Hand warmers are one of my favorite things to knit. They don't involve the fuss of fingers; they're one size fits all; they don't take eons to make; and they're a great opportunity to express your style. In the past we've featured several hand warmer patterns on the Purlbee, each with its own character. The Daisy Stitch Hand Warmers were homespun and funky; the Pretty Lace Hand Warmers were feminine and sassy; and the Cashmere Hand Warmers were simple and luxurious.

This season we bring you the Long Striped Hand Warmers, complete with a personality of their own. Relaxed, yet refined, they strike a delicate balance that fits every mood, from no-I-haven't-had-a-cup-of-coffee-yet to yes-I-am-fabulous.

The beautiful tonal shifts in the green are the result of Swan's Island's extraordinary natural dyes. This particular green is a mystical concoction made from the shavings of the Osage Orange tree and the fermented leaves of the Indigo herb. When applied to 100% organic merino wool chosen by Swan's Island, not only the yarn, but the story behind the yarn, starts to take on a very special feeling.  --Whitney

Materials

Gauge

8 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch with the larger needles

Size

To fit average woman - 7 inches in circumference and 12 1/2 inches long

Pattern

The Cuff

With the Main Color (MC) and a set of US #2 double pointed needles, cast on 60 stitches.

Join to work in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

*K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat this round 7 more times.

Changing to US #3 double pointed needles,

**Knit 1 round with MC.

Knit 1 round with the Contrast Color (CC).

Repeat from ** until the piece measures 8 inches from the cast on edge. (If you need some tips on how to knit stripes, check out the "Knitting Stripes in the Round" section of the Rochefort Chapeau pattern.)

Knit 1 more round, ending with an increase (m1). (61 stitches)

The Gusset

Continuing the established stripe pattern,

Round 1: K30, place a marker, m1L, k1, m1R, place a marker, k30. (63 stitches)

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: Knit to first marker, slip marker, m1L, knit to second marker, m1R, slip marker, knit to end of round. (2 stitches increased)

Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 until there are 19 stitches between the markers.

Next round: Knit to the second marker, place the previous 19 stitches (ie the thumb stitches) on a stitch holder or scrap yarn, knit to the end of the round. (60 stitches on needles)

The Palm

Next Round: Continuing the stripe pattern, knit to the thumb gap, close the gap by knitting the next stitch and pulling a little extra tight, knit to the end of the round.

Continue to knit in the established stripe pattern until the palm measures 1 3/4 inches from the thumb gap (or until the palm reaches your pinky knuckle). End the palm with a round of the MC.

Changing to US #2 double pointed needles and using just the MC,

*K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat this round 5 more times.

Bind off in the rib pattern.

The Thumb

With the next color in the stripe pattern and a US# 3 double pointed needle, pick up 3 stitches from the base joint of the thumb.

Continue with the same color to finish knitting the round, distributing the stitches onto three needles. (22 stitches)

Continuing the stripe pattern, knit until the thumb measures 3/8 of an inch from the base of the thumb.

End the thumb with a round of the MC.

Changing to US #2 double pointed needles and using just the MC,

*K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat this round 3 more times.

Bind off in the rib pattern.

Weave in all the ends. I also blocked my hand warmers to even out the stitches a little bit which worked great!