Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fingerless Gloves - Part III

To review....the bright red yarn on the end of the thumb strip is scrap yarn. Recall that we knit 28 rows (14 in each direction) to form the thumb strip.

After removing the heel forks and their weights and running the thumb strip off the needles, we begin to form the gusset. To do this,  take stitches from the selvage edge of the thumb strip and hang them on the empty needles.  The stitches on the selvage edge look like chain stitches (not sure if they really are, but they look like them!) each containing a loop and a knot. It is the loops that we hang.

Grabbing the first loop on each side is the trickiest part, as the loop may be hiding. If you click to enlarge the above photo (or if your eyes are much better than mine) you will see I've marked the first EXISTING stitch on the raised needle immediately adjacent to the first lowered/empty needle. When you grab the loop of your first stitch from the selvage edge that loop on the existing stitch should snug up. If it doesn't, you have grabbed the wrong loop!

So now we pick up loops along the one side....hang a loop, leave a knot, hang a loop, leave a knot.... until we cover half the empty needles. (We knit the strip on 22 needles, so half is eleven, which will bring you to a yellow hash mark.)

And then we do exactly the same on the other side.

But on the second half I hang 12 loops instead of 11. This is optional, but that twelfth loop - which will go on the final needle from the opposite side - will lock the two edges of the thumb together where they meet the gusset....IMHO this gives a tighter, tidier finish.

TIP In the above picture you can also see that I am pushing down the first raised needle. I do that on each side.

This is another optional step - I grab the bar of the first stitch beside (on the thumb side) of the needle I just lowered - and hang the bar on the lowered needle.  This makes a little 'x' and this will snug up the knitting where the hand meets the gusset.

The gusset is finished, and now we re-join the working yarn to knit the open end for the fingers. Hold the yarn with one hand, leaving a  tail of 8 or 10 inches, and slowly CAREFULLY crank....make sure that first stitch will catch! Sometimes you have to coak the yarn under the hook of the first needle. When you get about half way across the thumb needles STOP and lower all the raised needles back into working position.

You can re-hang the heel forks and weights on the thumb area, or, I just push down against it with my man hand from inside the cylinder as I pass that section. (Remember - your main weights are still on - through the entire project.) But do one or the other as the weight will be uneven because of the gusset and you risk running the whole thing off the rails!

Now.... another little TIP:

That leading tail of the working yarn....you can just leave that and weave it in later. Or, if you've given up on the toe fairy ever coming to help with your finishing work, you can knit it in while still on the machine.  I lay the tail under the first needle adjacent to the needle that last knit it, and hold it so it will knit in on the next pass. One needle only. Then on the next pass, I lay it under one more needle...and so on for 8 passes. That gives me a diagonally woven in end which is very secure and which will really snug up your work.

I usually knit somewhere between 25 and 40 rows in total after the gusset....more with a finer yarn like Anne, and fewer with a heavier yarn like Kroy or a sport weight. In a fingering weight, 25 rows will take my fingerless area approximately to the knuckles....a little less when the finished edge rolls a bit.

When I''m done those rows, I tie on scrap yarn, knit a bunch of rows and the job is done. Be sure to leave a generous tail on your working yarn so you (or the toe fairy) can finish the outside edge.

To finish the open thumb:

One method is the Two Steps Forward - One Step Back method....put darning needle through stitch one and stitch two...both from underneath, pull yarn through till snug but not tight, then go through stitch two and stitch three, then stitch three and four and so on, always from the bottom up.

(Recall that in the first part of the thumb I ran my tail through the loop of the final stitch before tying on the scrap yarn. If you don't do that, you need to run your tail through that loop before starting the two steps forward.)

When I get across the top edge of the thumb I turn the work inside out and blanket stitch the the two side edges of the thumb together, beginning with the top stitch on each side (where the tail ended up). Then weave in your final end.

The same Two Steps Forward - One Step Back method can be used for finishing the finger end of the work, and I would also weave that end in. You will get a bit of curl on the end of the thumb and finger sections, so when you weave your ends in, take them down far enough that the tip of the end won't show in the curl.

If you didn't weave in the end where you reattached the working yarn after the gusset, then you have that end to weave in now.

Rip out your scrap yarn; wash and block....and away you go!

 (Note: I also use an alternate method for finishing the edge of the the thumb and finger openings - I'll cover that in a future tutorial.)

1 comment:

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