I created these two patterns to be used in the "Learn to Knit" class I teach at my local yarn store here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. These simple patterns are a great way to begin knitting and I encourage anyone who is teaching someone else how to knit (or anyone who just wants to learn how to knit) to download these patterns and use them.
Gauge is not necessary for the mitts, but knitting the mitts first allows you to use the mitts as a gauge swatch to do any necessary math to make the hat work for you.
I'm currently working on a series of video tutorials showing the different techniques used in these patterns specifically for use by my students, but you may find them useful as well. You can find them by searching at my website at [Housewyfe.com] or at the website for my local yarn store, [Sew Steamboat] under the Tips and Tricks section.