I had a conversation with my tech editor yesterday that went something like this:
Becky: Here’s my pattern!
Chris: Gee, your thumb gusset numbers look weird. I wish I had a reference for this sort of thing.
Becky: Golly, you’d think with the number of mittens, mitts, and gloves I’ve published that I’d have some sort of reference by now…
But apparently I don’t. In the interest of SCIENCE! I went through every hand pattern I’ve written and recorded the palm circumference and thumb gusset length.
I wish these were at least SLIGHTLY more consistent… Different lengths for the same palm size can sometimes be attributed to needing the pattern to fit the mitt – cables, colorwork charts, etc… sometimes skew things a quarter of an inch or so. But these numbers are all over the place.
For the purposes of this discussion by “thumb gusset length” I mean the distance from where your wrist ends and your hand begins up to the webbing that joins your thumb to your hand – measured vertically along the edge of your thumb. This is the distance you need to knit your mitten/glove/mitt increases* before creating an opening for the thumb.
I averaged those numbers, and smoothed them out as best I could, and created this little chart:
But it’s still just numbers I’m guessing at, based on my sense of understanding how hands are shaped.
Wanna help this be more scientific? Get out a tape measure, and record the following numbers:
Now go to this Google form and enter your data. Got a spouse and/or some kids? Maybe a friend who already thinks you’re crazy? Measure their hands too! All the raw data is available for anyone interested to see. In a month or so I’ll come up with some averages and create a newer, better chart. A chart based off of actual facts.
I love data.
*I think if you’re working an afterthought thumb you’d actually put the opening a little lower, so it’s more centered on the base of the thumb… But nevermind that for now.