Full length lacy opera gloves
October 1, 2009
November 15, 2009

Full length lacy opera gloves

Project info
Wedding Day Lace Gloves by Lois Young
small (I'm 5'2")
Needles & yarn
US 00 - 1.75 mm
Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud Lace
721 yards in stash
1.14 skeins = 510.0 yards (466.3 meters), 57 grams
Knit Picks

10/24/09: A friend wants me to make her full length (designated “16-button” length even though there aren’t really 16 buttons on the glove) opera gloves for when she goes Regency dancing (and after doing Regency dancing once, now I know why they need gloves--my germiphobe side was dying with all the men’s hands I had to touch for each dance!).

The only really nice lacy pattern I could find was this one, but I wanted to adjust this for full length opera gloves. I decided to use my laceweight wool because it’s about the same size as the Coats Opera size 20 crochet cotton thread used in the pattern, plus I can wear this when I go out rather than wearing a sweater, and I think it’ll look kind of steam-punkish.

I also wanted to add the slit at the wrist that traditional opera gloves have (originally designed so that women could remove their hands to eat dinner without removing the entire glove).

For this trial run, I made the glove to my specifications rather than my friend. I’ll be posting that when I finish these and start on the other pair.

My upper arm is 12” circumference, but I wanted the glove to have 1” negative ease, so I calculated I would need around 107 stitches for an 11” circumference cuff. However, there’s also a scalloped edge and the pattern calls for a 2-stitch decrease and then a 1-stitch decrease in each scallop before starting the arm pattern.

I cast on 121 stitches (divisible by 11 for the scalloped edge pattern, which is 11 stitches long). I did the scalloped edge pattern--11 scallops rather than 10 scallops--but on row 8 of chart C, I only decreased one stitch per scallop rather than 2 stitches. That put me at 110 stitches, for my 11” arm circumference.

I skipped the 1-stitch decrease on row 10 of chart C, and instead had 10 sections (just like the original pattern) but row 10 was: Yarn Over Cross, p1, k6, p1. (The original pattern had k3 rather than k6.)

My scallops were not matched up with the ribbing the way it is in the original pattern, but I didn’t care much. It didn’t look too bad.

I decreased one stitch every 32 rows three times, in the same manner as row 43 in chart C, with a k2tog just before the last p1 in each section on the row after the YOC row. There was a total of 96 rows (24 repeats of the 4 round repeat pattern) from the scallops to the 3rd decrease.

Then after the 3rd decrease, the pattern was exactly like row 11 on chart C. I did the 4-round repeat pattern for 56 rows, or 14 repeats.

I did the decrease on row 43 of chart C and split the glove--I stopped knitting in the round and knit back and forth instead. I made sure to have the YOC rows be when I knit on the RS, though, just to make it easier. I split the glove in the k3 rib section (for that particular section, I didn’t do the decrease), but I added 1 knit stitch so that each side of the split had 2 knit stitches for selvedge edges.

I pretty much followed the pattern from there, so if anyone wants to not split the glove for that slit at the wrist, you can just follow the pattern as written. I rejoined the glove at row 87 of chart C and started knitting in the round again. I also did a couple extra K2togs in the section where I rejoined in the round so that it would have the same number of stitches as the other sections.

I adjusted the number of times I repeated each 4-round repeat for chart D (thumb) and each finger so that it would be specifically for my own measurements. I measured the length of my thumb and the length of each of my fingers, and based the number of repeats I did on my gauge of 60 rows for every 4”.

For chart D, I repeated rows 16-19 6 times instead of 5.

I did the pinky finger first. For chart H (pinky finger), I repeated rows 3-6 8 times rather than 6. Then I did another 4 rounds (1 repeat of the 4-round pattern) of the palm before starting on the ring finger, because my pinky is about 1/4 inch lower than my other three fingers on my palm.

Ring finger: repeated rows 3-6 10 times.
Middle finger: repeated rows 3-6 11 times.
Index finger: repeated rows 2-5 11 times.

It came out a bit shorter than I expected it to, but I’ll block it and see if I can make it stretch a bit longer. A traditional 16-button glove is about 4” above the elbow, and unblocked, my glove is 3.5” above my elbow.

I finished one glove and used about 256 yards of my laceweight alpaca yarn, so I’m guessing I’ll use about 510 yards for both gloves.

After blocking, I will make little i-cord loops and attach them to one side of the slit, and sew little pearl buttons on the other side of the slit so that the slit will stay closed.

11/1/09: I finished the second glove and blocked both. I cut out a cardboard silhouette of my hand to block the hand part, then for the arm I just stretched it out to about 17 inches from wrist to cuff. I didn’t bother blocking it width wise. The slit at the wrist definitely helped when inserting the cardboard hand.

The length is about 4.5 inches above my elbow, now, which somehow feels better.

Now I need to get pearl buttons and make the i-cord loops.

11/15/09: I found pearl buttons, sewed them on on the thumb side of the slit, according to all the pictures of opera gloves that I found on the web, and made i-cord loops. I had to adjust the placement of the buttons so that the slit wouldn’t gape open too much. I also think the buttons are a bit big, but I couldn’t find buttons the right size--the next size down was too small and any i-cord loop would just slip off.

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October 1, 2009
November 15, 2009
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About this yarn
by Knit Picks
100% Alpaca
440 yards / 50 grams

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  • Project created: October 25, 2009
  • Finished: November 27, 2009
  • Updated: January 3, 2010