Having trouble with knitted glove fingers

I use circular needles. I don’t get double points. They make no sense to me. I want to knit just one pair of gloves that fit. I can’t find anything on the internet that helps, so I am coming here to post my question.

My hand around is 8, the length from wrist to top of middle finger is 7. A comfortable fit using regular yarn (don’t ask, I don’t know, it’s soft) is casting on 48 stitches with size 3 hiya sharps. I do about 5 inches of a 2 x 2 rib, then do the thumb, get my original stitch count back after the gusset is separated off on waste yarn and then continue to knit to the top of the hand where the fingers begin.

This is where I enter into hell.

6/12 stitches (6 front/6 back) are too small for the pinkie. So that will obviously be too small for the other fingers which are bigger.

My question.

How do you increase for the individual fingers and still keep the fit of the hand? I can’t figure it out, I’ve tried to understand what is out there but am a firm believer that everyone is making it more complicated than it needs to be. I have yet to find anyone who can explain this process simply and I believe it is simple - I just can’t figure it out. What is it about the fingers that is escaping me?

And a note here. I have tried to watch the video’s where DPN’s are used and the whole process might as well be in a foreign language because I get focused on all those needles and I’m lost at that point.

Please don’t point me to a pattern - I just want someone to explain the process to me. Please.

Welcome to KnittingHelp!
It sounds like you have the beginning down perfectly for the yarn and needles that you’re using. If 12 sts are too few for the pinkie, then increase or cast on sts at the gap between front and back sts for the pinkie. The same goes for the other fingers. Often the hand sts aren’t enough for the fingers.
After you knit the pinkie, you’ll knit the hand sts for a few rows and you can increase at that point too. Again you may need to increase for the individual fingers by casting on in addition to picking up sts at the gaps between fingers.


Thanks for your answer.

You mentioned knitting the pinkie then knitting around for the other portion of the hand a few more rounds increasing if need be as I go (one option). I have read in various places that because the pinkie sits ‘lower’ or begins earlier than the other fingers that adjustments have to be made for that. I have been in a quandary about how to do that and make it look normal.

I have also read that taking a soft tape measure and measuring around the base of each finger gives an idea of how many stitches are needed for said fingers, but how do you do a conversion of that sort from inches to stitches? That escapes me.

Also, as I am thinking about what you have described with the adding of stitches in the gaps, wouldn’t that technically make the fingers part of the glove seem wider than the rest when they are added to the glove? It seems like they would.

Something else that I have noticed and can’t quite make sense of is the difference in how people add stitches. I know knitters all have their own way about how they do what they do, but I have seen stitches ‘picked up’ and I have seen the equivalent of a long tail cast on stitch done. Is there something about the way the cast on stitch is added that makes it work differently?

You might find at least part of this video helpful. You can skip up past 2 min. and not sit through her chatter at the start.

Thanks GrumpyGramma.

I checked Lauren out at Girly Knits awhile back thinking that she might explain it and she does to a certain degree, but like I said I get focused on her needles and find myself getting angry at those needles and I can’t hear what she is saying. I don’t know how to get past that.

Anyway, I went back and looked at it again (trying very hard to not focus on those darn DPN"s). About 5 mins in she starts with the pinkie.

She has her stitches set aside. Once the pinkie is bound off, she brings the held stitches back into play and adds 2 stitches at the base of the pinkie, putting the other stitches back into motion and then she knits another 3 rounds, stopping at the base of the pinkie.

She mentions 2 ways of adding stitches, but I’m not clear on what she was doing and exactly where. I know it was at the base of the pinky, but because the video is not clear, you can’t see where she is picking up those stitches (at least I couldn’t and those needles don’t help).

She does 3 rounds of knit stitches before coming back to the pinkie base and beginning the ring finger. Somehow she picks the 2 original cast on stitches and adds them to four just before them, making 6 stitches. The rest go on a holder and get set aside. She is basically working 6 front and 6 back stitches for her next finger.

Okay, I get that. But what about those of us who have FAT fingers and need more than 6 stitches? Where and how are we adding the stitches? From what I can tell, my glove would be comfortable with 8/8 on each finger. At least they would slide over my hand easier, where 6/6 cut off circulation.

I hear people talking about ‘tube’ fingers. How is that different from knitting a front set of stitches and a back set and joining them? Doesn’t that make a tube? Or is there something else going on?

I never thought fingers could be so frustrating. Just to think I was overwhelmed when I first learned how to knit socks. I can make socks all day long now, but a simple thing like glove fingers has me at a loss.

See if this tutorial is of any help. Skip down to knitting the pinkie. There are specific directions for casting on sts and later for knitting more of the hand sts in order to account for the lower placement of the pinkie.

I’ve seen photos of gloves where the fingers seem to overlap each other when the glove is laid flat and that may be what it takes to get large enough fingers to fit. Somewhat like the glove in the tutorial above.


This is exactly what I am talking about. I remember coming across this site a while back and thinking THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT. No cabling, no fancy stitch work, just plain knitting. Then I tried to read the pattern. Let me show you.


[B][I]We started with 48 stitches on our cuff[/I][/B], ([I][COLOR=“Red”]good, that works for me[/COLOR][/I]), but two of them wound up in our gusset. You should then have 46 stitches on your needles. [B]You want 11 of these for your pinkie.[/B] ([I][COLOR=“Red”]No that is even less than what I need[/COLOR][/I]). Take 5 from one side and 6 from the other. If you have offset your thumbs, take 5 from the inside of the glove and 6 from the outside. Place all the rest of your stitches onto a scrap piece of yarn.

Knit the 5 stitches and when you come to the end of them, add 2 to 4 stitches using the [B]backwards cast-on[/B] method ([I][COLOR=“Red”]Why? & What is that?[/COLOR][/I]). The amount you add on will be determined by the width of your fingers, or the fingers of the person you are making the gloves for ([I][COLOR=“Red”]Why is 11 the number she started with only to add on more? Why an odd number?[/COLOR][/I]). [B]Now join those new stitches to the other side[/B] ([I][COLOR=“Red”]other side of what?[/COLOR][/I]), and knit those six so that you have 13 to 15 stitches in a tiny circle to begin knitting into a tube. ([I][COLOR=“Red”]Why are the stitch numbers odd?[/COLOR][/I])

Now that you have your foundation of your tube, knit 18 to 24 rows - more or less, depending on your measurements. Knit until you are just shy of the end of the finger - this goes pretty quickly.

To close the finger up, K2tog for two rounds until you have 4 stitches remaining on your needles. Snip the yarn off, leaving you a good six inches of tail. Pull the end of that tail through the remaining stitches and pull it closed like a drawstring. Leave this be for now, we will pull it inside and tie it off when we get to the finishing steps.

I am doing half finger, so I only need to go half the way.

Under the Middle Finger section she includes this statement:

*[I][B]Widths of fingers can be adjusted by adding more or less stitches using the backwards cast on method, just before you close the foundation ring of your tube.[/B][/I]

Here is where I have the problem. What are the pros of Backward cast on as opposed to the long tail cast on loop? And where? at the base where the hole is? She is saying before 'we close the foundation" What does that mean? Have we already knit the finger? Or is this at the point where we are initially joining the back and front stitches to begin the finger? If so which side are we adding to or are we adding to both equally? If so, why is she using odd number stitches?

I am trying to form a picture in my head of what to do and with the way she describes it, all I get out of it is confusion. I like the gloves, don’t get me wrong, but her directions leave something to be desired. Unless of course she is talking to veteran knitters. Then I could understand it.

Oy vey.

You can adjust the numbers for the gloves to suit your yarn and needles. They need not be the same as used in the tutorial. You can try to use proportional numbers if that works.
This is the backwards loop cast on.

You can use that or a knit or cable cast on if you wish (see the Free Videos tab at the top of the page, Cast Ons). Since you only have a single strand of working yarn at this point on the pinkie, the long tail cast on will not easily work. It uses 2 strands. Yes, you can add in a strand but why add another couple of ends to weave in when a simpler cast on will do.
You don’t necessarily have to use odd numbers. These just work for the cast on and the 4 fingers. You can work with more or fewer as you need to.
It may help to knit a glove with scrap yarn or maybe even knit just the top of the hand and the 4 fingers to see if you can work out the numbers and pattern details.


After I made my last post I actually had the same idea you proposed at the end of your last post. I started thinking after making that post and asking those questions “Why not just knit a glove and see what happens with the fingers from what I think I understand?”

I have scrap RedHeart yarn and I believe that is worsted weight. I use it from time to time to make little things, but this seemed to be perfect for a trial glove. Here’s what I did.

I used size 3 circular needles, cast on 48 stitches, divided them and did the 2x2 rib. Knitted for about 4 inches or so and then did 5 rounds of stockinette.

Began on the thumb and instead of taking a stitch from the regular stitches, I created 2 and began. The gusset ended with 20 stitches divided into 10.

I continued with several more rounds of stockinette until getting to the base of the pinkie. I started with 6/6 and they seemed to fit fine.

I did Jeny’s bind off.

I did 3 more rows of stockinette and started with the ring finger. I tried with 6/6 but it was just too tight and by the time the sides were connected it was going to be too snug.

What I did was took the first stitch knit through the front and went through the back loop to make a new stitch. In through the front and then through the back (2 stitches). I did that at the beginning of the round and at the end which gave me 8/8 and they fit much better. Plus the stitches blend well enough

I continued on with that on the rest of the fingers.

The thumb was a pinch too roomy, but it’s wearable and worth it. The wrist ribbing and the hand are a little too big, but I don’t want to take 4 stitches out of it, then it becomes too snug.

I am making notes on what I did and now I know how to adjust using other yarn. Here are some pics of what I ended up with.

Good for you! The knitting looks beautiful and so does the glove. I think you can see where you need to make adjustments. You’re on your way.

Considering that I wasn’t watching my stitching all that closely because I was working fast, I am surprised at how neat it does look. But I am pleased. I was able to prove out what I thought I understood.

Now the hurdle is passed and I can continue the knitting ‘race’.

Thanks for the help and the patience and I hope that this thread can be of help to others out there who might be struggling as well.

Those did turn out really nice. I generally decrease a few stitches after I start working the thumb in the round. It makes for a better fit.


I would be interested in how you do that and what ratio of decrease are you doing?

I think I understand what you mean. I know my palm area was baggy. The way I am understanding what you are saying (or the picture in my mind is) that you are working your increases on your thumb, then as you work your regular round, decreasing in order to tighten up the palm area?

I’ve never needed to adjust the palm so I don’t know how that would work. I work the number of stitches that fits my hand; I just like decreasing on the thumb to snug it up a bit after I start working it in the round. I decrease on the inside of the thumb, k2tog and ssk each side of the center, worked so the decreases lean toward the center. I try things like gloves and socks on frequently and if they are too loose or too tight I can rework them or make adjustments before it requires a major frog.

Hmmm, yes that does make sense. I too try my gloves and socks on often so that any corrections can be made without taking too many stitches out and re-worked.