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Basic Thumb Gusset Pattern for Top-Down Mittens

This article is part of my universal basic mittens pattern.

This is the most commonly seen thumb gusset on basic mittens. It looks like a small triangle. The gusset decreases are made every other round on both sides of the thumb.

Your mitten should now cover the top of your hand from the tip of your longest finger to the base of the thumb or equal the measurement A on the size chart.

Special techniques used

Backwards loop cast on method:

If you use the backwards loop cast on method you need to pick up and knit the stitches when you start making the thumb. There will be a a tiny seam inside the thumb.

See a video tutorial here.

Provisional cast on method:

For the provisional cast on method you need a piece of scrap yarn and a crochet hook. When you start to work the thumb you unravel the scrap yarn and you’ll have live stitches. The beginning of the thumb will be seamless.

See a video tutorial here.

On the images below the thumb on the left side is made with provisional cast on method and the thumb on the right side with backwards loop cast on method.

Right side
Wrong side

Abbreviations

Knitting abbreviations used in this pattern you can find here.

Pattern

The pattern is written for the magic loop method and it’s assumed that your stitches are divided evenly on two needles.

 sts on my needles.

Right hand

Round 1: k22, BO 2, k to end

A total of 46 sts.

Round 2: k22, CO (backwards loop cast on method or provisional cast on method) 16 sts, k to end

Round 3:  k22, pm, m1, k16, m1, pm, k to end

A total of 64 sts.

Round 4: k around

Decreases

Round 5: k to first marker, sm, ssk, k to 2 sts before the second marker, k2tog, sm, k to end

Repeat decreases every other round 7 more times. A total of 48 sts.

You can remove the gusset markers (leave the BOR).

Left hand

Round 1: BO 2, k to end

A total of 46 sts.

Round 2: CO (backwards loop cast on method or provisional cast on method) 16 sts, k to end

Round 3:  m1, k16, m1, pm, k to end

A total of 64 sts.

Round 4: k around

Decreases

Round 5: ssk, k to 2 sts before the marker, k2tog, sm, k to end

Repeat decreases every other round 7 more times. A total of 48 sts.

You can remove the second marker.

Both hands

Continue working in the round until your thumb opening measures according to measurement B on the schematics or covers your whole hand from the tip of your longest finger to the beginning of the wrist and then go and make the cuff. After finishing the cuff come back to this pattern and make the thumb according to the instructions below.

Thumb

Take your working yarn and leave a long enough tail so that you can close the holes that might form between the needles. To prevent holes you can also pick up an extra stitch on each side between the needles and on the next round knit them together with the following stitch. Check this video tutorial on how to prevent holes from forming.

Depending on your cast on method pick up and knit 18 sts (16 sts from the CO edge and 2 sts from the body of the mitten) OR unravel the provisional cast on and place 16 sts back on needles and pickup and knit 2 sts from the body of the mitten. 

Work until your thumb measures desired length and (k2tog) around or according to measurement C on the schematic. A total of 9 sts remaining.

Break yarn, leaving a 6″ tail to thread through remaining live sts. Pull tight to close top of thumb.

Work the other thumb the same way.

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3 thoughts on “Basic Thumb Gusset Pattern for Top-Down Mittens”

  1. Love this pattern, thanks so much for posting it. I have a question about making the gusset thumb. It says to knit to 2 stitches before the stitch marker but I don’t see where this stitch marker is placed. What am I missing? Thanks
    Jeannie

  2. Hi — there’s a stitch count mentioned here but it won’t necessarily match the stitch count I have, correct (since I’m making a mitten to fit). So what is the formula? All the stitches minus 2, then BO 2? The increase is what %? Thanks!

    1. Hi Leila! You can change the stitch count to be the one that is yours and then click the button “DO THE MATH!” and the pattern will adapt to your stitch count. I hope this helped! -Ida

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