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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free Knitting Pattern: Reversible Fingerless Gloves

Thanks for checking out my tutorial for knitting fingerless mitts! Some people call them arm warmers, wrist warmers or even gauntlets; whatever you call them, I love them, so I make them a LOT. This is one pattern that I really enjoy because it's simple enough to show off a really awesome skein of yarn, and it's cozy and textural all at the same time. I would say the pattern is good for an adventurous beginner; if you're able to work in the round and you're not afraid to change something here and there to make a pattern work for you, then dig in! Find this pattern on Ravelry here.

This is a free pattern for knitting fingerless gloves, so it hasn't been fully tested. If you find a problem or have a question about the pattern, please feel free to leave it as a comment on this post.

I don't care what you do with the items you knit from this pattern; please feel free to knit these mitts for yourself or friends, or sell the finished mitts however you please. I only ask that you give me credit for the pattern if you sell the mitts online and that you link back to this pattern instead of re-posting or publishing it elsewhere. Also, please don't try to sell this pattern as your own.

Here's a shot of my adorable daughter modeling these mitts. Please note that they fit me, at 31, and they also fit her at 6. So there's a double bonus for you! :)

I designed this pattern for handspun yarn because I love handspun yarn and in my humble opinion the world can never have too many free knitting patterns for handspun yarns. This doesn't mean you have to USE handspun yarn for this pattern, though, so just bear with me here.
For Handspun Users:
The yarn I used for my sample (rainbow) mitts is yarn that I spun myself from Australian Merino. I had a 4-ounce braid of the fiber, and I divided that braid lengthwise into two strips. I spun each strip as an individual single, from red to purple, and then I wound those singles into balls and knit them into my mitts. My singles were approximately sport weight, but your single gauge doesn't really matter as long as you choose needles that will coordinate with the yarn you use.
For Commercial Yarn Users:
I used sport-weight yarn for this project, give or take. If you want to follow my instructions exactly, you should use sport weight yarn, too. If not, read the section on gauge and figure out how to make this pattern work for the yarn you want to use. You will have to change the size of the needles you use and the number of stitches you cast on if you do this, but that's okay! Good knitters improvise all the time.
Other Materials:
You'll need to knit this project in the round, so use your favorite method for that. I used DPNs (double pointed needles), but you can do magic loop if you prefer. Choose needles that will keep your stitches relatively close together; in other words, whatever is recommended for that weight, give or take a size or two. For my sport weight yarn I used size US 6 DPNs.

Above is an image of the yarn I spun for this project. These mitts look particularly great in self-striping or graduated colors.

I don't love knitting gauge swatches. But I also don't love ripping out a project halfway through because it's too big or too small. I leave it up to you to decide the to-gauge-or-not-to-gauge question for yourself, but here are my suggestions for it.
For my own mitts, I got 6 stitches per inch for my horizontal gauge; vertical gauge is entirely unimportant here, but in case you care I got about 7 to 8 rounds in one inch.
Cast on a few stitches in the yarn you want to use and knit in stockinette stitch for a while to see if your gauge matches mine. I knit my mitts to fit my arms; the widest part of my hand measures about 3.5 inches across (this is just across my knuckles). If your hand is a lot different than mine then you'll need to add or take away from your cast-on count to accommodate that.
Before you knit these mitts, take whatever yarn you're using and divide it in half. If you spun it yourself this is easy, because you already have two skeins; use the shorter skein to knit your first mitt so you know for sure you can knit the second mitt to match it. If you're using a full-sized skein of commercial yarn or handspun, divide it in half so you have two equal balls of yarn, one per mitt.

A Note on Pattern Construction:
I designed this pattern to be worked from the top down, so that way you can make the thumb hole early on and just keep knitting the body of the mitts until you run out of yarn or they are as long as you want. Since you divide the yarn in half before you start, you will be able to accomplish this without saving the yarn for the second mitt.
I wear these mitts pushed up toward my wrist slightly. Because of this, I was able to knit one big tube with the same circumference from my palm to my forearm. However, if I wanted to pull these mitts toward my elbow they'd be a little tight. Keep that in mind as you knit; if you want to stretch out your mitts then you should make them a little shorter so they'll "land" on your arm before the widest part.
Otherwise, a more experienced knitter could just add a few increases to the last section or two and make them wider at the base than they are at the start. If you're worried about not BEING that type of experienced knitter, just push up your mitts like I do with mine; trust me, they look awesome that way.
You may notice these don't have a formal thumb gusset. I designed them that way for two reasons: one, I find a thumb gusset to be unnecessary, as long as there's a hole; two, I didn't want the thumb gusset to be knit in a different color than the section it's in, and it would have been tricky to hold out some yarn to go back and pick up the gusset and knit it later. So I skipped it, taking the easy way out. If you want a thumb gusset on your mitts, you'll either need to reserve yarn to knit it after the fact or you'll have to knit it in the yarn you have left over at the end of your project.

Pattern Instructions (Finally, right?):
Cast on 40 stitches using your preferred method.
Join to work in the round, placing a marker at the start of the round if you need it. (I didn't, I just remember by the placement of my yarn tail.)
Rounds 1 through 5: Knit all.
Rounds 6 through 8: Purl all.
Rounds 9 through 15: Knit all.
Repeat rounds 6 through 15 two more times. This is where I paused to make my thumb hole; if your mitts look like they're too short, repeat 6 through 15 as many more times as you want in order to get the height you want for the top of your mitts. When you're ready, keep going with the pattern.
Thumb Hole Round 1: Bind off 8 stitches in purl; purl the remaining stitches in the round (if your gauge is different than mine, just eye-ball it to figure out how many stitches across you need to bind off to fit your thumb in there).
Thumb Hole Round 2: Cast on 8 stitches on the right-side needle using the backward loop method. Purl remaining stitches in the round.
Thumb Hole Round 3: Purl all.
From here on out you are going to knit your mitts in the following fashion: Knit all stitches in the round for 7 rounds, Purl all stitches in the round for 3 rounds.
Continue in this fashion until you are almost out of yarn in your first skein. For your last rounds, knit 5 rounds and then bind off all stitches.
For my mitts, I knit a total of 17 knit sections and 16 purl sections. You may have more or fewer depending on how much yarn you've got and how long or short you want your mitts to end up.
Repeat this pattern once more to make the second mitt. Wear them this side out or turn them the other way for a different look!

Here are some more shots of the mitts I knitted:

Happy Stitching!

1 comment:

  1. Those are so cute! they make me think of Rainbow Brite!