Summary: Fingerless gloves knitting pattern ideas covering the whole range of construction, with and without thumb gusset.
My secret reason for doing fingerless gloves or mitts is because I do not know how to knit up the fingers neatly. I always end up with gaping holes in between the fingers. So, before I learn how to pick up stitches properly and neatly, I shall be contented with making fingerless gloves.
Fingerless gloves can be knitted up flat or in the round. The thumb gusset can take different forms and some patterns do not even have it.
Knitting flat is fairly straightforward but usually require seaming and can become quite boring. I tried to select patterns that are feature a variety of textures
Fingerless Glove Knitting Tips
Before we proceed to the list of patterns, let me make a few suggestions that I think would make your knitting experience a bit more fun.
1. Use circular needles instead of 4 double-pointed needles
I have never gotten the hang of the double pointed needles (dpn). My knitting always have ladders where the needles meet no matter how hard or tight I pull the yarn. At the cast on stage, I constantly worry about twisting the yarn. I also tend to see an entire row of stitches dropped when the needle slides off. I now only use my double pointed needles to make very small objects flat.
If you, like me, find double-pointed needles difficult to use, I suggest using circular needles instead. There are 2 ways: the magic loop or use 2 circular needles.
This page on Knitty.com has 2 videos: one for magic loop using one long circular needle and the other for knitting in the round using 2 circular needles.
2. Knit two-at-a-time using circular needles
If you are comfortable knitting in the round with circular needles, you should knit both gloves at the same time. The advantage of working on both pieces at the same time meant that the risk of getting uneven length or gauge is lower. The project would also seem to go faster even if it is just a perception.
If you are not sure what I am talking about, here is a picture.
I managed to pick up this technique by trial and error but if you prefer more systematic instructions, you can pick up this book Knitting Circles Around Mittens and more by Antje Gillingham. She has some good tips that I picked up:
- Use circular needles of the same size but with different cable lengths so that you can distinguish one side from the other. Putting point protectors on the resting needles helps too
- Use 2 balls of yarn and not both ends of one ball. If you only have 1 ball, wind it up as 2 smaller balls
Many gloves feature ribbing. Ribbing is also called the rib stitch. It consists of columns of knit stitches alternating with columns of purl stitches. It contracts laterally and appears elastic.
4. Short Rows
Short rows have been mentioned in at least 2 of the patterns where it is used to create the thumb gusset. You might be wondering what that is. It is a technique to insert extra rows invisibly in the middle of the knitting.
5. Knitting For The Thumb
There are basically 3 ways to cater for your thumbs:
- Knit a thumb gusset
- Knit a afterthought thumb
- Leave a gap for the thumb
Kelley from Knitpicks has a series of videos on youtube discussing how to set up and knit up the thumb gusset and the afterthought thumb. It takes a while to view them all but I think it is worth the time.
There are also several ways to leave a gap for the thumb. See the section on gloves without thumb gusset as well as Leong’s Hang Hugs and Marianne’s Sucky Thumb Mitts.
Gloves Knitted Flat
Leong’s Hand Hugs
The hand hugs is a flat piece of knitting that do not require provisional cast on. Leong simply mattress seamed the piece together to form the necessary tube. It doesn’t have a thumb gusset. I selected to feature the hand hugs because I like the combination of garter stitch and rib stitch. I think it gives the gloves an elegant feel. To make a longer glove, cast on more stitches.
Watch this video for an idea of how to seam this mitts together. This is known as the invisible seam.
Ysolda’s Garter Mitts
Ysolda always design very lovely knits. This garter stitch mitts is knitted flat in garter stitch which is good for those who have only mastered the knit stitch and not the purl stitch yet. It calls for short rows to make the thumb gusset. Short rows in garter stitch is a cheat because you don’t have to worry about the wrap when you turn because it doesn’t show up in the squishy texture and is almost impossible to detect.
Louise’s 2 Needle Fingerless Gloves
This fingerless glove is knit flat. Great for knitters who do not like to knit in the round. Since the piece is knitted flat, some seaming is required. What about the thumb? It is made by increasing stitches at the appropriate places. Louise’s instructions is very clear. Louise’s own tips is to use worsted weight yarn with US sized 5 needles.
Gloves Knitted in the Round
The rest of the patterns listed here will require either double pointed needles or circular needles.
Marianne’s Sucky Thumb Mitts
This is a baby and toddler mitt pattern. It is what I call a leftover yarn buster. It only needs around 20 to 30g of yarn. The pattern is very similar to Louise’s 2 Needle Gloves except it is knitted in the round.
It is great for babies who suck their thumbs and fingers or for playing games and any other activities requiring nimble fingers.
Natasha’s Chunky Fingerless Mitts
I like Natasha’s pattern for a number of reasons. She makes it easy to follow and even provided the definitions of infrequently used abbreviations on the same page so you don’t have to go away to look for it. Chunky yarn is always good for quick knitting and is also more forgiving when it comes to mistakes. You can’t see them as they get hidden by the squishy yarn.
Jeanne’s 75 Yard Malabrigo Worsted Fingerless Mitts
If you have expensive yarns like a Malabrigo Merino leftover from a project, you don’t throw it away. If you have about the amount that Jeanne has, you can try her pattern. It is simple and straightfoward. If you are a beginner who knows how to do K2, P2 ribbing and increase stitches, you can knit this one. Nothing fancy because the yarn is fancy enough. 🙂
Micol’s Hand Springs Fingerless Mitts
This is a lacy gloves and not for a beginner. You must at least know how to knit in the round, slip a stitch, pass it over, knit 2 stitches together and do a yarn over.
The pattern consisted of written instructions and a chart pattern. I don’t think Micol is a professional knitting designer so that pattern doesn’t follow the typical structure. The written instruction is quite easy to follow up till the thumb gusset where the designer suddenly refer to Column C which appears in the chart. You won’t be able to continue if you do not read charts.
Micol provided a printable chart with little circles that you can poke a hole through to indicate your progress which I think is very thoughtful. Unfortunately, she didn’t say so in her pattern so chart newbies like me did not know the function of the little circles until too late.
I can read charts but don’t quite like it. However, the lace is irresistible and actually really easy. So…here is my Hand Springs Fingerless Mitts in glorious orange.
Tante’s Camp Out Fingerless Mitts
Tante’s pattern has a very interesting construction. Most mitts or gloves are knitted from bottom up, that is, from wrist to fingers, this one is the direct opposite. The hand portion is worked flat in garter stitch first. The 2 ends are joined together and then stitches are picked up and knitted from the side of the garter stitch.
It is not for a new beginner. You must know about provisional cast on, grafting and knitting in the round.
See a video of how Camp Out is made. It covers one type of provisional cast on, garter stitch knitting, knit 2 together (k2tog), slip slip knit (ssk), and slip 2 knit passover (s2kp).
Sybil’s Hexagon Fingerless Mitts
A fascinating construction starting at the thumb. I think it should be fairly easy but then I am biased towards construction that are a tad quirky.
Gretchen’s Staghorn Fingerless Gloves
This glove spots a simple application of cables to one side of the glove. It is really a very elegant pair of gloves.
Stephanie’s Commuter Fingerless Mittens
Trust Knitty.com to feature such a fun project. A pair of gloves with folded cuffs quietly kept out of the way with big buttons. A second smaller button sewn under the cuff allow it to be folded down to hide the fingers when the cold wind is blowing.
To me, it is one of those I-MUST-HAVE even though I live in the tropics and would probably only use it when I travel to cold countries.
This one is for the guys. A pair of fingerless mittens is a great handmade gift for the man in your life versus a sweater or vest. I like the simplicity and understatement of the cables on this one. In sombre green, it is perfect for a guy.
Did I mention that it is a nice project to learn a bit more about cables?
Gloves Without Thumb Gusset
There aren’t many fingerless gloves without thumb gussets. I guess it is because it leaves too much uncovered and are probably not warm enough. But still, I think some of them look quite nice. For those who want to learn to knit gloves but is daunted by the thumb gusset, you can perhaps start with this lot.
Roxanne’s Easy Fingerless Mitts
This pattern is knitted in the flat and only has knit and purl stitches. Roxanne’s sample is a solid colour but I can imagine quite interesting colorwork variations with this one. What do you think?
Purl Soho’s Ribbed Hand Warmers
Purl Soho is one of my favourite craft shops. No, I have never been there but I have always been inspired by their knitting patterns. The lines are always neat and the construction simple. They have a knack for designing projects that showcase their yarns well. If the yarn material is exceptional, it doesn’t need too much embellishments.
This glove is a simple K3, P2 in the round until the thumb hole where you work back and forth as if knitting it flat. The thumb hole is created by knitting in the round again.
Sybil’s Helix Mitts
Did I mention that I am sucker for quirky construction? There are so many things to like about this pattern. It is colourful. It is garter stitch (did I also mention that I like garter?). And no sewing required. I read through the pattern and I don’t get it. But it is okay. This is one pattern that I need to read and knit at the same time and make all the mistakes that I shouldn’t because it is fun.
I selected these fingerless gloves patterns because I think they are quite easy for beginners. There are a few lace ones, cabled ones and quite a number of garter stitch ones. I have a soft spot for quirky construction and I hope you do too. I realised there are a lot more patterns for girls than for guys. It is probably because the guy patterns are fairly similar.
These patterns are not mine, they are designed by many talented designers and made free for knitting enthusiasts. If you find any broken links, let me know so that I can update them.