Hand sizes

Surprisingly, though I have one of the smallest smart phones out there, I can read these tables on my phone just fine, so long as I turn the phone so that the display is wide, or landscape. I hope it works well for you, too. Eek.

Child hand sizes

I recently discovered the need for designing fingerless mitts for a wide variety of hand sizes. While there are a number of charts on the Internet for standard body and foot sizes, I found nothing for hands. I started digging through my knitting library, and remembered that I have a slim volume by Ingrid and Inger Gottfridsson called, The Mitten Book. While there are basically no dimensions for adult hands, assuming they’re all basically the same except for length, the information for children’s hands is quite a bit better. I’ve summarized it below. Numbers are in inches (cm). Mittens are supposed to be a bit smaller than hands, like socks are a bit smaller than feet—the knitting will stretch to fit.

 1 to 2 years   3 to 4 years   5 to 7 years 
Hand circumference 3.75 (9.5) 4.25 (10.8) 5.0 (12.7)
Mitten circumference 2.5 (6.3) 3.0 (7.6) 3.5 (8.9)
Thumb placement 1.25 (3.2) 1.25 (3.2) 1.5 (3.8)
Top of little finger 1.5 (3.8) 2.0 (5.0) 2.5 (6.3)
Base of thumb to base of nail 1.0 (2.5) 1.25 (3.2) 1.5 (3.8)

Adult hand sizes

Making your own non-knit gloves

I found hand size information on a site about making your own non-knit gloves that is helpful, though nowhere near as comprehensive as I would like for knitting hand-wear. What follows are hand sizes in inches (cm), measuring the widest part of the hand. Gloves, mittens, or their fingerless counterparts would measure 1 to 1.5 inches smaller than the hand size, depending on the pattern.

XS S M L 1X 2X
Junior 4.0 (10.2) 4.5 (11.4) 5.0 (12.7) 5.5 (14.0) 6.0 (15.2) 6.5 (16.5)
Women 6.0 (15.2) 6.5 (16.5) 7.0 (17.8) 7.5 (19.1) 8.0 (20.3)
Men 7.0 (17.8) 8.0 (20.3) 9.0 (22.9) 10.0 (25.4) 11.0 (27.9) 12.0 (30.5)

Alpine Accessories

The hand size information on this site, Alpine Accessories, was recently bandied about, as someone was looking for hand length information. I find their ranges to be too big, too general, to be useful for hand knitting, but include it here in case you find it useful. This first chart is hand circumference. Again, measurements are given in inches (cm).

XS S M L XL
Women 4.5 to 5.5 (11.4 to 14) 5.5 to 6.5 (14 to 16.5) 6.5 to 7.5 (16.5 to 19) 7.5 to 8.5 (19 to 21.6)
Men 5.5 to 6.5 (14 to 16.5) 6.5 to 7.5 (16.5 to 19) 7.5 to 8.5 (19 to 21.6) 8.5 to 9.5 (21.6 to 24.1) 9.5 to 10.5 (24.1 to 26.7)

Alpine Accessories also provides hand length measurements. Personally, I don’t think I’d find their gloves comfortable, as my hand circumference is in the middle of their size range for a medium, and my length is at the beginning of the range for the large. My fingers would be cramped in a medium, or my hand would flop around in a large. This is why I always write hand-wear patterns so that the length is “as desired.” Anyway, here is the length information. Perhaps you will find it useful.

XS S M L XL
Women 5.5 to 6 (14 to 15.2) 6 to 6.5 (15.2 to 16.5) 6.5 to 7 (16.5 to 17.8) 7 to 7.5 (17.8 to 19)
Men 6 to 6.5 (15.2 to 16.5) 6.5 to 7 (16.5 to 17.8) 7 to 7.5 (17.8 to 19) 7.5 to 8 (19 to 20.3) 8 and up (20.3)

If you have a link or other information about standard hand sizes for children and adults, please contact me.