Well over a decade ago my daughter-in-law gave me a gift that appeared to be two sleeves of a sweater. Each had some stitching to tighten the cuff and finish the look.

I just didn’t know what the look was. I tried to look appreciative, but she smiled and immediately told me it was a pair of fingerless gloves.

I thanked her with as much enthusiasm as I could muster as she continued the explanation. When you have gloves on and try to use your cell phone in winter, it is hard to hit the right keys on the keypad. These keep your hands and lower arms warm, but allow your fingers to be useful.

I may not have looked entirely convinced, but I did think it was ingenious. At the time, I really didn’t think I used my cell phone that much outside in winter. I wore them a few places and always got comments. In fact, people would ask where I got them, saying they needed a pair just like them.

I ended up asking her to make pairs for friends and staff and a few others. I placed my order for the next year and she had them ready. She went to thrift shops to get the 25-cent sweaters and sleeves of thicker shirts. She then modified a few, closing in all but the thumb and index finger, or making fold-over styles. There was a variety of gloves, different lengths and colors, and they made quite a nice gift.

The trend looked as fleeting as the half-shirts of the ‘80s. In fact, it had the staying power of the brand-new torn jeans and the shirts missing shoulders. When my husband used to ask the wearers of these styles, “Did you pay full price for that shirt?” I would have to give him a jab in the ribs.

This was all before the touch screen was introduced by Apple in 2007. Once the touch screen became the norm, removing mittens and gloves became a nuisance that froze our fingers and made us even less accurate in messaging, spelling and just holding the phone.

Moving forward 10 years, almost every glove manufacturer has their version of a texting glove. There are 50 versions with names like “Skier’s Delight” and the “Handsome Hand-Savers,” which are rated two of the best. These gloves range from $35 to $150, but the sad thing is many still seem to fall short and are impractical when trying to maneuver Google maps.

Using special materials that were supposed to easily manipulate the touch screen, they don’t always work and gloves are still being shed for any serious texting. Some have rubber nubs on the palm and finger tips, knitted gloves seemed slippery, and most just don’t register a click.

Some are bulky, the slim ones aren’t all that warm, and most are just OK when it comes to walking and fat-finger typos. The idea is a good one, but none seemed to work as well as the naked fingers sticking out of the cozy sweater sleeves.

Unfortunately, my daughter-in-law did not take her ideas to a manufacturer. She moved on to other creative gift ideas over the years. I still have mine and used them this past winter, when needed in the car.

Who knows what the next texting glove will be? With each new invention comes a multitude of additional devices, garments and accessories just waiting to be created and marketed.

In the meantime, I’m writing this now so you have the summer and fall months to make your own sweater-sleeve-hand-warmer-touch-screen-winter-wear. I just saved you between $30 and $150. You’re welcome.

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at


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