advertisement

Free EBooks

Topics

Tags

What's the purpose of fingerless mitts?

Nov 20, 2013

Top: Fresco Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts by Pam Allen; bottom: Kathleen's fingerless mitts, based on the mitten Pattern in Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of  Patterns     
A reader asked this on our Facebook page the other day, and I though, "Good question!"

I love fingerless mitts, myself, but I must admit that when I first noticed them on the scene, I wondered where the fingers were.

My home office is in a room with two outside walls, so it can get chilly in the winter, I have two pairs of fingerless gloves, and I wear them all winter long. I need my fingers free to type and knit, so the fingerless mitts are perfect.

And I know it's counter-intuitive, but fingerless mitts really do keep my fingers warm. I don't know why; maybe there's a doctor out there who can explain that for me!

Basically, fingerless mitts are great for wearing anytime you need your fingers free for texting, typing, playing the piano, going to the ATM, dialing the phone, you get the idea.

Four years ago, the Knitting Daily community did a knit-along of the Fresco Fair Isle Mitts. I actually finished the pattern for this knit-along (!), and these mitts are my favorite. The yarn is so soft and warm; it's a 60% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 10% Angora mix. It's luscious.

    
My mistake in the Fresco Fair Isle Mitts
I made a mistake in my Fresco mitts, though, and I really wish I would fix it! Check out the photo at right. I got off on my checkerboard pattern on the right thumb, and I ended up with corrugated ribbing (one color for knits, and one for purls).

This stitch is inherently snug, and since I didn't realize what I was doing, I didn't loosen up. So I ended up with a fairly tight right thumb. It doesn't cut off my circulation or anything, but it's noticeably tighter than the left thumb.

I must have been watching a really good episode of CSI or Battlestar Galactica while I was knitting these. Seriously, BSG was so good that it caused me many a knitting error.

Anyway, if the ribbed thumb weren't smaller than the other one, I'd be fine with it being different, but I need to fix it. I can probably ravel it and use the same yarn, but I think I have leftover Fresco in my stash somewhere.

If you're still not convinced of the benefits of fingerless mitts, there's a compromise: the mitten-fingerless mitt combo.

    
The Juris Mitts: Your compromise between fingerless mitts and mittens
The Juris Mitts, shown at left, are fingerless mitts with a flip-top that cover your fingers. The thumbs are knitted completely, but I've seen these type of mittens with buttonholes put in the thumbs so the wearer can push their thumbs out for texting. Pretty clever.

Designer Alexis Winslow uses a small, toggle-type button to hold the mitt caps back, but I like to use a snap to cut down on the bulk.

    

Whichever type of mitt you choose, 'tis the season, so get knitting!

We have a few Ashbury Mitts kits left, too, so order them now before they're all gone.

Cheers,

P.S. What's your vote on fingerless mitts? Like or dislike? Cast your vote in the comments!


Featured Products

Fresco Fair Isle Mitts

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50

eProject

Fingerless mitts with simple geometric stranded-knitting motif

More

Juris Mitts

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50

eProject

Perfect convertible mittens for men and women.

More

Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

GemsByGranny wrote
on Nov 30, 2013 6:37 PM

I love fingerless gloves, but I want some fingerless mitts. The gloves shove my fingers apart and I it's incomfortable. That's one of the items on my to-do list...

kennedyiowa wrote
on Nov 26, 2013 10:06 PM

I don't have fingerless mitts, but it does make sense that they help keep your hands warm. You lose body heat through exposed skin. The more skin that is exposed, the more heat you lose. The more skin that is covered, the more heat is kept in. If my office were cold I certainly think I would invest time in knitting myself with fingerless mitts.

kennedyiowa wrote
on Nov 26, 2013 10:06 PM

I don't have fingerless mitts, but it does make sense that they help keep your hands warm. You lose body heat through exposed skin. The more skin that is exposed, the more heat you lose. The more skin that is covered, the more heat is kept in. If my office were cold I certainly think I would invest time in knitting myself with fingerless mitts.

cablewonder wrote
on Nov 26, 2013 3:05 PM

Love 'em!

on Nov 25, 2013 7:39 PM

I think that fingerless mitts are very useful, especially if you spend time in a chilly house.  I think putting short little fingers on them is really the best as they anchor the fingerless mitt down when you go to put a full mitten over it in really cold weather.  When you need your fingers free to fish out something from your purse you needn't expose your entire hand to the elements.  

One thing I always do is to make the cuff in k3 p1 rib and at the end of the ribbing, make the purls disappear with an ssk dec.  Work a couple of rnds straight and then do a lifted increase in the centre of each rib.  This will anchor the mitt or glove just where the wrist meets the hand.  Then proceed with the thumb gusset.

All the best, Wendy Leigh-Bell

zephyrmom wrote
on Nov 25, 2013 7:04 PM

I am getting arthritis in my hands. Fingerless mitts relieve more pain than a double dose of NSAIDs (prescription strength). The warmth helps even in sunny Southern California. I make lots of them and get them as gifts so I always have a pair available.

Leslie Jac wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 7:18 PM

thank you Shiny.verse.  I'll get knitting right away. Leslie

shiny.verse wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 6:25 PM

Hi Leslie Jac:

Here are two I know of, but neither are Noro.

Gauge 24:

www.lanternmoon.com/.../LM_FYBClaudya_w.pdf

Gauge 28:

knittingglasses.wordpress.com/.../codename-wintergreen

shiny.verse wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 6:18 PM

My folks bought me a wool coat for my birthday, to keep warm, but I'm allergic to wool, and it gave me hives. I had already knit a scarf out of cotton, so I wore that, which protected my face and neck. I made some cotton fingerless gloves, which protected the backs of my hands and my wrists while leaving my fingers free to handle my bus pass and flip pages in my book. Now I can wear my new coat to work all winter!

Plus, small projects like accessories help use up leftover yarn from sweater projects. If you don't have enough to make a toque, you still have enough to make fingerless gloves! Or, if you find some great yarn on sale, and there's not enough for a sweater, you can make yourself a matching set of toque, scarf and f-l gloves.

And yes, I also use another set, smaller gauge, at work when the 'arctic wind' starts blowing. Apparently our building's heating system hasn't been properly calibrated yet. Everyone at work keeps a full set of accessories in a desk drawer since personal heaters are not allowed.

Leslie Jac wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 5:53 PM

Does anyone out there have a pattern for fingerless glove that has the separate fingers that are about an inch long but then end to allow the ends on the fingers to be free?  It was a Noro pattern that I can't find anywhere. Please post.  thanks

Leslie

EVElLYN wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 3:28 PM

Hi!  Two points:  [1] Fishermen have been knitting, and wearing finger-less mitts, or "cuffs"--[-think; they resemble the cuffs of gloves, or sweaters], for centuries---they are not an invention of this gen. They facilitate working in the cold, while leaving the fingers free to work. [2] The reason fingerless anythings keep the hands warm, is: the blood flo

to the hand is warmed, by the time it gets to the fingers.

1Dragones wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 1:39 PM

Two strikes against  me.  I don't know how to knit, and don't wear fingerless gloves.  Like Tammy T. my finger tips quickly get cold -even downright frozen- if they are exposed at all... and they take forever to get warm again later.  The rest of both hands remains warm when the fingers have reached near-frozen status, even without gloves... but that stage doesn't last too long either.  Gloves are essential in cold weather.  I am unlikely to try fingerless gloves anytime soon, being unconvinced that I could keep my fingers warm enough with them being exposed.

katycards1 wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 12:58 PM

They're great at work where it's always cold!  I'm even making pairs for my office mates.  Having my hands warmer actually helps me feel warmer all over.  Just started wearing them this week and have gotten numerous positive comments about how cute they are.  Definitely a winner, and uses up those partial skeins of yarn that I hate to throw away but don't really have any use for otherwise.  

katycards1 wrote
on Nov 23, 2013 12:53 PM

My office at work is freezing, so just this week I knitted myself a pair of mitts and have been wearing them.  It's amazing how much difference it makes.  Wearing them actually makes me feel warmer all over.  I've even knitted pairs for some of my colleagues, and we all love them.  The ones I've made are pretty simple, with a small pattern down the back of each one.  And I can make a pair in a few hours.  Since I started wearing them at work, several people have commented on how cute they are.  I may knit several more pairs in order to coordinate with my outfits!  It's a great way to use up leftover skeins of yarn as well.  I like to knit them to fit snugly, so they don't slide around or interfere with typing or knitting.

on Nov 22, 2013 3:27 PM

Fingerless gloves and fingerless mittens allow me to keep warm without interfering with dexterity, especially for late night band rehearsals in an unheated band room! The mitten flap is wonderful for early morning walks: extra warmth, but I can get to fingers quick when I'm ready for the house key, or a tissue.

IONE REID wrote
on Nov 22, 2013 8:49 AM

How many people have heard of "Trigger-Finger Mittens" I am a 60-something grandma in an area of Maine where there is a lot of hunting (deer, moose, birds etc) going on.  My mother and grandmother made these as long ago as I can remember. They had a separate finger knitted separately for the trigger finger (index finger). The fingerless mitts are a good, new take on those. A lot easier to knit and would work great if you have hunters in your life!

DianeP6 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 8:32 PM

We all love fingerless mitts! I have made numerous pairs. I have had to convince some how awesome they are. I now have a long list of family that welcome these gifts of love.  Diane

knit4me4u wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 8:09 PM

I too, love fingerless mitts.  At first thought they were silly, but am now converted.  I even wear them while driving the car and when I need to get out my credit card or cash I do not have to remove my fingerless gloves. :)   Knitted them for all my granddaughters and friends.

knittingpj wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 4:03 PM

Fingerless mitts are great for extra warmth over lightweight fleece gloves that can be washed regularly. They add great colors and textures and are so much easier to make than regular gloves. I've made them as gifts for a staff of 10 from frizzy funny to very sophisticated with gold. Get to do complicated patterns in small batches and have a finished product over the weekend!

Kelly@6 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 12:24 PM

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I wear fingerless gloves to bed. They help keep my joints warm.

I wear them most of the time no matter the weather.

I get funny looks from people in the middle of August in Texas but they help my hands.

Bev@2 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 12:11 PM

I love fingerless gloves!  I have two pair that I wear inside for much of the winter...heating system at my house leaves a lot to be desired!

CindyR@8 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 11:34 AM

I have two pairs of fingerless gloves I use all the time - sometimes even in the summer!  I used the Ann Budd pattern for gloves and knit the fingers up to my knuckle. I have made many pairs for others and they love them too.

I'm thinking of making another pair without the fingers and seeing if I can knit and write while wearing them.

on Nov 21, 2013 10:37 AM

People love the fingerless mitts I knit for sale! The only people who ask "What is the purpose?" are those who haven't tried them yet! They are especially good for older people--especially the guys!--whose hands are always cold, even indoors. My late husband loved them. And they make a great canvas so you can be endlessly creative with textures  lace or colorwork.

britspit2 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 10:12 AM

I have two active dogs that I walk everyday. We live in southwest Montana so except for our two months of summer( otherwise known as July and August) early mornings can be chilly or downright cold depending on the time of year. My fingerless mitts( several pairs) keep my arthritic hands warm and make it easier to pick up after my dogs and to give them treats. I wear them under thick wool mittens when it is very cold outside and on there own when it is just chilly.

jagwolfe wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 10:07 AM

I love fingerless mitts.  I keep a pair at my desk and another in my car. I wear them when I walk in the autumn and early spring.  The first time I saw them, I couldn't understand why anyone would knit them. Then my sister knit a pair for me and I was hooked.  This year I made several pair for holiday gifts.

Jane

mitchellle wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 9:59 AM

Fingerless mitts do help keep your fingers warm.  If you are not wearing them, when your blood flow goes through your wrist and palms your blood begins to cool in response to the cold environment.  Your fingers, as extremities get the coldest, fastest and you experience pain.

If you are wearing fingerless gloves the wool surrounding your wrist, palms and backs of your hands help to keep the colld from leeching heat from your blood until it leaves the mitt coverage area and goes into your fingers.  Warmer blood flow helps keeps your fingers from getting cold.  Of course, if you are in extreme cold your fingers will still be in danger.

I wear fingerless gloves when typing, driving, etc.  However, I usually switch to wristers when I am going to knit (the needles tends to catch on the mitts), clean, or cook.  

I made my Dad fingerless mitts for working in the garage in the winter.  He loves them because it is so much easier to handle tools, screws and small parts.

on Nov 21, 2013 9:50 AM

Had to chuckle when I saw your article on fingerless mitts.  My daughter asked for a pair a few years ago so she could eat popcorn in the movie theater.  She always gets so cold in there and these work perfectly!!

RebeccaA wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 9:44 AM

I DO like fingerless gloves (or mitts).  One of my current projects is a pair of "flip-top" mittens for my daughter to give her the advantage of having of choice of keeping warm yet having her fingers free when needed (yes, for texting but other purposes too).

on Nov 21, 2013 9:27 AM

I go horseback riding all year long.  In the winter months fingerless mittens are great for tacking up the horse; i.e., buckling the girth and getting the bit in the horse's mouth.  It's very difficult even with gloves on, so the fingerless mittens work great!  

Liz

P.S.  I do put my winter riding gloves on when I ride (or I would have frozen fingers for sure!).

Clare Brud wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 8:43 AM

My daughters church has an out door crib seen every year with live animals too.

She plays the guitar and I made her a set of fingerless gloves an leg warmers and she was very grateful. A loving Mom

6carol2 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 8:23 AM

To be grammatically correct, the headline should read: "What is the purpose of fingerless mitts?"      

6carol2 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 8:23 AM

To be grammatically correct, the headline should read: "What is the purpose of fingerless mitts?"      

6carol2 wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 8:22 AM

To be grammatically correct, the headline should read: "What is the purpose of fingerless mitts?"      

on Nov 21, 2013 7:58 AM

I like fingerless…..The secret is that by keeping your hands warm there is plenty of blood supply to keep the fingers warm. When the hands are cold the blood vessels constrict and reduce blood flow to fingers and that's why they get frost bitten….So warm hands and feet mean warm fingers and toes. :):)

Javalyn wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 7:52 AM

My elderly aunt has arthritis in her hands and has trouble getting on regular gloves.  When she started using a walker, the fingerless mitts I made for her were wonderful for padding as well as warmth.  In fact, I made a light weight cotton pair for her to use during the summer.   I think they would be welcome by many who must use walkers.

kglass wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 6:40 AM

About 35 years ago, I made fingerless gloves for my boys.  I made long, long cuffs.  They wore tem UNDER their mittens to protect their wrists when making snow forts and while sledding,  They could change mittens when the mittens were wet and soggy and just leave the cuff part on.  

There were no fingerless mitten patters at the time so I just knit a mitten to just above the thumb.  Worked great.

kglass wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 6:40 AM

About 35 years ago, I made fingerless gloves for my boys.  I made long, long cuffs.  They wore tem UNDER their mittens to protect their wrists when making snow forts and while sledding,  They could change mittens when the mittens were wet and soggy and just leave the cuff part on.  

There were no fingerless mitten patters at the time so I just knit a mitten to just above the thumb.  Worked great.

kglass wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 6:40 AM

About 35 years ago, I made fingerless gloves for my boys.  I made long, long cuffs.  They wore tem UNDER their mittens to protect their wrists when making snow forts and while sledding,  They could change mittens when the mittens were wet and soggy and just leave the cuff part on.  

There were no fingerless mitten patters at the time so I just knit a mitten to just above the thumb.  Worked great.

kglass wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 6:40 AM

About 35 years ago, I made fingerless gloves for my boys.  I made long, long cuffs.  They wore tem UNDER their mittens to protect their wrists when making snow forts and while sledding,  They could change mittens when the mittens were wet and soggy and just leave the cuff part on.  

There were no fingerless mitten patters at the time so I just knit a mitten to just above the thumb.  Worked great.

kglass wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 6:40 AM

About 35 years ago, I made fingerless gloves for my boys.  I made long, long cuffs.  They wore tem UNDER their mittens to protect their wrists when making snow forts and while sledding,  They could change mittens when the mittens were wet and soggy and just leave the cuff part on.  

There were no fingerless mitten patters at the time so I just knit a mitten to just above the thumb.  Worked great.

Earleybird wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 4:33 AM

I personally love fingerless mitts as I find it hard to pick things up when wearing mitts with fingers on, which means I have to frequently take one or both off and ultimately I end up loosing them. I suffer with cold hands year round so find them very beneficial.

FYI the reason your fingers stay warm (unless it is extremely cold) is because your blood is kept warm as it flows into your fingers, you may even find that your hands are even warmer as you have more movement.

Thank you for all your interesting posts :)

la jefa wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 3:02 AM

I attend the first Mass on Sundays and the church is sometimes very cold.  Fingerless gloves or mitts allow me to turn pages while keeping my hands warm.  I really love them.  Made a pretty Fair Isle pair some years ago and now would like to make the convertible mitts.  I also do outside chores in winter and these would  be great.

moir@ wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 2:44 AM

Don't know how many pairs of fingerless gloves I've made - for friends, family, work colleagues (and myself, of course!) Everyone thinks they are so practical for shopping, etc as you don't have to take them off. Only time I don't wear them is if it's -10 and snowing!

fiddlinfan wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 2:38 AM

I like fingerless mitts but when I'm knitting, I notice my yarn often sticks and grabs onto the yarn of my mitts. :{

S Bell wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 2:37 AM

My husband, son and I are a musical trio (cello, flute and harp), and we enjoy setting up and playing outdoors in the city park during the winter holidays.  Needless to say, we find our fingerless gloves indispensable to keep the chill off during our musical forays into the cold winter air.  And they're quick to knit up!

sue cheetham wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 2:15 AM

My lambswool fingerless knits are a winter essential - for when I'm milking my three alpine goats!! That stable gets chilly! Brr!

Mimi Routh wrote
on Nov 21, 2013 12:24 AM

"What are the purpose of fingerless mitts?"

Kathleen, I love knitting and I really like you and everything Interweave, but . . . you need a proofreader and you need a new picture!!!  Somewhere I saw another picture of you where you look like the slim and pretty lady that you actually are. I HATE this fat frog-face picture you send me every day.

I make arm-tubes with a slit on one side out of the best yarn I can afford to show special people that I thought of them. I make these quite long and in delicious colors I'm sure the recipient will love. The fancy fitted and patterned gloves or mitts are for Very Special Friends or to keep. They are becoming so ubiquitous that I feel most people don't appreciate handmade ones. I live in high altitude severe winter weather. Even before it snows, I'm battling rough cuticles, etc. so I prefer gloves and still have to wear gloves with cream to bed. Mimi Routh, South Lake Tahoe, CA

suehorlander wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 11:07 PM

I'm fascinated with fingerless gloves. I've been wanting to make them for the longest time, but we lived in Florida and had no use for them.  We have recently moved to north Georgia in the mountains. So now I have a reason to make them and I hope to do so soon.

Tabbico wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 10:54 PM

I am a Civil War civilian reenactor, and these types of mitts, called muffatees or wristers then, were very popular in the mid 1800's. Women then wore very fine, thin kid gloves which didn't provide much warmth, so they wore the muffatee over the glove for extra warmth. Could be a great way to wear them today!

NancyB wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 9:48 PM

I love to knit fingerless mitts.  They are quick, fun and useful gifts.  I made a few pairs as gifts before finally making some for myself.  I work in a hotel and every month I have to do the food inventory with our chef.  This involves spending time in the walk-in coolers & freezers and having to write.  My hands tend to get painfully cold, especially my knuckles, but gloves with fingers make wrting too difficult for me.  Fingerless mitts have proven to be the perfect thing for me.  I also love them for driving & hockey games.   Must make more!

NickyB72 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 9:38 PM

For the ones that still get cold fingers:

Did you maybe make the cuff too tight?

Or maybe you need to switch to different yarn?

I also love them for driving, used them all winter long in Germany last year.

Now, back in Kuwait, I'll make me another pair. Real gloves are too warm, those are perfect :)

NickyB72 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 9:35 PM

I think, since they keep your pulse warm, the rest stays sort of warm too?

I love them too. In 'real' gloves my hands start to overheat, unless it's really cold. And they are great when you are out shooting photos. I do need to make me some with that 'pull down' finger cover :D

on Nov 20, 2013 9:14 PM

A previous poster said fingerless mitts make her fingers cold, and that's my situation. I have a couple of pairs, made  with heavy worsted a few years ago, that I keep in the car, because once the car warms up, the fingerless mitts work well.  I just can't use them in any other context.  I've just ordered some fingering-weight alpaca.  I'm going to pick up stitches at the top opening and knit up a straight (or slightly decreased) tube that covers my fingers.  When my fingers get warm I'll just tuck the tube inside the mitt.  Then I'll have a long mitt to use until the car warms up, and tnen a mitt that will keep my hands and fingers warm but keep my fingers free for change, tokens. etc/

skyekilt wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 9:08 PM

I love to make fingerless mitts.  I've made them for almost everyone I know--family, friends and even professionals like doctors and nurses.  They are always very surprised at how warm it keeps their fingers!

Darlene@30 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:58 PM

I work in the medical field and I will tell you why they work. Hold out your hand, palm up. See those veins in your wrist? That is where you lose the heat going to  your fingers. After you put the gloves on, be sure and pull your sweater well over the cuff of the gloves and soon your fingers will be toasty warm.

Darlene@30 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:58 PM

I work in the medical field and I will tell you why they work. Hold out your hand, palm up. See those veins in your wrist? That is where you lose the heat going to  your fingers. After you put the gloves on, be sure and pull your sweater well over the cuff of the gloves and soon your fingers will be toasty warm.

Darlene@30 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:58 PM

I work in the medical field and I will tell you why they work. Hold out your hand, palm up. See those veins in your wrist? That is where you lose the heat going to  your fingers. After you put the gloves on, be sure and pull your sweater well over the cuff of the gloves and soon your fingers will be toasty warm.

Darlene@30 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:57 PM

I work in the medical field and I will tell you why they work. Hold out your hand, palm up. See those veins in your wrist? That is where you lose the heat going to  your fingers. After you put the gloves on, be sure and pull your sweater well over the cuff of the gloves and soon your fingers will be toasty warm.

dixiehellcat wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:57 PM

I love fingerless gloves! And I've decided they keep the fingers warmer because they warm the body of the hand, and the blood circulating thru it, before said blood travels out to the fingers.

jandi wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:33 PM

Back in the 70s when I lived in Scotland, a lovely older friend told me that she thought she and her mates might have invented fingerless mitts.  During WWll they were the women airplane mechanics on the airfields in Britain. They had to be outside repairing the planes, no matter what the weather.  Completely frustrated by the clumsiness of their military-issue gloves, they snipped off the ends of the fingers, then made "caps" using several layers of socks cut off at the arch.  These they sewed to the backs of the hand of the glove, so they could easily be pushed on or off depending on the task and/or the weather.   Much later in her life, there she was in her garden using a more recently made pair, since she couldn't find them commercially made.  Once again, necessity was the mother of invention!

jandi wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:32 PM

Back in the 70s when I lived in Scotland, a lovely older friend told me that she thought she and her mates might have invented fingerless mitts.  During WWll they were the women airplane mechanics on the airfields in Britain. They had to be outside repairing the planes, no matter what the weather.  Completely frustrated by the clumsiness of their military-issue gloves, they snipped off the ends of the fingers, then made "caps" using several layers of socks cut off at the arch.  These they sewed to the backs of the hand of the glove, so they could easily be pushed on or off depending on the task and/or the weather.   Much later in her life, there she was in her garden using a more recently made pair, since she couldn't find them commercially made.  Once again, necessity was the mother of invention!

jandi wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:32 PM

Back in the 70s when I lived in Scotland, a lovely older friend told me that she thought she and her mates might have invented fingerless mitts.  During WWll they were the women airplane mechanics on the airfields in Britain. They had to be outside repairing the planes, no matter what the weather.  Completely frustrated by the clumsiness of their military-issue gloves, they snipped off the ends of the fingers, then made "caps" using several layers of socks cut off at the arch.  These they sewed to the backs of the hand of the glove, so they could easily be pushed on or off depending on the task and/or the weather.   Much later in her life, there she was in her garden using a more recently made pair, since she couldn't find them commercially made.  Once again, necessity was the mother of invention!

joan newton wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:25 PM

Fingerless gloves are better than fingerless mittens.  Basically you leave the end off the fingers of each glove so you have the direct contact but the palm end of each finger is still there.  Warmer and certainly better for driving and typing as they stay in place.

K_T_Pi wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:17 PM

I am a great fan of fingerless gloves for all sorts of use. Here in New Zealand we don't tend to have air-conditioned house and some things can get a bit chilly: playing the piano, typing. In between seasons, fingerless mitts are great for nippy but not freezing days when you're out for a walk, and when you're hiking (we call it tramping here), it's great for cold winter days when you are using a pole for walking. If I was a cyclist, I think I'd wear them on my bike - if it came to it, I'd wear them for knitting on a winter's day, but it's never come to that yet!

neuloa wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 8:05 PM

Dialysis patients like them a lot. I started Mitts of Steal where we donate mitts to patients. 200+ donated and counting. They keep my hands warm while I dialyze.

jam220 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:58 PM

My hands are always cold so I made my first pair this fall.  I loved them so much I made another pair for my sister.  I just look for interesting glove patterns and convert them to fingerless.

Bev W wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:53 PM

I had a pair of fingerless mitts with the flip-over top.  The tops were fastened back with a dab of Velcro.  (I know, I know,  Velcro and wool!?!) However, I was outside needing to keep hands warm, but also needing to be able to use a pen or pencil for documentation I was doing.    Loved them!

LindaD@2 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:48 PM

I have arthritis in my hands, and I wear fingerless mitts at night.  My hands are usually outside the covers, and we keep our bedroom cool, so in the morning my fingers are stiff and hurt.  But with the fingerless gloves, my hands are toasty all night long, and feel much better in the morning.

Jessica1004 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:46 PM

I like the fold back flap style mitts the best and so do my kids in one form or another. Either no fingers or partial fingers, both with the flap to cover when extra warmth is needed. Although that could be because we are in the northern region of the US and no one would be caught dead without access to total hand coverage when it gets below zero.

What I need to come up with is a double layer version. I started making double layer mitts about 2 years ago and they really are much warmer.

CynthiaS@14 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:37 PM

I love to knit fingerless mitts. I give them to elderly patients at retirement homes. Their circulation is not always good so their hands get cold. Wearing the mitts allows their fingers to be free for activities and still have warm hands. Not a lot of yarn is required for a big pay-off!

taccounts wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:10 PM

I love fingerless mitts with the flip-tops...I got my first pair probably 15 years ago and wore them out long before I ever learned to knit. Whenever I was at a craft fair and saw knitted items I asked the booth-tender "Can you make me another pair of these?"...I never got a YES, mostly I got a puzzled "Huh?". Now I can (and do) knit them for myself (and others)...I wish I had learned to knit sooner ...sigh :)

CathyW wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 7:09 PM

I made my first fingerless gloves for a specific case: twice a year, I'd have a two-day stretch of outdoor work where I'd need to write with a pen on a clipboard, starting at gawdawfulearly in the morning. Almost invariably, given the early-March and early-October dates, the weather was... brisk. Cold wind. Probably rain, except for the one time when it snowed. Even if it warmed up by afternoon, the start of the day was usually pretty miserable. Fingerless mitts were perfect - I had the dexterity to write because my fingers were free, and yet warm enough to continue gripping the pen.

athodge wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 6:29 PM

I sell my fingerless gloves on eBay, or try to. I portray myself as a little old lady in the Maine woods knitting away the time. Part of that is true, I do do other things. This is what I put on my description of the gloves...

"There is something rather odd about this fingerless business. You’d think your fingers would freeze while wearing them, but strangely, they stay quite warm and you are able to do things like drive a car or scratch your nose. I suspect that, because the wristlets are keeping your wrists warm (surprise!), they are keeping the blood in your wrists nice and cozy when they run through important places like veins and arteries, which of course, go to your fingers and thus in the process, keep your fingers warm. Make sense?

In really cold weather, they may be worn over a pair of gloves, giving one the warmth of a mitten and the convenience of a glove.

And... I’ve been told, they are terrific for texting while keeping your hands warm! Whatever texting is...." (I'm really not that out of it!)

Anne

kkatrak wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 6:14 PM

I love fingerless mitts.  I have Raynaud's Symdrome, which is where in response to cold, my fingers--mainly the tips--turn white and go numb.  This happens mostly in spring and fall with the changing temperatures.  So, when I need to do something but need to keep my hands warm, the fingerless mitts do the trick.  They are fun, easy to make, and make great gifts, as well.

on Nov 20, 2013 6:11 PM

I love fingerless mitts, they keep your wrists warm, which keeps the blood circulating warm... thus, your fingers stay warm.  Also, they keep cold drafts from going up your coat sleeves.  They are just wonderful anyway.  I plan to use some lovely alpaca to make a new pair, this year.  Hmmm, maybe my daughters will like some.

jc3 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 6:09 PM

I have a pair of finger-tip-less gloves that I use fly fishing.  The fingers go up to the last knuckle on each finger and give me the access to my finger tips for tying on new flies.

Mnhamel wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 6:08 PM

Fingerless mitts are the best! I have at least six pairs and wear them lots. Here in Saskatchewan,they are perfect in the spring and fall.In the winter,I put them over a pair of  gloves and they are just perfect....especially when driving.

neuloa wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 6:04 PM

Dialysis patients love them. I've actually donated 200+ mitts to dialysis patients. As a patient myself  many, my self included suffer from cold hands due to Steal Syndrome. So if you have any laying around unused contact Mitts of Steal on Ravelry. We will find a place for them.

mogorman wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:54 PM

Fingerless mitts are fabulous!  Fun to make!  Perfect to use up scrap yarn and make singlets and gift pairs of mismatched mitts.  

dinahcoble wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:52 PM

I, too, love fingerless mitts.  They are wonderful for keeping my hands warm in fall and early spring while I'm walking outside, and there have been some mild winters when I've worn only fingerless mitts even when I'm outside.   My physician husband explains that the blood supply for your hand is in the palm.  If the palm is warm, so are the fingers.

dragonflysky wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:51 PM

I love fingerless mitts and wear them  often: keep my hands warm and fingers free for drawing, etc. My 86 years old Dad is also a convert, since I made him a pair as an experiment. I'm about to cast on a fourth pair for him for this Xmas!

R_golden700 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:47 PM

I agree!  I love fingerless mitts!  I made a lovely pair a few years ago with Llama fiber: SO soft and warm!  Perhaps the science has to do with the protection being around the part of the hand that may lose the most body heat.  Just as we're warmer when when covering on our head, because 75% of our body heat is lost through the top of our head.  Perhaps the same is true for our hands, in that we lose more body heat through the palms or top of our hand, not our fingers.  

Once, when I used to deliver newspapers, I bought a pair of highly insulated gloves to wear in the deep cold of February.  Don't you know, my fingers, once cold, NEVER got really warm wearing those gloves!  I think maybe it was because they were actually isolated from one another, in suspended frozen feeling and could not draw warmth from the body parts naturally around them.  So, everything just stayed cold wearing those heavy padded gloves.  My warmth and keeping it was MUCH more successful wearing a light pair of knit gloves inside a bulkier pair of knitted llama fiber mittens.  

When we just need small comfort, in light cool conditions, to keep fingers and hands warm, but also free to work, fingerless mitts are ideal!   I've worn out my old llama pair and now need to buckle down and knit something new for this season.  Thanks for the great new patterns!

LindaB@145 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:46 PM

I love knitting fingerless gloves.  In fact, I'm working on my twenty-eighth pair for 2013 now.  some have half fingers, some have flip-tops, and some are truly fingerless.  I wear them in the seasons when it's not really cold enough for gloves but it's nice to have a little warmth.  I give a lot as gifts and I donate them to church sales where they sell really well.

Lee Wells wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:45 PM

Although I do not wear fingerless gloves myself (if it cold enough for fingerless gloves I wear regular gloves instead) I have made several pairs for my daughter.  She asked for them for flute practice and for marching band in high school.  The band uniforms were navy blue with gold trim and I had just enough navy blue yarn on hand, with a bit of gold to work into the thumb gusset.  The (fussy) band leader figured she was wise to use the gloves.  Her first pair of fingerless gloves I bought up on impulse when she was about 10 years old and she used them until she outgrew them.  Right now I am thinking about knitting fingerless gloves to match the So   Faux Cowl  from Knitscene Accessories 2013 for my other daughter who lives in the northeast and faces another long cold winter.  Fun to knit, easier than full gloves, better fit than mittens.  Lee Wells

mamar9635 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:42 PM

Love knitting fingerless mitts. I've knit several pair as gifts. I've also done the magic mitts for my daughter-in-laws, they love them. With little one to strap into car seats they are so convenient. Maybe someday I'll knit one of either pair for myself.  

PennySeymour wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:42 PM

I have arthritis in my hands, and I rub Voltaren gel into my hands and wear the mitts to bed. Otherwise I'm likely to wake up with very stiff fingers.

laramarsh wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:40 PM

I work at home doing medical transcription, typing ALL AFTERNOON AND EVENING, and I could not do this in the winter months without fingerless mittens!

Bettina Groh wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:34 PM

I remember my grandmother wearing them... we lived in London after the war and didn't have central heating. Her's were a lacey knit  ( very lady like after all this was the late 1940's!) but unlike the ones I see today the finger part went almost upto the first knuckle.

Whenever I  see or read fingerless gloves... I think of her!!

Kathy Carman wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:29 PM

Love, love, love these.  I just spent a week at a photography workshop, wore mitts and was able to work my camera with no problems...it was COLD in the mountains at dawn!

MyaLMG wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 5:29 PM

Fingerless mitts can help you feel warmer because they cover your wrists and forearms and that does warm the blood as it circulates to your fingers. Some researchers have hypothesized that one reason men aren't usually as cold as women in offices is because they have something around their neck (collars/ties), their wrists (long sleeve shirts even in the summer) and socks that keep their ankles and feet warm (instead of pantyhose which isn't necessarily conducive to warming up your ankles). I have found if I wear a scarf and fingerless mitts I'm warmer than when I just wear a jacket but no scarf or mitts. And anyway, they are pretty. :)

on Nov 20, 2013 5:27 PM

love fingerless mittens--and they do somehow keep my fingers warm.   Wear them in my sewing room which is upstairs and is cold in the winter.   I made a pair a couple of years ago that I still use, made another last winter, and this winter doing yet another.  

on Nov 20, 2013 4:45 PM

I love to make and wear these. They're one of those tiny projects you can stick in your purse and tote around. They are extremely useful for text-crazy teens who are always in need of fingers while out and about. Yes, I agree the blood is kept warmer on it's way to the tips, so fingers stay warmer too.

bora555 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 4:44 PM

These have been around along time. Long before the tech age, think of Dickens!

I use mine just for indoors as my hands get so cold in my old house. They are stylish and even though my fingers are not encased they feel warmer just because my hands are warm.

With all the beautiful patterns out there - I am having a great time knitting them for all my friends. Don't be mislead into thinking the lacey mohair ones will not be warm- They are!! I get so many compliments on mine.

Sisknitter wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 4:40 PM

I love them! And my daughters and granddaughter love them, too. I knit them for them a lot!!

TammyT wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 2:04 PM

I don't wear fingerless gloves alone. I know a lot of people find them warming, especially indoor at their computer, but fingerless gloves do not work that way for me. My fingertips freeze if they are exposed, period. I make fingerless gloves sometimes but mainly for the process rather than the product. They are about nine zillion times less fiddly to make and quicker than fingered gloves. They can also be made in thicker yarns than I would use for fingered gloves. If I have one or two skeins of a lovely yarn and I don't want to make socks out of it, there are many lovely and fun patterns for fingerless gloves. As far as using them, they are great to layer OVER fingered gloves when it is ridiculously cold out. They give you more warmth on your hands and wrists without having two layers of bulk on your fingertips. The perfect combo for below zero temperatures- buy a pair of boring fingered gloves. Sew conductive thread (sold at Hobby Lobby etc) into the index fingers, enabling  you to use your phone while wearing gloves. Make pretty fingerless gloves in a slightly looser gauge and wear them over the boring ones. Fun knitting, good looks and nice and warm.

gginastoria wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 1:55 PM

Quicker than socks and scarves but just as welcome for gifts.  I had to convince some family members they would keep their hands as warm as gloves and would show off their manicures.  

Anita@2 wrote
on Nov 20, 2013 11:11 AM

The warm blood from your hand circulates to your fingers. Keep your hand warm, and you keep your fingers warm.

on Nov 20, 2013 10:49 AM

I, too, don't understand the concept of fingerless gloves - and since I live in South Florida, no fingerless gloves on myyyy needles!!

(But I do think some of them are cute)