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Free Cable Mittens Knitting Pattern (Classic Knit)

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This cable knit mittens pattern is an excellent project for anyone who is learning how to knit cables in the round.

I wanted to share with you a warm, cozy pair of mittens that will be perfect to wear during the colder months.

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab an inexpensive, printer-friendly, ad-free PDF here.

Free Cable Mittens Knitting Pattern

Cable Mittens Knitting Pattern

Get the ad-free, printable PDF pattern HERE.

Notes

Skill Level – Intermediate.

The mittens knit up quickly in super bulky yarn, and the simple design makes for a relaxing and enjoyable knit.

There is a video tutorial to help you knit the thumb of a mitten over on my YouTube channel here.

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.

Size – Women’s medium

Finished measurements – laying flat and unstretched = 8 inches circumference / 10 inches long, including the cuff.

Gauge – 10 sts and 15 rounds = 4in/10cm in Stockinette stitch.

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The Supplies You Need

Yarn

Needles

Notions

cable knit hat with matching cable knit mittens

Abbreviations

  • CO – Cast on
  • C4F – Cable 4 forward (Slip the next two stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the front of the work. Knit the next two stitches from the left-hand needle and then knit the two stitches on the cable needle)
  • CN – Cable needle
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together
  • M1 – Make one stitch
  • P – Purl
  • PM – Place marker
  • P2tog – Purl the next 2 stitches together
  • Rem – Remaining
  • Rep – Repeat
  • Rnd(s) – Round(s)
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)

Pattern Instructions

Right Mitten

Cuff

CO 18 sts, join in the round and pm being careful not to twist sts.

  1. K1, P1 rib for 2 inches
  2. K8, M1, K1 twice (2 sts inc)
  3. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  4. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  5. P2, C4F, P2, K2, K10

Thumb Section

  1. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  2. P2, K4, P2, K1, M1, PM, K2, M1, PM, K1, K9
  3. P2, K4, P2, K4, K10 (slipping markers)
  4. P2, C4F, P2, K1, M1, K2, M1, K1, K10
  5. P2, K4, P2, K6, K10
  6. P2, K4, P2, K1, M1, K3, M1, K2, K10
  7. P2, k4, P2, K8, K10
  8. P2, C4F, P2, K1, place 7 sts onto a st holder, CO 1 and K10

Body

  1. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  2. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  3. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  4. P2, C4F, P2, K2, K10
  5. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  6. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  7. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  8. P2, C4F, P2, K2, K10
  9. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  10. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  11. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10
  12. P2, C4F, P2, K2, K10
  13. P2, K4, P2, K2, K10 (20sts)

Decrease

  1. P2, K4, P2, K2tog, K2tog, K6, K2tog (20 sts)
  2. P2tog, sl next 2 sts onto the CN and hold in front of work, K2tog, then K2 from CN, P2tog, K1, K2tog, K4, K2tog
  3. P1, K3tog, P1, K1, K2tog, K2, K2tog
  4. *K2tog  – rep from * to end of round.

Cut yarn and thread through rem sts, pull tight to close, and secure.

Thumb

  1. Place the 7sts on the stitch holder onto the needles.
  2. Pick up and knit 1 st from the CO edge.
  3. Place a stitch marker under the picked-up stitch to mark the beg of the round.
  4. Knit 8 rounds.
  5. *K2tog* to end of round.
  6. Cut a tail of yarn weave through the rem sts, and pull up tight to close.
  7. Secure and weave in any loose ends.
knitted mittens

Left Mitten

Cuff

CO 18 sts, join in the round and pm being careful not to twist sts.

  1. K1, P1 rib for 2 inches
  2. K8, M1, K1, twice (2 sts inc)
  3. K10, K2, P2, K4, P2
  4. K10, K2, P2, K4, P2
  5. K10, K2, P2, C4F, P2

Thumb Section

  1. K10, K2, P2, K4, P2
  2. K9, K1, PM, M1, K2, PM, M1, P2, K4, P2
  3. K10, K4, P2, K4, P2
  4. K10, K1, M1, K2, M1, K1, P2, C4F, P2
  5. K10, K6, P2, K4, P2
  6. K10, K2, M1, K3, M1, K1, P2, K4, P2
  7. K10, K8, P2, K4, P2
  8. K10, place 7 sts onto a st holder, CO 1, K1, P2, C4F, P2

Body

  1. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  2. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  3. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  4. K11, K1, P2, C4F, P2
  5. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  6. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  7. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  8. K11, K1, P2, C4F, P2
  9. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  10. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  11. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2
  12. K11, K1, P2, C4F, P2
  13. K11, K1, P2, K4, P2 (20 sts)
cable mittens in the snow

Decrease

  1. K2tog, K6, K2tog, K2tog, P2, K4, P2
  2. K2tog, K4, K2tog, K1, P2tog, sl next 2 sts onto the CN and hold in front of work, K2tog, then K2 from CN, P2tog
  3. K2tog, K2, K2tog, K1, P1, K3tog, P1
  4. *K2tog  – rep from * to end of round.

Cut yarn and thread through rem sts, pull tight to close, and secure.

Thumb

  1. Place the 7sts on the stitch holder onto the needles.
  2. Pick up and knit 1 st from the CO edge.
  3. Place a stitch marker under the picked-up stitch to mark the beg of the round.
  4. Knit 8 rounds.
  5. *K2tog* to end of the round.
  6. Cut a tail of yarn weave through the rem sts, and pull up tight to close.
  7. Secure and weave in any loose ends.

Finishing

  • Turn the mitten inside out and use the yarn from near the picked-up stitch to close the gap near the base of the thumb.
  • Weave in any other loose ends.
  • Repeat for the second mitten.
mittens that are knitted

Everything You Need To Know About Knitting Mittens

How many stitches do I cast on for mittens?    

The number of stitches you cast on for mittens depends on several factors, including the yarn weight, needle size, and the size of the hands you’re knitting for.

It’s recommended to check the pattern you’re using, as it will provide specific instructions for the stitch count based on these factors. 

If you don’t have a pattern, you can follow some general guidelines:

  • Gauge Swatch: Start by knitting a gauge swatch with the yarn and needles you plan to use. This will help you determine how many stitches per inch you are getting.
  • Measure Hand Circumference: Measure the circumference of the hand around the knuckles or widest part. This measurement will guide you in determining how many stitches you need.
  • Calculate Stitch Count: Multiply the stitches per inch from your gauge swatch by the hand circumference measurement. For example, if your gauge is 5 stitches per inch and the hand circumference is 7 inches, you would cast on approximately 35 stitches (5 stitches/inch x 7 inches).
  • Adjust for Ribbing: If your mittens have a ribbed cuff, you might want to cast on a multiple of the ribbing pattern (e.g., a multiple of 2 for k2, p2 ribbing).
  • Consider the Thumb Gusset: If your mitten pattern includes a thumb gusset, you may need to cast on additional stitches to accommodate it.

What yarn is best for warmth?    

Yarns that are known for their warmth are typically those made from animal fibers, as these fibers have natural insulating properties.

Here are some types of yarn that are considered excellent choices for warmth:

  • Wool: Wool is a classic choice for warmth. It has excellent insulating properties, retains heat even when wet, and is available in various weights, from light to bulky.
  • Alpaca: Alpaca fiber is known for its softness and warmth. It is warmer than sheep’s wool and lacks the itchiness often associated with wool.
  • Cashmere: Cashmere yarn, derived from the fine hairs of cashmere goats, is incredibly soft and luxurious. It provides excellent warmth while maintaining a lightweight feel.
  • Merino Wool: Merino wool comes from Merino sheep and is known for its fine fibers. It’s soft, breathable, and offers excellent warmth.
  • Mohair: Mohair, obtained from the hair of Angora goats, has a silky and lustrous texture. It is known for its warmth and is often blended with other fibers.

When choosing a yarn for warmth, also consider the pattern and design of the project. 

Cables, thick textures, and tightly knit or crocheted fabrics can enhance the warmth of the finished item. 

Additionally, the weight of the yarn (e.g., bulky or super bulky) can impact warmth, as thicker yarns generally create warmer garments.

How long should circular needles be for mittens?    

The length of circular knitting needles needed for knitting mittens depends on the method you use to knit them.

There are two common methods: Magic Loop and Double-Pointed Needles (DPNs).

Here are the recommendations for each:

  1. Magic Loop Method:
    • If you prefer using the Magic Loop method, which involves using a long circular needle to knit small circumferences, you’ll want a circular needle with a cable length of at least 32 inches (80 cm) or longer. This length lets you comfortably loop the cable and knit in the round for smaller items like mittens. Learn everything about the magic loop technique here. – Magic Loop Knitting | Step By Step 
  1. Double-Pointed Needles (DPNs):
    • If you’re using Double-Pointed Needles, you won’t need a circular needle. Instead, you’ll need a set of DPNs. The typical set comes with four or five needles. For most mitten projects, a set of 6-inch (15 cm) or 8-inch (20 cm) DPNs is commonly used. Choose a length that feels comfortable for you and accommodates the number of stitches in your pattern. Learn everything about DPNs here – The Best Double-Pointed Knitting Needles – A Guide

Make Your Own Cable Knit Mittens

Made with super bulky yarn, these mittens will knit up fast!

It’s a great project when you want to make something quick, for yourself, or for a gift.

The classic cable pattern running on the body of the mitten makes for a great project for all makers.

Cable knit mittens

Great for snow days!

The mittens are perfect for cold weather and snowy days, keeping your hands warm.

I wore these gloves on a trip to the snowy mountains in Greece and loved how cozy they were to wear.

The yarn is thick, soft, and squishy, which was perfect for this project.

cable mittens knitted

The Cable Knit Stitch

This pattern is for advanced beginners or intermediate knitters, as the cable stitch shown in the mittens pattern is a great starter cable for anyone who has not knit cables before.

The mitts are knit in the round. 

Therefore, you should be comfortable knitting in the round.

The pattern may look a little daunting if you are a beginner who has never picked up the needles before.

cable knit mittens in lion brand wool ease thick and quick yarn

The Cable Stitch Explained

The cable stitch used in this pattern is C4F – Cable four forward.

A tip for remembering which way a cable will twist, either to the front or the back of the work, is to think of this;

  • The RIGHT way – these stitches are held behind – C4B
  • The LEFT way – these stitches are held in the front – C4F

The abbreviation used in this pattern is explained below:

  • C4F = Cable 4 forward.
  • Slip the next two stitches onto a cable needle and hold it at the front of the work.
  • Knit the next two stitches from the left-hand needle and then knit the two stitches on the cable needle.
cable mittens in the snow

More Mittens Patterns

For more mittens, please take a look at these posts:

How do you knit simple mittens?    

If you are looking for an easy mitten pattern to make for warmth and style. 

They are made with circular needles and the magic loop method.

Check out this easy mitten pattern here – Easy Mittens Knitting Pattern.

Or grab the ad-free printable PDF pattern here.

easy mittens knitting pattern free

Make a Matching Hat

If you would like to make the hat that matches these mittens, please take a look at this post here – One Skein Knit Hat Pattern (Easy Quick Simple Cable)

This hat uses the same cable stitch pattern and is also knit in the round.

cable knit hat and matching mittens

Knitting Lessons

If you are a new knitter and need help with the knitting basics, check out the knitting lessons here – Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials).

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know. 

Including how to cast on and knit the knit stitch, the stockinette stitch, the rib stitch, the garter stitch, the mattress stitch, short rows, a list of knitting abbreviations, and more. 

And if you need more video tutorials, check out my YouTube channel here – Handy Little Me – YouTube. 

Share your work with us…

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed making the pattern, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

View our Facebook page here or share your work in the Facebook group here

I’d love to see your work.

Happy Knitting!

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2 Comments

  1. I’m confused by the use of CO in row 8 of the thumb section on the right hand. Based on the number of stitches I have I’m assuming this meant MO? Or is there another technique I just don’t know? I’m confused as to how you can CO in that situation.