Ainur Berkimbayeva, master of both logic and beauty, has perhaps outdone herself with her breathtaking Herringbone Mittens. These mittens will knock your socks off!

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho

Ainur’s Herringbone Mittens turn your hands into mutable sculptures, flickering and morphing, both defining and confounding the planes of your hands. They are endlessly fascinating and a true tour de force!

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho

As mind-boggling as these mittens look, making them is all very straightforward. You build each mitten from bottom-up, working two colors at a time in stranded colorwork and following along with charts that make perfect sense of the construction.

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho

And why make the effort if the yarn doesn’t live up to the integrity of the design? In our Posy, it does! A mix of superwash merino, cashmere, and a touch of nylon for durability, the gentle undulations of Posy’s hand-dyed color adds a whole other layer of complexity and beauty!

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho

A wonderful challenge whose reward is a feeling of accomplishment, as well as one heck of a pair of mittens, these Herringbone Mittens are why we knitters knit!

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Ainur Berkimbayeva.

Materials

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho
  • Purl Soho’s Posy, 75% superwash merino, 15% cashmere, 10% nylon. Each skein is approximately 318 yards/100 grams.
    • Main Color: 1 (1, 1, 1, 1) skein; approximately 60 (85, 95, 140, 180) yards required. We used Azalea Glow for Child Medium sample, Black Cherry for Adult Small sample, and Teal Twilight for Adult Medium sample.
    • Contrast Color: 1 (1, 1, 1, 1) skein; approximately 55 (80, 90, 135, 175) yards required. We used Heirloom White (all sizes).

NOTE: You can use Pocket Posy instead of Posy for this pattern, but we no longer carry all the colors in Pocket Posy. If you decide to go this route, just divide the number of yards required by Pocket Posy’s yardage of 79, round up, and buy that many skeins!

Gauge

32 stitches and 35 rounds = 4 inches in Pin Stripe Pattern

Sizes

Child Small (Child Medium, Adult Small, Adult Medium, Adult Large)

To fit palm circumference of approximately 5½ (6½, 7, 8, 9) inches, with no ease

  • Finished Circumference At Palm: 5½ (6½, 7, 8, 9) inches
  • Finished Length From Cuff To Tip: 6¾ (8, 8¾, 10, 11½) inches

Notes

Construction

You will work these stranded colorwork mittens in the round from the cuff up. To make Thumb Hole, you work stitches with scrap yarn, then later remove scrap yarn and pick up live stitches to work Thumb in the round.

Special Instructions

Markers

While the pattern recommends placing markers between palm stitches and top-of-hand stitches, you may choose to omit markers and simply split stitches so they are on two needles each (for double pointed needles), or on a separate needle ends (for magic loop).

Color Dominance

For best results, float CC under MC throughout. If you knit with one color in each hand, hold CC in your left hand and MC in your right hand.

Trapping Floats

NOTE For help with this technique, please visit our Trapping Floats Tutorial.

While shaping tips of mittens, trap CC strand at wrong side of work as indicated on charts. This will prevent overly long floats that might catch on fingers.

Slip, Slip, Slip, Knit

Slip next three stitches purlwise, one at a time. Insert left into front of three slipped stitches and knit them together. [2 stitches decreased]

Pin Stripe Pattern

Worked over a multiple of 2 plus 1 stitches.

Every Round: With MC, k1, *with CC, k1; with MC, k1, repeat from * to next marker or end of round.

Charts

Throughout this pattern you will follow along with charts that indicate colors and stitches. Download the PDF for the size Mittens you are making and keep your set of charts handy!

Download Child Small Charts

Download Child Medium Charts

Download Adult Small Charts

Download Adult Medium Charts

Download Adult Large Charts

Pattern

Right Mitten

Cast On

With Main Color (MC), use Long Tail Cast On to cast on 43 (51, 55, 63, 71) stitches.

Divide as evenly as possible on 3 double pointed needles, and place marker (pm) for beginning of round (see Special Instructions: Markers).

Set-Up Round: P21 (25, 27, 31, 35), pm, purl to end of round.

Hand

Round 1: Work in Pin Stripe Pattern (see Special Instructions) to next marker, slip marker (sm), work Row 1 of Right Hand Chart (see Special Instructions) for your size to end of round.

Continue in Pin Stripe Pattern and Right Hand Chart, as established, repeating Rows 1-10 of Chart until piece measures 2¾ (3¼, 4, 4, 5½) inches.

Make Thumb Hole

Next Round: With MC, k1; with scrap yarn, k8 (9, 11, 12, 13), slip scrap yarn stitches back to left needle; *with CC, k1, with MC, k1, repeat from * to next marker, sm, work next row of Right Hand Chart for your size to end of round.

Contine Hand

Continue in Pin Stripe Pattern and Right Hand Chart, as established, until you have worked 10-row repeat of Right Hand Chart a total of 5 (6, 6, 7, 8) times.

Shape Top

Next Round: Work Round 51 (61, 61, 71, 81) of Pin Stripe Hand Top Chart for your size, sm, work Round 51 (61, 61, 71, 81) of Right Hand Chart to end of round.

Work to end of Pin Stripe Hand Top and Right Hand Charts, as established. [10 (10, 10, 14, 14) stitches remain]

Cut CC.

Place Pin Stripe stitches on one needle and Right Hand stitches on another needle. [5 (5, 5, 7, 7) stitches on each needle]

Use MC and Kitchener Stitch to graft stitches together.

Left Mitten

Work Cast On section of Right Mitten.

Hand

Round 1: Work in Pin Stripe Pattern to next marker, sm, work Row 1 of Left Hand Chart for your size to end of round.

Continue working Pin Stripe Pattern and Left Hand Chart, as established, repeating Rows 1-10 of Chart until piece measures 2¾ (3¼, 4, 4, 5½) inches.

Make Thumb Hole

Next Round: Work in established Pin Stripe Pattern to 9 (10, 12, 13, 14) stitches before next marker; with scrap yarn, k8 (9, 11, 12, 13), slip scrap yarn stitches back to left needle; continue in established Pin Stripe Pattern to marker, sm, work next row of Left Hand Chart for your size to end of round.

Continue Hand

Continue working Pin Stripe Pattern and Left Hand Chart, as established, until you have worked 10-row Chart-repeat a total of 5 (6, 6, 7, 8) times.

Place Pin Stripe Pattern stitches on one needle and Left Hand stitches on another needle. [5 (5, 5, 7, 7) stitches on each needle]

Shape Top

Next Round: Work Round 51 (61, 61, 71, 81) of Pin Stripe Hand Top Chart for your size, sm, work Round 51 (61, 61, 71, 81) of Left Hand Chart to end of round.

Work to end of Pin Stripe Hand Top and Left Hand Charts, as established. [10 (10, 10, 14, 14) stitches remain]

Cut CC.

Place Pin Stripe stitches on one needle and Left Hand stitches on another needle. [5 (5, 5, 7, 7) stitches on each needle]

Use MC and Kitchener Stitch to graft stitches together.

Thumbs

Pick Up + Work Thumb Even

Remove scrap yarn from Thumb Hole, catching each stitch on a double pointed needle as you release it. Use one needle for stitches below scrap yarn and another needle for stitches above scrap yarn. [16 (18, 22, 24, 26) total stitches: 8 (9, 11, 12, 13) stitches on each needle]

Redistribute stitches as evenly as possible on 3 double pointed needles. Join yarns at side of Thumb Hole.

Round 1: [Work 8 (9, 11, 12, 13) stitches in established Pin Stripe Pattern, pick up and knit 1 stitch in gap at side of Thumb Hole] 2 times. [18 (20, 24, 26, 28) stitches]

Joining to work in the round…

Continue in established Pin Stripe Pattern until Thumb measures 1 (1½, 2, 2, 2¼) inch(es).

Shape Top

NOTE: If making Child Small and Adult Medium sizes, be sure to work Right Thumb Top Chart for Right Mitten and Left Thumb Top Chart for Left Mitten. All other sizes use the same chart for both Mittens,

 Work Thumb Top Chart to end. [6 (8, 8, 6, 8) stitches remain]

Put first 3 (4, 4, 3, 4) stitches on one needle and remaining 3 (4, 4, 3, 4) stitches on another needle.

Use MC and Kitchener Stitch to graft stitches together.

Repeat for other Mitten’s Thumb.

Finishing

Weave in all ends, closing holes at base of Thumbs. Block as desired.

Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho
Ainur Berkimbayeva For Purl Soho: Herringbone Mittens | Purl Soho