Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Glove Love: Convertible Mittens

With the arrival of colder temperatures, my crochet cycling gloves were no longer cutting it. The Co-Habitant came to the rescue with a welcome gift: convertible mittens in a luxuriously soft wool. I love these things!

The convertible mittens are basically fingerless gloves, with extra "mitten flaps" above the knuckles. The flaps can be unbuttoned and folded over the fingers to create mittens. The thumb is full-fingered. The Co-Habitant bought these at the Banana Republic outlet store. They were available in this heathery beige colour, and also in black. Apparently many mainstream apparel manufacturers now sell versions of these.

Aside from being clever and cute, these convertible mittens have several features that make them particularly suitable for cycling. Having the tips of the fingers exposed allows for optimal shifting, braking, and other machinations (such as camera clicks) that do not work so well when the finger tips are covered. The mitten mode makes them versatile as on/off the bike gloves. The 100% wool is great for warmth and moisture-wicking, and is not slippery on the handlebar grips.

An additional benefit, is that these gloves are extra long, which is excellent for protecting cyclists' wrists when they get exposed to the cold air due to the stretching of the arms to reach the handlebars. All those jackets, coats and sweaters with sleeves not long enough for cycling can be supplemented with long gloves like these.

Convertible mittens in action. For those of you who knit, this might make a fun and worthwhile project (see instructions in pdf). Just make sure to use a soft 100% wool yarn (or wool and silk blend) and not an acrylic blend, and to make them extra long.

16 comments:

  1. Ice fisherman and other Minnesota outdoorsy folks have been using variations on these for at least 60 years that I'm aware of. Some have rubber nubby griper palms which are nice. We in the far North have a love affair with wool, but in my opinion polypropylene(sorry)is better for wet, frigid conditions.

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  2. Those look super soft and warm, plus they match your classic style very well. You and all of your bikes seem made for fall cycling :)

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  3. Gunnar - Yup, lots of fishermen, lumber workers and other workmen in Northern NH and Maine wear them as well. But I have never seen dainty female versions before!

    Thanks Dottie : )

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  4. Well, I might finally have to break down and get some circular needles.

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  5. These are great patterns for fingerless gloves and some flip top mittens.

    http://purlbee.squarespace.com/fingerless-glove-variations/

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  6. Those should do the trick. So stylish and cozy.
    Thanks to Anon for the link for fingerless gloves too.

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  7. slick! I still haven't bought this years gloves. I use these thin black liner gloves most the time. When it gets colder I slide my heavier gloves over them, or bike gloves if I just want to protect my knuckles. But by the end of the winter, I have always worn holes in the index fingers of the liner gloves. This morning was a little cold on my fingers, with a light rain. Better get shopping.

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  8. I wear a very similar pair of mittens! The long "sleeve" is indeed a bonus. I usually layer up with a very thin pair of smartwool glove liners. That way I can shuck the thicker mittens altogether if my hands get to warm.

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  9. "Having the tips of the fingers exposed allows for optimal shifting, braking, and other machinations (such as camera clicks) that do not work so well when the finger tips are covered."

    Um, like expressing one's opinion in traffic? (Not that a classy lady such as yourself would know anything about that!)

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  10. what's wrong with a classy lady showing the peace sign?..

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  11. Got one of these pairs for my sister once, but never one for myself. Just love them anyhow :).

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  12. How cold have you tested them down to so far? They look very well suited to North Texas. 30F would cover all but a handful of mornings.

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  13. Steve - Not very cold; I'd say the coldest it has been so far is in the low 40s. They feel like they'll be good at 30F though, at least for me.

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  14. I love these. Looks like it's time to shop. I've worn through my soft cashmere-y pair and my fingerless camping gloves are too cold for frosty mornings. Thanks for sharing a great glove idea/ source!

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  15. I think I need to find me some:)

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  16. I rock some ugly polyprop gloves. One day I'll be classic but not this decade

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