So, my younger daughter, the Gothlet, was all over the idea of elbow length fingerless mitts: gauntlets, or armwarmers (but gauntlets just sound really cool, don’t they?).
This GothSocks self-striping yarn from Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs (etsy shop link) was going to be perfect for the gauntlets too. But I had a quandary, which I’m having in regard to daughter #2 fairly frequently these days. She is starting to sprout up like a weed. I know the signs. In a year or two, she’ll probably be as tall as her older sister the RockStar (who is, to the RockStar’s frustration, 5 feet 4 3/4 inches. Why is that frustrating to her? She’s still – only! — 1/4 inch shorter than me!).
So I don’t want to knit her something that she’ll outgrow in six months! You understand. Not only from the knitting-time-spent perspective….but also, if one knits something that the recipient really likes — one wants them to be able to wear it for a long time. (We’ll gloss over the fact that tastes change at this time of life about every 3 months. The semi-Gothness won’t change much, I suspect. And she has always valued hand-made and hand-knit things, bless her heart, since forever. So far, she’s all over this project.)
So… I set out to design long fingerless mitts that will fit my skinny barely 11-year-old now, and will still fit her (if she wants them to) through middle school and into high school. Yet, they have to look smokin’, so they can’t be loose and sloppy for growth. (Believe me, we go through this discussion with the jeans, and loose does not cut it currently with the 11-year-old. But with gauntlets, it’s all about looks anyway, yes?)
Here’s my key to making it work. See the underside of the mitts?
An insert of 2 x 2 ribbing helps keep the mitts conforming to her arm, but will stretch to fit an adult-size arm. (Here it is on me.)
The mitt goes up almost to the crease of her elbow; you can see it’s still long but not quite so much on me.
I also shaped the mitt with decreases to conform it to the arm nicely. Oh, and although the ribbing won’t show too much anyway, I did a knit row at the transition between stripes rather than knitting in the k2p2 pattern, to avoid ticks of color. Keeps it looking crisp.
The hand is a bit trickier, because I don’t really like the feel of ribbing on my palm as much, and I think it interferes with some indoor tasks a little. I have, and have made, all-ribbed mitts, but this is a smooth, sleek gauntlet. So I changed to stockinette for the palm, but to help with conforming to a growing hand, I increased the needle size slightly (from 2.25 mm — US 1 — to 2.5 mm — what some call US 1 1/2. This looser gauge makes the knitted fabric stretchier. It’s less sturdy, but in a mitt, that’s acceptable (and tight and form-fitting on the hand could be a little annoying). I’ll make the length down to the first joint of her middle fingers or so, so it’s a little long for her now; when she’s bigger, it will still be long enough. And a little too big is OK; too small is miserable.
So far, this is going really quickly, though I messed up my own pattern on the hand and frogged that part. The yarn and the dyeing are wonderful. It’s kind of funny, continually trying the mitt on myself or her sister, and then again on the Gothlet, on an ongoing basis, to make sure it fits Gothlet-Now and Future-Gothlet. But the system seems to be working!
Then I simply have to replicate exactly what I did, and do it all again for the second gauntlet. Easy.