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Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Trinket Mittens from Field Guide No. 17: Lopi are a brilliant little project for trying new things. It’s no secret that I love learning new techniques on a small project, and these mittens pack quite the techniques punch, without being overwhelming in the slightest.

Take Two

What is even better than working new techniques on a small project? Working new techniques on a small project that comes in pairs! You learn the new thing, and then a little while later you make the second one (provided you don’t get distracted by some other shiny new project), and that repetition really helps to bed-in your new skills.

Dealing with Ends

Trinket Mittens start at the cuffs with multiple motif choices to have fun with. Whether you go with a two-color or a multi-colored chart—or a combination—we’ve got a couple of video tutorials to help you with the color changes.

Either knit the ends in as you go:

or splice your new color to the old one:

On the Cuff

I combined Mary Jane’s Lanterns motif with a bit of Sparkle here:

Once your beautiful colorwork is complete, you need to change direction knitting in order to turn the hem into an upturned cuff.

To do that you turn your work inside out and knit back in the other direction. In order to avoid having a hole where the direction changes, Mary Jane uses a German short row. Sound complicated? It really isn’t, and I’ve made a video to show you just how easy it is:

Video notes: If you are watching on YouTube, you can hover over the time bar to see the different sections of the video, which is handy if there’s a particular thing you want to re-watch. The video also has subtitles which you can display by clicking on the CC button.

A Very Versatile Video

Once you’ve done your direction switcheroo, there’s a lovely section of straightforward knitting before it’s time to think about the thumb.

The skills you learn in setting up your Trinket Mittens thumb will set you up brilliantly for adding pockets to projects (like the Destination Pullover), as well as separating for the sleeves when you work a top-down garment.

Just one thumb can teach you so much!

Here’s a video about setting up the thumb, so that I can sit beside you and talk you through each step.

It covers setting aside stitches, the backwards-loop cast on, knitting over the backwards-loop cast on (without getting that annoying gappy strand of yarn), and finally, picking up your thumb stitches along the cast-on edge. Everything you need for thumb success!

With your thumb complete, you will soon be wearing your finished mittens–just as long as you don’t get distracted by a shiny new pattern, and forget to make the second mitten.

Happy Trinket Mittening!

Featured image by Jesse Wild Photography. All others by Arnall-Culliford Knitwear
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About The Author

We think Jen Arnall-Culliford is flat-out brilliant. Jen is one of the knitting world’s superb technical editors and teachers, and the star of the tutorial videos.

Cheerful. Cool headed. Supersmart. To take lessons from Jen ups our knitting game, every time.


  • Very helpful tips as always Jen! Thank you;)

  • The save article icon isn’t on this article…can we save it to our account?

    • Joy, that happens to me when I’m not logged in. For some reason the site logs me off and I have to go to “my account” and log back in. Then the “save” icon is there! Hope this helps;)

  • How does this work when you use double points for your mittens? thanks.

  • I was away from home, working on the solid portion of my latest pair of Trinket mittens when I reached the thumb shaping with no scrap yarn or accessories in my bag. The solution I came up with was to unlace an extra pair of running shoes I keep in my car, and use the lace to hold the six thumb stitches. It’s not a perfect answer, but it worked in a pinch, and might help somebody else out at some point. (And the plastic end of the lace — did you know it’s called an “aglet?” — makes it fairly easy to thread through the stitches being held!)

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