If you're a careful reader of the Purl Bee, you may have noticed by now what a big fan I am of hand warmers. I love how practical they are (no holding dirty mittens between your teeth while you fish around for keys); I love how fast they are to make (you just can't say that about too many knitted things!); I love how flattering they are on everybody's hands; and, for all these reasons, I love how perfectly suitable they are as gifts (I'm remembering recent recipients: friend Claudia has a pair, so do aunt Bretta, cousin Katie, and sister-in-law Jen.).

Ever since Joelle made the Log Cabin Baby Blanket for her new niece out of Anzula's Squishy, I have been really anxious to give it a try. Joelle is a tough customer when it comes to yarn, so her rave reviews of this one set my expectations high. I was not disappointed! This is a seriously pleasurable yarn to knit with, maybe because of the 10% cashmere, or the lofty spin, or the super high quality merino, or the generous 385 yards per skein, or because of all those things plus some magical ingredient. Add to its luxurious feel the beautifully hand dyed palette of sophisticated, quirky colors, and I've got a new favorite yarn!

The Materials

  • 1 skein of Anzula's Squishy, 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon. This color is "Plum". One skein is enough for at least 2 pairs of hand warmers.
  • A set of US #3 double pointed needles.

The Pattern

Gauge

16 stitches = 1 inch in 3 x 2 rib, unstretched

5 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in 3 x 2 rib, comfortably stretched

Finished Size

11 inches long and stretch up to 9 inches around to fit most women's hands.

Wrist

Cast 50 stitches onto double pointed needles.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches and placing a stitch marker if you want to.

Round 1: *K3, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until the piece measures 8 inches from the cast on edge.

Thumb Hole

NOTE: For the thumb hole, you will work back and forth in rows, turning the work between each row, as you would a flat piece of knitting. Work the stitches on the double pointed needles just as they are, moving from one needle to the next.

Row 1: [K3, p2] four times, k4, turn so the inside of the hand warmer is facing you. (You work only 24 stitches for Row 1.)

Row 2 (wrong side): K1, *p3, k2, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, p3, k1, turn so the outside of the hand warmer is facing you.  (Row 2 and all following rows work all 50 stitches.)

Row 3 (right side): K4, *p2, k3, repeat to last stitch, k1, turn.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until the thumb hole measures 1 1/2 inches, ending with Row 3. If you were using a stitch marker, you can remove it on the last row.

Hand

NOTE: For the hand section you will work in the round again with the outside of the hand warmer facing you. You will begin with a joining round that connects the two sides of the thumb hole. For the joining round, just continue to work from the end of Row 3 with the outside facing you. (See the picture below.)

Joining Round: Place a stitch marker, p1, *k3, p2, repeat from to last 4 stitches, k3, p1.

Next Round: P1, *k3, p2, repeat from to last 4 stitches, k3, p1.

Repeat the last round until the piece measures 2 inches from the top of the thumb hole.

Bind off in the 3 x 2 rib pattern.

Weave in the ends, make a second identical hand warmer, and you're ready to go!