The Mitten Handbook – Knitting

A long time ago, when I was writing the knitting website for, someone asked me about all the different ways to knit thumbs on mittens.

I didn’t have a comprehensive list at the time, and didn’t know if there was one. And frankly I wasn’t that interested in mittens at the time to find out.

If someone asked me that question now, though, I could direct them to The Mitten Handbook by Mary Scott Huff. This book contains everything you need to know to knit your own mittens to any size, any gauge, using a variety of edging, cuff, thumb and top treatments.

It contains an overview of mitten parts and thoughts on yarn, ease and construction methods. There are instructions for working eight different kinds of edgings, cuffs, thumbs and tops, with notes on whether they can be worked from the top down or the bottom up or both.

The circular thumb might be my favorite — it’s worked from the tip of the thumb down and joined to the body of the mitten as you knit.

If you don’t like to design your own or want to start with a pattern you can customize, there are also 20 full patterns that will give you a place to start or some good projects you can knit as written. Some of my favorites include the tiny goldfish thumbless mitts for babies; Little Bird, a mitten featuring Latvian braids and bluebird colorwork; and Snow Day, with a pretty Fair Isle snowflake design. You can check out all the projects on Ravelry.

The Mitten Handbook is a great guide for mitten lovers and those who want to learn more about customizing and designing their own patterns with some hand holding and good advice from a pro.

About the book: 160 pages, paperback, 20 patterns. Published by Abrams. Retail price $19.99

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