23 Aug 2013

Knitting gloves on two needles - 1943 pattern (1/2)

I guess this is the most ingenious pattern for knitted gloves I've ever came across! It appeared in 1943 in the AWW as part of a series of garments specially designed for servicewomen.
For the next post and pattern click here

The great thing is that the gloves are knitted on two needles instead of the usual four. How is that possible? The gloves are knitted lengthwise. This means you don't have to knit every finger around, you just make two hand-shaped pieces which then are sewn together.
Isn't it a great idea? You certainly don't need to be an experienced 'sock-knitter' to give it a try. I dare to say, even unexperienced knitters could attempt to make these. The gloves are knitted in the easiest pattern: garter stitch. This provides the gloves with the necessary elasticity. And the best thing: there is no left and right hand description, one glove will fit either hand and the fit is really great!
The only thing you need to be careful about is not to cast on or cast off too tightly. In the next post more explanation on how to do that. You can make your gloves interesting by using dyed yarn or by knitting the cuffs in a contrasting color or just a shade darker.

All newspaper images through Trove.

I knitted two gloves to test the pattern, using left-over yarn. The first, grey one is quite large (fits male L-XL), the second black one is just my size (fits female S-M). Knitting the pattern twice gave me the opportunity to experiment a bit with different methods for casting on/- off stitches and making the seams. (Note that the cuffs aren't the desired length, due to running out of yarn...)
I'd definitely recommend knitting a test-glove! 
Not only to check the sizing but also to get to familiar wirh the pattern and to practice the casting on and off. This makes knitting the glove for the next time much more easier!

Below I added
- phase pictures to show how the gloves are knitted

Phase pictures:
The gloves are knitted lengthwise. It is a fascinating looking piece when you finish the first fingers:

The side of the thumb is knitted in one piece, while the stitches of the first fingers are 'waiting' on the other side of the circular needle (the pattern says to use a piece of thread I just pulled the needle further, one of the handy tricks when using a circular needle). As you can see the cast on edges of the fingers are rather ugly, at the first try I used another method which obviously didn't work:

Then the thumb is folded and joined to the first finger which is finished in a similar, folded way:

Here are the two finished layers:

The side of the thumb and that of the first finger is already joined:

After picking up the stitches for the cuff (the pattern advises to knit this in the round on 3 needles, but I wanted to finish the glove on only two needles):

Close-up of the cuff. I picked up stitches with a crochet needle from between the rows:

As you can see, after joining the fingertops the seams look nicely curved from the right side, even if there is no shaping in the pattern:

On the first glove accidentally, I stitched the layers on the right side, hence the thicker line along the cuff (the wrong side of the picked up stitches) The grey glove is a bigger size, modeled here by my BF:

Next week:
- some tricks and tips, plus a detailed description on how to cast on and off the stitches between the fingers as I found that not every method gives the desired results!
- at the end of the post you find the original newspaper pattern with my notes on needle size, yarn and gauge.

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