Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fingerless Gloves

By-Jenny2

Hi Angel!

Did you hear someone singing "Hallelujah" somewhere in the distance this past weekend? Yeah, that was me. Because HOLY CRAP I finally completed a knitting project that was on the needles for over a year!

Jenny: Fingerless Gloves

Do you remember this work-in-progress post? Back in January 2011 (you read that right), I began knitting fingerless gloves from a pattern found in the Craft Hope book (and downloadable free here), using some gorgeous avocado green wool yarn that my friend Blair brought me back from Austria. I thought this would be an easy and portable project, a perfect fit for my busy life with 2 little ones. Surely the gloves would be done promptly, in time to use them with what remained of LAST winter...

Oh no.

They lingered on the needles for months and months and MONTHS. Every time we were in the car for longer than an hour, I took this project along. Whenever I had time in front of the TV and was not working on embroidery or some custom project for a client, I took this knitting out. I finished the first glove some time last year, probably about 6 months ago, and bravely cast on the stitches for the second one. And kept on trucking. Because I was stubbornly refusing to have yet another WIP taking up space in the "slow death" section of my craft piles.

Jenny: WIP Fingerless Gloves

Jenny: WIP Fingerless Gloves

Jenny: Fingerless Gloves

I think the reason it took me so long to get this done is that I really despise working with double-sided needles, I discovered. There's always one needle sliding out and losing all the stitches, the other needles constantly get in the way of the two I'm knitting with, plus with a 2-stitch rib, I got so frustrated with moving the yarn over, under, over, under... UGH. There are so many holes and twisted stitches throughout the gloves, it's really hideous, don't look too close.

Are there tricks to knitting with double-sided needles that I just don't know? I'd love to be enlightened. Don't take my ranting and venting to mean there's anything wrong with the pattern -- on the opposite, it's as lovely and clear as can be.

Jenny: Fingerless Gloves

Jenny: Fingerless Gloves

Jenny: Fingerless Gloves

But, enough complaining. They are DONE! I finally finished the second glove while we were visiting my in-laws this past weekend.

I was jubilant upon tying off that last bit of yarn and couldn't help expressing this joy -- perhaps a bit too enthusiastically to be reasonable. Which unleashed an avalanche of jokes from everyone, especially my husband. For example, "Oh I want to make some homeless person gloves too, I'll go run and get a pair of socks and some scissors." (This is the same guy who spends his free time growing organic vegetables for the local food banks, so please don't judge his politically incorrect cracks too much... and his lack of style! Fingerless gloves are cool!)

Anyway, he can joke all he wants. I don't care. I have these green lovelies on right now (because it's SNOWING outside, what the heck March?) and I can type! With toasty hands! Yippee!!!!! And now I can move on to knitting something fun. (Hopefully.)

Jenny: Fingerless Gloves

Tell me, have you gotten stuck on a seemingly easy knitting project before? Are you like me, determined to finish what you start before moving on to something else even if it gives you a migraine, or do you have a basket full of WIPs? How the heck do you knit with double-sided needles? Let's chat in the comments!

10 comments:

  1. I am skeert of double-sided needles. And I unraveled a scarf I had gotten 2/3 of the way through because it was BOUCLE. Which I'd bought before I knew anything about knitting because I thought it looked pretty. BOUCLE IS EVIL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen, I has used double-sided needles a couple of times to finish hats and they seemed fairly easy to use. But to do a whole project with them? Oh boy. I don't know if this is a case of practice makes perfect, or I'm just missing some essential technique. But I'm too lazy to go google tutorials...

      I have never knit with boucle, but it does seem evil, ha ha!

      Delete
  2. I don't mind using DPNs for bits and pieces, but for a whole project? Not so sure. I think that's why I haven't knit socks before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My thoughts exactly. I'm bummed out too because, before starting these gloves, I had purchased DPNs in several sizes AND some sock weight yarn to try out my first socks. I think that will have to wait.......

      Delete
  3. I have used DPNs before for whole projects, incl a few pairs of socks. There are a couple of things I keep in mind when using DPNs: metal is just too slippery for many projects, so use bamboo or wood (Knit Picks has some really pretty multi colored wood ones); knit a little tighter than usual, then things don't slip around too much; periodically let your project hang free from the yarn ball to let the yarn untwist (all that spinning of the project as you knit puts even more twist in the yarn); have a successful method of putting your project away, like lots of point protectors (if I'm in a hurry, I gather the needles into a parallel bundle, wrap my project around them, then tuck it next to the yarn ball in a ziplock. It's not perfect, esp if it's put away for a long time in the bottom of your purse, but for a day or two it's ok). I am NOT an expert though, so I'm sure others have even better suggestions.

    I think your gloves are fantastic and I love the 2 x 1 rib! I hope the wool isn't too scratchy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the fingerless gloves! I don't like DPNs much either, or ribbing. Do you knit English style or continental? I learned English style, but have switched over to continental. I think it makes ribbing even harder, but probably because I haven't practiced it for long. I've been wanting to try the Magic loop, but I think I might need to have someone show me how its done. It is supposed to be awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the gloves Jenny! I made some fingerless gloves last year and used the magic loop, which Deia mentioned above. The magic loop takes the place of DPN (which I HATE HATE HATE, even to finish the top of a hat!) and is SO much easier than DPN. I had just learned to knit and tried the magic loop, and it was great! I just went to YouTube and found a video on learning magic loop. I think the video from knitpicks was the best tutorial. Watched it a few times and had the hang of it after a couple of rounds. Must say, don't give up after a few rows. It's a little bit tricky at first, and then it is super easy! These will be perfect for cold spring mornings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool! I'm going to check out that video.

      Delete
  6. Hi, thank you all for the great tips!!

    Blair, the gloves aren't really scratchy but they're really warm. Great advice, thanks for sharing all that -- I will try to implement them all next time I knit with DPNs... My main issue is how to keep the needles out of the way of the two I'm knitting with -- drives me nuts, but I think it's all about practice.

    Deia, I have no clue if I knit continental or English style, I should find out. How would I know? Good to know about the magic loop.

    Lara, thanks so much for the info and video, will definitely have to check it out!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny,

      In English style you hold the yarn in your right hand and loop it over. In continental style you hold the yarn in your left hand and use your needle to pick it up. Just curious. I switched to continental because you hold your yarn in your left hand with crochet and it makes switching between knitting and crochet easier. What I hate most about DPNs is when a whole one falls out or more likely I pull it out on accident. Ugh!

      Delete

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