Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easily Adjustable Knitted Glove Pattern

I created this glove pattern last Winter after watching several videos on YouTube. My children, husband and self were all in need of heavy winter gloves and I got to work creating several different sizes. 

Rather than post some giant equation that I myself am not mathematically inclined enough to work out, followed by a series of variables that are supposed to coincide with your solution, I will give you my basic "medium" ladies pattern but tell you where and how to adjust it to fit. These gloves are made on size 2 needles with worsted weight acrylic yarn. They are not stretchy, but thick, as gloves made with sturdy fabric. These are very sturdy gloves and I suggest you measure the persons hands so you can adjust this pattern as you need to. It's important to knit them to fit the persons hand because too long a finger or too short a gusset will make them uncomfortable. Also, you can use any worsted weight yarn, depending on your preference.


*You can trace a persons hand onto a piece of paper, so that you can then refer back to it as you're knitting. Doing this, make sure to mark where the first knuckles all are (where the phalanges meet the metacarpals), these will be important, as will be the lengths of the fingers.

*Using worsted weight yarn on size two needles, I get about 5 stitches per inch. I have been told, however, that I knit extremely tight. Make yourself a swatch to see if you get the same or not.

Stitches and terms used:
CO: Cast On
K: Knit
P: Purl
R: Round or Row
M1R: Make one right
M1L: Make one left
K2tog: Knit two together
Backwards Cast On


If you're using a circular needles, you can knit two gloves at a time on one needle, the same as you would socks: Cast on 24 stitches from one end of the skein  cast on 48 stitches from the other, bring the other side of the needle around and then cast on the remaining 24 stitches from the first skein.

If you're using DPN's (double pointed needles): I highly recommend two sets so that you can do both gloves at once. Cast on 12 stitches onto 4 needles and join.


*For children size gloves, begin with 24 to 36 stitches on the needle to form the cuff. If you have the child handy you can knit a few rows and then check to see that they can pass their hand through it easily.
*You can change the style of the cuff, knitting 1 by 1, 3 by 1, etc. I chose 2 by 2 because it works and is easy.
For most adults, unless they have extremely large hands, will take 48 stitches on the cuff. 
If you wish, place a marker at the beginning of the round, or just keep track of your tail end. 
Rows 1 to 25: K2, P2
*A longer cuff may be more preferable, simply continue knitting your ribbed pattern until you are satisfied with the length.
*On childrens gloves you may go with as few as 10 rows for the cuff.


Depending on the size of the hand, you're going to want between 21 and 28 rows for the palm and the thumb gusset. The gusset is a set of increasing stitches that form a triangular shape. This will allow more movement and flexibility. After you have knitted the first two rows, you are going to want to place a stitch marker on each needle, just after the first stitch, and make your increases on the inside of these markers. I begin the row count over, after finishing the cuff.
*On childrens gloves, you may need 12 to 14 rows for the palm and gusset, with 12 to 14 stitches added for the gusset width.

R1 & 2: K rounds

R3: K1, M1R (marker), K46 (marker), M1L, K1

R4 & 5: K rounds

R6: K2, M1R (marker), K46 (marker), M1L, K2

R7 & 8: K rounds

R9: K3, M1R (marker), K46 (marker),  M1L, K3

R10 & 11: K rounds

R 12: K4, M1R (marker), K46 (marker), M1L, K4

R13 & 14: K rounds

R15: K5, M1R (marker), K46 (marker), M1L, K5

R16 & 17: K rounds

R18: K6, M1R (marker), K46 (marker), M1L, K6

R19 & 20: K rounds

R21: K7, M1R (marker), K46 (marker), M1L, K7

R 22, 23, 24: K rounds

*Once you have made all of your increases, you should have 16 stitches on your thumb gusset. For medium sized ladies gloves, this should suffice. For larger gloves, continue making increases until you have the width you desire. Once you have knitted to the length you need for the thumb (if you try the glove on, you want it just past the first thumb knuckle), continue on to the next step, whether you have reached 22 or 28 rows. 28 rows would be for a very large hand.


When you have reached the end of your last row, you should have your last stitch right in the center of your thumb gusset. Go ahead and knit across until you have made it to the other side of your marker. Place all of your new gusset stitches on reserve, preferably a flexible cable or scrap of yarn. 
Knit one round, ignoring your reserve stitches and joining the sides, so that you wind up with two openings in your gloves - one for the thumb and one for the rest of the fingers.
Knit 2 to 5 more rounds, until you have reached the base of the pinkie finger. 
Rather than finishing your last row on the thumb side, finish it on the pinkie side. 
At this point, you have a choice to off-set the thumb, or not. The gloves are more comfortable with the thumb slightly to the inside the palm instead of sticking straight off the side, but you have the added inconvenience of a specified right and a specified left. For knitting purposes, you want to make sure that what you do to one glove, you do the opposite to the other so that you do not wind up with two lefts or two rights.
Otherwise, it's simply down to the person who wears the gloves to check which is which before wearing them. Not really that big a deal.
To offset the thumb, mark the pinkie side directly opposite the thumb gusset center. Now on the left glove, count four past this stitch and place your marker there. On the right glove, count four before this stitch and place your marker there. This is the outside of the pinkie finger.
If you wish to skip that step and have 2 identical uni-hand gloves, just end your last row at the stitch directly opposite the center of the thumb gusset.


We started with 48 stitches on our cuff, but two of them wound up in our gusset. You should then have 46 stitches on your needles. You want 11 of these for your pinkie. Take 5 from one side and 6 from the other. If you have offset your thumbs, take 5 from the inside of the glove and 6 from the outside. Place all the rest of your stitches onto a scrap piece of yarn.
Knit the 5 stitches and when you come to the end of them, add 2 to 4 stitches using the backwards cast-on method. The amount you add on will be determined by the width of your fingers, or the fingers of the person you are making the gloves for. Now join those new stitches to the other side, and knit those six so that you have 13 to 15 stitches in a tiny circle to begin knitting into a tube.
Now that you have your foundation of your tube, knit 18 to 24 rows - more or less, depending on your measurements. Knit until you are just shy of the end of the finger - this goes pretty quickly.
To close the finger up, K2tog for two rounds until you have 4 stitches remaining on your needles. Snip the yarn off, leaving you a good six inches of tail. Pull the end of that tail through the remaining stitches and pull it closed like a drawstring. Leave this be for now, we will pull it inside and tie it off when we get to the finishing steps.


As we did after we finished with the gusset, we want to add in a couple more rows to the remaining fingers as a group, before moving onto them individually. That is because the pinkie joint sits lower than the others.
Put all of your stitches that you've had on reserve back onto your needles. When you get to the side with the pinkie finger, "grab" a three stitches from there. You can slide your needle just under three of those, picking them up. 
Knit 3 rounds.
*For childrens gloves do not add these extra rows.
*Widths of fingers can be adjusted by adding more or less stitches using the backwards cast on method, just before you close the foundation ring of your tube.
*Number of rows for the finger tubes are approximate. Knit according the measurements or hand tracing that you did in the beginning.
As we did above for the pinkie, we need to put some stitches on reserve so that we can knit another tube. This will be our ring finger. At this point, you should have 38 stitches left for your remaining three fingers. Take 13 of these to make your ring finger. 5 from the outside, 5 from the inside, and those three that you took from the pinkie. Put those onto your needle and you should have 25 stitches left on reserve. 
Beginning from the right, knit across these 13 stitches and just before you join them up, add 3 more, using the backwards cast-on method so that you have 16 stitches to make the ring finger. With your foundation ring, knit on approximately 24 rows, again, depending on the length of the finger. Close up the tube the same way that you did with the pinkie.
For the middle finger, take 12 stitches and put them onto your working needles. Leave 13 stitches on reserve. Grab 2 stitches from the ring finger, and make 2 extras using the backwards cast-on method, just before joining them so that you have 16 stitches on your foundation ring. Once joined knit approximately 24 rows for the tube and close it up as you did the other fingers.
Finally, you are down to your index finger. You have 13 stitches to work with, you need to also pick up three from the middle finger. Knit approximately 24 rows and then close.


The thumb is made just as the fingers were. Take your stitches off of reserve, remember, you have about 16 of them.  When you put your stitches back on your needles, you should be pretty aware at this point how to go about it. This time, you want to take at least 4 stitches from the inside of the thumb, picking them up from the palm section. You can take more, but I would not take less or you will have large holes that will be hard to close up. After picking up and adding on your stitches, you now have at least twenty of them. While the joint on your thumb is larger, the thumb itself is not, so you'll want to decrease every 2 rows until you have 16 or 18 stitches per row. The thumb is also pretty short, so you'll need only 16 to 22 rows before closing it off.


Finishing is pretty simple. Mostly, you want to pull all of your tail strings inside of your glove, turn the glove inside out and weave them in as you would any other knitting project.
With your glove inside out, you'll see that you've got ten different tail strings. You have 1 off the end of each finger, 1 in the middle of every finger join, and one on the cuff. 
The tail end that is on your cuff doesn't need any special treatment. Weave it in as you normally would.
The tail strings off of your fingertips, however, need some thought. I like to tie them in knots forming a bit of a spiral pattern. The ends of the fingers get a lot of use so you want to make sure these are secure. You also don't want them bulky because they will be felt if you do not do this right.

The tail strings in the finger webbing are also really important. You may notice you have gaps on either side of these joins. Your tail strings are strategically placed at this point, for you to use them to cinch these gaps closed. 
Now that you have all of your tail strings weaved in and finger gaps closed, the only thing left is to check the sides of your gusset. Where you made your additional stitches, you may sometimes have some holes that were created with the making of the new stitches. If there are any, take a little yarn and crochet hook and close them up.

There you have it!
Once the two gloves are finished, they will make a wonderful gift to a friend or family member, or even for yourself.


  1. This is a very complex and informative tutorial. It’s really great to see for people like me who like making DIY stuff. I decided to get into making customized hand gloves lately and this post will surely be helpful to me, and everyone else who has an interest in it. Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you for reading and commenting, Malinda!

  3. This is almost exactly the pattern I'm looking for. I need to tweak it, since my (adult) hand needs only 40 stitches for the circumference. I'll have to figure out the fingers. Because of your instructions for the rest of the glove, it should be easy. Thank you for writing this up.

  4. Thank you for commenting Ludmilla, I'm glad you think it will be useful for you. :)

  5. hi, i wonder if you can explain how to do both gloves on a circular needle? what do you do when you get to the fingers etc?

  6. Hi Grace,

    I have done these gloves before on a circular needle. It was similar to making socks, such as this tutorial describes:
    Everything is the same as it shows on this pattern. Just think of knitting different sized tubes. 

  7. Thanks for sharing your pattern. I have been trying to make half-finger gloves with the flip over mitten part for my 4 yr old, and oh I forgot to mention...I don't like to follow patterns :-). I have made, taken out, and remade these gloves 3-4 times now but the thumbs just never seem quite right. Your instructions for the thumb will be so helpful, as I never thought to make the thumb this way. I think with a few little tweaks to the thumb, it will help the glove as a whole to look so much cleaner and hopefully the thumb will fit better too, thanks to your guide!

  8. I am excited to try these--have never made gloves before and got some yummy yarn for Christmas. I really like the way the gusseted thumb looks. Oh, and I caught a glance of your fine art: beautiful paintings!

  9. Can you estimate how much yarn is needed for an adult woman? Thanks