« Glove Patterns | Main | Zone Out Knitting »

October 19, 2005

nona's Happy

What makes you happy?  For some its an exotic vacation or a gourmet dinner out.  For others it's a child's smile or a beautiful sunrise.  Perhaps it's a lollipop?  A new pair of shoes?  A good laugh?  Money?  Love?  How about for nona?  Let me tell you, inquisitive reader, what makes nona happy is that feeling of ah-ha when I discover something new.  Today nona was happy.  Today nona tried her first i-cord glove finger.

I heard about i-cord fingers from Margene, I read about i-cord fingers in "Handknitting with Meg Swansen", and I tried an i-cord finger -- a pinky to be exact -- this afternoon.  Such a simple, elegant solution to glove fingers!  Shall I show you?  Will is make you happy too?

When using the i-cord finger technique, you knit your gloves from the tips of the fingers down to the cuff.  Each finger is knit individually and then joined to the body of the glove.

Here are sample instructions for knitting the pinky finger.  Since you'll be knitting i-cord you'll need double pointed needles -- I suppose you could use a circular needle just so long as you're willing to do your fair share of stitch sliding!  Here goes:

  • Cast on 5 stitches onto a double pointed needle
  • Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle and knit one row (just like the i-cord you know and love)
  • Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle, and knit an increase row as follows: [k1, m1] 4 times, k1 => 9 stitches
  • Continue working i-cord on 9 stitches for about 18 rows or until the tube is the length of your pinky.  Because there are so many stitches the i-cord tube will not close.  If you inspect the back of your tube, you'll see a ladder of horizontal bars.  Have no fear, this is correct and you'll see why shortly.
The front of my i-cord pinky The back of my i-cord pinky -- notice the ladder of horizontal bars

What does that ladder of horizontal bars remind you of?  The ladder you get when you drop a stitch?  Exactly!  Here's how to close up the gap in your i-cord finger:

  • Before you begin, put the 9 pinky stitches on a piece of scrap yarn -- I know my picture doesn't show that, my bad.
  • Starting at the tip, find the first horizontal bar and twist it into a loop
  • Insert a crochet hook through the loop, hook the next horizontal bar and pull it through the loop
  • Continue working your way up the ladder until you get to the top.
  • This new loop becomes the 10th stitch, joining the other 9 on the piece of scrap yarn.
  • My i-cord pinky is good to go!

If you're interested in trying this technique I highly recommend Meg Swansen's book, Handknitting with Meg Swansen, which contains an excellently written and illustrated pattern for knitting gloves using i-cord fingers.

October 19, 2005 in Project - Gloves | Permalink


Count me in......

Posted by: wendy | Oct 20, 2005 1:40:16 AM

That's so cunning! I've got to try it.

Posted by: Bekki | Oct 20, 2005 2:31:16 AM

When you mentioned I-cord fingers, I thought that sounded neat. But watching how you close up the ladder, that's just too cool. I need to try this.

Posted by: Dena Childs | Oct 20, 2005 3:44:29 AM

What a clever idea!

Posted by: Janine | Oct 20, 2005 4:33:51 AM

Simplement génial! Another proof that this Zimmerman family must have a special knitting chromosome. Now that's the big issue : shall I buy yet another knitting book ?? (Too much yarns, too many books - sigh!)

Posted by: Sophie | Oct 20, 2005 4:58:03 AM

Nifty trick! Maybe you can just walk us through knitting an entire glove, since I seem to be too lazy to go out and find a pattern.

Posted by: Zarah | Oct 20, 2005 5:21:25 AM

Nona, it's very clear except one part which struck fear in my heart...
"Each finger is knit individually and then joined to the body of the glove."
Is that tomorrow's installment?

Posted by: Sockbug | Oct 20, 2005 5:43:33 AM

I admit when I first saw the mention of I-Cord fingers the other day, I said "well that seems kinda silly unless you want half the finger to be mesh." Now that I see your pictures from start to finish, I have to say "WOW!" The joining to the glove intimidates me though.

Posted by: Lynn | Oct 20, 2005 6:17:54 AM

Very cool! What an interesting way to knit glove fingers. I am definitely going to try this.

Posted by: Diana | Oct 20, 2005 6:42:18 AM

There was a big "aha" moment when you mentioned it a few days ago. Wouldn't have anticipated the ladder, though - this is very clever!

Posted by: Sara | Oct 20, 2005 7:41:25 AM

Are all the fingers done with the same # of stitches? What about the thumb... is there some trick to doing the thumb gusset?

Posted by: Leisel | Oct 20, 2005 7:41:37 AM

Thanks Nona, that's just so smart! I'll definitely going to try it for my first gloves ;)
Question here, if I knit it with laceweight yarn, should I start with the same number of sts? (since it's crazy to wear 'real' gloves here)

Posted by: Yuvee | Oct 20, 2005 8:07:36 AM

When I did it I actually knit the glove up to the fingers and then did I-cords. You do it the same way just from the bottom of the finger to the tip. I might have instructions some place that I can share with you. I'll check.

Posted by: margene | Oct 20, 2005 8:36:09 AM

Can't wait to try this! I love doing I-cord anyway. Thanks Nona for the pix.

Posted by: Kelly | Oct 20, 2005 8:58:13 AM

That is pretty brilliant. You are getting closer at convincing me to try gloves.

Posted by: Purly Whites | Oct 20, 2005 9:35:26 AM

So *that's* what fixes that pesky ladder section on i-cord! I thought I was the only knitter alive who didn't have a nice, smooth all the way around cord when making it up (well, perhaps I am alone when it comes to i-cord involving less stitches). I love this idea. I already make most of my hats from the top down, starting with i-cord, so this just makes sense. Thank you!

Posted by: Kathy | Oct 20, 2005 1:58:33 PM

intriguing... I love a good "how to" post!

Posted by: Di | Oct 20, 2005 3:41:51 PM

It's genious! Now I sorta wish I was knitting real gloves. Now I'll have to make some real gloves too. Sheesh :)

Posted by: Vicki | Oct 20, 2005 5:01:47 PM

Oh I am so glad I stopped by! OK, so gettign the fingers onto the glove body will be interesting but hey it has to be easier than knitting each finger on.... not that we will need gloves here for summer.

Posted by: Lynne S of Oz | Oct 21, 2005 2:36:31 AM

i REALLY appreciate you sharing the info/experiences you do --- you're so detailed! i've learned quite a few things reading your blog, including html tricks :)
gloves are on the horizon with my new koigu, and i think doing them finger first is a good way to make sure they fit in length! thanks again :)

Posted by: graylagran | Oct 21, 2005 6:03:24 AM

This is so very clever! I'm inspired to begin knitting the pinkies. Thank you for posting this!

Posted by: Ingrid | Nov 1, 2005 11:02:37 PM

I just found this and now I think I am ready to try real gloves. Thank you soooo much and I have some Koigu just sitting here, doing nothing, so I am going to put it to work. Thanks sooo much.

Posted by: Isela | Nov 11, 2005 10:47:51 PM

Ooh very very clever, I'm going to re-attempt Broad Street mittens... The one I made for my son just doesn't fit right at all :(

Thanks Nona! where can I join the knitalong? :)


Posted by: Kitty | Nov 14, 2005 9:20:51 AM

You know, I've had that book since it came out and never gave that pattern a look, what a shame that I almost missed this excellent technique!

Posted by: Dagny | Sep 28, 2007 10:23:29 AM

Love it...it's pure genius

Posted by: Chubbybubbe | Oct 23, 2008 12:14:23 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

All patterns, designs, content, and photographs Copyright 2004-2010 nonaKnits and Carolyn Quill Steele. All rights reserved. If you have any copyright questions or request, please ask -- nonaKnits at gmail dot com.