5 tips for knitting gloves with fingers
Knitters need to keep their fingers warm and healthy, so if yours are getting chilly, Elizabeth Bagwell has some great tips to make knitting gloves simple.
Personally, I find knitting fingers on gloves a royal pain in the proverbial. Each finger has to be knit separately, joining the yarn afresh, and that means lots of ends to weave in – not my favourite! That might explain why Amy and I have both been on a fingerless gloves kick lately. She shared her favourite fingerless mitts pattern a couple weeks ago, and I shared mine before that. However, if you’ve still got cold hands, here are a few tips for making knitting fingers as painless as possible.
1. Remember that not all fingers are the same length or width
It seems obvious, but not only do individuals have fingers of different lengths on the same hand, different people have fingers of different proportions, and some wear their nails long. If you’re making gloves for someone particular, get a sneaky look at their hands to see how things line up.
2. Put spare stitches on contrasting yarn
It’s tempting to leave the stitches you haven’t yet worked on DPNs, but the extra spikes can make knitting uncomfortable. I recommend a soft, flexible stitch holder such as yarn, dental floss or a circular needle cable.
3. Leave a long tail when you join new yarn
A 6in (15cm) tail is ideal for closing any small holes that develop between the fingers. I find it’s easier to sew them closed than to knit them shut perfectly.
4. Expect to add a few stitches
After dividing your palm stitches into four for the fingers, you’ll need to increase or cast on a few extra stitches between each finger. Try to do this seamlessly, as any bulk here can really chafe. The cable cast on is a good choice that lets you easily pick up the other side for the next finger.
5. Accept that fleece is warmer
It’s sad news for knitters, but true: fleece gloves are generally warmer than handknits, and woolly gloves are a bit of a nightmare in snow. Growing up in Switzerland, padded waterproof gloves were a must and it’s still hard to accept that all the love knitted in doesn’t make my handknits as effective! You can fleece-line handknits, or add thrums for extra warmth though, and handknits are ideal for ‘dress gloves’ and smart wear.
Gloves with fingers are not for beginners or the faint hearted, but we loved these stunning Benon gloves from independent designer Hazel Tindall!
You’ll need a standard 4ply yarn – Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is super warm and comes in a fantastic range of colours that makes it ideal for the fair isle design in these gloves – or Stylecraft Life 4ply, another stalwart yarn with slightly more acrylic to keep those fingers in shape.
Last updated: December 30th, 2014.