Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Gauntlets


It is a state that brings such joy to my heart.

It all started in 2009. I knew I wanted to make something amazing for my teenage sister. Something that she would use and cherish. I browsed through ravelry for hours looking for the right thing for her. I knew her likes: dragons, knights, archers, brave princesses, horses, and adventure. In my trolling I found the most amazing piece of knitting I had ever come across. A pair of gloves fashioned after armor. Perfect! 

But there was a problem. I knew that the gloves were beyond my skills. I had only been knitting a few years and I just knew that I couldn't make them. I added them to my favorites and every once and awhile I'd look at them and dream. I showed the pattern to my sister and she immediately fell in love. I told her, "Not yet. I'm not good enough yet." I made her a pair of fingerless gloves to get her by, but they weren't the right pair.

A year later, at Christmastime, I bought the pattern and presented her with a promise. "I will buy the yarn in March for your birthday and then I will start them." My ravelry notebook claims that I cast on sometime in May of 2011, my baby was eight months old and in the middle of his sprint to teethe twenty teeth  as fast as he could (twenty teeth in eight months!), and so not much work was done on the gloves. 

I labored over the gloves, ripping out when necessary, crying into my coffee, wishing I hadn't promised the dreadful things to my baby sister. I begged my boy to play so that Mommy could concentrate, and concentrated I had to. Every row on the top of the gauntlet is different. For the first thirty rows I couldn't "see" what was going on. I didn't understand what the designer was trying to do, but as I knit across a "relief row" thirty rows in I began to see what the plan was. I settled into the rhythm of the gloves and was finally able to predict where the next increase and decrease would follow. They still demanded all my attention, but I could pick them up and set them down after only a few rows.

I finished the first glove mid January 2012 eight months after starting them and the second took six and a half  months for a total of 15 months to complete the pair.

People have often asked if the construction is difficult. The answer is no. The pattern isn't difficult either, it can be a bit confusing and could benefit with the addition of a chart, but the stitches themselves are not difficult. The difficulty is in the fact that every row on the top is different. Every row, with a few exceptions. Every row you have to stop, look, think, and then knit. They are slow gloves, thoughtful gloves, not to be trifled with gloves.

I will not be knitting these gloves again.

My sister will be returning from her summer with our cousin on the 18th. I look forward to presenting her with her very own gauntlets.

To trace my journey check out these posts:
Tested the Stitches
Almost Done the First Glove
The Second Glove Started


  • YarnLouisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool (discontinued)
  • Pattern: Gillaspie Gothic Gauntlets
  • Mods: Shorter thumb to accommodate Little Sisters small hands
  • Difficulty: Intermediate with good pattern reading skills
  • Construction: Shape is achieved with k2tog and p2tog, the most difficult stitch is passing a knitted stitch over two stitches. 
  • Why I Won't Knit it Again: It takes too much concentration, but it pays off.

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