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How to Knit Fingerless Gloves – with OWLS!

beige owl knitted fingerless gloves

Also known as fingerless mittens, I seem to have a thing going on for this awesome owl motif. If you haven’t seen them already, I also have a Knitted Owl Slipper pattern that you may like. But more about these awesome fingerless gloves… They are fairly quick to make if you’re an experienced knitter and know how to knit in the round on double pointed needles (dpn). This is also a great pattern if you have a bit of left over yarn from other knitting projects. Like enough to knit one slipper, but you’re not sure if you’ll have enough to finish the whole pair. I know. We’ve all been there.

Did you wind up here looking for the finished product and not a pattern? No worries! You can buy your very own pair either from this website here – Hand Knit Owl Fingerless Gloves or in my Etsy shop.


A few quick words on sizing. Instead of going through all the effort to remake the pattern for different sizes, and to keep the proportion of the knitted owls the same, I’ve gone about adjusting the sizing by changing the size of your knitting needles. These are knitted in the round making them seamless with no scratchy seams to worry about. Because of being knitted in the round, the thumbs have to be on different sides so they fit correctly. You’ll have to make one for the left hand and the right hand. Instructions are given separately for both. You can click the links or scroll down the page.

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Want other knitted mitten patterns that are for texting or are more plain Jane and can cover the ends of your fingers? I have those too. You can check out my How to Knit Texting Mittens and How to Knit Flip Mitts. I forgot I even had those… huh!

FYI – This pattern came to me quickly. I actually woke up from a nap with this in my head a week ago. I wrote it up fast and have done a lot of copying and pasting to get this out ASAP. If you find a mistake, please let me know in the comments below.

Things you will need:

worsted weight yarn (less than 50 grams was more than enough to make a pair of large knitted gloves. I know because I weighed them 😉). I used Red Heart worsted weight yarn when designing the pattern but any kind will do.

Set of 4 double pointed needles (see note on sizing)

Stitch holder

Needle and thread to sew on eyes

Tapestry needle to sew the hole by the thumb and work in ends

Cable needle

4 – 4 mm beads for eyes. You can use larger ones or very small buttons, too. I’m using some jewels I found and gluing them on.


This is the yarn I used for the beige owl mittens. I’m sure you can find it cheaper than this, but I wanted to show you which one it was. It’s very popular for slippers and other stuff I sell. Just saying’.

More of my stuff on Etsy:

A Note on Sizing:

As I mentioned previously, the sizing for this pattern is done a little differently. Instead of different stitch counts which I normally do, I’m changing the size of the needles. Chances are good that if you know how to knit in the round, you already have these size needles anyways. If not, it’s a good excuse to go to your favourite yarn store to pick up the needles you’ll need. And since you’re there, check out the yarn sales. You’d be foolish not to.

My standard for sizing was my hand and designed the knitting pattern according to what kind of rubber gloves fit me comfortably. I wear a medium sized rubber glove and the medium sized glove fits perfectly. the Grey mittens are a medium. The beige is a small if you like your gloves a bit on the snug side. I didn’t even bother trying to model the red. They were too big. You may need to use different sized needles to get the correct gauge, but this pattern is very forgiving if you’re a bit off.

Small

Medium

Large

Left Hand

Cast on 36 sts loosely (you need to allow the ribbing to stretch)

Round 1 – 10: K1 P1

Round 11 – 13: K around

Round 14: K1 M1 K1 M1 K6 P1 K8 P1 K18 (knitted stitches between the M1’s are the thumb increase)

Round 15: K around to the P. P1 C4F C4B P1 K18

Round 16: K around to the P. P1 K8 P1 K18

Round 17: K1 M1 K3 M1 K6 P1 K8 P1 K18

Round 18: Repeat round 16

Round 19: Repeat round 16

Round 20: K1 M1 K5 M1 K6 P1 K8 P1 K18

Round 21: Repeat round 16

Round 22: Repeat round 16

Round 23: K1 M1 K7 M1 K6 P1 C4F C4B P1 K18

Round 24: K around to the P. P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K18

Round 25: Repeat round 24

Round 26: K1 M1 K9 M1 K6 P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K18

Round 27: Repeat round 24

Round 28: Repeat round 24

Round 29: K1 M1 K11 M1 K6 P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K18

Round 30: Repeat round 24

Round 31: Repeat round 24

Round 32: K1 Pass the 13 stitches to the stitch holder (the thumb stitches). K to the P. P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K18

Round 33: K to the P. P1 C4F C4B P1 K18

Round 34: K to the P. P10 K 18

Round 35: K1 P1 around. P last 2 stitches together to maintain pattern.

Round 36 – 39: K1 P1 around.

Cast off loosely. It needs to stretch.

Make Thumb

Pick up the 13 stitches from the stitch holder. Work 3 rounds even. Cast off loosely.

Right Hand

Cast on 36 sts loosely (you need to allow the ribbing to stretch)

Round 1 – 10: K1 P1

Round 11 – 13: K around

Round 14: K1 M1 K1 M1. K19. P1 K8 P1 K5 (knitted stitches between the M1’s are the thumb increase)

Round 15: K around to the P. P1 C4F C4B P1 K5

Round 16: K around to the P. P1 K8 P1 K5

Round 17: K1 M1 K3 M1 K19 P1 K8 P1 K5

Round 18: Repeat round 16

Round 19: Repeat round 16

Round 20: K1 M1 K5 M1 K19 P1 K8 P1 K5

Round 21: Repeat round 16

Round 22: Repeat round 16

Round 23: K1 M1 K7 M1 K19 P1 C4F C4B P1 K5

Round 24: K around to the P. P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K5

Round 25: Repeat round 24

Round 26: K1 M1 K9 M1 K19 P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K5

Round 27: Repeat round 24

Round 28: Repeat round 24

Round 29: K1 M1 K11 M1 K19 P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K5

Round 30: Repeat round 24

Round 31: Repeat round 24

Round 32: K1 Pass the 13 stitches to the stitch holder (the thumb stitches). K19. P1 K2 P4 K2 P1 K5

Round 33: K to the P. P1 C4F C4B P1 K5

Round 34: K to the P. P10 K5

Round 35: K2tog. *P1 K1* Repeat from * to * around ending with P1.

Round 36 – 39: K1 P1 around.

Cast off loosely. It needs to stretch.

Make Thumb

Pick up the 13 stitches from the stitch holder. Work 3 rounds even. Cast off loosely.

Hints and Tips

I cast all the stitches on one needle when I start. Then I divide them up between the 3 needles. This helps to avoid the twisting you can sometimes get when casting on to each needle.

Your gauge isn’t overly important but best if it’s at least close. Because the knitted mittens are are fingerless, they are very forgiving if they’re a little small or large.

I prefer to use bamboo dpn. I find that it helps to prevent that line you get between needles when knitting in the round.

You will probably need to adjust the number of stitches you have on each needle. I usually make one split between the purl and the start of the owl motif. It gives more than 12 on one needle and less than 12 on the other, but it makes it easier to knit the owl.

I haven’t tried this, but changing to even smaller needles and thinner yarn can make even smaller child sizes. Let me know if you try this and what gauge and needles give the right sizes. You can leave your findings in the comment section.

Abbreviations:

C4F – Cable 4 forward. With your cable needle, slip 2 stitches off the needle and pull the stitches towards the front of your work. Knit the next 2 stitches. Knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle. 

C4B – Cable 4 backward. With your cable needle, slip 2 stitches off the needle and pull the stitches towards the back of your work. Knit the next 2 stitches. Knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.

M1 – Make 1 stitch. Pull up a loop between the stitches and knit.

K – Knit

P – Purl

Sts – stitches

K2tog – Knit 2 together

18 thoughts on “How to Knit Fingerless Gloves – with OWLS!

  1. Love this, thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you like it. 😊

  2. oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing. I have a friend who loves owls. They were the theme for her wedding. She is going to love these gloves. I can’t wait to get started knitting

  3. I really don’t like double pointed needles and I don’t like a thumb with a fingerless mitt pattern. I think it would look better as a rectangle just folded over with out the thumb done on straight needles.

    1. Good idea! And a lot simpler to make too. I’d love to see the final product when you make it. I’ve never seen mittens made this way before.

      1. Hi thanks for the pattern, looks like some practice on dpns! I do prefer thumbs … personal preference, and one’s whole hand feels warmer 🙂 There are quite a few patterns on the net, as suggested by Cindy above.

  4. Love this pattern – on my list of projects to do! I will probably use circular needles, do not like the double pointed ones if I can avoid it! Keep up the great work!

  5. On round 15 should there be a p 1 after C4F and C4B? I come up with 19 st after the cables instead of 18..

    1. Yes there should be! Just a simple typo. Ugh! I fixed it in the pattern. Thanks for letting me know 😊

      1. There should also be a P1 after the C4B in line 23. Just finished the left hand mitt and it turned out great! Thanks so much for sharing your pattern, I think I’ll be making several pair.

        1. Ugh. 😕. Changed. Damn copy and paste. Only as accurate as what you copy I guess.

  6. Hi there
    Thank you so much for this brilliant pattern and also for the way you have worded everything. It’s as if you are actually here and I am talking to you! I love all your little comments, they made me laugh. I haven’t actually knitted a whole pattern with 4dpns and I usually use a circular needle so this will be good experience for me.
    Thanks again, love from Australia. Sue

    1. You’re welcome from Canada!🇨🇦 I’m glad you’re enjoying the pattern 😊

  7. Very cute indeed 🦉
    I would order a pair, but I live way in Wisconsin and It sure the shipping would take forever. I so much love those speckled gloves. I think it shows the Owl off very nicely.

    1. Not as long as you would think. I’m slow right now and could whip up a pair in a day or two. Shipping to the USA is between 5-10 days. It may be a bit longer because of the virus thing but I haven’t heard anyone complain who’s placed orders.

  8. I love the owl mittens but would it be possible to receive the pattern knitted on two needles. I’m afraid my knitting skills only cope with two needles!!
    Thank you.
    Sue.

    1. I would have to rewrite the entire pattern. Every 2nd row would be different than how it’s currently written; to account for back and forth vs round and round. It would be a ton of work. But….

      Is there an interest in this? If enough people want it, I can do it. It’ll take awhile for it to be done though. Would it be better to have the seam on the thumb side of the hand or the pinky finger side? I’ve never made flat mittens before.

      Let me know in the comments if you would like a flat version. If the demand is there, it’ll be worth my time and effort.

      1. I would think having the seam on the pinky side would be less intrusive when wearing them and doing things. Very cute pattern by the way. I will be trying it with double points, but would also like to try making them as a flat piece and seamed.

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