Knitting Sanquhar Gloves

Sanquhar is a town in southwest Scotland. It is situated in good sheep country, and was a capital for wool-based industries from the 16th century to the 1930s.

Horse riders wearing
Sanquhar gloves

The knitters of Sanquhar were particularly adept at two-color stranded knitting. People all over the Scotland and the British Isles wore the Sanquhar gloves, including horse riders, as shown at left. The tight knit gloves protected their hands from the elements.

Sanquhar gloves are known for their distinctive patterns, which have survived for over two centuries.

After the first World War, Sanquhar knitters made these gloves for pay. They were paid 2 and 6, or 12½ pence for a pair of gloves with a name knitted into the cuff. (In the 20s, that was about 60 cents, enough to buy two gallons of gas.)

Classic Sanquhar glove patterns that were named after people. The Prince of Wales pattern was likely derived from a weaving pattern.

Prince of Wales Sanquhar gloves Rose pattern Sanquhar gloves

The Rose pattern was a commemoration of the 1930 birth of Princess Margaret, whose middle name was Rose.

These spectacular glove patterns deserve to remain alive, and designer Beth Brown Reinsel has researched the Sanquhar knitting tradition. Her new video workshop, Sanquhar Gloves: Knitting in the Scottish Tradition, you can knit along with Beth and make your own pair of gloves.

You'll learn how to plan and swatch your gloves to create a comfortable fit, how to customize the cuff pattern, and how to design your own Sanquhar-style pattern.

Get Sanquhar Gloves today and cast on these beautiful gloves.


P.S. Do you knit gloves? What tips do you have for successful knitting? I tuck the finished fingers into the hand of the glove so they don't get in my way as I'm knitting the next finger. Share your glove tips in the comments!

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Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

3 thoughts on “Knitting Sanquhar Gloves

  1. How clever you are to come up with that simple trick, Kathleen.

    One thing I have found helpful while doing the fingers is to thread the stitches not in use on a spare piece of yarn avoiding dealing with something reminiscent of a hedgehog bristling with needles. I saw this trick on the Purl Soho website.

    I make double thickness waterbottle cozies in this type of designs. They keep the contents cool or hot for quite some time. The stranded work makes a fabric full of thermal pockets, to keep hands, bottles, and in the case of the fair isle sleeveless pullover, bodies, warm.

    I find these articles about traditional handwork so interesting.


    Wendy Leigh-Bell

  2. I have two favorite tricks when knitting goves. The first is: There are many times I wear gloves inside mittens. In this way, my hands are not exposed to the winter elements when having to put a bus pass into a slot. I therefore use a tighter tension in knitting the pattern, and I don’t make the fingers as large as the pattern states. (A lot less bulk.) My second favorite trick is when I want to add an outer piece of material on each finger and palm, for those who drive. I cut the palm and fingers addition in one piece. I use an old tapestry needle to make holes in the added piece. I then use a tiny crochet needle to loop the knit stitch through each hole, and put it back onto my needle. Ta Da