Hello, People of the Pod

Pattern download link for most recent version, Dec 15th 2013: Podster mitts PDF

For months now I’ve had this pattern brewing up in the back of my brain, just waiting for the opportune moment for me to cast on and write it out. After a while I started to think, “surely, someone else has done this already.” And it’s entirely possible that someone has, but if that’s true I haven’t managed to encounter it yet. This is a fingering-weight glove pattern, but more than that it is a flip-top, convertible glove/mitt pattern (glitten? mlove?). “But Glenna,” you are saying, “that’s nothing new, psh, I’ve seen that before.” Well, this is a convertible glove with the addition of one wee little modification: an i-Pod thumb:


This modified thumb is intended to solve the extremely decadent and modern problem (because really, as problems go this is about eleven millionth down on the list of things that need fixing) of wanting to use your digital music player in cold weather, without having to remove your whole mitten and get cold fingers in the process. Digital music players come in lots of different styles these days, and they all have buttons and switches to press, but the unique thing about the i-Pod is that the little dial relies on the touch of your actual skin. You can pound away at it with your gloved fingers as much as you want, but after a certain point it won’t work unless you expose your actual thumb and fingertips, which means ripping your glove off of your hand in order to change tunes or podcasts.

And so I finally said, “heck with this, I am a knitter, I can solve this problem.” So a couple of weeks ago I marched right over to my stash and pulled out a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy (you know, as you do), and started knitting away. Getting the little peekaboo thumb just as I wanted it took a couple of attempts, but I’m pretty pleased with this particular result. Time will tell once the real fall cool weather starts to sink in, but by Jove I think we’ve got it.


This is, at first blush, a flip-top glove/mitt pattern. At the end of the instructions are three potential modifications to this, the first of which is the ‘podster’ peekaboo thumb, which fashions a ribbing-covered gap over the inside stitches of the thumb. This means that it is snug enough to still fit to your thumb, but loose enough for you to peek the tip of your thumb through and expose it for helpful music player control. The other two modifications are quite logical and not terribly unusual in the slightest, and explain how you could work this alternately as a pair of plain gloves, or plain mittens. So, these instructions are essentially 4-patterns-in-1. (Note: I only worked the modified thumb on one glove. You may choose to do either one, or both, and choose whichever thumb suits you best. Or just screw the fancy thumb and make normal gloves, that’s cool too.)

With the sample shown here I’ve used Dream in Color Smooshy, which is a multi-ply fingering weight yarn with a bit of squish to it. At the pattern gauge of 32 sts/44 rows over 4 inches, it produces a moderately snug gauge (in other words: not loose or drapey, but not so thick that it stands on its own), so if substituting yarns, try to choose something that behaves similarly. Regarding sizing, I have written the pattern instructions for two sizes, loosely intended for a Women’s Small and a Women’s Large/Men’s small. I made the larger size (shown here) and they fit my 7.75-ins hand circumference quite well. If in doubt, measure your hand circumference (or the hand of whoever is receiving these), and if it is 7 ins or bigger I recommend going with the larger size.

One thing to keep in mind for these instructions is that, while I direct you to work in the round and tell you what needle size/gauge to use, I do not tell you what specific method to use. I am assuming that if you are knitting this pattern that you have done at least one project’s worth of knitting in the round, that you know what method you used to do so, and that you are comfortable using this method again. You can execute this on Double Pointed Needles (DPN)s, Magic Loop, or knitting on 2 circulars – it is entirely up to you. (For the record, I worked this sample up using Magic Loop. These days I slide back and forth from DPNs to Magic Loop pretty fluidly.)


The other thing you’ll notice is that I don’t provide any finishing instructions for things like buttons, snaps, velcro, or other means of fastening the mitten top in the “down” position. This is, I will admit, partly out of sheer laziness, but also because I have to say that when I wear flip-top mitts like this, they spend about 90% of the time in the “up” or closed position, and I can deal with a little bit of flopping around when they’re not. You’re more than welcome to take this step, however, and it would be fairly easy to add a fastening of some kind to the back of each wrist.


You may download the pattern instructions for free here from my blog, or here in my Ravelry store if you are a Ravelry member, which will also allow you to store in your Ravelry library.

If you find value in this pattern, I would humbly suggest taking the dollar amount that you think it is worth, and donating that amount to your preferred charitable organization (who are, most likely, trying to solve problems that are a little higher on the list than cold podster fingers). I hope that you will enjoy knitting these, and that the gloves keep your hands (or those of a few gift recipients, perhaps?) toasty warm and technologically savvy all season long.

Well, at least until the super cold weather hits, at which time I will be running screaming back to the thrummed mittens and praying for thaw. But these can still live happily in my coat pocket for when I need them – and hopefully, yours too.






  1. Oh My Goodness. I am on a mitten and glove mission right now so THANK YOU! Nice!

  2. barefootrooster · ·

    LOVE. i need some of these, as the ipod problem did not keep me from wearing knitted mittens on my walk to and from campus last winter — rather, it kept me from listening to my ipod. problem solved. thank you.

  3. You have totally made my day! I was sitting around wondering how to make such a thing so I can gift it to a wonderful friend. And for free???? Yes! YOU are awesome!

  4. This is the coolest free thing from a blog EVER! You are so thoughtful to offer this to your readers. I was planning on making a donation to a local food bank–now I will up the amount because of your request. Thank you so very much!

  5. haha, I love this thumb idea!! what a lovely pattern, and damn if that smooshy yarn doesn’t look utterly amazing knitted up into those charming mitts…..

  6. Great idea, thank you 🙂

  7. Very nice! Thank you.

  8. *_*

    Girl, you make me wish that I could knit; that’s just brilliant!

  9. Fab! I’m thinking this might be a good pattern for handspun too.

  10. In 4 ply, they can be nice under-mittens in teh super cold weather. So you only have to take off the top mitten to deal with the technology 🙂

    Cool idea. Might have to add to the queue for the kid in my house who has a newly-acquired i-pod.

  11. Clever – totally clever – I’ve never seen it before!

  12. Such a great idea – especially for the gift giving season. Thanks so much. It is great to have a blogger offer something for free. So many have turned their blogs into storefronts.

  13. Love these! They are perfect for my husband who runs with his iPod in the morning year round. Thank you for offering them to us for free. I will add a little extra the next time I make a donation. I’m off to add them to my queue! 🙂

  14. You rock. Thanks so much for the pattern. I’ll add it to my growing list of ‘to do’. Yes you could have sold this, but thanks for offering it for free. Kindness 🙂

  15. Very nice! I had a pair like this, designed by my favourite auntie, but in worsted weight. They were custom made in our school colours for that uniquely Canadian experience of playing the clarinet in a marching band during the sub-zero Santa Claus Parade season. You can add that to the list of activities that require intermittent access to a bare thumb in the freezing cold!

  16. You are a genius! My youngest daughter now lives in Chicago and has been asking for something like this. A donation will be gratefully made in your name to Oxfam.
    Thank you! Thank you!

  17. Perfect- I was just thinking about making something like this, but the added podster-thumb is genius (and possibly quite necessary as I will be spending a lot of time waiting for train connections when I need to run away from my teaching)

  18. […] I don't like to think about it, but mitten season isn't too far away. One of my favourite Canadian knitters has created a pattern for "flip-top" mitts and she's sharing it for free! […]

  19. So smart! I love the pattern.

  20. Thank you! My daughter just bought herself an iPod Touch and lives in Ontario, so I think I have a knitting project ahead of me. thanks!

  21. Thank you! My son’s girlfriend asked me for a pair of fingerlessgloves with a mitten covering…I think she’ll love this even more. THey just moved to Northern Michigan, so it will be getting mighty cold soon…need to get crackin’ on these. I’ll be making a donation to OFA when I send in my red scarf in a week or so and I’ll be upping it a bit.

  22. Thank you for the great pattern, Glenna!

  23. […] ordered pizza and hung out in our room.  I taught Mom Magic Loop, and she started on her very own Podster Gloves with some yarn & needles she picked up at the […]

  24. thanks so much
    love this pattern better than the one i paid for

    have made flip top gloves

    but couldnt manage thumb

    im ever so grateful wonderful christmas presents

    and it is beginning to get cold

    mana house gets my donation


  25. I love this design! I wanted to make a pair for my teenage brother, however, his hands are big. Do you think the larger size would stretch to fit a 8-9″ hand? How could I adjust the pattern to work for larger hands? Thanks!

  26. […] my darling Podster mitts (available as a free download – either in my Ravelry store or from my blog post here) are still there and still a pair. I pulled them out and have been glad to have them around this […]

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