Fashion Friday :: Fingerless Mitts

are you a fan of fingerless mitts?

are you a fan of fingerless mitts?

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:

coffee and wristwarmers
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:
Voodoo wristwarmers
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:
knitted :: Romney Mitts

Of course even simpler is no thumbhole at all:
YIP.10.1 - Toast
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?
for Rav: Toast
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.

with thumb

with thumb

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!

in case you didn't know, I knit
Toast, in situ. (The picture is from three years ago, I’m not on crutches now!)

7 thoughts on “Fashion Friday :: Fingerless Mitts

  1. I’m from an area where we don’t have very cold winters, but it’s still does have biting winds & early morning & late nights are quite fresh, so it is always nice to keep those hands warm & still do things (eg knit while waiting around in open queues!!) . So I prefer fingerless mitts too, but I think I prefer with a little bit of thumb covered too. Maybe you can offer either option in the new pattern? I also prefer them long in the arm as I wear a lot of 3/4 sleeves tops & jackets. I do love your shameless mitts, I just purchased them not so long ago- they look perfect to me! BTW…if you’re looking for a testknitter for the new mitts, I’ll put my hands up! I’m “9crafty11” on Ravelry!!

  2. I love wearing and gifting fingerless mitts! I’ve knit several pair of your Shameless pattern for friends : ) I really do like a partial thumb best – in fact I’ve modified lots of patterns to include a thumb gusset so the mitt is as comfotable as possible. I know it requires a little more attention to knit the gusset & a tiny little round to knit a thumb, but I think it makes such a wonderful finish. Can’t wait to see your next design!

  3. I love to have a little bit of a thumb on my fingerless mitts. Just enough to get to the joint. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  4. I’m the opposite of the other comments, I prefer no thumb. But, I type in mine and it is just more comfortable without the thumb piece. Also, I must admit, knitting a hole is definitely easier than knitting a thumb.

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