There are so many knitters who hate putting the fingers on gloves that most of the patterns for hand accessories are for mittens and gloves without the fingers. Why do knitters hate knitting fingers and thumbs? I think it’s because of the small number of stitches that have to be knit, usually on DPNs, which causes lots of slipping and sliding. I don’t really understand the science of it, but for some reason, the fewer number of total stitches distributed across three or four DPNs, the more likely the needles are to slip free from the stitches. Knitting small numbers of stitches on DPNs just feels awkward and out of control.
I can’t explain why knitters, even the ones who adore knitting socks, just can’t bring themselves to top off a mitten. Mittens are like socks for hands, really. There are some mitten styles that, as a matter of fact, finish in a similar way to decreasing for a sock toe. Other designs are rounder and still others are more squarish.
I am not the type of knitter who gets annoyed by fingers on gloves or thumbs and tops for mittens. As a matter of fact, I have never in my life knitted a pair of fingerless mittens, or “muffateens” as they were called in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Of course, I have my own special secrets for making the fingers enjoyable to knit. First of all, if I’m using a thicker yarn (like DK or worsted), I know that will mean that my finger stitches will be few, so I use wooden DPNs to minimize sliding and slipping. Or, I just use sock yarn on US size 1 needles. The finger stitches are more numerous which means my DPNs remain stable and I have another joyous day to use my KnitPro Nova DPNs. I love these wonderful sock needles. Their tips are sharp but not too sharp, they are sturdy and strong, and they are inexpensive. Right now I’m knitting myself a pair of gloves with some luxurious Malabrigo Sock yarn in the Persia colorway. I’ve already finished glove #1 and I am fast approaching the little finger for glove #2. Here is visual testimony to how putting the fingers on gloves is not a painful activity at all. It’s even possible to knit them and take a picture of them at the same time:
The photos, above, are of when I was working on glove #1, which I finished on Saturday. Not only do the pictures testify to how easy it is knit fingers on gloves, but also demonstrate that gloves can be tried on as they are created.
Where did I get the pattern? Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. Does everyone need to have this book? I think so. It has basic, “vanilla” patterns for all sorts of accessories, like hats, tams, mittens, gloves, etc. It even has a sweater pattern. All of the patterns are written for various gauges.
My fingers have most definitely not been left out in the cold.