In the next six weeks or so, I hope to knit several more pairs of mittens. I'm developing a formula using a generic mitten pattern. I'll be using Lamb's Pride Worsted for all the mittens, changing the sizes by changing the size of the double point needles I use (size 6 for children 4-6, size 7 for children 7-9 and size 8 for children 10-12).
I would like to make each pair unique, using different colors and pattern stitches.
My generic pattern begins with casting on 28 stitches divided on three dp needles (divided on the three needles thus: 10-8-10).The cuff can be anywhere from 10-14 rounds or more. This is my first opportunity for pattern and color variations.
Then there are four rounds: in the first I increase 2 sts evenly spaced leaving me with 30 sts (10-10-10), followed by 3 knit rounds. Here is another opportunity for a color change.
Now the thumb gusset as follows:
Round 1: K3, place marker, m1, K2, m1, place marker, knit around (4 sts between markers).
Round 2: K around.
Continue until there are 10 sts between markers.
Remove thumb stitches: K3, place 10 sts between markers on a holder, cast on 2, and continue around.
This is my third opportunity for a color change.
Now the fun part! K 16 (19) rounds. Here I can do a variety of color changes and stitch patterns.
And lastly, I shape the end:
*K4, K2 tog* around.
K 1 round.
*K3, K2 tog* around.
K 1 round.
*K2, K2 tog* around.
K 1 round.
*K1, K2 tog* around.
K2 tog all the way around.
Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.
More opportunities for color changes here in these 8 rounds.
Lastly, I knit the thumbs, my last opportunity for a color change.
Pick up 10 sts from the holder, putting 5 on needle 1 and 5 on needle 2.
Pick up 4 stitches from the thumb opening; the 2 cast on plus one from either side.
Starting with needle 1, K 9 sts, K sts 10 and 11 together, K2, K st 12 together with stitch 1 of next round for a total of 12 thumb stitches.
K around on 12 sts for 10 rounds.
K 2 tog all the way around 6 sts.
Break yarn leaving an 8-inch end.
Draw through 6 remaining stitches and pull tight.
There are also dozens of free mitten patterns online. Here's a good place to start.