Introduction: How to Knit Close-fitting Fingerless Gloves

Picture of How to Knit Close-fitting Fingerless Gloves

I created this pattern for knit fingerless gloves after making many pairs using patterns out there, but finding none that "hug" your hand.  By adding a thumb wrap and using a ribbing stitch for the top portion of the pattern, these really fit like a glove should!  

The pattern can fit a woman's small thru large glove sized hand, and a man's small to medium glove size.   I hope you enjoy the pattern!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

To knit one pair of fingerless gloves, you will need the following supplies:

1 pair size 7 (4.5 mm) knitting needles.  (Size 8 will also work)
1 skein Worsted Weight yarn, any color.
1 tapestry needle

All these supplies are available in the U.S. at JoAnn Fabrics stores and Michaels Craft stores.  Total cost probably will not exceed $10.

I am an experienced knitter, and each glove takes me about 2-3 hours to make, depending on how many interruptions I get ;-)

Step 2: Cast on 24 or 28 Stitches.

To start the first glove, grab one of your knitting needles and cast on 24 stitches if you have a smaller hand, or 28 stitches for an average to large woman's hand/medium men's hand.  Be sure to include the slip knot as the first stitch, so that there are 24/28 and not 25/29 stitches.  Here are instructions for casting on if you are not familiar with the process. 

Step 3: Row 1

Picture of Row 1

The first four rows of this pattern are known as ribbing.  This type of knitting lays nice and flat against your forearm, and won't roll up like other stitches when used on the edge of a pattern.

Instructions in this step are for the first row of ribbing.

**Knit one stitch.
Bring yarn from "back" to "front".  First picture below shows yarn in back; second picture shows in front.

Purl one stitch.
Bring yarn from "front" to "back".

Repeat from ** all the way across to complete the row.

Step 4: Check Your Work

Did you end the first row with a knit stitch or a purl stitch?  If you cast on an odd number of stitches,  you may have ended the row with a knit stitch.  In that case, ignore step 5 and proceed to step 6. 

Otherwise, continue with step 5.

Step 5: Rows 2-4 for Even Numbered Stitches

Picture of Rows 2-4 for Even Numbered Stitches

Repeat Step 3 three more times.  When finished, your work should look similar to the picture below, but run farther across your knitting needle.

Skip step 6 and proceed to step 7.

Step 6: Rows 2-4 for Odd Numbered Stitches

Picture of Rows 2-4 for Odd Numbered Stitches

You are here because you ended the first row with a knit stitch. 

Row 2:
**Purl one stitch.
Bring yarn from front to back.

Knit one stitch.
Bring yarn from back to front.

Repeat from ** across to complete the row.

Row 3:
Repeat Step 3 in this Instructable.

Row 4:
Repeat Row 2, as described above.

When all four rows are complete, they will appear as shown in this picture, but there will be more stitches on the needle.

Step 7: Rows 5 Through 27

Picture of Rows 5 Through 27

The next group of rows will be done in stockinette stitch, alternating one row of knit, then one row of purl.

Row 5 - Knit all the way across.
Row 6 - Purl all the way across.

Rows 7-27: Repeat rows 5 and 6, ending will a row of knit.

Your work should look like the picture for this step -- ribbing at the bottom, and stockinette above.

Step 8: Row 28

Picture of Row 28

Purl all the way across.

At the end of the row, cast on 5 stitches (see screenshots showing casting on the first stitch and then what it looks like after all five are cast on).

Step 9: Row 29

Picture of Row 29

Knit all the way across.

At the end of the row, cast on 5 stitches (see screenshots showing casting on the first stitch and then what it looks like after all five are cast on).

Step 10: Rows 30-33

Picture of Rows 30-33

Row 30 - Purl all the way across.

Row 31 - Knit all the way across.

Row 32 - Purl all the way across.

Row 33 - Knit all the way across.

Step 11: Row 34

Picture of Row 34

Row 34 - Cast off the first five stitches. Purl all the way across.
See first picture.

Step 12: Row 35

Picture of Row 35

Cast off the first five stitches. Knit all the way across.

Step 13: Rows 36-40

Picture of Rows 36-40

Row 36: Cast off one stitch. Purl all the way across.

Row 37: Cast off one stitch.  Knit all the way across.

Row 38: Repeat Row 36.

Row 39: Repeat Row 37.

Row 40: Purl all the way across.

Step 14: Row 41

Picture of Row 41

We are going to do the ribbing pattern again for the rest of the project.  Picture shows rows 41-45 as completed.

**Knit one stitch.
Bring yarn from "back" to "front". First picture below shows yarn in back; second picture shows in front.

Purl one stitch.
Bring yarn from "front" to "back".

Repeat from ** all the way across to complete the row.

If you have an odd number of stitches and ended this row with a knit stitch, skip step 15.

Step 15: Rows 42-52 for Even Numbered Stitches

Picture of Rows 42-52 for Even Numbered Stitches

Repeat Step 14  (row 41) eleven more times.  Picture shows all completed rows.

Skip step 16 and proceed to step 17.

Step 16: Rows 42-52 for Odd Numbered Stitches

Picture of Rows 42-52 for Odd Numbered Stitches

You are here because you ended row 41 with a knit stitch.

Row 42:
**Purl one stitch.
Bring yarn from front to back.

Knit one stitch.
Bring yarn from back to front.

Repeat from ** across to complete the row.

Row 43: Repeat Step 14 (row 41).
Row 44: Repeat this step (row 42)
Rows 45-52: Repeat row 43, then 44.

Step 17: Bind Off

Picture of Bind Off

Bind off, or cast off all the stitches.   When you cut the yarn, leave a long tail, as shown in this picture, for sewing.

Here are instructions if you need them.

Step 18: Prepare for Sewing

Picture of Prepare for Sewing

Because this glove fits so snugly, it has an odd appearance when it lays flat and unworn.  However, you can clearly see the thumb sleeve now. 

Fold the glove in half, lengthwise, lining up all edges.

As you sew, you want to keep the edges as closely aligned as possible.

Thread the tapestry needle with the thread from the tail.

Step 19: Sew Edges Together

Picture of Sew Edges Together

Insert the needle into the opposite edge of where the thread exits the glove. For example, if it is hanging on the left side of the glove, insert the needle into the right edge of the glove and bring it up through the left edge, performing a single whip stitch. Repeat this stitch (right to left or left to right) until you reach the edge of the thumb where your thumb will stick out.

In response to a comment below, I'm adding a suggestion here to check out this link for help with whip stitch.

Step 20: Weave Around Thumb Sleeve

Picture of Weave Around Thumb Sleeve

You don't want to close off the opening of the thumb sleeve, so you will weave the yarn around it on only one side. Do NOT stitch both layers together.

If it helps you understand exactly where the thread should be woven, slip the glove on your hand and stick your thumb through the sleeve. Simply weave the needle through the stitches as shown in the picture, until you reach the next edges of the glove that should be sewn together. Also see the drawing if the picture does not help.

Continue whip stitching the rest of the glove edges, keeping them aligned, until complete. Weave the yarn back through about 3 inches of whip stitches to hide the end, then cut the thread.

Step 21: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

Try on your glove and revel in your accomplishment!  Then, make one for your other hand.  The glove can be worn on either hand, so the instructions are exactly the same for both hands.  Enjoy!


Fire_Fly464 (author)2017-08-07

Is there any way to measure how many stitches we should do? I did 24 stitches and they ended up being way to tight

hexpoint99 (author)Fire_Fly4642017-09-29

Measure wherever it's too tight with some measuring tape. Then stitch a couple stitches and measure how long each stitch or segment of stitches is. Just choose how many stitches based on that!

hexpoint99 made it! (author)2017-09-29

Awesome instructions! I'm a self taught knitter and for some reason I thought knitting gloves with a thumb sleeve would be way too hard for me. This made everything simple! I did sorta play around with your directions and I did them my own way (I never seem to be able to follow a strict pattern), but this really helped so much.

For those trying this out, I was worried the 24 stitches would be too tight, but I made very loose stitches on 5mm needles and it actually fits perfectly. If anyone is interested, here's what I did:

-5 rows of ribbing

-17 rows of stockinette

-on the 17th row I added the 5 stitches for the thumb and then again on the other side after purling

-Then 2 more rows of stockinette

-And finally 5 more rows of ribbing

I did mine from bottom to top for no particular reason! Anyway, really awesome directions. Thanks!

KaylaF18 (author)2017-08-25

Beginner here, I was wondering how you cast off the five stitches for the thumb. If you could give a detailed response that would be great, thanks!

tarianne.kareidis (author)2015-01-16

Instructions detailed and accurate, thank you! The only thing I would say to prospective knitters of this pattern is to measure for size. I did the 24 stitch cast on and it was WAY too tight for me, plus the glove part went way past my fingers. There is room to customize here and don't be afraid to do so before you finish. Its sad to finish a project you can't wear!

How exactly do you measure for size? I ran into the same problem twice now. I'm trying to make these as a late birthday present for my friend but I'm running into some troubles with the size

evalee01 (author)2017-02-01

If i cast on 24 stitches am i suppose to have 20 stitches when i bind off?

Lovepitt4 (author)2017-01-30

Can you post another picture of where to put the needle when sewing up the gloves (perhaps with a light colored yarn)? I'm new to knitting and my finished edge isn't very neat.

Hi Lovepitt4,
I found this drawing that will hopefully help you. Thanks for trying my pattern!

It is perfect. Thank you!

CathyM97 (author)2017-01-27

do you have any more images or advice about sewing the thumb? I'm lost!

plzsendchocolate made it! (author)CathyM972017-01-27

Hi CathyM97,

Maybe this little sketch will help? Let me know if it does, and I'll add it to the instructable. Thanks for trying my pattern!

Very helpful! That's what I was trying but I think the thumb "hole" was too narrow for me. I added an extra 2 rows on the thumb rows(the rows with the extra 10 stitches). I'm on the K1P1 ribbing now. I'll let you know how it goes and THANK YOU!!?

Shansdiy made it! (author)2016-11-25

Great pattern! This is only my 2nd project ever and it took me 2 days to complete both gloves. Will definitely use this pattern again, but will probably adjust so they fit more snugly to my wrists.

Wow, I can't tell that's only your second project. You did it like a pro! Really nice job!

mgrandmamil (author)2016-10-08

Step 20 not sure where to place stitches. Is it the edge where castoff stitches are?

Hi mgrandamil,

Yes, it is the outer-most edge of the thumb wrap. Hope that helps.

tsunamiwolf99 (author)2016-07-24

I had a bit of trouble figuring out where to leave room for the thumb part, but I figured it out and ended up with a great glove! Now to work on my next one...

AnnieF12 (author)2016-06-14

What is the correct tension?

Hi Annie,

Everyone holds their yarn at different tensions. Generally speaking, I would recommend you not hold the yarn too tight, or the gloves will be smaller than expected and you won't be able to get your hand in. But you want the tension to be firm enough that the stitches aren't so loose that they are flopping up and down the rows. You can also read through the comments others have posted here, and that may be helpful. Thanks for checking out my pattern.

NanC4 (author)2016-05-22

Thanks for pattern. Cold as,here in so about to try your lovely pattern.

beverly19150 (author)2016-02-16

how do I verify my account (I'm new)

flattail made it! (author)2014-12-26

Thanks! I made a pair for my little sister for Christmas. She wanted them similar to the ones worn by "Ahsoka Tano" in "The Clone Wars" so I made them a bit longer, and exposed the fingers a bit more.

Love your work! I had to adjust the tops also!


These look great! You chose my favorite color, too ;-) Thanks for sharing your pic!

Thank you! Glad you like them!

leanne.herrington (author)2015-02-06

What is the gauge for this pattern? I would like to figure out how to make these with smaller needles and a lighter weight yarn. Thanks.

Sorry but I don't know how to figure out the gauge. I'm an advanced enough knitter to improvise and make this pattern, but not advanced enough to give gauges for different weights of yarn.

AshleighJayne made it! (author)2015-11-15

I've used this pattern to make Christmas gifts for my family and it works perfectly!

I've since edited the pattern slightly to make a cabled version with moss stitch palms, I hope you like them!

Wow! I'm impressed! Very, very nice job!

Thank you very much :)

Lerrinus made it! (author)2015-03-14

Just finished this pair, two hours each! Made using 24 stitches, worsted weight Red Heart yarn on size 8 straight needles! :-)

Awesome! They turned out perfectly! Nice job... and nice pic!

Francisca Moura-Souchet (author)2015-06-16

Made several pair on several colors, everybody loved them !!

Super! I love the variety of colors and pairings you did with the buttons, textures accessories. Thanks for posting the pics!

XMerridew (author)2015-09-16

I made a pair of fingerless gloves for my friend, but it seemed too big for her. (26 stitches) Can I knit with 22 stitches and a bit less ribbing at the top? Thanks ~

Yes, you can adjust the number of stitches, but I don't have an exact gauge to give you because the weight of the yarn and how tightly you stitch varies from person to person. But feel free to add or remove stitches -- I just recommend you take note of whether you've casted on an odd or even number of stitches.

Aahmee made it! (author)2015-08-29

One glove down! This was my first real knitting project and I don't think it came out too shabby. I lost track of purls and knits somewhere in the middle but it adds character, right?

plzsendchocolate (author)Aahmee2015-12-02

I think you did a wonderful job, and the extra texture looks like it was meant to be. Thanks for trying out my pattern!

kbradshaw2 (author)Aahmee2015-10-04

You did great. I'm about halfway through my first glove and I had to read all the way through. I think you did great.

JazlynD (author)2015-07-18

As it is currently winter here in Australia these gloves are amazing I love them, I made a pair last year and am now in the process of adapting this basic pattern into convertible mittens, to match a beanie I recently knitted.

scubalaura (author)2015-01-10

can't get my image to load, any clue?

katelynn.mccrillis (author)2015-01-10

yay I am almost done all I have to do is sew :D yay!

katelynn.mccrillis (author)2015-01-09

This is a cool gift for a birthday. I am doing this for my mother and I am a beginner at kitting and this really helps a lot better then those store bought books. :)

sparks_mcgee (author)2014-10-21

Do you tie off the yarn at the end? Or does the "weaving back through about three inches" keep it from unraveling? Thanks!

Hi sparks_mcgee,

No need to tie off the end. the weaving through keeps the yarn in place. Hope you had a chance to make the gloves and had some fun with it!

KathrynC1 (author)2014-11-14

Hi, I have a skein of sock weight yarn that calls for size 1-2 needles. Can this pattern be adapted for thinner yarn? I am a beginner so I wouldn't have the slightest clue in making the adjustments myself. Thank you!!

Hi Kathryn,

No - this pattern is not suitable for sock weight yarn. Sorry, but you need worsted weight, or equivalent, to keep the gauge correct.

sue.slauson (author)2014-12-26

I am on row 28 and have pulled across. Need to cast on 5 but my work shows the knit side. How to I cast on as can't tell by pics? Thanks!

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