Tuesday 26 September 2017

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Fantail Shell Stitch Fingerless Gloves - free crochet pattern

Last year I made and sold many pairs of fingerless gloves at my Christmas markets but, unless you bought a pair in person, very few people saw any photos of them online other than in the background of my stall photographs!

Last week, prep began again in earnest for my upcoming seasonal craft fairs and I popped a photo up on my Instagram of my gloves and my phone lit up like a Christmas tree with people excited about the pattern!

So, as promised, here it is! I am aware many people struggle with written patterns so I will also be making a YouTube tutorial for these gloves very soon - just awaiting a little arm thingy to arrive through the post that can hold my phone whilst I crochet so I can do a little crochet along with you all!

*YouTube video is now complete!!! *

A note on yarns and colours:

·         I love Cygnet Boho Spirit for these gloves. It has just the right amount of stretch and snuggle factor – not to mention how stunning the yarn colourways are. I buy my yarn from Mrs Snufflebean :)

You will only need one ball of yarn for these gloves.

I personally buy 2 balls so I can line up the colours so each glove matches its partner. Nothing makes my ocd eye twitch more than mismatched gloves!

I take the yarn, find the matching start points on both balls and use my yarn winder to cake the yarn up ready to rock. That way I know both gloves with be as close to each other as possible. You DO NOT NEED to do this. Seriously. I spend waaaaaaaay too much time matching up yarn ends. The colour changes are gradual, trying to find identical start points is nearly impossible. You will regret ever starting it when your living room floor is strewn with yarn barf. You will weep when you have torn apart 7 different balls of yarn trying to find similar colour points only to find they are differing dye lots. LIVE YOUR LIFE. BE FREE. Have mismatched gloves if you want to. Who cares? (well, I clearly care but those are my issues, not yours LOL)  

Although saying that, sometimes you will get lucky. I had 2 balls of Moonbeam on my shelf so grabbed those for this pattern. They were almost perfectly matched from the outset. Heaven! I only had to cut off this tiny amount from one ball before winding. The yarn gods were being kind to me today.

Other yarns I occasionally use for these gloves:

·         Red Heart Unforgettable – you may find you need to up your hook to a 4.5mm or even a 5mm on the shell rows as this yarn doesn’t seem to have much “give” to it. Try your gloves on periodically if using this yarn to make sure it still fits your hand nicely. Adjust your hook size accordingly.

·         King Cole Riot – not as soft as Boho Spirit and a little finer – should still work ok with a 4mm hook but it’s been a while since I’ve used it so I’d give the same advice for this yarn as I have for the Red Heart.

Talking of sizing …..

I have freakishly small hands (as I referred to in my last gloves pattern LOL) but have tried to make these crochet fingerless mitts a universal size to fit everyone.

I recommend you complete the first couple of rows and try it on to double check the fit – too baggy? Try dropping a hook size (I often use a 3.5mm instead of a 4mm for my own personal gloves) Too small? Try upping the hook size.

Pattern notes:

·         USA / American Terms
·         Hook size: 4mm
·         Yarn: Cygnet Boho Spirit from Mrs Snufflebean

·         Repeat pattern between the asterisks * …….. *

·         Stitch count at end of row in brackets [  ]

·         Pattern notes / explanations specific to each row (info inside bracket written in italics)

Stitches / abbreviations used:

·         FSC = Foundation Single Crochet
·         Ch = Chain
·         Sc = Single Crochet
·         Hdc = Half Double Crochet
·         Dc = Double Crochet
·         Ss = slip stitch
·         Sp= space

·         Shell  = (3dc, ch1, 3dc) all into the same stitch
·         Hdc v-stitch = (hdc, ch1, hdc)  all into the same stitch

If you spot any errors or typos in this pattern PLEASE shout – I have gone a little pattern blind so you are all my pattern testers LOL !

This is a simple pattern that is easily adjusted – rounds of dc for the wrists then fantail shell stitch pattern for the hands.  

OK so lets begin! Working in joined rounds to start.

28 fsc, join with ss to first stitch [28]   or substitute for chain 28, join with ss, ch1, sc in each chain around, join with ss to first sc [28]

Rows 1 – 7

Ch2 (does not count as a stitch) dc in same stitch as ch2 and in each stitch around. Join with ss to 1st dc. [28]

Row 8

Ch2 (does not count as a stitch) dc in same stitch as ch2. Dc in next stitch.
*1 dc in next stitch, 2dc in next* repeat 12 times ending with 1dc in each of the last 2 stitches. Join with ss to 1st dc. [40]

Shell Rows I have forgotten to take any photos for the shell section in my haste to publish this pattern but I will try to add those shortly J 

I have added a chart for fantail stitch to help you visualise the rows - ignore the end and start on this chart, just look at the middle sectioning - it is the closest I could find to help!

Row 9
Ch1 (does not count as a stitch) sc into the same stitch. Ch1, skip 1 stitch, sc into the next. Skip 3 stitches, shell (3dc, ch1, 3dc) into next.
*skip 3, 1sc, ch1, skip 1, 1sc, skip 3, shell*  repeat 2 more times.
Ss into 1st sc of the round, then ss into ch1 space.  

Row 10
Ch3 (counts as hdc, ch1) hdc into same space.
*ch3, sc into the ch1 sp of shell, ch3, hdc v-stitch (hdc, ch1, hdc) into next ch sp.* repeat 3 more times.
Ch3, sc into the ch1 sp of shell, ch3, ss into 2nd ch of intital ch3 of the round. Ss into the ch sp.

Row 11
Ch4 (counts as 1dc, ch1) 3dc into space. Sc in ch3 sp, ch1, sc into next ch3 sp.
*shell into ch sp of hdc v-stitch from row below, sc in ch3 sp, ch1, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat 2 more times.
2dc into same space as initial ch4, ss to 3rd ch of initial ch4 and then ss into ch sp.

Row 12
Ch1 (does not count as a stitch) sc in same stitch.
*ch3, hdc v-stitch in ch1 sp from row below, ch3, sc in ch1 sp of shell* repeat 2 more times.
Ch3, hdc v-stitch in ch1 sp, ch3, ss to 1st sc.

Row 13
Ch1 (does not count as a stitch) sc in next ch3 sp.
*shell into ch1 sp of hdc v-stitch from row below, sc in ch3 sp, ch1, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat 2 more times.
Shell in ch1 sp, sc in ch3 sp, ch1, ss to 1st sc.

THUMB GAP – now working in back and forth rows so you will be turning your work and NOT joining with a slip stitch at the end of each row

Row 14
Ch3 (counts as hdc, ch1) then hdc back into the ch1 space you created when you finished Row 13 (just before your slip stitch join)
*ch3, sc in ch1 sp of shell, ch3, hdc v-stitch in ch1 sp* repeat 2 more times.
Ch3, sc in ch1 sp of shell, ch3, ending with hdc v-stitch into the SAME ch1 space from Row 13 as you put your initial ch3 & hdc from the beginning of the round.
(you will have ch3, hdc AND a hdc v-stitch all in the same place) TURN.

Row 15
Ch3 (counts as dc) 2dc in the same space.
*sc in ch3 sp, ch1, sc in ch3 sp, shell in ch1 sp of hdc v-stitch from row below* repeat 2 more times.
Sc in ch3 sp, ch1, sc in ch3 sp, ending with 3dc into the sp of hdc v-stitch from row below. TURN.

Row 16
Ch1 (does not count as a stitch) sc in top of the 3rd dc from row below (the stitch immediately below your ch)
*ch3, hdc v-stitch in ch1 sp, ch3, sc in ch1 sp of shell* repeat 3 more times ending with your last sc being placed into the top of your ch3 from the row below. TURN.

Row 17
Ch1 (does not count as a stitch) sc in top of sc from row below.
*shell in ch1 sp, sc in ch3 sp, ch1, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat 2 more times.
Shell in ch1 sp ending the row with a sc into the top of the sc from the row below. TURN.

Row 18
Ch3 (counts as hdc, ch1) hdc into the top of sc from row below
*ch3, sc in shell ch1 sp, ch3, hdc v-stitch in ch1 sp* repeat 3 more times ending with your last hdc v-stitch into the top of the sc from the row below. TURN

Row 19
Repeat Row 15

BACK TO WORKING IN JOINED ROUNDS. Do not turn your work.

Row 20
Repeat Row 16 BUT DO NOT TURN YOUR WORK. Instead, end this row with a slip stitch to the 1st sc you made in this row.

Row 21
Repeat Row 13

Row 22
Ch3 (counts as hdc, ch1) then hdc back into the ch1 space you created when you finished the  the last row (just before your slip stitch join)
*ch3, sc in ch1 sp of shell, ch3, hdc v-stitch in ch1 sp* repeat 2 more times.
Ch3, sc in ch1 sp of shell, ch3, ss to 2nd ch of initial ch3 then ss into ch sp.

Row 23 – finishing row

(You will be starting with a full shell and omitting the ch1 space between your sc’s on this round.)

Ch3 (counts as 1dc) 2dc, ch1, 3dc into space. Sc in ch3 sp, sc into next ch3 sp.
*shell into ch sp of hdc v-stitch from row below, sc in ch3 sp, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat 2 more times.
Ss to 3rd chain of initial ch3.

 Cut yarn and weave in your ends! Repeat pattern for the second glove J

How would you like a sneaky little exclusive yarn discount code?

Mrs Snufflebean Yarn has very kindly given us 10% off all Boho Spirit yarnthis coupon is only valid until the end of November 2017 so be quick if you want to take advantage of it! 10% Coupon has now expired  She offers free postage on orders over £25 so what are you waiting for? You can make a pair of gloves in EVERY COLOURWAY!

To redeem the discount, please enter the code BOHO10 at checkout.    10% Coupon has now expired 

If you have any questions about this pattern / spot any errors / notice any typos just holler!

I would absolutely LOVE to see any gloves you make – please feel free to tag me in your photos on Instagram (I am @puddnhead) or post them to my Facebook page here! <3

Happy crocheting! (and yarn shopping … quick, don’t leave it too long to take advantage of that discount code!)

Robin x


  1. Thankyou for the pattern, these gloves are beautiful :)

  2. Oh those are gorgeous. I can't wait for the video tutorial <3 xxx

    1. Hopefully it will be done and up on YouTube by the end of next week :) xx

    2. The YouTube video is now up! 😄

    3. Love it <3 thank you so much robin. I have made one set using the video and they are fab. Quick question, if i need to increase the width of the wrist part, how many stitches do i do? 28 chains is a little small for bigger wrists. xxx

    4. Ooh good question - you can up the stitch count to anything you like really, as long as the final row has a stitch multiple of 10 for the Fantail shell section. OR, do what I would do and cheat by simply using a bigger hook? 😅 xx

  3. Beautiful gloves, and a lovely pattern. Thank you for sharing.

  4. For some reason I can't get row 10 to work...... I so want to make these 😔

    1. Which bit is throwing you off? I'm hoping to film the YouTube tutorial and get the video up by the end of next week if that helps :) xx

    2. Thanks Robin I think that would be a great help. I keep getting to what should be the end of the row but can't seem to finish it correctly. I think I'll wait for the tutorial and try again xx

    3. The YouTube video is now up! 😄

  5. Love these. I’m having trouble with where you start turning at the ends of rows though. At that point, the “wrong side” starts facing out. What am I doing wrong?

    1. You are doing asolutely nothing wrong! The "wrong side" will show on some of the rows however, you do not notice once the gloves are complete - does that make sense? xx

    2. Oh my gosh! I’ve frogged it three times!

    3. oh no! I am so sorry!!! *hides* x

  6. I have just completed first glove,loving them. But found the foundation chain much to tight to get over my hand. I have moved up to a much larger hook for the foundation chain then move back to a smaller hook for the rest.

  7. Glad you got it sussed! 😄

  8. I made them and they are really beautiful.. Thanks a lot for the detailed pattern

  9. Love this pattern and your gloves are gorgeous, thanks so much! I have a question though - instead of the shells sitting nicely between each other as in your photos, mine have a visible gap between the shell of the upper row and the shell of the lower row. I've tried decreasing hook size when I make the ch3/v-hdc rows, but it barely helps. Any advice?

    1. Hmm is that when you wear them? I have had that issue with some yarns, I found upping the hook size for the shell rows helped with that -especially if the yarn doesn't have much stretch - hopefully that may help! Xx

  10. Hi Robin, thank you so much for sharing this lovely pattern and for your hard work, i really enjoyed making it, you explained it very well. Greetings from Algeria.

  11. Hi Robin,

    I just want to say that you're a doll and I'm addicted to making your fantail gloves and I won't make them without watching your video tutorial I find your lovely voice, fingernails beautiful and personality charming. Crocheting is like yoga for my hands and your guidance is Zen like. I'm out of work so I'm making these as Christmas gifts. Happiest of Holidays to you and your teenage daughter. That bit too makes me laugh with each glove I make. I will try to post pics. I'm now happily subscribed to your blog. Pretty please continue to create and share. Thank YOU!! Oh and may I ask what is your favorite yarn winder? I too suffer from the colourway matching phobia!!!! Then again being a Virgo doesn't help.

    1. Not sure how I managed to miss your comment! Sorry about the delayed repsonse! My yarn wonder is a cheap £10 one from Amazon that I bought about 4 years ago - it is rickety but still going strong ! X

  12. Thanks for such a lovely pattern. I've already had to make two more pairs for colleagues who admired mine and just been asked to make another!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern, Beautiful gloves & easy to follow pattern.

  14. I know this is a year later, but I'm with the others with finding it too small for my hands. 10 more stitches is too big.. I'm hoping to find the "large" stitch count, but moving up a needle size just looks shoddy with my yarn. (Mandala) Have you found a good count yet, or should I keep stitching and frogging?

  15. Hi how would you make these for a 6 to 8 year olds. Thanks... lovely pattern xx

  16. I have been confused and confused, but watched your excellent tutorial, and finally figured out my confusion. The stitch you call a double crochet is what I call a half-double crochet. I will try again with the stitch your pattern calls for, no matter what it is called. Thanks for the beautiful tutorial!

  17. I am excited to make myself a pair of these gorgeous gloves! I do have a question -what is the length from the edge to the wrist (where the fan stitches start)?

    1. Hoping the designer will answer your question directly, but thought I'd include my measurements, just in case it will give you an idea. I know it will depend a lot on the yarn you choose and the hook as well. I used a #3 yarn weight and 3.5 hook..... the length from the cuff length is 4" and the shell part is 5" (I have small hands, so used a thinner yarn and smaller hook). This pattern could be easily adjusted for size, I think.

  18. I just finished this wonderful glove pattern!! I followed both the written directions and the video tutorial at the same time- which made it really easy all the way through. Best of all, I have small hands- took your advice (my yarn recommended a 4mm hook & I went down to 3.5mm)-they fit me perfectly!

  19. Absolutely fantastic pattern and a really excellent video tutorial - thank you so much for this!
    My gloves turned out too tight in the hand (even though I have really skinny hands - but I was using different wool, so perhaps I can blame that instead of the crocheter!). So I passed them onto my delighted daughter and will attempt again, maybe changing hook size for the hand part, since the wrist was just right...

    1. Definitely try upping the hook size for the shell section - for my personal gloves I went up by a hook and a half I think from memory :-)

  20. These gloves are BEAUTIFUL! I'm trying to order the yarn to start them, but I'm struggling to find the right colour. I'd love to do the ones on your very first image on this post- it's pastel going from turquoise at the wrist, through purple and up to pale pink at the fingers. Can you remember which yarn this is please? Thank you. :)

    1. Hiya Kat - the colourway for those is called "Zen" - it's my favourite! Xx

    2. You superstar- thank you. It doesn't look anything like that in the shop picture! Ok, its ordered so I can start them really soon. Thanks for doing the video- I'm a beginner and really struggle following patterns... but the video looks fantastic!

  21. Hey dear, thanks a lot for the pattern and the tutorial. I loved it. I made my first pair, but it's a bit looses. If I want to decrease the number of shells, how can I do that?

  22. Hi Robin, I would like to make these for my 10 yr old granddaughter. She is tall and thin, so tiny hands. Any suggestions on sizing please.

  23. the shells are out of 10 sts, so having, say, 30 sts instead of 40 sts will do the job

  24. Hi Robin,

    I can't wait to finish these gloves! Can you tell me the number of shells and v stitches in the rows? And do the shell stitches increase around row 20? I've currently got one glove to row 21, but it looks like the glove is flaring out as if I've increased the number of shells. That's why I'm wondering what the number of shells is supposed to be and if there's a purposeful increase or if I mistakenly increased. Thanks for any help!

  25. Absolutely loved loved loved you and your teaching and your fun manner.

    I actually feel comfy enough to give this a try!! TY very much!! Safe to you and yours. See you soon.

  26. Thank you for this beautiful pattern and awesome tutorial. As your teenager daughter was giggling and "burping" in the background, my teenage son was interrupting by telling me all the food he was planning on eating (burbs to come I am sure)!! LOL! Gotta love them!

  27. Hello lovely I have finally cracked how to make the glove however I'm confused on how to make the other one for the other hand when it comes to the thumb hole could you give me some guidance please thanks sweet x