Na bPirátaí!

I mentioned a few posts back that I made my hubby a pair of purple fingerless gloves. He had had a pair, given to him by a friend, but they’d fallen apart. He’s not really a gloves person – doesn’t like having his fingers covered – but his hands do get cold, and he loved these smelly old raggedy things with a passion that struck me as inappropriate and slightly icky. I did want to knit something for him, thinking sweater, scarf, but when I asked what he wanted (because that’s the kind of thoughtful, caring spouse I am), his little eyes filled with tears and in a choked and pleading voice he asked for some new purple fingerless gloves.

I momentarily considered thrashing him within an inch of his life, but he knew not whereof he spoke. I’d never knitted gloves before – not even mittens. And he wasn’t to know that he’d just asked for the most complicated item in the Big Book Of Things What Am Knitted (TM). I didn’t even have a set of dpns! Or, ahem, a pattern…

And so began the great Fingerless Glove Knitting (or indeed crochet) Pattern Hunt of 2006. Now we need to define our terms here. Gloves – at least to me – are hand coverings that have individual finger coverings. Mittens have a communal finger covering – socks without heels, but with a thumb covering. Describing gloves or mittens as fingerless is therefore an oxymoron – both by definition must have some kind of finger-tube. Unfortunately the English language lacks a handy (sic) adjective describing a partial finger – odd, really: people do lose parts of their fingers as well as complete digits. Oh alright you could say knuckleless gloves, fingertipless gloves, fingertip-and-middle-knuckleless gloves – distal-medial-phalangeal abruption gloves if you will, though I think they only come in latex – but these lack a certain something in the tripping off the tongue department. This linguistic paucity leads me to a rather awkward assumption that the term ‘fingerless’ in connection with gloves or mittens is not to be taken literally as meaning there is no accommodation for the digits. If that is the case – no finger-tubes at all – then we are talking hand-warmers, which I have since discovered are also known as wrist-warmers…. Either of which may or may not have thumb-tubes, either full or partial…

Really, peops. There are times when I wonder if I have one of these SEN problems. Often I find I have no idea what people are talking about. But I also have the same experience with printed material, and that’s not my brain going wonky: people do not seem to know how to communicate anymore. Or maybe I’ve undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome

I kind of settled on Kim’s Sockotta Fingerless Gloves in the end. It seemed like a good basic pattern to learn from, as much as to use – I do like to get a rough mental pattern to work from for any future projects, like a chickenwire framework that I can figuratively bend and pull into the right shape. The first attempt was a disaster – I knit up the biggest size as Tiny Husband has large hands, and the glove was humungous! I used DK yarn, which might knit up to a larger gauge than Kim’s Sockotta. Second time around, I made up the smallest size, and that worked pretty well. I went for the tighter 1×1 rib for the wristbands though, because hubby’s wrists are quite fine, and did the finger-tubes in the same rib. The other major change was with the placement of the fingers: Hubby’s little finger starts further down his hand so I branched off earlier for it, then knit another 5 rows up before starting on the rest of the fingers. I also used dpns rather than circular needles as prescribed in the patterns.

To jazz them up a bit, and because Hubby has recently become obsessed with pirates thanks to Johnny Depp et al., I added a skull and crossbones motif to the back of the gloves in reverse stocking stitch. It’s not wildly look-at-me obvious – a grown man in bright purple gloves is bad enough – but there is a nice stereogram effect, like Magic Eye pictures. I got the motif chart from here.

Looking back, I might make the wristband smaller next time, because it has stretched quite a bit. Maybe fewer stitches, increasing on the first stocking stitch row, or using smaller needles for the rib. Though if I recall correctly, the dpns were pretty small anyway – 2mm, 2.5mm? I don’t know if I can find any smaller. I’d also probably try a decrease just at the rows below the fingers, as the ring finger especially is very loose for him – big long hands, but dinky wrists and slim fingers.

And then again, I may try adapting the Broad Street Mitten

Tra fn
K

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