How to Knit Close-fitting Fingerless Gloves


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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.

For gauge, my wrist is 6.75 inches and my hand about 5.5 inches across from thumb knuckle to pinky outside edge. I use 28 stitches across.

I hope you enjoy the pattern!

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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

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

Count the number of stitches from this row. Write the number down.

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


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

You should now have 4 rows of knitting and the same number of stitches across, in each row, as you wrote down in step 4.

Skip step 6 and proceed to step 7.

Step 6: 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.

You should now have 4 rows of knitting and the same number of stitches across, in each row, as you wrote down when you did step 4.

Your four rows should appear as shown in this picture, but there will be a higher number of stitches on your needle.

Step 7: 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. Count the stitches of this row and make sure they match the number in step 4.

Rows 7-27: Repeat rows 5 and 6, ending with a row of knit. NOTE: Keep an eye on the number of stitches in each row. They should be the same number as you wrote down in step 4. If you accidentally add on more than three extra stitches by the time you finish row 27, your two finished gloves may be noticeably different in size. If you find you added more than three stitches, I suggest ripping down to the row that brought you over the three extra stitches and re-do from that row.

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

In the next several steps we will add to the number of stitches across and then reduce the number, so be sure you know how many stitches you have when you finish row 27.

Step 8: 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


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


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


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



Step 12: Row 35

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

Step 13: 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

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

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

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

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


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

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.

https://rensfibreart.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/join-1.jpg

Step 20: 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!


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!

8 People Made This Project!

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99 Discussions

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SheilaM94

Question 2 months ago

Do you have a hat pattern for cats to wear

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Nirgal38

4 months ago

It's a nice pattern but I ran into some definite issues trying to adapt it to a men's large:
-The wrist fit nicely when I used 36 stitches to fit a 8" wrist.
-Even after adding two additional rows, the thumb is too small.
-By reducing the number of stitches after the thumb, the palm/knuckle area was too narrow and constricting.
-The ribbing that covers the knuckles went too far down the fingers and restricted their movement quite a bit.

But I've found this as a good starting place and I'll make adjustments accordingly.

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KateG63

Question 9 months ago

No matter what I do, I can’t get past the second row. Everything ends up too tight. I’ve tried casting on really really loosely a million times and it always ends up the same. I’m a beginner knitter. Anyone have any advice?

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BettyH34

Question 1 year ago on Step 5

When you say repeat 3 more times do you mean do 4 rows 3 times?

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plzsendchocolateBettyH34

Answer 9 months ago

Hi - it says repeat step 3 .... three more times. So you repeat the instructions that are in step 3, which is one row. You will have a total of 4 rows as the ribbing.

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SusanS371

11 months ago on Step 13

It would be helpful, for us newbees, to have a stitch count now and then. Thank you.

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KaylaF18

2 years ago

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!

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KristinB18KaylaF18

Reply 1 year ago

To cast on the stitches for the thumb, do a half knit stitch for each.

Start by putting the needle under the loop like a knit stitch.
Yarn over.
Instead of pulling the loop like a regular knit stitch, twist the stitch and insert the needle it was already on.

That will cast on. Check YouTube for videos. :)

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Fire_Fly464

2 years ago

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

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hexpoint99Fire_Fly464

Reply 1 year ago

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!

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!

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Fire_Fly464tarianne.kareidis

Reply 2 years ago

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

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evalee01

2 years ago

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

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Lovepitt4

2 years ago

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.

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plzsendchocolateLovepitt4

Reply 2 years ago

Hi Lovepitt4,
I found this drawing that will hopefully help you. Thanks for trying my pattern!
https://rensfibreart.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/join-1.jpg

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mgrandmamil

2 years ago

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

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plzsendchocolatemgrandmamil

Reply 2 years ago

Hi mgrandamil,

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

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tsunamiwolf99

3 years ago

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...