Crochet Pattern: Traditional Finnish Mittens

By A Guest Writer – 19 Comments

A Guest Post by Jolanta Gustafsson.

Finland is a northern land and it was always important to have warm clothing here. But in contrast to other northern countries, where the main technique to make clothes from wool was knitting, Finland is distinguished for its beautiful multicolored crocheted handicrafts.

The mittens that I made are inspired by the old mittens from the Ostrobothnian Museum’s collection, which are at least one hundred years old. I adapted the original pattern to a thicker yarn, shaped the mittens in my own way and added a chain-loop fringe edging. It may be interesting to know that the original mittens have 128 stitches in one round! There is also a more modern version of the same mittens – these have 64 stitches in one round. I reduced that number to 48.

The colors in the original mittens are red, green and white – red leaves and green border on a white background. The color combination that I have used is naturally white leaves and dark green border on a gray-green background. Feel free to use the colors that you like!

The most difficult part in this project is, in my opinion, to obtain the same gauge all the way through. So try to be aware of that from the beginning.

Skill Level:

Finished Size: Woman’s medium, 8.8″ (22 cm) circumference, 10″ (25 cm) tall without fringe

Light Weight Yarn (approximately 100 yards of main color, and 50 yards each of light and dark color)
Crochet Hook 7 (4.5 mm) or size needed to obtain the gauge
Stitch marker
Yarn needle
3 double-pointed needles size 3-6 (3-4 mm), straight cable needles or just bobby pins

Gauge: 22 sc and 18 rounds = 4″ (10 cm)

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Special Abbreviations:
Note: Please review these special abbreviations carefully before starting the pattern. The pattern is written unconventionally with these special abbreviations to simplify the multiple color changes required within the pattern.
8 sc – single crochet in each of next 8 stitches using main color
2 sc* – single crochet in each of next 2 stitches using a lighter color than the main color
2 sc** – single crochet in each of next 2 stitches using a darker color than the main color
[2 sc] – single crochet decrease in next 2 stitches
sk 6 – skip next 6 stitches
{ } – repeat instructions within braces as directed
/ – stitches at end of row (to the right of the symbol) are the total stitch count for the round

Pattern Notes:
All single crochet stitches are worked in back loops (except those on round 1, which are worked in chain stitches). Do not turn at end of round, work in continuous rounds. Mark last stitch on round 1 and remember to move the marker to the last stitch of each round.

When working in 2 colors, work over the unused yarn. With this method, you avoid loose strands in the back. Pull on the unused yarn a little now and then, so that it lies straight inside the stitches, but be careful – don’t tighten too much! For additional help with changing colors, please see the tutorial How to Change Colors in Crochet.

Each square on the chart represents one single crochet stitch. See also symbol explanations under the chart. The chart shows one half of the mitten body (for left hand) and one half of the thumb.

Click the chart to see full size!

Crochet Pattern: Traditional Finnish Mittens
Note: Please refer to the color chart to the right while working the pattern. Click on the chart to see the full size. The below instructions will help guide you while working with the color chart. Not all rounds will be provided in the written instructions, so be sure to refer to the chart for the color pattern.

Mitten Body
Edging: { ch 13, sl st in 12th ch from hook to form chain-loop fringe } 24 times.
Round 1: ch 1, { 1 sc in ch with sl st, 1 sc in next ch } 24 times. Place a marker in the last stitch of the round.
Continue next round in first sc on round 1. Make sure that the round is not twisted.
Round 2: 48 sc
Round 3: { 2 sc, 2 sc* } 12 times
Round 4: 1 sc, 2 sc*, { 2 sc, 2 sc*, } 11 times, 1 sc
Round 5: { 2 sc*, 2 sc } 12 times
Round 6: 48 sc
Round 7: 48 sc
Round 8: { 1 sc**, 2 sc, 7 sc**, 1 sc, 2 sc**, 2 sc, 7 sc**, 1 sc, 1 sc** } twice.
Round 9 – 15: continue to work from the chart changing colors as indicated.
Round 16: { 8 sc, 1 sc*, 11 sc, 1 sc*, 3 sc } twice.
Round 17 – 22: continue to work from the chart changing colors as indicated.
Round 23 for left mitten: 17 sc, ch 6, sk 6, 25 sc.
Round 23 for right mitten: 25 sc, ch 6, sk 6, 17 sc.
Round 24 – 37: continue to work from the chart changing colors as indicated.
Round 38: { [2 sc], 20 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 44 sc
Round 39: 44 sc.
Round 40: { [2 sc], 11 sc, 1 sc*, 6 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 40 sc
Round 41: { 6 sc, 4 sc*, 1 sc, 1 sc*, 8 sc } twice. / 40 sc
Round 42: { [2 sc], 3 sc, 4 sc*, 1 sc, 1 sc*, 7 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 36 sc
Round 43: { [2 sc ], 6 sc , 1 sc *, 1 sc, 3 sc*, 3 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 32 sc
Round 44: { [2 sc], 3 sc, 2 sc*, 2 sc , 4 sc*, 1 sc , [2 sc] } twice. / 28 sc
Round 45: { [2 sc], 1 sc, 3 sc*, 6 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 24 sc
Round 46: { [2 sc], 8 sc , [2 sc] } twice. / 20 sc
Round 47: { [2 sc ], 6 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 16 sc
Round 48: { [2 sc], 4 sc , [2 sc] } twice. / 12 sc
Leave the remaining loop on the hook. Cut the yarn leaving about 12″ (30 cm) long tail. { Insert hook in back loop of next st, yo, pull up loop } 6 times leaving all loops on hook. Move all loops onto double-pointed needle. Repeat that with next 6 stitches. Thread the tail into a yarn needle and draw it through all loops. Pull the tail firmly to tighten the hole. Fasten off.

Round 1 for left mitten: Attach the yarn in 18th sc on round 24. Work along the edge of the thumb opening: 2 sc in 17th st on round 23 (sc just before ch-6 sp), 6 sc in 18th to 23rd sc on round 22, 2 sc in 24th st on round 23 (sc just after ch-6 sp), 6 sc in 23rd to 18th sc on round 24. / 16 sc
Round 1 for right mitten: Attach the yarn in 31st sc on round 22. Work along the edge of the thumb opening: 2 sc in 32nd st on round 23 (sc just after ch-6 sp), 6 sc in 31st to 26th sc on round 24, 2 sc in 25th st on round 23 (sc just before ch-6 sp), 6 sc in 26th to 31st sc on round 22. / 16 sc
Continue next round in first sc on round 1.
Round 2-9: 16 sc.
Round 10: { [2 sc], 4 sc, [2 sc] } twice. / 12 sc
Round 11: { [2 sc], 2 sc, [2 sc ] } twice. / 8 sc
Close the hole using the same method as described earlier for mitten body.
Fasten off and weave in all the ends. Feel free to block the mittens to get a nicer look.

Jolanta is a teacher, a knitter, a crocheter, and an eager Crochet Spot visitor from Finland.

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  1. Cami says:

    Jolanta, This pattern is completely incredible! I LOVE the pattern and I CAN NOT WAIT to make a pair!! So fun, culturally rich, beautiful, and exciting!! THANK YOU!!

  2. Jolanta Gustafsson says:

    Thank you, Cami! I am so glad that you liked the mittens! Hope you have fun while crocheting them!

  3. Grace says:

    I simply can’t wait to make myself a pair of these. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Beautiful, and thanks for sharing the tradition of Finnish mittens.

  5. Hello f rom Minnesta U.SA its winter & cold now. Perfect time to try these love ly mittens

    • Cynthia says:

      Me, too, especially after the weather changed this last weekend! I’m planning on doing these up in a nice wool.

      Thanks for the design! 😀

      Then I’ll have to shrink it down to kid size (pre-teen for mine).

  6. MysticSeer says:

    These are lovely. Now to find the perfect yarn to make them with! Thank you so much for sharing your pattern.

  7. Linda Gibbs says:

    Jolanta – Thanks so much for contributing your article and pattern!! Over the past few years, I have been exploring my family’s genealogy, and my paternal grandmother was Finnish. It means so much to me to find out about Finnish crochet and that I will be connecting with my grandmother and her heritage when I make this pair of mittens!

  8. Jolanta Gustafsson says:

    Hi, everybody! Thank you very much for your response! It’s very interesting for me to hear from you and to see that you have been inspired by these traditional mittens as much as I was when I saw the original ones! Best luck with your projects, and please feel free to ask if you need help!

  9. Wendy Geoghan says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern! Can’t wait to try it. They are so pretty.

  10. Erin says:

    Thank you for sharing your traditional Finnish mitten pattern. They are lovely.

  11. Meg says:

    Those are absolutely beautiful! I’ve always been nervous about trying to make mittens (my first attempt looked horrifying) but now I think I may try again 🙂

  12. Jane says:

    Hello Jolanta–
    Thank you for the beautiful pattern. I made these mittens for my sister-in-law for Christmas, and they were really fun to make. You can see a picture of them on my Ravelry page–I’m jcnesmith on Ravelry.

    Will you share your pattern on Ravelry? I think many Ravellers would enjoy making the mittens!

    Thanks again for your work on this pattern!

  13. Hello Jane!
    They look great!!! Absolutely perfect!!! I am so glad you made them, and just in time before Xmas! It was very interesting to read your notes about the working process – so good that you checked the gauge, and that you gave another try working in back loops and using three colors! THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us know about your mittens and the working process!!!
    What concerns sharing this pattern on Ravelry, so it’s usually the publisher who makes the decision were the pattern can be shared. Possibly I will share some other patterns on Ravelry, but right know I am sharing my patterns on my online gallery ”Woolen Mitten” that I recently opened on Facebook. You and everybody are very welcome there! I hope you’ll find ideas and inspiration!

  14. Karina says:

    Jolanta, thanks so much for this mitten pattern. I have been looking for a traditional pattern like this for a while, and yours is perfect. Your Facebook page gallery is absolutely gorgeous! Please let us know if you have a Ravelry or Etsy page. All your mittens are beautiful!

    • Jolanta Gustafsson says:

      Thank you, Karina! It’s so fun that you like my mittens! Thanks also for asking about Ravelry or Etsy page. I am planning to be more active on Ravelry, in fact it was my New Year resolution to get to know Ravelry better. My username there is jolgust – I have nothing interesting there now, but check it later! 🙂

  15. Kim says:

    Hi Jolanta,
    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your lovely mitten pattern. I made a pair of these and I love how they turned out. You can see photos of them on my Ravelry page:

    I also love your Facebook page!

    • Jolanta Gustafsson says:

      Thank you, Kim, for your kind words and for letting me know about your mittens! They are beautiful! VERY BEAUTIFUL!!! So well done, and I love your color choices!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, I have now made this pattern twice, and have been very satisfied both times. I live where winters are quite cold, so I actually made a liner out of some fleece for added with warmth. Amazing pattern, and so much easier then it looks. Thanks again!

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