A few years ago, I was given a gorgeous skein of multi-colored merino wool from Manos Del Uruguay. It was so soft and warm, I just had to make a pair of gloves out it so that I could feel it against my skin all the time. These fingerless gloves are perfect for when you still need to use your hands to text or type. Plus, I added a cap that closes over the fingers when you need the extra warmth. I really wanted the colors of this yarn to stand out, so I kept the pattern simple and let the colors do all the work. It’s a little bit of a luxury project because of the yarn I used, but you can recreate these gloves with any fingering weight yarn you like. So, let’s get started!
These fingerless gloves look more complicated than they are. The colors and the way they move create the illusion of a really busy pattern when it’s really all stockinette stitch. I amplified the color a little by holding two strands of the yarn together so the colors changed a bit more and added thickness to the fabric, but they would be just as pretty and warm with only 1 strand. This yarn was pricier than I expected and it was given to me, but a great alternative would be the Hawthorne yarn line from Knit Picks. It’s cheaper and has amazing colors to choose from too, although it’s not merino.
I made this pair of fingerless gloves to fit a women’s medium. I’m not the most skilled at working out sizes for things like gloves since everyone has different hands, but I have some notes in the pattern for customizing the fit. I made another pair for myself after these in a small and I followed the pattern the same way, and just moved down a needle size. For a children’s size, you can also check out my Fairy Tale Gloves pattern, which I made for a niece. In general, though, you can adjust the sizing by increasing or decreasing in a few key places and varying the lengths you want for the fingers. More on that in the actual pattern.
The full free pattern is written out below. For those who’d prefer to print the pattern and take it with you for on-the-go and to markup as you go, you can buy the inexpensive printable PDF from my Etsy and Ravelry shops. The PDF is formatted without ads or comments, so it’s easy to read.
- 220-445 yards of sock yarn – I used 1 hank of Manos Del Uruguay yarn*, divided into 2 balls
- US #2 (2.75mm) 16” circular needles/ double pointed needles — I worked with two strands for thickness. Use 2.5mm needles if you’re only using 1 strand.
- Stitch holders*
- Stitch markers*
- Spare yarn
- A tapestry/blunt tip needle* for sewing
- Tape measure*
- 2 small buttons
- k – knit
- p – purl
- KFB – knit front and back
- M1L/M1R – make 1 stitch left-leaning/right-leaning
- BO – bind off
- pm – place marker
- sm – slip marker
- Skill level: Intermediate
- Sizing: Women’s medium – 8 inches around knuckles (without thumb) – Total length (cuff to top of cap): 9 inches
- Gauge: 7 sts/ inch x 10 rows/inch
Athena Fingerless Gloves Pattern
Round 1: Using 2.75mm needles and holding two strands of yarn together, cast on 48 stitches. If you’re only using 1 strand, use 2.50mm needles to match gauge. Then, being careful not to twist your stitches, join to work in the round. Place marker to mark the beginning of the rounds.
Round 2: *Knit 2, purl 2* all the way around
Rounds 3-22: Continue in K2, P2 ribbing until the cuff measures 2.5 inches from the cast on edge.
Round 23: Knit around (48).
Round 24:*Knit 5, KFB*, repeat this around so that you have 56 stitches. If you want to make them larger, increase until you have more stitches in the hand. Another 5 or 6 stitches should be enough.
Rounds 25-27: Knit 3 more rounds (56).
Begin Thumb Gusset:
Round 28: M1R, knit 1, M1L, place marker. These three stitches will be increased to make the thumb gusset. Knit the remaining stitches in the round. You should have 58 stitches total now.
Round 29: Knit 1 round.
Round 30: M1R, knit to marker, M1L, slip marker. Knit the rest of the round. (5 sts between markers)
Round 31: Knit 1 round.
Rounds 32-43: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 15 stitches between the markers, 12 rows total.
Round 44: Move the 15 gusset stitches onto a piece of scrap yarn and ignore those stitches for now. Cast on 1 stitch in the gap over the gusset stitches and knit around (56). Be careful not to make the first stitch after the gusset too tight or the thumb won’t be able to move properly.
Rounds 45-x: Continue working in stockinette with the remaining 56 stitches until the glove measures 3.5 inches from the cuff. This should come up to just past your knuckles, so work more rows if you need to.
Next, we’re going to add some fingers to our fingerless gloves! These are just small, half-fingers really, but you want to, you can totally make full fingers and skip the cap. But, these are convertible fingerless gloves so let’s stick to the plan.
Round 1: Knit the first 7 stitches in the round. Move all but the last 7 stitches onto stitch holders. Then, cast on 2 stitches over the gap and knit the last 7 stitches. These 16 stitches will be worked in the round to make the index finger. If any of the fingers seem too tight, cast on a stitch or two in the gap to make them looser.
Round 2-x: Work in the round, knitting all stitches, until the index finger measures 1.25 inches tall or as tall as you want it. Loosely bind off.
Round 1: Attach new yarn with a long tail and knit the first 7 stitches off the stitch holder. Cast on 2 stitches over the gap and knit the last 7 off of the stitch holders. Then, pick up two stitches from the cast on edge of the index finger. Join to work these 18 stitches in the round for the middle finger.
Rounds 2-x: Work in the round, knitting all stitches, until the finger measures 1.5 inches tall or as tall as you want it. Loosely bind off.
Round 1: Attach new yarn and knit the first 7 stitches off the stitch holder. Cast on 1 stitch over the gap and knit the last 7 off the stitch holders. Then, pick up 2 stitches from the cast on edge of the middle finger. Join to work in the round, k2tog, and knit the rest of the stitches in the round. These 16 stitches make up the ring finger.
Rounds 2-x: Work in the round, knitting all stitches, until the finger measures 1.25 inches tall or as tall as you want it. Loosely bind off.
Round 1: Attach new yarn and knit all 14 stitches off the stitch holders. Then, pick up two stitches from the cast on edge of the ring finger. Join to work these 16 stitches in the round. K2tog, knit around to the last 2 stitches, k2tog.
Rounds 2-x: You now have 14 pinky stitches. Work in the round, knitting all stitches, until the finger measures 1 inch tall or as tall as you want it. Loosely bind off.
Rounds 1: Move the 15 thumb stitches from the scrap yarn back onto the needles. Attach new yarn and knit all 15 stitches, pick up 2 from the cast on edge where you separated the thumb and the hand, and join to work in the round.
Rounds 2-x: Working in the round, knit all 17 thumb stitches until the thumb is 2.5 inches from the gusset (where the thumb separates from the hand). Knit 1, then k2tog around. You should have 9 stitches remaining.
Last round: Knit 1, then k2tog around (5 stitches remaining). Trim the yarn and thread it through a tapestry needle. Bring the needle through the remaining stitches to close the top of the thumb and fasten off.
Now that you are done with the main part of your fingerless gloves, use a tapestry needle to weave in all the loose ends and trim any excess yarn. It’s easier to do this step now before we add the cap, which can get in the way.
For the cap:
To make these into convertible gloves, we need to add in the cap to cover the fingers.
Pick up 28 stitches along the back of the hand (make sure you do this on opposites sides for each glove and that the thumb is on the correct side!). You can estimate where you want this cap to start, but it’s best to pick the stitches up from the same row as where the thumb meets the hand.
Row 1: Attach a new piece of yarn and knit across the 28 stitches you just picked up.
Row 2: Purl all.
Row 3: Knit across the 28 stitches, pm, and then cast on another 28 stitches using a knitted cast on. Join to work in the round, placing a marker to mark the beginning of the round.
Round 4: Knit the first 28 stitches (back of the hand stitches) and work in K2P2 ribbing across the next 28 stitches (palm stitches).
Rounds 5-x: Repeat step 5 until the ribbing measures 1 inch. Then continue to knit all 56 stitches until the cap is 2.25 inches from the cast-on edge where the ribbing started.
Decreasing the cap:
Round 1: *Knit 6, k2tog* all the way around (49 stitches).
Rounds 2-3: Knit 2 rounds.
Round 4: *Knit 5, k2tog* all the way around (42 stitches).
Round 5-6: Knit 2 rounds.
Round 7: *Knit 4, k2tog* all the way around (35 stitches).
Round 8-9: Knit 2 rounds.
Round 10: *Knit 3, k2tog* all the way around (28 stitches).
Round 11: Knit 1 round.
Round 12: *Knit 2, k2tog* all the way around (21 stitches).
Round 13: Knit 1 round.
Round 14: *Knit 1, k2tog* all the way around (14 stitches).
Round 15: *K2tog* all the way around (7). BO and trim the excess yarn.
With spare yarn and a tapestry needle, sew on a button on the cuff where the top of the flap will be when it isn’t in use. Then, sew a small loop at the top of the cap for a buttonhole. Finish off by weaving in any loose ends and trimming the excess yarn.
And you’re done!
Make the other gloves the exact same way, but be sure to attach the cap on the OPPOSITE side. Otherwise, you’ll have two gloves for the same hand!
These fingerless gloves are quite simple since they’re worked entirely in stockinette with a little bit of ribbing, but gloves, in general, can be a little bit tricky if you haven’t made any before. So take your time and make sure you follow the steps carefully. If you’re making the gloves for yourself, be sure to try it on when you work the fingers, so you can make them longer/shorter based on your preferences.
Thanks for reading! In the comments, let me know if you prefer knitted gloves or crocheted ones, and I can work on some more designs. If you’d like more free patterns and updates from The Blue Elephants, use the box below to sign up for the weekly newsletter!
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