Down the Tubes
Now, this time I am giving you the pattern for a nineteenth-century glove and I don't want to hear any whining about it.
Knitty doesn't dictate what I may or may not write about for any given issue, but the nice editor lady suggested that for winter "something for the hands" would be well-received.
So, gloves. It was either that or mittens, right? "Something for the hands" does rather limit the scope. You have gloves, you have mittens, you have what we now call fingerless mitts but often used to be called (to my great amusement) "muffatees."
The search also turned up a few mid-Victorian patterns for muffs, but I am ignoring them on the highly professional grounds that they are all butt-ugly. If the nice editor lady should ask in the future for "something butt-ugly," you may well expect to see a Victorian knitted ermine-effect muff in this space. But for this issue, no.
(Spoiler alert: knitted ermine really doesn't look much like ermine. You are fooling nobody, you and your fake ermine.)
Anyhow, gloves. Yes.
No whining because of the fingers. We all know that fingers are the issue with gloves, because until you get to the fingers a glove is just an unfinished mitten. Does anybody whine about mittens? No. Mittens are safe. Mittens are cute. Safe and cute. "Mittens" rhymes with "kittens" for a reason.*
So what exactly is the problem with fingers?
There are only four of them, if the usual configuration is observed. Is four a frightening number? Why should it be? Many lovely things come in fours. Beatles, for one. Also seasons, elements, and points on a compass rose.
Also Horsemen of the Apocalypse; but let us set them aside for the moment.
So four...what? What are the fingers on a glove?
Tubes. That's all. Tubes.
Have you knit a tube before? I bet you have. A sock, a sleeve, the lower portion of a hat? If you have made any of these, most likely you know your way around a tube.
Fingers aren't even big tubes. Twenty-two stitches around? That's nothing.
And a muff is a tube, too! And when you finish it, all you have is a muff!
It's not even worth getting out of bed for that.
So try these gloves, okay?
If you get to the top of the hand and go all woozy and decide to stop and bind off and call them fingerless mitts, I promise I won't judge you.
*Or perhaps not, but this is my column and I'll write whatever I want.
Adapted by Franklin Habit from Weldon's Practical Knitter, 1st Series (1880s)
|photos: Franklin Habit|
|32 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
30 sts/52 rounds = 4 inches in pattern stitch
Stitch Pattern. After the cuff, the glove is worked throughout (except for very last rounds of the fingers and thumb) in a simple but effective texture pattern. Take special care at transition points in the glove (for example, when beginning each finger) to maintain the pattern.
Needles. The original pattern calls for DPNs, and although gloves can be made using the Magic Loop or Two Circulars method, to preserve the original very sensible use of spare DPNs instead of holders -- see below -- we've kept the pattern true to that, complete with specific stitch arrangements. If you've worked gloves before, you'll see it can be fairly easily converted to another method of working if you prefer.
M1. To increase, use the "make one" increase here that uses the running yarn between two stitches. Historical note: The original pattern indicates that select increases in the thumb gore are purled, presumably to preserve the unity of the stitch pattern. However, it doesn't work and is a pain in the ass to do; so the sample uses only knitted increases.
Casting On for Thumb and Fingers. The sample used the simple Backwards Loop Cast On as described here.
Sizing Options. As usual, the sizing of the original pattern is extremely vague, giving two options: the man's size translated here; and the identical article knitted with finer (!) yarn and needles for a woman. Also as usual, no information is provided about tension. I have found that the hand as written nicely accomodates a range of hands from a woman's medium to a men's large. The only alteration needed for smaller hands is shorter fingers. If you'd like to give that a try, work each finger until you are about one-half inch shy of the desired length, ending with a knit/purl round; then decrease as written.
CO 56 sts, placing 18 on ndl 1, and 19 each on ndls 2 and 3.
Ribbing round: [K2, p2] around.
Work in ribbing as set for 28 rnds.
Work three full repeats of Texture pattern and then knit 2 rounds.
Work 6 rounds even in Texture Pattern.
Arrange stitches before working the thumb as follows:
If using stitch holders, slide the sts from Ndls 2 and 3 onto holders, taking care to keep the sts divided on the holders (28 each) exactly as they were on the ndls.
If you choose not to use holders, leave Ndls 2 and 3 in place to hold the live sts. You will need two additional dpns to knit the thumb.
Break working yarn and draw through rem sts. Pull tight, then take several sts over the top of the thumb to secure opening. Run the yarn to the WS and weave in end.
With an empty ndl, pu and k 4 sts along the base of the thumb, and knit 16 sts from the next ndl (Ndl 2). This is now Ndl 1, with 20 sts.
With free ndl, k remaining 12 sts on Ndl 2, then k 8 sts from Ndl 3. This is now Ndl 2, with 20 sts.
Starting with Rnd 2, work 29 more rounds in Stitch Pattern (see Pattern Notes), ending with a [K1, p1] rnd.
Slip sts of front and back of hand onto two free dpns, dividing evenly (30 each) beginning at the center of the 4 sts CO at the base of the thumb.
|ABOUT THE DESIGNER|
|Franklin Habit (@franklinhabit on Twitter, franklin.habit on Instagram) is the proprietor of the popular knitting blog The Panopticon and author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons. His work appears regularly in major fiber arts publications, and he travels extensively to teach and speak on knitting-related topics.|
|Pattern & images © 2014 Franklin Habit|