How To... Oatmeal & Cream by Alice Neal on the LoveKnitting blog

Published on November 13th, 2016 | by Alice Neal


Oatmeal and Cream: Delicious mitts from Alice Neal

A pair of pretty, simple fair isle mitts to keep the chill from your hands and leave your fingers free to take photographs, use your phone, eat your roast chestnuts… 

Oatmeal & Cream by Alice Neal

You will need:

  • 50g Millamia Naturally Soft Aran in Latte (203).
  • 50g Millamia Naturally Soft Aran in Ivory (221).
  • 5.5mm circular needle (longer, for the magic loop method. I recommend 80cm. The ones pictured are 60cm which doesn’t leave much loop).
  • 1 stitch marker.
  • A stitch holder or waste yarn for holding live stitches.
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.


  • K – knit.
  • P – purl.
  • K1FB – Knit one through the front and back loop of the next stitch, increasing by one.
  • PM – place marker.
  • SM – slip marker.
  • SSK – slip slip knit. Slip the next two stitches from the left-hand needle onto the right. Insert the left hand needle into the front of the two stitches and knit them together. (a decrease stitch).
  • K2tog – knit two together. Knit the next two stitches together as one. (a decrease stitch).

A word or two about magic loop on circular needles:

I prefer magic loop to double pointed needles. I’m quite happy with dpns but there is something about magic loop that, simply put, I just get along with better. Rather than four or five needles to juggle, the same two are always in use, generally with half the stitches on each, so essentially you are working in the round in two halves. There is the same danger of a little wider run where the stitches divide, but exactly as with dpns, you simply ensure that you pull the first couple of stiches quite tight to close the gap. More as we go…

Step 1: Using the Latte yarn, cast on 34 stitches. (Optional time saver: Place a marker at 17 so you know where to pull the magic loop through).

Here they are, ready to be divided:

Cast on 34 stitches

And here they are on two needles:

Cast on 34 stitches on two needles

Pull the needle with the working yarn on it, pushing the stitches down the needle-wire being careful to leave a loop between the two sets of stitches. Don’t let them join up.

Here, I am halfway through the first needle of stitches. I think of it as a figure of eight – there is a loop to the left and a loop to the right and the stitches are being worked in the middle.

Halfway through the first needle of stitches

Knit around, making sure not to twist the stitches when you join them up.

Step 2: Knit 17 rows of knit 1 (K1), purl 1 (P1) rib.

Here, the first round of K1, P1 rib is beginning. You can see the long stretch of yarn to the right, which would be quite a gap if not pulled tight with the first K1 stitch of the round:

First round of K1, P1 rib

The first round of K1 P1 rib is complete:

First round of K1 P1 rib is complete

The ribbing is well underway:

First round of ribbing

Step 3: Knit 3 rounds.

Step 4: Begin the thumb increases.

You do not need to place a marker for the beginning of the increases as it is the same as the beginning of the round.

Round 1: K1FB (* see below), K1, K1FB, PM,

It will look like this:

Oatmeal & Cream

Then knit to end of round.

* You can see K1FB illustrated in the next picture. The first loop has been worked and the right-hand needle is moving back to work through the back loop without pulling the stitch off the left-hand needle until both loops are worked:

Oatmeal & Cream by Alice Neal

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: K1FB, K to the stitch before the marker, K1FB, knit around.

Round 4: Knit.

Repeat rounds 3 and 4 until you have 13 stitches before the marker (44 stitches in all). This is the thumb gusset:

Oatmeal & Cream by Alice Neal on the LoveKnitting blog

Step 5: Separating the thumb.

Using a tapestry needle, put the 13 thumb gusset stitches on waste yarn (or a stitch holder, if you prefer):

Using a tapestry needle, put the 13 thumb gusset stitches

And cast on 5 stitches (36 in all):

Cast on 5 stitches

Knit around once.

Step 6: The hearts.

Then begin the fair isle chart below. It is a 12-stitch chart, so there are three repeats – a seamless circle of hearts.

Fair isle chart

The first row for reference:

Oatmeal & Cream by Alice Neal

The fair isle nearly finished:

Oatmeal & Cream by Alice Neal

When you have finished the fair isle chart, knit around twice.

Then purl around once.

Then cast off.

It will look like this:

Oatmeal & Cream mittens by Alice Neal

Step 7: The thumb.

Pick up the 13 live stitches from the waste yarn / stitch holder.

Pick up stitches

Pick up 5 stitches between the thumb and the body of the mitt, placing a marker after the first 2 stitches picked up:

Pick up 5 stitches

Divide the stitches so that there are 9 on each needle, with the 5 stitches picked up as the last 5 of the round.

Knit around.

Knit to the last 5 and SSK, SM, K1, K2tog.

Knit around to the last 4. SSK, remove marker and K2tog.

Knit around twice more.

Purl round.

Bind off.

Sew in ends and block (I use a clean tea towel under a gentle burst from a steam iron to relax the stitches enough to pull them gently into position).

Oatmeal & Cream mittens

The perfect winter quick knit!

Don’t forget to share your mitts with us on our Community!


About the Author

dreams her designs in both knitting and crochet. She loves natural fibres and fair isle techniques and adores the process of creating her ideas in wool! She is inspired by the natural beauty of the beaches and forests of Northumberland, the cold northern winters and the delicious mayhem of living in a house with her husband, five boys and two dogs.

Last updated: December 6th, 2016.

3 Responses to Oatmeal and Cream: Delicious mitts from Alice Neal

  1. Christina Martin says:

    Thank you. It has been a while since I knitted anything. Your patterns and instructions are easy to follow. Great thanks.
    Last big project for me was 2 ply baby shawl for new grandson. (Now 2 years old)
    I couldn’t find what I was looking for so used 2 different patterns and took what I needed to make a unique family shawl.

  2. Sandra Manning says:

    I am a bit confused with this pattern. It says to cast on 40 stitches, and the it says to cast on 34. I have the 40 and knit the three rows….

    • Siân says:

      Hello Sandra,

      Oh dear, well spotted! That is a bit confusing. I’ll have the blog team look into this and correct the post as soon as they can.

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