How to Knit Children's Gloves

Updated April 17, 2017

Knitting children's gloves can be a quick project; the items are small, generally use little yarn and can be completed in an evening or two. However, children's gloves will require a lighter weight yarn than gloves for adults, simply due to the smaller size of kids' hands. Bulky yarn can be uncomfortable when squished between little fingers. Additionally, you will need to know how to knit in the round to avoid unnecessary seams that can add bulk to a glove.

Measure your child's hands and knit a gauge swatch. Take measurements at the wrists and at the palm. You will need to know exactly how many stitches per inch you get with your chosen needle size and yarn. To maximise the warmth of the gloves, consider knitting at a smaller gauge than what is suggested on the yarn's ball band.

Calculate your cast-on. Multiply the number of stitches per inch from your gauge swatch by the wrist measurement. This should tell you how many stitches to cast on. As the wrist will need to fit over the widest part of the hand, use a stretchy cast-on method such as the Twisted German Cast-On.

Caston and knit. Place a stitch marker to note the beginning of the row and join the cast-on for working in the round. The first few inches (depending on the size of the child) of the cuff should be knitted in ribbing pattern, usually one by one or two by two rib. Knit in ribbing until you have reached your desired length for the cuff.

Begin increasing for the palm. Calculate the number of stitches you will need to increase to fit around the palm of the child's hand. Multiply the number of stitches per inch from your gauge by the measurement around the palm. Work your increases evenly over the next inch by increasing two to four stitches per row until you have reached your desired width. Continue knitting until you have reached the base of the thumb.

Work the thumb gusset. To make seamless gloves, knit the first few stitches (depending on the size of the child's hands) of a row with a yarn in a different colour. Slip these stitches back to the right needle, and knit the full row in the same yarn as the rest of the glove. You will remove these stitches later. Continue to knit until you have reached the base of the fingers.

Divide the stitches in half, and place each half on a different length of the contrasting yarn. You will work these stitches separately for the fingers later.

Work the thumb. Pick up stitches above the contrasting yarn with one needle, and below the contrasting yarn with another needle. Remove the stitches knit in a contrasting yarn. Join for knitting in the round, and knit for your desired length, decreasing near the top by knitting two stitches together around for two rows. Cut the yarn and using a tapestry needle, thread through all remaining stitches. Have the child try the glove on for fit prior to weaving in the ends.

Work each finger. Divide the stitches on each length of contrasting yarn by four. Slip the first section of stitches on one length of yarn to needles. Slip the corresponding stitches on the other length of yarn onto another needle. Join for working in the round, knit for the desired length, decrease and cast off as for the thumb. Repeat this step for each of the other fingers. Have the child try it on for fit.

Weave in the ends. Turn the glove inside out and using a tapestry needle, weave in the ends at the base and at the tip of each finger. When weaving in at the base of the fingers, use the leftover yarn to close any gaps between the fingers.

Things You'll Need

  • Double-pointed knitting needles
  • DK-, sport- or sock-weight yarn
  • Contrasting yarn in the same weight
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle
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About the Author

Based in New York City, Virginia Watson has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. Her work has appeared in magazines including "The Roanoker Magazine," "Blue Ridge Country," "Pinnacle Living" and the award-winning "Virginia State Travel Guide." Watson holds a Master of Arts in philosophy of education from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.