Bits and bobs

Ravelry Design Spotlight

We’re both the kind of knitters to have more than one project on the go. Usually there’s a sweater of some description underway, which can feel like it’s taking an age to complete. We’d go insane if these larger projects weren’t peppered with smaller, more instant gratification knits.

One such knit is the Camp Out Fingerless Mitts, by Tante Ehm. They’re such a fab, quick knit. With several different yarn options, they’re great for stash-busting and you’ll run them up in next to no time.

Camp Out Fingerless Mitts


Camp Out Fingerless Mitts is a free-to-download design on Ravelry by Tante Ehm. Originally an Aran weight design, the directions have been revised to now include an option to use either Aran, worsted or sport weight yarn.

The mitts are worked in two directions.  The hand portion is worked flat in garter stitch, then stitches are picked up and worked in rounds for the thumb and wrist portion.

There’s no denying how much we enjoy hearing about how other makers came to love their craft of choice.  So never ones to waste an opportunity, we got in touch with Tante Ehm to ask her a little about her crafting journey and how her most popular design came into being.

Tell us about how you discovered knitting?

Let’s see… I became a selfish knitter when…in November 2002, my best friend started knitting garter stitch scarves and suggested I join her for a trip to the LYS. I was so inspired! I bought yarn for and knit a garter stitch scarf. A couple days later I returned to the LYS with the Vogue Knitting Winter 2002 magazine and bought (inappropriate) yarn for the Peplum Pullover by James Coviello. Even though I didn’t follow their yarn recommendations, the ladies at the LYS were so encouraging and said ‘Go for it!’ That sweater had it all: lace, cables, short rows, slipped stitches, ruffles, charts… Thanks to YouTube knitting tutorials I was able to figure things out. Three weeks later I was wearing the sweater! I was hooked! I still intend to knit that sweater with appropriate yarn. It’s so beautiful.

So how did the Camp Out Fingerless Mitts design come into being?

It’s all about the yarn! One summer we were camping on an Oregon beach and it was hot during the day but so cold at night. I needed mitts – ones that I could wear while eating a roasted marshmallow. I had just bought some Noro Kureyon at Knit Purl while passing through Portland and was fascinated by the colour transitions. I cast on and knit a few centimetres of garter stitch, and decided it could be the basis for some fingerless mitts. After I posted photos of my improvised mitts on Ravelry I got messages requesting the pattern. Eventually, I wrote down the pattern as I reknit them. I was so shocked when I saw the first project page that wasn’t mine! I’m still shocked when I see how many downloads there have been! I have made countless pairs. The English version now includes directions for three weights of yarn. Thanks to Ravelry, fellow knitters have volunteered to translate Camp Out Fingerless Mitts into 9 languages (with German coming soon). I am thrilled when people want to use the pattern to teach classes or sell their handknit mitts.

Tante Ehm, is an unusual name, can you tell us more about it?

I use the name Tante Ehm for the designs. Tante, which means aunt, (Scandinavian heritage) and I became an aunt the same time I started knitting, so it seemed appropriate. And Ehm is how I think the letter ‘M’ would be spelled, as my last name starts with ‘M’. (silly, I know…)

How many pairs of Camp Out Fingerless Mitts have you made yourself?

I did a search for ‘Camp Out’ on my project page and I count 10 pairs!

A little Camp Out Fingerless Mitts trivia for you

  • The design has been available on Ravelry since May 2010
  • In that time there have been over 3,619 pairs of Camp Out Fingerless Mitts projects uploaded on to Ravelry
  • The design is popular with handspinners; currently 17 of the projects listed have been made using handspun yarn.
  • There have been over 2,700 projects listed this year so far.
  • Noro Kureyon, the yarn Tante Ehm originally used in her inaugrual pair of mitts is till the most popular yarn of choice.  There are 394 pairs of mitts listed as having used it on Ravelry.
  • Noro Silk Garden is the second most popular yarn choice.
  • Camp Out Fingerless Mitts is available in English, French, Norwegian, Japanese, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish and German.
  • Camp Out Fingerless Mitts is a fantastic design for all colourways, solids, semi-solids, speckles, tweed, variegated, multi-coloured or in your face neon – everything works.

Tante Ehm currently has twenty designs on Ravelry, which include some very versatile pieces.  She is also a prolific maker and her project page is chock-a-block with lovely things.  Some of our favourites include her Mohairmesa, Treacle and Drift.

Is there anything nicer than looking through other makers project pages for inspiration?

We had great fun looking through all of the Camp Out Fingerless Mitts project pages on Ravelry and got in touch with some of the makers to see if we could feature their projects here.

 We’ve picked 18 to include in our gallery, but we would urge you to pop over to the project pages  to check out lots more fantastic photos.

olann and ravelry desig spotlight hermiones everyday socks aroseb

We loved catching up with Tante Ehm and hearing all about her knitting.  We also discovered and re-discovered some designs of hers from her project pages that we’ve added to our favourites.

Tante Ehm has given us a very generous 50% off discount code to pass on to you, our lovely readers, for use against any of her paid for designs, via Ravelry.

  • The discount code is didyoumakethat
  • The discount is for 50% off any single pattern from the Tante Ehm Ravelry Design Store
  • The coupon must be entered before you check out on Ravelry. No refunds can be issued after, sorry.
  • The coupon can be used between now and midnight on January 31st.