Monday, June 29, 2015

Better Design: All about Thumbs

There are a lot of ways to incorporate thumbs into mitts and gloves. There's the gussetless version where you knit in a strand of waste yarn, then pull it out to reveal live stitches from which you work the thumb--very good when you don't want to interrupt a pattern stitch on the palm.
Then there thumbs with gussets. I prefer these because gussets allow wrists to be closer fitting and -- ahem, this is Canada after all -- warmer. There are gusseted thumbs worked at the side so that, depending on what else is going on, you can wear the mitt/glove on either hand. In fact, Elizabeth Zimmermann recommended knitting these in groups of three, not two, as invariably one mitt would go missing! This latter type has a drawback, however, which becomes more obvious in fingerless gloves. Without fingers to hold the patterned back of the hand in place, the pattern has a tendency to torque out of position. This is because of the anatomical fact that when we use our thumbs for typing, holding doorknobs, knitting, ...whatever..., the thumb is positioned more toward the palm.
So, after some test wearing of my fingerless gloves, Version 1 (with side thumbs), and frustration at having to twist them back into position every now and then,

See the right-leaning torque?
 I decided to move on to V2, with the thumb positioned 3 sts toward the palm.


Ahh, so much better!


And here you see them in three sizes, including a man's size (the pattern is unisex on purpose) in Quince's tweedy (and manly) "Owl Tweet" in Oak.

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