Customized Wrist Warmers

When I asked my sister, Lisa, what she wanted for her birthday this year, she said she wanted me to make a pair of  fingerless gloves for her. Only she didn’t want the kind with a thumb hole, and she wanted them long enough to go clear up to her elbows.

I scoured Ravelry.com for patterns. Most had thumb holes. Most went only to mid-wrist. So I needed a pattern I could tailor to Lisa’s wishes. (For my part, I wanted a pattern that didn’t use tiny needles.) The easy part was choosing the yarn – Patons’ Classic Wool in “pumpkin” – since she loves orange. This is what I came up with:

I couldn’t figure out how to program the timer on my camera, so you’re stuck with separate shots for the right and left arms.

Raverly members can find the pattern I used here. It’s Kim Sandborn’s Winter Wrist Warmers. Here’s a side-by-side showing where the original pattern would have ended vs. the extra-long version:

See how the sections to the right are slightly narrower than the end with the needles? That’s because the non-cabled part of the first few inches is a Knit 2 Purl 1 ribbed stitch, which gives it a bit of stretch.

I love the way Kim wrote her pattern. Patterns requiring double pointed needles usually say to place the same number of stitches on each needle, but Kim had the entire cabled section all on one needle, leaving different numbers of stitches on each needle.

Speaking of cables, if you’re a knitter who’s been intimidated by cables, don’t be. All you do is slip a couple of stitches onto a separate needle and knit them a few stitches later. If you hold the stitches in front of the work your cable twists to the left, if you hold them to the back it twists to the right. Here’s how I made the cable twist to the left:

This is a 3-stitch cable, so I slipped three stitches (as if to purl) onto another DPN and left them in front of the work as I knitted the next three stitches…

Then, I knitted the three stitches I’d held to the front of the work…

Finally, I knitted the next three stitches of the cable and purled two to finish the twist.

The thing I love about knitting cables is they’re so much easier than they look. The twists only come once every so many rows (depending on the exact pattern). The only trick is counting your rows so your cables are even. It’s super-low tech, but this is how I keep track of my twists:

This pattern has an 8-row repeat, with a front (left) twist on every 3rd row and a back (right) twist on every 7th row. I highlighted the twist rows in orange.

Lisa’s birthday is still a couple days away, but the surprise isn’t spoiled. Not only did she pretty much custom order her wrist warmers, she also had a preview of them last weekend, when I was mid-way through the second one.

Happy birthday, Lisa!

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About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on September 20, 2012, in birthday, cable stitches, DPNs, Family, gifts, Knitting, motifs, Projects, Uncategorized, Wrist Warmers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Love these! I had similar cloth-sewed ones to guard my arms from the California sun!

  2. See, I could use these. This study gets MIGHTY chilly in winter, and I can’t type with the fingerless gloves (who leaves the thumb intact on those things? The trouble is the cold on the backs of my hands. These might be perfect.

    • Paula Hendrickson

      You wouldn’t believe how many patterns had holes or loops for thumbs. But no one says you have to stick to the pattern. Wrist warmers are really popular now since people can stay warm while texting and using their smart phones.

      You crochet a bit, don’t you Lori? I know I saw some similar wrist warmers that were crocheted. Let me know if you want some links to crochet patterns.

  3. Look warm and it’s already getting cold here. I like the no-thumbs look so you could slide them up and put on a pair of mittens should you need to go outside in the winter.

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