DeniseK wrote
on Jul 29, 2008 6:07 AM

I ordered several books from Interweave Knits and have not received them and when I contacted them they were not able to tell me anything about my order and when it would ship even though they had the order number.  Most upsetting as I was looking forward to receiving the books.  Extremely poor customer service.

RuthM@2 wrote
on Jul 28, 2008 7:24 PM

I purchased composed mitts and I cannot understand what the white blocks that are in the middle of the chart mean.  They say no stitch . Does this mean that you just continue with the row pattern.  Why are they there.  I have asked all experts that same question and she does not know either.  Please help   I love the pattern.

DianeD wrote
on Jul 28, 2008 6:08 PM

Hi - I thought I'd be taken to the "Eastern Cast-on" portion of the comments not the mittens - but that won't stop me from putting my comment in.     The Eastern Cast on is a beautiful thing - thank you Sandy for giving us these incredibly easy to follow directions.  This is the first time I get it.  I'm so excited - can't wait to try it out.

Thanks again.  Di

AnaG wrote
on Jul 28, 2008 6:00 PM

I do the Eastern CO with 2 circs. I work lots of yarn overs on one, slide the wraps to the cable, and knit across the wraps with the second. Now my circs are in standard 2-circ knitting position. I use the first circ to knit across the remaining wraps, tucking the tail as described.

I like it because I just tug on the tail to close the gap.

It's great for Faroese shawls too.

mljan wrote
on Jul 28, 2008 5:36 PM

Peculiar. The Write Comment" link on today's Knitting Daily, Monday July 28, which has the tutorial for the Eastern cast-on takes me here, not to today's KD.

I was interested in other readers' comments/experience with the tutorial.


BeeuwV wrote
on Jul 28, 2008 4:31 PM

Toe/Mitten cast on:

Start with a slip-stitch on the bottom needle and then proceed with wrapping. After knitting the top needle and turning drop the slipstitch off and knit the bottom needle. The tail end is not flapping away while knitting the first needle.

Even easier is to use two circular needles and pull the bottom needle through so that bottom stitches are on cable. Makes it much easier to knit top needle.

Nancy@3 wrote
on Jul 28, 2008 3:39 PM

To whom it may concern,

These winter twilight mitts look like a nice item to knit but I have another question.  I was looking on line and I came across two of Interweave's patterns and I can't seem to retrieve them because they are from last summer's issue.  In summer of 2007 there is Josephine Top by Deborah Newton and Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell by Angela Hahn.  I would really like those patterns so I can knit these.

How do I get these patterns.  It is a tease if you don't have an archieve to retrieve them and send them to knitters.

Thank you for your help.


knittingbox wrote
on Jul 27, 2008 5:12 AM

I cannot log into Knitting Daily TV with my Knitting Daily info.  So I registered with a different e-mail address and I still couldn't log in.  Interestingly, I am able to purchase the series for $40, but I have no access to the "free" downloads.....

WellerS wrote
on Jul 26, 2008 6:45 PM

Please tell us about how many yards of each color is used, so we can substitute yarns! I doubt your using two full skeins of Jade!

JanL wrote
on Jul 25, 2008 10:18 PM

I think my daughter would love these! She loves Halloween and all things spooky!

AmyB wrote
on Jul 25, 2008 4:36 PM

These are beautiful and also a little spooky!  They remind me of Halloween, which is fabulous as October is my favorite month.  I love how you can really tell what the mitts are supposed to represent-the purple sky behind bare trees.  I can't believe she did them freehand!  I've never tried Fair Isle knitting and can't wait to make these.

ZassZ wrote
on Jul 25, 2008 2:57 PM

These are pretty.  I like Fair Isle Knitting and it's like painting my own picture as I go.  That is really what it is - what picture is in your imagination can be knit into reality if you do it from your mental picture.  No chart, but if you want to do it again, you will have to write it down or chart it.  The first time I attempted a Fair Isle Pattern, I did change my color scheme, as it suited my intended wearer.  

Love the idea of listening to the book "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting" in the audio version.  What a relaxing gift that would make too.