Poetry Mittens to Knit

When the language of handmade isn’t enough, spell out the words as you knit!

Veronica Patterson and Jane Fournier Dec 23, 2022 - 3 min read

Poetry Mittens to Knit Primary Image

Add your favorite verse to a pair of mittens. Photos by Joe Coca

Worked in the round of fingering-weight yarn, our brightly colored poetry mittens warm more than just your hands on a chilly day. If you wish to design your own mittens, sources of suitable poems are many. Use the poem that Veronica Patterson composed with mittens in mind (see below), knit up an old favorite, or create your own poem. When you know the gauge and size of the mitten you want to knit, draw an outline on graph paper and work the letters of the poem into the space.

The fine detail and absence of a rhythm in the lettered pattern make this a challenging project, best for knitters with experience in multicolored knitting. You’ll also need to know how to graft stitches together for a neat finish at the tip of the mitten.

PieceWork’s Poetry Mittens to Knit. Mittens knitted by Marge Yee-Norrander

Mitten Verse

Put on your coat,
scarf, gay mittens
knitted of sun and sky
to walk in white hills.
We won’t go in till
drifts erase our way.
When snow swirls
we begin to dream
of dancing firelight
and hasten gaily home,
clapping hands
and words to
warm them.

—Veronica Patterson

The pattern for Veronica Patterson and Jane Fournier’s poetry mittens is available in PieceWork’s January/February 2008 issue, our second annual Historical Knitting issue. Find more stunning mittens to knit in the January/February 2017 issue, too. For a preview, see “Yearning to Knit Scandinavian Mittens.”

Also, remember that if you are an active subscriber to PieceWork magazine, you have unlimited access to previous issues, including January/February 2008. See our help center for the step-by-step process on how to access them.

Veronica Patterson is a poet, essayist, and editor, who teaches writing at the University of Northern Colorado. She was the founding editor of PieceWork and helped direct the magazine through 1996. Her full-length collections of poetry include Swan, What Shores? (New York: New York University Press, 2000) and How to Make a Terrarium (Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland State University Poetry Center Press, 1987).

Originally published October 25, 2018; updated December 23, 2022.