January 29, 2021

If there was a competition for the most popular accessory pattern in the Ysolda knitting pattern range, the Mīlēt mittens would win every time, hands down. Knitters love these traditional Norwegian Selbu knitted colourwork mittens that combine a snowflake motif on the cuff with mittens that look like snow is falling on a dark night. The very, very cute teensy snowflake on the thumb is another reason these are a firm favourite and there’s secret ribbing hidden in the cuffs so your mittens stay on, even in the most extreme snowball fights.

Two hands wearing grey, white and red colourwork mittens are clasped together holding a pale grey stone.

Social media is bursting with beautiful versions of Mīlēt and using just three colours there are endless combinations. Have you made a pair? If you just finished a pair of Mīlēt mittens and aren't sure what to knit next, we have some suggestions of patterns that we think will inspire you to continue knitting colourwork, try out a new technique or two and keep hands warm. We're here to help.

Images of a shawl, cardigan, socks and mittens laid flat on a white background.


A pair navy and grey colourwork fingerless gloves lay flat on a moody blue background. Next to them are piles of blue and grey vintage buttons.

If colourwork mitten patterns are your new favourite thing, then the Belyse mittens gives you that, but with a fun new technique to try at the same time. Do you find the idea of knitting fingers a bit daunting? The clever construction of these gloves uses an icord to create the fingers, so they’re worked flat but with no seaming. This innovative technique is clearly illustrated and was first developed by Meg Swansen, building on techniques developed by her mother, Elizabeth Zimmermann.

The colourwork design features a classic star motif and the high contrast two colour palette are inspired by mittens from the Selbu region of Norway. Very unusually for knitting history that is often lacking in documentation, we’re able to attribute the first of these mittens to Marit Guldseth, who began making them in 1856, starting a tradition that would spread around the world.

Sound like fun? Belyse works up beautifully in two colours to De Rerum Natura Ulysse, a sustainably produced French merino yarn which is woolly, soft, and amazing in colourwork patterns.


Matching adult and kid sweaters hang on wooden clothes hangers, overlapping against a wall. Both sweaters are grey, with a darker grey and orange colourwork yoke pattern.

Maybe you want to knit some more colourwork, but are looking for a larger project? Ysolda’s Corstorphine cardigan design is a great option for a stranded colourwork garment, at a gauge that means you won’t have to wait until next winter to wear it. It’s a cute twist on a traditional Icelandic Lopapeysa featuring little fox faces on the yoke, and sized from child sizes right up to adult. (Matching sweaters, anyone?!)

Knit up in sticky Léttlopi means it’s a good if you’re new to steeking (cutting your knitting to create the front opening). If you’re unsure about this technique which really isn’t as scary as it sounds, we have a steeking tutorial here to help you through.

It's easy to knit up a Corstrophine for anyone in your family with one our kits which includes all the yarn you need for your size and a digital copy of the pattern. You can find your kit here.


A model with short pale hair stands against a brick wall in the bright sunshine. They are wearing dark clothes, and a pale grey shawl with blue contrast edging is around their neck.

If you’re looking for a bit of a change, then the Fornjót shawl is a fun, intuitive knit with a little bit of colourwork thrown in. It’s a huge favourite in our team with lots of the team having knit one or queuing it up for this Spring! Fornjót uses slipped stitches to blend the contrast edging into the main body of the shawl. As it’s knit from side to side, starting with the long edge you’ll get the satisfaction of the rows getting shorter the more you knit.

We'd love to see this in one our favourite snuggly shawl yarns, De Rerum Natura Ulysse, or in the rich hand-dyed shades of Neighborhood Fiber Co's Capital Luxury Sport.


A model wears grey colourwork socks and teal trousers, while snuggled on an armchair holding a book. There are twinkling lights in the background and they sit on a fluffy white blanket.

Obviously it’s not just hands that need wool, but toes too! Cold feet is an easy problem to solve if you have wool socks, and for us, the Hugni socks are usually the answer. They’re worked in an unusually heavy yarn for socks, so will keep your toes warm but should also hold up well if you like to wander wooden floors or slide down the hallway.

The cuffs features a simple stranded colourwork pattern and the contrast colour is used for both heels and toes for a classic book sock look. There are three, sizes, two lengths, and extra squishy heels. Feet deserve colourwork too!

We've been knitting these up in Rauma Strikkegarn, a fabulously woolly DK yarn that means you'll have cosy toes in no time.


A pair of camel coloured fingerless mitts with a cable pattern lie flat on top of an orange cabled piece of fabric. They lie on a wooden surface.

If you’re a mitten lover and looking for something completely different, then Caru would be a nice one to try. These cute fingerless mittens knit up quickly and make great gifts, and feature a beautiful cable pattern that’s cleverly mirrored on each hand which creates a new pattern when laid next to each other. It’s the kind of beautiful and subtle detail that we love!

The cables were loosely inspired by some of the cables in Norah Gaughan’s excellent Knitted Cable Sourcebook and with easy to follow charts they would be the perfect project if you’re looking to develop your cabling technique.

De Rerum Natura Ulysse would be a great choice for these little mitts, or maybe try Rauma Finull PT2 - it's hardwearing and has the perfect stitch definition for cable patterns.

Need some help getting started?

If you're looking to refresh your memory with techniques, our range of tutorials covers everything from cast ons, colourwork, shaping and everything in between. By clicking the free tutorials link here you'll find some of the basic skills and tips you'll need as well as even more pattern suggestions.

Have you knit any of these patterns? We'd love to know why you chose them so please do let us know in the comments.

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