Basic Glove

This mohair glove can be knitted in two lengths. The gloves were knitted from a skein of yarn left over after knitting a lace sweater. I wanted to have long gloves to wear with the sweater, but wasn't sure if I had enough yarn remaining, so I decided to start with a provisional cast on 4" from the wrist bone. This ensured that I had enough yarn to complete a pair of short gloves and could invisibly pick up stitches to augment the length afterwards. Shown is the short length, with the provisional cast on (green yarn) at the cuff.

These gloves feature a stocking stitch pattern and tapered arm and were designed to coordinate with a lace, cap-sleeved sweater, knitted from the same yarn. To ensure good fit for both the hand and the arm, knitting began with a circular cast-on of diameter appropriate for the wrist and a tube was knitted until a trial fitting indicated that it was time to begin increases for the hand. The thumb and fingers are knitted similarly--only the lengths differ. This versatile thumb design accomodates many stitch and color patterns without the complexity of gussets.

Accurate hand measurements are key to a well fitting glove. The key measurements are: circumference, hand circumference, wrist-to-thumb distance, thumb-to-index-finger distance and finger length. The length measurements are guidelines; you actually knit the lengths to fit. The wrist circumference is measured near the narrowest portion of the wrist, over the wrist bone and the hand circumference is measured above the thumb, but below the fingers and excludes the thumb, which is knitted separately. The last key measurements are the thumb distance from the wrist and the lateral distance from the edge of the glove. Click here for photographs illustrating how to take hand measurements: Glove Construction - Hand Measurements.

  1. Fingering Weight, Mohair, Aries, 90%:10% acrylic:mohair, fingering weight, dark blue, 100 gm
  2. Waste yarn for provisional cast-on
  3. Elastic (Optional): elastic sewing thread (Stretchrite, 30 yds, available in black or white) or Woolly Nylon
  1. Blunt-nosed darning needle for weaving ends
  2. Twelve (12) stitch markers (to mark increases, wrist position and, to locate the thumb)
  3. Knitting / Stitch gauge
  4. Tally counter
  5. Tape measure or ruler
  6. Two (2) stitch holders, 2 circular needles, or two cables.
  1. One (1) 2.5 mm crochet hook (for provisional cast-on and picking up stitches)
  2. Two (2) 2.5 mm, 24" circular needles
  3. Four (4) 2.25 mm double pointed needles (dpns) for knitting fingers and thumb.
  4. Optional: Two (2) 2.75 mm, 24" circular needles (for long glove)
  5. Optional: Two (2) 3.0 mm, 24" circular needles (for long glove)

Gauge (also called tension): Measured in the round, in stocking stitch. With 2.50 mm circular needles: 30 stitches = 4", 32 rows/rounds = 4".
Sock GaugeKnit GaugeSince the glove is knitted in the round, the test swatch should also be knitted in the round as fabric knitted in the round is usually tighter (more sts/inch) than fabric knitted flat. The photograph shows how to use a knitting gauge for measuring tension. If you are unable to achieve the correct tension with the needles specified, test with another swatch using the next needle size, larger or smaller diameter as appropriate. The number of sts per inch is more important than rounds per inch, as you have more leeway in adjusting the number of rounds. Please note, if you are creating stranded work, or using other stitches (lace, rib) the tension may also change. If it is the first time I'm using a specific yarn, I would normally start by knitting test swatches of about 4" x 4" with the needle size recommended by the yarn manufacturer.

Since I was knitting a long glove that need to taper for the arm, I began with a provisional cast-on from which I could later pick up stitches. If you are knitting a short glove, you can begin with a circular cast on of 46 stitches, as described in the article: Circular Needle - Cast-On instead of the three steps below.

  1. Using the Basic Toe Up Sock - Provisional Cast On instructions, the waste yarn, a 2.5 mm crochet needle and a 2.5 mm circular needle, cast on 46 stitches.
  2. With the main color yarn, knit one row.
  3. Take a second 2.5 mm circular needle and split the stitches between the two needles and join in the round as described in the Circular Needle - Cast-On article.
  4. Quality Tips:
    The beginning yarn tail from the cast-on marks the start of round.
    Provide a few extra chains in the provisional cast-on (see photo at right). This makes it easier to "unzip" and find all the stitches later. It also provides insurance when knitting the first row, if you miscounted.

The cuff is worked in stocking stitch, for a slim, classic silhouette. If you prefer a ribbed cuff, you may substitute a 2 x 2 rib of 46 sts using the process described in: Basic Sock - Cuff.

  1. Work in stocking stitch (k all rows) until the piece measures about 4". The length depends on your individual preference and arm measurements. Knit the tube until the point where increases are required to fit the arm. This is determined by periodically trying on the cuff.
  2. Increase 12 sts, evenly spaced, in next round. (58 sts) By spacing stitch markers around the circumference, you don't have to count while knitting and you can verify the increase positions before knitting. Refer to the photo above.
  3. Quality Tips:
    Stitch markers are helpful to determine the spacing for the 12 increases.
    Leave a stitch marker on the last round of the cuff (see photo at right), to make make it easier to measure for the start of the thumb.

The glove construction diagram will be used as the basis for describing the stitch placement on 2 circular needles for the thumb and finger steps, so I will briefly describe the image. The top row of circles represents the stitches on the first circular needle, with the start of round at the upper left. The loops represent stitches and each group of 10 sts was colored for clarity. To use this chart, picture your hand palm side down, with the fingers coming between the two rows of dots (between the two circular needles) towards you.

The cuff has been completed and 12 stitches were added in the previous step, bringing to 29 the number of sts on each needle. A stitch marker was placed to indicate the start of the hand.
Left Thumb

  1. Work in stocking stitch for 2-1/8", measured from the wrist stitch marker. This is the "V" point of the thumb, the "thumb position" described briefly in the "Measurements" section above, and in detail in the article: Glove Construction - Hand Measurements.
  2. Step 2Step 2Step 1Step 1Left Thumb:
    Greater detail on thumb construction can be found in the article: Basic Glove - Thumb Opening.
    Knit across circular needle #1 (29 sts), then k18 sts from the second needle, knit 9 sts with waste yarn in a contrasting color. In the diagram above, the thumb opening is represented by dark blue stitches for the right hand and dark pink stitches for the left hand. In each example the thumb opening is 3 stitches in from the end of the needle holding the palm stitches.

    Return these 9 sts to the left hand needle and then knit them again, this time with the glove yarn. PM (Place Marker.)

    K to end of round. This marker aids in measuring the distance from the base of the thumb to the base of the fingers.

  3. Work rounds in stocking stitch for another 2-1/8" beyond the thumb opening. This is the approximate level for the start of the fingers. The actual level will be determined after the thumb is knitted in the next step. It may be helpful to place another stitch marker to indicate the thumb level, although the contrast, waste yarn may also be used as an indicator. In the photo above, a second stitch marker was used.
    In the previous step, waste yarn was used to reserve 9 sts for the thumb opening and the glove was worked even to the start of the fingers.
  1. Pick Up stsPick Up stsWith a 2.25 mm dpn (or smaller if it is easier), pick up 9 sts from the round directly below the green waste yarn. With a second dpn, pick up 9 sts from the round directly above the waste yarn. This may be accomplished from the outside or inside of the glove. For this dark yarn, I found it easier to release the stitches from the waste yarn, from the inside (purl side) of the glove. Click here for more detail as well as images for both the stockinette and purl side waste yarn stitches: Basic Glove - Picking Up Thumb Stitches and for more detail on the thumb: Basic Glove - Thumb Opening.
  2. Pick Up 2 Sts Pick Up 2 Sts You will now have two dpns, lying parallel to each other. Using a 2.25 mm dpn, knit 9 sts from the bottom dpn. Then pick up and knit 2 sts from the left hand side gap between the two dpns. Now knit across the 9 sts on the 2nd dpn. With a third dpn (if you haven't already added a 3rd needle) pick up 2 sts on the right hand side in the gap between the upper and lower rounds. Rearrange to uniformly distribute the sts across 3 dpns.
  3. Using the 2.25 mm dpns, knit even in stocking stitch until the thumb measures 3/8" from the tip.
  4. Decrease (instructions in next step) to 1 st and pull the yarn tail to the inside to keep it out of the way until the fingers have been completed.
  5. For additional details and photographs read: Basic Glove - Thumb Opening.

I will include a few different decrease patterns. The first one works for solid color fingers and divides the decreases across 3 dpns. This was the method used for the basic glove (mohair glove in two lengths).
Click here to read the article: Basic Glove - Finger Decreases (by thirds).

There are many combinations of stitches that can be used to knit the fingers of a glove. I created a series of illustrations, with three different examples (patterns), to explain how fingers are created. You can use, create or modify one of these to create custom fit fingers for yourself. Click here for detailed instructions, the three patterns, quality tips and images: Basic Glove - Fingers.
Design 1Design 1

Reading the Finger Chart
The top circular needle, cable or stitch holder holds the stitches for the back of the hand. The bottom set of stitches represents the palm side of the glove. I have rendered the stitches in four colors--a color for each finger. The stitches in the middle are shared between two fingers; for one finger they are cast on stitches, for the adjacent finger, the stitches are picked up. The arrows represent stitch direction and I have marked the start of round for each of the four fingers, with a red dot.

The same chart applies to both the right hand and left hand. In the first example, a common design where all fingers are knitted the same diameter (i.e. with the same number of stitches), the key differences are finger lengths. It doesn't matter if you start with the finger on the left or the finger on the right of the chart. If you start with the finger on the right, you will proceed across the diagram from right to left.

    Knitting the First Finger
  1. Transfer the first 8 sts, dark blue in chart, from the palm stitch holder to a 2.25 mm dpn. Knit these 8 sts. Cast on 3 stitches, bicolored circles, using a knitted cast on and a second dpn. Knit across the back sts.
  2. Redistribute the stitches across the 3 dpns (6, 6 & 7sts) and knit all rounds, until you are within a row of 3/8" from the fingertip, when measured with the glove on the hand.
  3. K across the 2 needles holding 6 sts. On the needle with 7 sts, K2tog, k across.
  4. Form the finger decreases: Basic Glove - Fingers.
  5. Do not weave the yarn tail at the finger tip through any but the last stitch at this point. This weaving is done after all the fingers have been knitted. It is convenient, however, to weave the tails at the base (start) of the fingers at this stage.
    Middle Finger (2nd finger)
    Please reference the dark pink stitches in the Finger Chart.
  1. Transfer the next 7 sts (dark pink) from the stitch holder #2 (palm stitches) to a 2.25 mm dpn.
  2. Knit the 7 palm sts, cast on 3 sts (represented by light blue/pink circles in the chart), k 6 sts from stitch holder #1 (back of hand), and pick up and knit 3 sts on the side of the index finger (circles colored pink/dark blue).
  3. Redistribute the 19 sts across three (3) 2.25 mm dpns so the needles hold 6, 6 & 7 sts.
  4. Knit stocking stitch in the round, until you are within a row of 3/8" from the fingertip, when measured with the glove on the hand.
  5. Form the finger decreases.

Complete Remaining Fingers
Follow the chart for the 3rd and 4th fingers. Click here for detailed instructions and images: Basic Glove - Fingers. If you have not completed the thumb decreases, test for fit and do so now. Try the glove on again to make sure the fingers are of appropriate length. If so weave the remaining yarn tails in.

LONG ARM Click here to read the article: Basic Glove - Arm.

Weave in any remaining yarn ends.

  1. Take the time to measure stitch gauge.
  2. The beginning yarn tail from the cast-on to marks the start of round.
  3. Provide a few extra chains in the provisional cast-on. This makes it easier to "unzip" and find all the stitches later. It also provides insurance if you miscounted.
  4. Stitch markers are helpful to determine the spacing for the 12 increases.
  5. Leave a stitch marker on the last round of the cuff, to make make it easier to measure for the start of the thumb.

stay tuned, coming soon

Related Posts
Basic Glove - Picking Up Thumb Stitches
Provisional Cast On
Circular Needle - Cast-On
Tools & Sources
Stitch Patterns (rib stitch and others)

k or K - knit
k2tog - knit 2 together
p or P - purl
pwise - purlwise (as if to purl)
PM - place marker
RM - remove marker
sl - slip
SSK - slip slip knit
st, sts - stitch, stitches
WYIB - with yarn in back

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