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Petite Purls
» photos: Odessa Reichel » model: F.Y.


By Odessa Reichel

Before my second child was born, I made my poor husband drive across the border (the US – Canada border that is) so I could buy owl everything for the nursery. So it was only natural that I knit up a pair of owl mittens for the cold Canadian winter. Colorwork mittens are particularly warm because of the extra layer of wool inside the mitten which is perfect for minus a million weather with eleventy-million speed winds outside the igloo (I kidd!) Finished with an i-cord string so they don’t get lost, these mittens are cute and practical. So cute, I had to knit a pair up for myself!


Toddler [Child, Adult]
Size shown: Toddler

Finished Measurements

Across Palm: 3½ [3¾, 4] inches
Length: 6 [6½, 8¾]
Mittens will be approximately one inch longer if optional longer cuff is knit.


Patons Classic Wool [100% wool; 223 yards/ 205 meters per 3.50 ounce/ 100 gram skein];

         Aran (Color A); 1 skein
         Orchid (Color B); 1 skein
         Orchid (Color A); 1 skein
         Currant (Color B) 1 skein
         Chestnut Brown (Color A); 1 skein
         Currant (Color B); 1 skein

Recommended needle sizes

Toddler: US #4/3.5 mm dpns (set of 4 or 5)
Child: US #6/4 mm dpns (set of 4 or 5)
Adult: US #7/4.5 mm dpns (set of 4 or 5)
Note: For a longer cuff, you will need an additional set of dpns one needle size smaller than the needle size you are using.
Do not hesitate to change needle size to achieve the correct gauge.


Scrap yarn to mark thumb placement
Tapestry needle


Toddler: 26 sts and 32 rows in 4 inches of colorwork
Child: 22 sts and 26 rows in 4 inches of colorwork
Adult: 20 sts and 24 rows in 4 inches of colorwork

Pattern Notes

The toddler and child mittens and thumb are knit using the same chart, but the adult mittens and thumb have a separate chart.
When doing colorwork, keeping stitches and floats even is really important so be mindful of this. Over floats of 5 or more stitches, twist the yarns to secure the floats every 4th or 5th stitch.

Skills Required

Knitting on double-pointed needles, m1, colorwork, Kitchener stitch, i-cord (optional)


Mitten Body

Using Color A and long-tail cast on, cast on 40 stitches on one needle. Divide evenly among 3 double pointed needles. Join in the round, making sure not to twist the work.
Work in k1, p1 rib for 8 rounds. If a longer and snugger cuff (as shown on the child sized mitten) is desired, use one needle size smaller than the size called for and knit 16 rounds of k1, p1 rib total.
Work an increase round as follows: k2, m1, k8, m1, k8, m1, k4, m1, k8, m1, k8, m1, k2: 46 sts.
If smaller needles were used for the cuff, switch to the larger size before beginning the next round and continue using the larger needles throughout the mitten.


Begin following the chart, joining in color B where marked.
In row 16 [16, 20] knit in the thumb marker. To do this, follow the chart up to the marked area for the appropriate thumb (right or left, depending on the mitten). Knit these 7 [7, 8] stitches onto a piece of contrasting scrap yarn. Slide those 7 [7, 8] stitches back onto the left hand needle, and knit into them again using color A. Continue knitting the mitten as charted.
The decreases start in row 34 [34, 46] and are worked over 5 rows. Color B is worked up to the end of row 35 [35, 47] as charted. At the end of this row, break Color B, leaving a long tail to weave in later. Continue the decreases. At the end of the final row there should be 26 stitches left.
Divide the remaining 26 stitches among 2 double pointed needles so there are 13 on each, with the front of the mitten on one needle and the back on the other. Kitchener stitch the two sides together. Break the yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later.


Remove the scrap yarn and using dpns, pick up the 14 [14, 16] stitches for the thumb. Pick up one extra stitch on either side of the thumb for a total of 16 [16, 18] stitches.
Begin following the chart. Make sure to start the chart at the leftmost bottom edge of the mitten so that the pattern lines up.
Thumb decreases start in row 10 [10, 14]. These decreases are knit solely in Color A, so break off Color B at the beginning of the decrease rounds, leaving a tail to weave in later.
At the end of the decrease rounds, there should be 8 [8, 10] stitches left.  Divide these evenly among 2 DPNs, with the front on one needle and the back on the other. Kitchener stitch these two sides together. Break the yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later.

Repeat the above steps to make the second mitten, making sure to knit it for the opposite hand.



Weave in all ends and block.

Optional i-cord

Pick up 3 stitches on the outside edge of either mitten. Using color B and two dpns, knit these 3 stitches. Instead of turning your needles to knit the next row, slide the 3 stitches just knit down the needle, so that the first stitch knit into is on the opposite side of the working yarn. Knit these three stitches, and then slide the stitches down again, with the working yarn on the opposite side from the first stitch on the needle. By repeating this over and over, a strong cord is created by the curling of the stockinette. Continue this until a long enough cord is created. Keeping in mind that a person’s arm span is about the same as their height, if the height of the mitten wearer is known, knit to that length plus a couple of inches extra room. If it is not known, knit to 4 [5, 6] feet. When the desired length is reached, pull the yarn through the 3 stitches and secure them to the outside edge of the other mitten. Break yarn, leaving a tail to weave in.

Click on chart images below to view printable verision.

Chart Adult


Chart Adult

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Odessa found herself staying at home with her two sons after finishing her BFA. Having originally started knitting in high school she got back into it as a way to relax and as a creative outlet on which to project her love of color and design.

Pattern & images © 2010 Odessa Reichel. Contact