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Free Pattern: Kochoran Mittens

Aug 1, 2008

Kochoran Mittens
by Katie Himmelberg

When Eunny announced that she wanted us to design a "hand item" for our staff project, I knew that I wanted to make a pair of men’s mittens.  My husband is still squarely in the “I don’t like sweaters” camp of thought, so I’ve tried to knit him other wearables (translation: winter hats).  He really does need a pair of mittens for things like scraping the windshield or shoveling snow.  I find mittens are generally warmer than gloves and prefer them when finger mobility is not an issue, and I didn’t want to fuss with knitting fingers out of such a bulky yarn.

I was inspired to choose the Noro yarn after seeing many projects online using a technique to stripe a variegated yarn.  Several variations have you switch between either two colorways or two ends of the same ball every two rows, but since I was using a chunky yarn and working in the round, I decided to change ball ends every round.  If I had been working flat, I probably would have kept the two-row change since my yarn would then always be in the right spot. 

After I got my yarn, I wound the skein into a center-pull ball so that I could work from both the center and the outside of the ball.  Between the twisting of the color changes and the spin of the yarn coming from the outside of the ball, I couldn’t avoid tangling!  Instead of trying to fight this, I would just periodically stop knitting, grab the ball of yarn, and hold it upside-down, allowing the mitten-in-progress to dangle freely.  While the mitten is dangling, you can then pull apart the two strands and the mitten will begin to spin itself out of entanglement. 

Katie Himmelberg is assistant editor of Interweave Knits magazine.

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Download the free pattern for the Kochoran Mittens!

Sandi Recommends

It's often a challenge to choose the right pattern when you're looking to knit something for that special guy.  My rule is: Keep it simple, unless the dude himself has picked out the exact yarn and pattern. Choose a classic yarn in his favorite color, take his measurements, and then dive into the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns for basic glove, mitten, hat, sock and vest patterns in multiple sizes and multiple gauges. Instead of sweating to match your gauge to the one stated in the pattern, you knit a gauge swatch with your new yarn and your favorite needles, and then simply look up whatever gauge you are getting in the book, following the instructions for your gauge and his size. Voila: A perfect fit, in a classic style. (You can purchase the book here.)

What if you really want to knit a "guy sweater"?  We have a nice selection of "guy sweaters" in the Knitting Daily pattern store, everything from the popular Cobblestone Pullover to a traditional cabled cardigan known as "Ribbed Diamonds".

Purchase the Cobblestone Pullover
Purchase the Ribbed Diamonds Cardigan
Shop for more men's knitwear in the pattern store

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. I'm working on the front panel of the Camisa, worked in String of Pearls yarn from Muench (prettypretty not to mention sparklysparkly!). I just finished adding a couple of darts to the front in the belly area. I really hope I can wear this for you before I leave for Canada, but packing is stealing my knitting time. (30 days and counting now till we move into our house in Canada!)

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SharleneR wrote
on Aug 18, 2008 4:33 PM

I read somewhere about changing colors when knitting in the round and how to make the change appear as if there is no space in the row - can't find the tip or where it is - can you help here?



VivianZ wrote
on Aug 15, 2008 8:48 AM

I ordered a pattern for the Clementine Shawlette and Instead of the pattern I received a map of Glennie, Michigan.  How do I get the pattern as I have already paid $5.50 for it?

vivian z.

VickiE@2 wrote
on Aug 14, 2008 8:36 AM

Question??  I found a new yarn shop and they had on display a beautiful scarf that was 6-8" wide with alot of yarnover stitches - almost like a lace pattern. They said the pattern was in a special Holiday issue this past winter.  Is there a chance anyone would have that pattern?  The yarn used was a fine gauge and soft.  I have not really tried to do a lace pattern and this one looked like it would be very doable for me.

vicki e

TriciaP wrote
on Aug 13, 2008 9:32 PM

I love these galleries.  Knowing how the garments look on real live people (sorry Bertha) is a huge help.  One other thing that would help me is to know how tall each of you are.  I'm 5'8" tall and sometimes struggle with getting the fitted parts in the right place.  I'm sure there are others that have to deal with this issue as well.  Anyway, THANK YOU for the galleries and PLEASE keep them coming!


Oklahoma City, OK

Dedicated shopper of L & B Yarn Store in Norman!

Andrea511 wrote
on Aug 13, 2008 4:49 PM

Having trouble downloading the galleries today.  Is there something up with the website?

Andrea Z

Norhampton, MA

on Aug 7, 2008 2:35 PM

HI from Canada, Sandi. I get my laugh a day from your comments...and enjoy all the information too. Keep up the good have a gift, no question...and welcome to Canada.


Nova Scotia

I wonder where ???

Sherrey wrote
on Aug 6, 2008 8:31 PM

Hi, Sandi!

Enjoyed the tips on Fair Isle knitting.  A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to be able to take a class at the Puyallup (WA) Sew Expo on Fair Isle knitting.  Ann Bourgeous of Philosopher's Wool taught an easy two-handed method which amazingly weaves the back of the project leaving no loose ends to weave in at the finish line!  If you're interested,  visit  I think you'll enjoy seeing Ann's video and her method.

Happy days from Portland, OR!


RosemaryD wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 2:05 AM

Hi Sandi,

                  I would just like to point out that Fair Isle knitting comes from the island of "Fair Isle" which is one of the "Shetland Islands" off the north coast of Scotland, and together with the Orkney Islands etc. is part of Scotland.  I hope you will correct your statement re the Faroese islands.

         Cheers,  Rosemary

MeganMills wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 1:17 AM

Hi Sandi,

If you grab a globe or atlas or what-have-you (how old-fashioned of me, but I like the 3-D experience of a good globe) and take a quick tour of the isles north of Scotland (the Shetland Islands) and some others even further north you'll see that the Faeroe Islands and Fair Isle are different places.  Both have wonderful knitting traditions but they are quite distinct...  Regards, Megan

Maryl43 wrote
on Aug 4, 2008 6:39 PM

So Sandi-if you're moving to Canada is it to Toronto? And if so will you be at Creativ Festival in October And will Interweave have a presence there?

EmilyR wrote
on Aug 4, 2008 6:10 PM

Sandi, thank you SO much for the Fair Isle tutorial! I've wanted to try this but never had the confidence or the proper instruction. Now I feel like I can attempt it. You rock.

I hope your move goes smoothly!


PriscillaB wrote
on Aug 4, 2008 5:50 PM

Thanks so much for your tutorial on Fair Isle Knitting.  I love all the helpful hints you give and all the wonderful free things your site offers.

Sandi, you will be living in Canada!  That is going to be quite a commune.

Good luck,


BellinaB wrote
on Aug 4, 2008 2:57 PM

Hi Sandi,

YOu have the best job...

AndreaF wrote
on Aug 4, 2008 12:46 PM

Love-Love-Love your website!!!!!!.Now I have a question. How do I shorten a knit sweater pattern length from the armhole to the hem? If the pattern says 17" and I want the length to be 14" what do I do so that the cables/lace inset ect are not distorted.Where do I actually eliminate that extra length??--Thanks--this is a real problem for petite galswho don't want every sweater  finishing up like a tunic.

Maybe8675309 wrote
on Aug 2, 2008 4:15 AM

I have found that it's best to knit my partner simple patterns as well (although he loves cables so instead of making him plain fingerless mitts I was able to make him Knitty's Dashing).  However, I purchased that book and found that the sock pattern did not work properly.  I gauged (and had a friend later verify that the gauge was accurate), I checked his measurements several times, and I ended up ripping the sock out and starting from a different pattern later because his sock was way too large.  The book disappointed me so much.  I had been looking forward to it for months and had purchased it with a Christmas gift certificate.  It was such a shame!  The concept of the book was great, but I had my knitting group verify the entire project was being done properly and that it wasn't an error on my part.  I'm too scared to make anymore projects from that book :(

mommalyn wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 5:44 PM


I am looking for help to make the knit ruffles that I saw last week on shaypendray!

Chimpy wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 1:53 PM

Hi Sandi,

Just curious, did you work at UCSD in 1998? Your name is the same as our programmer that was here at UCSD in 1998.