I have been knitting so many gloves lately. Gloves make a great gift since they're quick and practical. Plus, I usually have plenty of yarn in my stash to choose from.
After knitting so many gloves, I've learned plenty about yarn choice, pattern selection and the most common glove problem of all: avoiding those annoying holes that always seem to pop up between the fingers.
Check out these tips for knitting gloves, and if you still need more guidance, enroll in My First Mittens & Gloves with Angela Tong. You'll learn not only how to knit mittens and gloves, but also how to take measurements so that every pair is customized to fit the recipient.
Choosing yarn for gloves
Are your gloves going to be worn with your dressier outerwear? Or are they workhorse gloves that will work for many different situations? That'll determine how luxurious a fiber you go with.
If you're knitting the gloves for a friend, will the friend take the time to hand wash the gloves? If not, be sure to use a washable yarn like acrylic or a superwash wool. If you're knitting for kids, a machine-washable yarn is always the best choice. (Their busy parents will thank you.)
I knit the gloves pictured above using Cloudborn Highland Worsted Yarn in Grey Heather. This yarn cannot be washed in a washing machine, but I knew that would work as a gift for my dad because he already has a dedicated pair of work gloves. These will serve as gloves for dressier occasions, so they won't need to be washed often.
Avoiding holes between fingers
When knitting thumbs and fingers, the biggest issue for most knitters (including myself) is the gaps that can form between each finger. Even if you follow the pattern directions, you may still end up with a hole like the one in the photo above.
There are a couple of ways to avoid holes, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Pick up a few more stitches than what the pattern requires, then decrease them in the first row. For example, if the pattern asks you to pick up eight stitches for the thumb, pick up 10 or 11 instead, then decrease those stitches in the first row of the thumb. (Pssst! This technique can also work for the underarms and sleeves of sweaters.)
- Already knit your finger and still have a hole? Use the yarn tail to close up the gap. (That's what I did here for the hole in the gloves pictured above.)
- Cross the two stitches that join the front and the back of the finger. This technique is a little like making a cable from just two stitches; you'll hold one stitch on a holder or extra needle, knit the stitch after it, then knit the stitch from the holder. The crossed stitches will close up any holes you might have.
Lengthening the cuff
Do you hate it when your sleeve slides up, exposing your skin to the cold? Add a few extra inches to the cuff of your gloves to avoid the chill. Often glove cuffs are simple ribbing, so it's easy to add some extra rows.
Strategically placing stitch holders
Some patterns for finger gloves will ask you to hold stitches on a stitch holder as you work your way across the fingers. When you place those stitches on a holder, make sure the opening of the holder is facing the next finger you'll be working. (Check out the photo above for an example.) That way, when you pick up the stitches for the next finger, you can simply open the holder, pick up the stitches you need, then fasten the stitch holder closed again.
Keeping fingers out of the way
When you're knitting gloves with fingers, those finished fingers can start to get in the way. For example, after you stitch the pointer finger, you may find that is difficult to pick up the stitches for the middle finger when the pointer is blocking one side. If you're annoyed by this, just push the completed fingers to the inside of the glove, where they will be out of the way.
Picking up stitches for fingers
When you're picking up stitches for fingers, be careful that you do not twist them as you put them back on the knitting needle. See our post on putting stitches on the needle correctly for more info.