People tend to have strong feelings about fingerless mitts. I am one of them. I adore them. ADORE THEM. I know that mitts without fingers don’t make sense to some people, but I find them very useful. There are lots of time when I want my hands and wrists warm but need my fingers free – for typing in a cold office, maneuvering a key into my car door, KNITTING.
I knit my first pair in November of 2006:
I still love this pair, though they are pretty pilly now (part of the territory of knitting with Malabrigo). This pair actually got me one of my biggest compliments ever.
I proceeded to make a pair for my friend CJ:
I still love this simple, basic pattern from Knitty (Voodoo Wrist Warmers).
One of the interesting and easy things about this pair of mitts is that you make the thumbhole as a little buttonhole – such a simple concept. So these mitts are not only fingerless, but thumbless, too. My Romney Mitts have a similar construction:
Of course even simpler is no thumbhole at all:
Toast, one of my first handspun projects and still one of my favorite things to wear. Four years later, and I still break them out for fall. In terms of simplicity of knitting, they can’t be beat. What could be simpler than a tube?
And they are really practical for wearing, too. I have the use of my fingers and thumbs when I need them, but then I can pull my whole hands up inside these mitts when I want the extra warmth. I do this all the time when driving – use my fingers and thumb to start the car, pull my hands up inside before putting on the steering wheel. See how clever I am?
A couple of years ago, I made my first pair of fingerless mitts that actually had a partially knit thumb. I really liked how these turned out.
Albina Armwarmers, in handspun, for a friend. I would highly recommend this pattern – it is super-customizable and a fantastic use of handspun. I love the refined look of partial thumbs with fingerless mitts.
So much so that I ended up designing a pair like this myself.
My Shameless Mitts. Unlike a lot of fingerless mitts, I didn’t design these to finish with ribbing (though the pattern includes that option). So the thumb, like the rest of the mitt, has a bit of slouch. Again, perfect for pulling fingers and thumbs inside the mitts when not in use.
I’m currently working on another fingerless mitt design and I am really torn about which thumb option to use (no thumb is not an option – so it will either be a thumbhole or a partially knit thumb, but not ribbed). So I’m curious – what do the rest of you think about thumbs on fingerless mitts? What’s your preference for knitting, and what’s your preference for wearing? I’m really interested to know what other people think about this very pressing fashion question!