I knitted the Hoosiefield gloves designed by Hazel Tindall from the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2019 as soon as it was out. I used a mixture of Shetland yarn, some natural dyed yarns and some purchased colours and included the purple to enable the gloves to coordinate with more of my outdoor winter wear. I love them. The fingers are fair isle and super snug by being double thickness but time consuming for me to knit.
My much worn gloves
Michael (husband) asked me if I could knit him a pair of Fair Isle gloves that would match the colours in his red based Katie’s Kep, Shetland Wool Week annual 2020.
M’s Katie’s Kep
As he could try on my Hoosiefield gloves and I could judge the size I decided on this pattern. I spent some time playing with the colours.I decided to stick to reds,and black, as I had plenty of these in stock too and these would look good. The purple and blue of his hat were too distracting to my eye in this planned glove colour set.
On trying on the smaller size that I had knitted, he needed a longer rib, longer hand, longer fingers and wider.
I checked my tension, which was fine for the pattern and decided to lengthen the bigger size of the pattern a bit more. I could lengthen the fingers when the time came.
I helped myself time wise by knitting 2 ribs with the knitting machine and both longer cuffs were completed in 15 minutes. He preferred a plain single rib as he choose for the hat too.
All was good and so I started the glove and convinced myself although a little loose in the width all would be good.
So I got as far as this and decided they were too big. I had a hunch they were too wide.
So I got him to put on my gloves again and could see his hands although longer were very little wider than mine.
Back to the drawing board and a couple of days were taken up with planning a size intermediate between the two given sizes.
Decision 1 - base the custom pair on the larger glove pattern.
Decision 2 - I did not need to add length to the palm
Decision 3 - I needed to remove 6 stitches from the width
Then I began to really appreciate the skill of a Fair Isle glove designer. Finding out how to remove the 6 width stitches and keep the integrity of the pattern took me on a great journey. I appreciated how all the elements fitted together to make the perfect glove pattern. It is far more complex than a fair isle cardigan even with fitted sleeves!
It is all working so far and I am confident he will have gloves that both look good and fit his hands well. The bonus to me has been understanding what is needed in Fair Isle glove design. I will look at Fair Isle fingered gloves with even more admiration now. (There is still another change I would make if he asked for another pair!)
The custom glove so far.
Glove Pattern: Hoosiefield Shetland Wool Week Annual 2019, a great design by Hazel Tindall
Extremely useful video: Shetland Wool Week 2020 video Elizabeth Johnston ‘How to Knit Perfect Fingers’.