Friday, December 01, 2006

Hand warming!

Imagine you are knitting socks. Socks from the most delicious sock yarn . Using a simple but complex-looking pattern that just perfectly highlights the deliciousness of the yarn.

Now imagine you are knitting these while listening to the Harlot speak at an engagement with one of your knitting buddies who looks at your socks and wonders aloud whether those socks will fit a grown-up. Naturally, the first stage of sock-too-small-itis is denial: "No, these will fit...I swatched." You keep knitting away until you get home and try to get them over your heel in vain -- you can't get them passed your toes and you can't isolate the muscles to suck your foot gut in.

Step two, bargaining: "wool is very forgiving and blocking will stretch them just enough - and I promise to swatch in the future if this only works." Ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. Skip to step seven - make handwarmers!

Nice, eh? Now these were a total accident but actually turned out marvellous. So just in case you skip the swatching bit in the Christmas kniting rush and encounter a similar problem...relax, everyone loves hand-warmers. Here's what I did:

  1. Cast-on 64 stitches and worked pattern for Hello Yarn's cable-twist socks but modifying the pattern as per Grumperina to work the twist over 6 stitches instead of 5.
  2. Work six pattern repeats and start making a gusset by increasing one stitch at the beginning and end of a set of 6 stitches (continue to work the twist pattern on the rest of the ribs but from now one this particular rib is just worked in straight stocking stitch to form a comfy thumb gusset).
  3. Continue to increase one stitch at the beginning and end of the gusset every third row until you have 22 gusset stitches.

  4. Put gusset stitches on a thread or stitch holder and continue knitting to the end of the round.
  5. On the next round, cast-on 6 stitches where the gusset is and continue to work in pattern until you have 11 pattern repeats or until you like the length and cast-off.
  6. Return gusset stitches to the needles and join yarn. Start working thumb in stocking stitch picking up 6 stitches (remember the ones you cast on in step 5?) on the inside of the thumb. You should have 28 thumb stitches on your needle.
  7. Knit 2 stitches together 4 times in the next row. It's best to do this on the inside of the thumb so they don't show, but really you can decrease these anywhere. 24 stitches.
  8. Knit 2 rounds and knit 2 stitches together 4 more times. 20 stitches.
  9. Keep going until you like the length of the thumb and cast off.
  10. Weave in ends.
  11. Admire.
  12. Start the other one ;0)

Happy knitting!


  1. Hey, cool! Socks salvaged! Plus now you get to feel all the nice fleecy softness all the time, with your fingers!

    (Love the yarn with the pattern, btw. They look great.)

  2. Anonymous6:18 a.m.

    holy cow woman, even your knitting misphaps are fabulous!

  3. A convenient accident! I love hand warmers and the color of yours. Beautiful job!!

  4. Nice! They look so nice and cozy!!!! Way to be resourceful!

  5. Nothing quite like a happy mistake.

  6. I love the wristwarmers/handwarmers and the colors are fabulous. What a lovely mistake they turned out to be.

  7. Great idea! They are incredible. The yarn looks so cozy.

  8. Awesome looking handsock warmers Anny!

  9. Well, those may have come from a too-tight gauge, but they're fabulous! Great idea, making them into hand warmers.

  10. Wow, they're totally hot!!
    Nice save =)

  11. Those look great! Thanks for including the modified pattern!

  12. Anonymous9:59 a.m.

    Wow...very very nice! I think I like it better than the socks!!! I have Raynaud's hand warmers are the BEST! I may have to try these. Hope you are feeling well!


  13. Anonymous10:52 a.m.

    and they are wonderful, and cozy, and very comfy... and great for knitting while waiting for the train! MERCI Anny, I love them!

  14. Anonymous11:57 a.m.

    Those are awesome!

  15. you just inspired me on what to do with a beautiful pair of lace socks I have that are too small to fit my foot! Thanks a bunch!

  16. Great Save!! Wish I could think on my feet like that rather than whining and starting over.

  17. Great Save!! Wish I could think on my feet like that rather than whining and starting over.

  18. Anonymous3:17 p.m.

    They look wonderful!

  19. These are great! Been looking for a handwarmer pattern that wasn't simply a tube. How much wool did you need? I want to go buy some and get started on this!

  20. Thank you for introducing me the wonderful information.And .....Totally boring.!

  21. I found this idea in a desperate attempt to salvage some socks I'm knitting for my husband. I just realized, I was actually knitting mitts! I just tried them on him and they are going to fit perfectly. :-)

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  44. I made these hand warmers a while back. Would like to make them again. However, can not find the pattern and it is no lo ger on the web. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


  45. Anonymous4:30 p.m.

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