Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fingerless Gloves - Part II

Carrying on with the Fingerless Glove Project: in the last tutorial we knit a pico hem top.  The next step is to knit the tube/body. In this case I am making 'under the elbow/mid arm' length, so I knit 90 rows.  To prepare for knitting the thumb, I stop the yarn carrier at 6 o'clock and raise out of work the needles I won't be using.

I start by raising the 4th needle behind the left red hash mark, and raising all the way around to the right yellow hash mark. That leaves 22 needles down and ready to knit.  Then knit/move the yarn carrier to the 12 o'clock position.

So this is just like preparing to knit a heel or toe, except we've raised  different needles out of work.

Raise the main weights and then put on heel fork and weight as for a heel or toe. But for a thumb I put on TWO heel forks, each with a single weight. You can see the forks sticking through the knitting - this is approximately where I put them. If you have those heel weights made with old forks, those would probably be even better. You can probably also get by with a single heel fork and weight if that''s all you have, but in that case I think you will need to move the weight more frequently as you knit.

With the two forks and weights I can knit 10 rows before moving the forks up.

In a heel or two, we take one more needle out of work with each pass to make our decrease. But to knit a thumb, we are going to knit a rectangular 'flap', so there will be no decreases, and hence the need for extra weights/hooks.

As I start to knit back and forth, I find it works best to put a finger against the first stitch I will pass. This keeps that stitch from loosening (getting big) and makes for a tidy selvage. As soon as that stitch is knit, I move my free hand down to the heel weights where I apply a gentle pressure as I finish knitting the pass.

This may seem awkward at first, but soon you get a nice rhythm going of touch the stitch-touch the weights.

After 10 rows (5 back, 5 forth) I raise my heel weights and carry on until I knit a total of 28 rows. (This is for an open thumb.)

Watchpoint: keep an eye on the first and last stitch of each pass. It is easy to have a stitch not knit, especially if your weight placement isn't just tickety boo.

Finish with the yarn carrier at 12 o'clock having just knit counterclockwise. If you change the number of rows in your thumb, keep it to an even number so that you end up with the yarn carrier finishing with a counter clockwise knit (passing from left to right).

Cut the yarn, leaving a tail of 18" or so. (This is probably too long, but better than being too short!)

As an extra step, I thread the tail through a darning needle and put it through the loop of the final stitch, pull it snug, then pull that through and park it inside the cylinder. This is optional, but I like to do it because it keeps the knitting snug and I don''t have sloppy stitches to sort out later.

Now, we'll knit a few rows of scrap yarn....I''m using bright red for high contrast.

I hold the leading tail of the scrap yarn inside the cylinder, a few needles back of the first needle that will knit. Be careful that the very important first stitch catches!

Another little optional twist....on the second row I grab that leading tail of scrap yarn and lay it under the second to last needle to bind that scrap in nice and snug - again, so I don't end up with loosey goosey stitches to deal with when finishing.

I knit a dozen rows of scrap yarn. You can probably do with fewer but I like a little extra.  And remember to move the heel forks and weights up as necessary.

I snip the scrap yarn and with a darning needle pull it through the loop of the final stitch as I did with the tail of the good yarn.

And now, remove the heel forks and weights and run the work off the needles. When doing this I push very gently against the work from the top of the cylinder - just enough downward pressure to make sure the stitches slip off their needles as the empty yarn carrier passes by.


Knit thumb strip - 28 rows

Knit scrap rows, and run strip off the machine.

Next time.....completing the gusset and thumb.

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