Humber Star Mitten Pattern


These gansey-style mittens are constructed as Norwegian mittens, but instead of color work, the motifs are created with the classic knit-purl combinations of the British gansey.


The main motif, the Humber Star, is the focal point of the mitten fronts and was a popular feature on some of the ganseys worn on the inland waterways of England in the nineteenth century. I wanted to include this iconic motif in these mittens, using the classic Norwegian Selbu Mittens as a template. Rather than using two colors, as Norwegian mittens are traditionally worked, this mitten uses knits and purls to create a textured design.

These mittens are knitted from the cuff to the top in the round. They are constructed in the manner of classic Norwegian mittens, A thumb gusset is constructed on the palm, and after placing the gusset stitches on waste yarn, stitches are cast on with the Cable cast-on method to replace some of those removed stitches. A three-stitch faux seam pattern is worked on either side of the mitten from the beginning of the thumb gusset up to the end of the tip shaping. The pointed tip of the mitten is decreased in the Norwegian style, 4 stitches each round.

The pattern includes full charts of each size of the mittens, a schematic, a list of abbreviations, and technique boxes with photos to illustrate certain methods.


Featured Techniques

Cable Cast-on, Make 1 Increases, Center Double Decreases, Norwegian thumb gussets and tip shaping.


Finished Sizes

Woman’s Small (Woman’s Large/Man’s Medium, Man’s Large).

Hand circumference: 71/2 (81/2, 91/2)” (19 [21.5, 24] cm).

Length: 81/2 (101/2, 113/4)” (21.5 [26.5, 30] cm).



30 sts and 44 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in St st.




Yarn: #2 Sport weight: 205 (286, 363) yds (187 [262, 332] m). Shown here: Sincere Sheep Cormo Sport (100% wool; 400 yds [366 m]/4 oz [113 g]): Deepest Desire, 1 (1, 1) skein.

Needles:  Size U.S. 11/2 (2.5 mm): set of 4 or 5 double pointed (dpn).

Notions: Stitch markers (m), stitch holders or waste yarn, tapestry needle



Handwash with good quality wool soap, lay flat to dry.