Here's a treat for you courtesy of Simply Knitting magazine – a luxury fingerless mittens knitting pattern! Mary Henderson created these Fair Isle fingerless gloves after a visit to the Shetland Museum and Archives, which houses many examples of traditional Shetland knitting, including the Sheila McGregor Collection. Mary’s Fair Isle fingerless gloves, worked in red, white and blue Shetland 4ply wool, features a different pattern on the front and back of the mitts, and can be worn either way round. Mary has used a Shetland heritage 4 ply yarn for her Fair Isle fingerless gloves, which makes them super luxurious and authentic, but to see if you are able to substitute a different yarn, or to understand how the terms used in this fingerless mittens knitting pattern relate to American terms, take a look at our yarn weight conversion chart.


Fore more Fair Isle patterns, check to our Fair Isle cushion cover, our Fair Isle Mug hug and our Fair Isle knitting pattern: hat and gloves.

fair isle fingerless gloves close2

Fair Isle fingerless gloves size

Hand circumference: 19½cm (7¾in)

Length: 20cm (8in)

Fair Isle fingerless gloves yarn

Jamieson & Smith Shetland Heritage
(4ply weight; 100% Shetland wool; 110m/120yds per 25g ball)

A Madder; 1 x 25g ball

B Indigo; 1 x 25g ball

C Snaa White; 1 x 25g ball

Stockist Jamieson & Smith 01595 693579

Fair Isle fingerless gloves needles and accessories

  • 1 set 2.75mm (UK 12/US 2) double-pointed needles (DPNs) or circular needles, 80cm long for the Magic Loop method
  • 1 set 3mm (UK 11/US 2-3) DPNs, or circular needles, 80cm long for the Magic Loop method
  • 3 stitch markers (1 different to designate beginning of round)
  • Small stitch holder for thumb stitches

Fair Isle fingerless gloves tension

30 sts and 35 rows to 10cm over Fair Isle patt on 3mm needles

To learn more about tension and how important it is, see our article on knitting tension squares.

Fair Isle fingerless gloves chart

fair isle fingerless gloves chart

Fair Isle fingerless gloves pattern note

Both mitts are worked the same so that each mitt shows a different side when worn. If you prefer your mitts to be mirrored, place the thumb increases at stitch 1 of the Hand Chart on the second mitt.

fair isle fingerless gloves full

Fair Isle fingerless gloves knitting pattern

Fingerless mittens (both alike)


Using 2.75mm needles and yarn A, cast on 58 sts.

Pm and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist sts.

Work cuff in rib as foll:

Rnds 1 to 5: (K1tbl, P1) to end.

Change to yarn B.

Rnd 6: Knit.

Rnds 7 to 11: (K1tbl, P1) to end.

Change to yarn A.

Rnd 12: Knit.

Repeat rounds 1 to 11 once more.


Change to 3mm needles.

Begin working Hand and Thumb Chart as foll:

(Note: stitch 31, rnd 1 of Hand Chart is the start of the Thumb Chart.)

Rnd 1: Work Hand Chart sts 1-30, pm, work st 31 of Hand Chart as row 1 of Thumb Chart, pm, work Hand Chart to end.

Continue in patt as set, working Thumb Chart between the mrks until row 24 of Thumb Chart is complete. Place 21 thumb sts on a holder.

Next rnd: Continue working Hand Chart, casting on 1 st over gap left by thumb sts.

Continue working Hand Chart until 4 full repeats (40 rnds) have been worked.

Change to 2.75mm needles and yarn A.

Work rnds 1 to 12 of (K1tbl, P1) rib as for cuff.

Cast off in rib.

fair isle fingerless gloves close1


Place 21 sts from holder onto 3 DPNs. Using yarn A, pick up and knit 1 st into the cast-on st at the gap. Join for working in the round. 22 sts.

Next rnd: Knit.

Change to yarn B.

Rnds 1-5: Work (K1tbl, P1) rib for 5 rounds.

Cast off in rib.


Weave in loose ends. Block by steaming lightly, following any yarn care instructions on the ball band.

Download the Fair Isle fingerless gloves pattern

If you prefer a PDF of the Fair Isle fingerless gloves pattern that you can save on your computer, or easily print out to use offline, click this link to download the fingerless mittens knitting pattern. The download is an A4 PDF with 2 pages.

fair isle fingerless gloves sq

More like the Fair Isle fingerless gloves

If you have enjoyed this fingerless mittens knitting pattern, we have plenty more free knitting patterns for you to discover on Gathered! Take a look at our free toy dog knitting pattern and our free poppy knitting pattern. For more cosy accessories, you should check out our fox slippers and our Garter stitch cowl.


mary henderson
Mary HendersonKnitting Designer

Mary Henderson is knitting designer whose work is frequently published in Simply Knitting magazine and The Knitter magazine. She also works as a knitting tutor, and has been teaching other people how to knit since 2007, tutoring at Shetland’s annual Wool Week. Shetland’s Fair Isle style is an important influence in her designs. One of her designs, knit Alcott – a Fair Isle vest/tank top published in 2013 continues to sell to knitters all over the world today. Mary posts images of samples and ideas on Instagram – Mary Henderson Knitting.

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