We never knock (because nobody’s there)

Pattern: Cabled Fingerless Mitts by Carissa Browning
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Shadows (100% acrylic, worsted weight), Pearl Frost colorway
Needles: U.S. 6 32″ circular Harmony Options (Magic Loop)

The fingerless glove bug has officially bit. I was finishing up my pair of Dashing on St. Simons Island at Christmastime, and I couldn’t wait to cast on for more. So when a member of the Fingerless Glove Fanatics group on Ravelry suggested a knitalong of this pattern, I was one of the first to sign up. It didn’t hurt that I had a variation on the pattern’s recommended yarn in my stash. I didn’t quite get started on New Year’s Day, but I was off and running pretty quickly.

I’ll remember these gloves for the lessons they taught me. On the first glove, I paid more attention to my row count than to the way the glove actually looked. I reached the top of the finger ribbing and suddenly realized that the thumb hole was like 75% of the way down the glove, which didn’t look right. Sure enough, the glove was so long that only my fingertips peeked out. Looking back at the pattern, I realized that the row count specified before the top ribbing was for total rows from cast-on, not for pattern rows.

I knew I had to rip, but … I was afraid. I’d lose stitches, I was sure. For over an hour I schemed how to thread waste yarn with a tapestry needle through the row where I wanted to stop. But when I summoned up my courage and actually started pulling stitches out, I saw that the loops were going to stick up and await my pleasure. After frogging confidently, I started putting the needle back through the stitches and saw that this is where my Chibi was required. I knit tight, so pulling on the loops enough to get the knitting needle in tended to tug the next loop down — leading to dropped stitch danger. No problem — the waste yarn was a quick step, and replacing it with the knitting needle was a breeze.

Then came glove number 2. I knew what I was doing. Off I went, all the way to the top. Then I put my hand in and … the cables were on my palm. I looked back at the pattern. “Reverse shaping,” it said.

Aha. Fetching and Dashing don’t have thumb gussets, so they’re reversible. On these the thumb opening is knit into the glove with extra stitches, which have to be put on opposite sides of the hand … which means that the pattern has to be knit backwards the second time so that the cables remain on the back.

This forced me to figure out for the first time what “reverse shaping” means. In this case, you just broke the round into sections and knit them in reverse. Instead of k19 p1 cable p1 k17, you work k17 p1 cable p1 k19. The thumb gusset increases go in the middle of the k17 section both times. In both cases you’re starting the round in the middle of the palm and working counterclockwise, but on the right mitt you hit the thumb right before the end of the round, and on the left you hit it right at the beginning.

This is the sort of thing that no doubt is obvious to anyone who did a little thinking before plunging into shaped knitting (or even the conceptualization thereof), but in my usual blundering way I thought that it would work out without my having to apply any logic to it.

I didn’t mind all the ripping though — really, I didn’t. It was good practice, a confidence-builder, and I knew these gloves would be done all too soon anyway. I was perfectly happy to knit them about 1.6 times instead of just the once.

These are on their way to Katie J., who agreed to … you know … do unto others as she has requested I do unto her. Why don’t you take her up on her offer?

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2 Comments on “We never knock (because nobody’s there)”


  1. Are my eyes deceiving me, or is that different yarn around the fingers?

    Reading your reverse shaping description is giving me bad flashbacks to all the sock problems I had. I’d say I might try to make some mittens or gloves before winter is over, but I don’t know…

  2. donnadb Says:

    No, not a different yarn — the varigation in this yarn goes from brown lighter and lighter to that cream color. The effect is exaggerated by the fact that the thumb is worked last, so it’s going to be in the same color stripe as the last bit around the fingers, not in the stripe that matches the part of the hand where it actually goes.


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