Celestial Mittens + Hand Warmers
When Swedish designer, Kajsa Vuorela, knits up celestial motifs, her mind is on the swirling, majestic beauty of the northern skies. For her Celestial Mittens + Hand Warmers, Kajsa has scaled down that awesomeness, fitting your own night sky into the palms of your hands.
Kajsa’s colorwork does a marvelous job of evoking traditional beauty with a modern flair, so wonderfully twinkly and starlit!
To make a set of your own, you start with the bottom cuff, then follow along with a colorwork chart, bind off and cast on for the thumb opening, then finish with ribbing for a hand warmer or decreases for a mitten. Don’t forget the thumb, then it’s on to the next one!
Kajsa chose our Linen Quill for its natural integrity and also because it comes in so many dozens of beautiful colors… The sky is the limit! You’ll need just one skein of each color for a child or adult pair of truly celestial mittens or hand warmers!
Share your progress + connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoCelestialMittensAndHandWarmers, and #PurlSohoLinenQuill. We can’t wait to see what you make!
- Purl Soho’s Linen Quill, 50% fine highland wool. 35% alpaca, and 15% linen. Each skein is approximately 439 yards/ 100 grams.
- Main Color (MC): 1 skein; approximately 75 (125) yards required for Mittens or 65 (105) for Hand Warmers. We used Kiln Red for the Mittens, Red Poppy for one set of Hand Warmers, and Bright Flamingo for the other.
- Contrast Color (CC): 1 skein; approximately 65 (110) yards required for Mittens or 45 (70) for Hand Warmers. We used Pale Oats for the Mittens, Peony Pink for the Red Poppy Hand Warmers, and Honey Pink for the Bright Flamingo ones.
- A set of US 2 (2.75 mm) double pointed needles
- A set of US 1½ (2.5 mm) double pointed needles
- A stitch marker
- Stitch holders or scrap yarn
32 stitches and 31 rounds = 4 inches in stranded colorwork pattern on larger needles
Child Medium (Adult Medium)
To fit hand circumference of approximately 6 (8) inches, with no ease
- Finished Circumference at Palm: 6 (8) inches
- Finished Length from Cuff to Tip for Mittens: 8 (10¼) inches
- Finished Length from Cuff to Tip for Hand Warmers: 6¼ (7¾) inches
Samples: The Mittens shown here are Adult Medium, worn with 0 inches of ease. The Red Poppy Hand Warmers are also Adult Medium, worn with 0 inches of ease, and the Bright Flaming Hand Warmers are Child Medium.
NOTE: For instructions help with charts, please visit our Reading A Chart tutorial.
Be sure to choose the correct charts for the size you are making, and read charts from right to left, starting at the lower right corner.
For best results, float the CC under the MC throughout. If you knit with one color in each hand, hold the CC in your left hand and the MC in your right hand.
NOTE: Work the following instructions once for Right Hand, then again for Left Hand, adjusting the Thumb placement according to the Hand Chart.
With Main Color (MC), cast 42 (56) stitches onto smaller double pointed needles. We used a Long Tail Tubular Cast On, because it’s nice and stretchy, but a basic Long Tail Cast On would also be beautiful (and less complicated!).
Place marker and join for working in the round, distributing stitches evenly among 3 or 4 double pointed needles.
If you use the Long Tail Tubular Cast On, don’t forget to work the two Foundation Rounds below (note that these differ from the ones described in our tutorial). If you use the Basic Long Tail Cast On, skip the Foundation Rounds and begin with Round 1.
Foundation Round 1: *K1, slip 1 purlwise through back loop with yarn in front (wyif), repeat from * to end of round.
Foundation Round 2: *Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back (wyib), p1, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.
Repeat Round 1 until Cuff measures 1 inch.
Change to larger double pointed needles.
Work Rounds 1-16 (22) of Hand Chart (see Notes; see also Color Dominance Note for stranded colorwork advice). [48 (64) stitches]
Work Thumb Hole
Work Round 17 (23) according to Chart up to stitches marked with a red box, place next 9 (13) stitches onto stitch holder or scrap yarn, use Backwards Loop Cast On to cast on 9 (13) stitches in the colors as shown within the box, continue to knit according to Chart to end of round.
Finish Hand: Mittens Only
Work Rounds 18-54 (24-72) of Hand Chart. [4 stitches remain]
Thread MC tail onto a tapestry needle and pull through 2 remaining MC stitches. Repeat with CC, pulling tail through 2 remaining CC stitches.
Go on to Thumb section, below.
Finish Hand: Hand Warmers Only
Work Rounds 18-33 (24-45) of Hand Chart.
Change to smaller double pointed needles.
Round 1: With MC, *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.
Repeat Round 1 until ribbing measures 1 inch.
Bind off in pattern. We used a Long Tail Tubular Bind Off, but a Basic Bind Off will also work. If you use the Long Tail Tubular Bind Off, work the following two Foundation Rounds first (they are also described in our tutorial).
Foundation Round 1: *K1, slip 1 purlwise wyif, repeat from * to end of round.
Foundation Round 2: *Slip 1 purlwise wyib, p1, repeat from * to end of round.
Go on to Thumb section, right below.
Pick Up + Work Thumb: Mittens Only
Place 9 (13) stitches from stitch holder onto larger double pointed needle.
Join MC and CC.
Pick-Up Round: Work stitches 1-9 (13) of Thumb Chart along stitches from holder, with CC pick up and knit 1 stitch at side of Thumb Hole, pick up and knit 9 (13) stitches along Thumb Hole’s cast-on edge (working in colors of stitches 11-19 (15-27) of Thumb Chart), with CC pick up and knit 1 stitch at side of Thumb Hole. [20 (28) stitches]
Distribute stitches evenly among double pointed needles. Place marker for end of round.
Work Rounds 2-18 (23) of Thumb Chart. [4 stitches remain]
Cut yarns and work last 4 stitches as for Hand.
Pick Up + Work Thumb: Hand Warmers Only
Place 9 (13) stitches from stitch holder onto smaller double pointed needle. Join MC.
Pick-Up Round: Knit 9 (13) stitches from holder, pick up and knit 1 stitch at side of Thumb Hole, pick up and knit 9 (13) stitches along Thumb Hole’s cast-on edge, pick up and knit 1 stitch at side of Thumb Hole. [20 (28) stitches]
Distribute stitches evenly among double pointed needles. Place marker and join for knitting in the round.
Round 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.
Repeat Round 1 until ribbing measures ¾ inch.
Bind off in pattern as for Hand.
Weave in all ends, closing holes at base of Thumbs. Block as desired.