quick fingerless toddler mittens


Let’s be honest. It probably occurred to you that your toddler’s fingers were freezing after they started turning that special shade of red on its way to blue. There are many excellent and beautiful patterns out there but around here we are about speed and utility. How much will it matter if I screw up the pattern? Can I read it on half a cup of coffee and while being interrupted every 3 seconds to repair the lego diesel engine and figure out if those screams are real pain or not? Oh, wait, it only works if I know yarn weights and know the weight of the particular ball of yarn I have on hand? Can I finish it before someone gets hungry again? Well sh*t.

I made this up as I went. You can do it with whatever yarn you have. These were made for a big 18 month old with wool I got at a yard sale. I didn’t bother measuring his hand. I discovered after starting that my 5 year old had cut it up for a project and tried to re-roll it for me (what I get for allowing 30 minutes to lapse between when I set out the yarn and when I started the project). I made one glove one stitch smaller (it fit a tad better). It was all fine. Until he was 5 my eldest preferred gloves like these as well, in hideous color combinations he specially requested.

If you don’t already crochet, here’s a basic tutorial.

What you need:

  • ball of yarn you hope is enough in the color of dirt the gloves are most likely to become caked in (mine was big fat dark gray wool)
  • crochet hook that is reasonable for that yarn (mine was 5mm)
  • maybe scissors, or teeth
  • 30 min to 8 hours depending on # of interruptions

What you do:

  1. slip knot, ch 15, slip stitch to close the circle
  2. ch 2, hdc 15 in the chain loop you just made [run the tail of the yarn alongside the chain row and cover with this new row, snip off any extra or just keep going until it’s gone], slip stitch to close, repeat 2 more times, before slip stitching to close the third row, ch 3
  3. repeat the previous pattern and hdc into the 3 new stitches, bringing the total to 18. this is the only difference, repeat 3 more times and tie off, weaving the tail of the yarn back in

This pattern makes the narrower, 4-finger portion of the glove first and finishes at the wrist. You can make the wrist longer by simply continuing step 3 for more than 4 rows. You could make the fingers longer by repeating the rows from step 2. If your yarn is skinnier than mine and your hook smaller, you’ll chain more at the outset and maybe use more than 3 new chains for the thumb hole. The glove is 2.25-2.5 inches across at the fingers and 2.75-3 at the wrist, which makes it easier to copy the pattern with a different size yarn.

He wore them today. There were no complaints about putting them on, no requests to take them off. They were perfect for allowing his wee fingers to carefully rearrange Grandma’s collection of glass jars. Heh.