Since our family heats by woodstove during the winter, I found my hands would get pretty cold as I worked on my laptop upstairs. Answer: fingerless gloves. But I also liked having the option of mittens, thus: convertible gloves! (or “glittens” as I have also heard them called)
I actually found a nifty pair for 8 bucks at REI’s Scratch-and-Dent sale, but after bringing it home, I found out that I had two left-hand gloves!… which is not really useful… at all. Thank you to REI for the refund!
So, being the crafty and resourceful homeschooler that I am, I started my search for a good knitting pattern. And was rather surprised to discover how hard it is to find a free, online pattern for convertible gloves! I had expected for there to be a greater number of patterns available than the handful I found.
I settled on the pattern called “Chilly Podsters”, which is available for free on Ravelry. I didn’t have any alpaca yarn which was what they suggested using, so used some australian wool that had been on sale at Ben Franklin.I did the glove and the mitten flap in two different colors, which looks good while the flap is down, but rather odd when the flap is pulled over the fingers. This particular pattern also let you knit a small flap in the thumb, which would be helpful to owners of smartphones or similar touchscreen devices.
I didn’t feel I needed the thumb flap, so I knit the thumb normally.
I was familiar with knitting in the round and so had no trouble with the double pointed needles. I did encounter “ssk”, or slip-slip-knit, and the kitchener stitch, but those were easy enough to learn. I linked the stitch names to websites that will show you how to do those stitches.
The gloves were easy to knit up – probably took me a week overall, since I worked on them here and there. I found that the wrist and fingers were snug (I knit up the small size, since I have TINY hands), while the palm and back of the hands were a little baggy. I’m not sure how that could be corrected, though.
Also there were no instructions for making a small loop at the end of the flap so you could fasten it down with a button, but that can be figured out pretty easily. The pattern for Broadstreet Mittens could be used to help you insert a loop and button onto the Podster gloves, or if you prefer the look of Broadstreet, you could knit that up!
I enjoyed making these because they expanded my knowledge of knitting and they are entirely useful! After you make a pair for yourself, keep going! What friend and family member do you know that would not appreciate and be able to use these gloves?
If you have never knit in the round before, I encourage you to try it. It looks more complicated than it is! You could always start with something even simpler, such as a hat or a scarf knit in the round, to adjust to knitting with circular or double pointed needles.