Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Down and Dirty Handwarmers

I often find myself in a quandry over what to knit. You know, so much yarn, so many patterns, so little brain capacity? I don't concentrate well these days, so anything too complicated is out. And by complicated I mean anything beyond ribbing. I usually knit while doing something else, and I grabbed some of my indigo dyed wool and a set of wooden double pointed needles when I went off to work at the Agrirama a few weeks ago on a Saturday. I decided to try some handwarmers, but didn't bother to find a pattern - no time, no time! It took me a few tries to get the size I wanted, but once I had one down, the second was a no-brainer - something I specialize in! Here they are finished:We made our usual whirlwind Christmas trip to Clemson this past weekend, so I whipped up another pair:

Okay, here's the pattern. For those of you who need precise directions, please stop now. This is not for you.
Yarn: worsted weight. Or something else.
Needles: I used 5 and 6's with the worsted weight. You decide what works best with your yarn. By the way, I used both 5's and 6's on the black pair - I couldn't find more than two of each size. Hey, it worked.
Gauge: You're kidding, right?
Okay, using my worsted weight and size 5 or 6 dpns, I cast on 40 stitches, divided the stitches onto 3 needles, and then joined. If you're not great at knowing where the beginning of your round is, place a marker there. If that confused you, ask someone for help, your're gonna need it.
Take the time to make sure all your stitches are straight, so you don't end up with a mobius, which is like the infinity symbol. Sort of. Just trust me on this - it's not for hand warmers. You do realize though that if you do twist you can fix it pretty well on the first round. You'll know what I mean if you ever do twist.
K2, P2, all the way around. You should always start with a K2 at the beginning of the round, and always end with a P2 at the end. You just keep doing this, every single round. Voila - you'll have K2P2 ribbing!!!!
Keep ribbing around until the hand warmer seems long enough to go from the top of your thumb to a good spot on your wrist. At the beginning of the next round, bind off six stitches. I say six, because that seems to be a good sized opening for most thumbs. If you're making small hand warmers, or very large ones, please adjust according. After you've bound off those stitches, just keep knitting around in the k2p2 rib pattern. At the beginning of the next round, cast on 6 stitches (I just use a backward loop cast-on) and then keep knitting around in the k2p2 ribbing. You can try the hand warmer on at this point to get an idea of how much longer you want to make it. I try mine on a lot. When they're long enough, just bind off, fairly loosely. I do a k2p2 bind off, but it's not written in stone. Or if it is, I haven't seen it.
Sew in ends, wash and block and gift. Sometimes not necessarily in that order!
Oh, almost forgot. You have to make a second one!! So start all over again, and this time, smile!


Jenny said...

Those are so cute! Knitting is way over my head. I think crafts in which I'm supposed to do something without being able to see clearly where it's going are hard for me. Sewing patterns just get me all mixed up, too.

Anonymous said...

Go YOU!!

I figure I'll finally locate my yummy hand warmers as soon as this cold snap is OVER. blah.