Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Off the Cuff fingerless gloves

Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with fingerless gloves. I'm rarely seen without a pair, even in summer, and even in bed during this brisk season! Normally I favour a long length, but I had a single ball of bulky weight yarn knocking about, in a variegated shade that I wasn't fond of, and felt the need to knock up some quick, short, about-the-house hand warmers. You'll notice my cunning punnery when you look at the loose, casual fit of these gloves combined with the loose, casual method of constructing them.

Partly I just wanted to see if the yarn was any more likeable knitted up than on the ball, looking all orange and brown and grey and mangy. Here it is on Ravelry. Looks fine in all other colours as far as I can see, but mine was part of a gift from a well-meaning but slightly misguided friend.

So I checked glove patterns against yardage on Rav, but found inspiration to follow/adapt, so decided to wing it. You know when you see a pattern for a garter stitch scarf, or the most absurdly basic gloves ever? Well, that's pretty much what this is going to be, but I like to feel all creative and that by 'writing' patterns, so maybe it'll help someone out in some small way. I'm still not over-keen on the yarn but as I've barely taken the things off since I made them, there must be something in it... I particularly like the way the loose fit around the wrist enables me to look at my watch, without having to employ my left hand to wrestle them out of the way!

I've knitted these flat for ease of thumbiness (for this, see laziness). They are also quite roomy, which was intentional, but if you prefer a snugger glove or have bigger hand than mine (7.5" around), you may want to ass or subtract stitches according to your tastes. I really wouldn't recommend the Sirdar Crofter though, it's not only vile ('beautiful Fair Isle effect spray dyed onto the yarn' my arse), but after only a week of use it's pretty much felted. Warm though.

Materials: One ball of bulky weight yarn - I used Sirdar Crofter Chunky, which has 86 yards/50g. Size 4.5mm needles (I think that's what I used though of course you may need to experiment for gauge anyway - note these are much smaller than suggested for a yarn of this weight, this produces a thick, firm fabric). A yarn/tapestry needle.

Gauge: 14 sts per 4" (in stocking stitch)

Cast on 32 stitches. Leave a nice long tail for seaming up later. *Work stocking stitch for 3 rows (knit a row, purl a row, knit a row). Work reverse stocking stitch for 3 rows (knit a row, purl a row, knit a row).* Repeat * * twice more - you will have 3 'welts' on the RS of the work. Continue in reverse stocking stitch for 22 rows (just over 3" for me), or for a long as you'd like the hand part of the glove to be. Switch your stocking stitch again (back to ordinary for 3 more rows, then bind off all stitches, again leaving a seamable-sized tail.

Now you can either make a second glove and then seam both at the same time, or seam this one first, then make the second. Up to you.

To finish, take your tapestry needle and seam the sides of your glove. Work from the top and bottom using the tails, leaving a hole for the thumb. To be more specific, working so that the right side (the side with the 3 welts at the cuff and the 'V's on the hand) is facing you, mattress stitch the sides together. Start from whichever end you like, but make sure you leave enough space for your thumb, and in the right place! I allowed mine to be quite roomy, for knitting in, obviously, so I made about a 2.5" seam from cuff to thumb, then from the top made a seam of 1.25", weaving my respective ends into the seam afterwards. I know a lot of people really hate seaming, but it really does give you a neat little spot to hide your ends!

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