So, I mentioned that I had plenty of socks already, but still some sock yarn kicking around... so I turned to another extremity on my person that really feels the cold; my hands. I am definitely a cold-hand person... and can be relied on to lay a soothingly cool hand on the brow of a feverish sick person, anywhere, anytime. Nice for any sick people in my life, but nonetheless I am forever engaging in some futile attempt to lift the temperature of my hands above that of a corpse. This takes form in various procedures; whether it be slowly rotating my hands over the toaster in the morning, making myself a gazillion cups of tea not necessarily because I am thirsty but so that I have a hot china mug to clutch for a short while (warning; this particular hand-warming method greatly increases the required number of visits to the ladies room), walking about with my hands stuck weirdly in my armpits, or sitting on my hands, which by the way is good for warmth but not for maintaining any actual feeling in the fingers.
And yes there are gloves, some pairs of which I do have and are wonderful for warming the ol' handies, but not when one is doing delicate stuff such as knitting, or working on a computer keyboard and one's gloved fingers keep typing in such gems such as: "hekoo there., anmd how arte yourd tofdsy?"
Anyhoo, I brilliantly detected this gap in my wardrobe, and set to filling it...
Here is my pattern for these super-easy handwarmers, suitable for knitters of all levels of ability. It really doesn't get any easier than these things...
Yarn; 4 ply, I used Morris Empire Superwash Merino 4 ply
Quantity; 1-2 balls... exactly how much yarn depends on how far up your arm you want your handwarmers to extend.
Set of 2mm double ended needles
Tension; 28 stitches and 36 rows to a 10x10cm square of stocking stitch
Cast on 60 stitches, distribute so there are 20 stitches over three needles.
Bringing the last stitch on the third needle round to join onto the first stitch on the first needle to start knitting in the round, commence in K2, P2. Leave the long tail from your first slip stitch hanging loose without weaving in, this marks the starting point of your knitting and enables you to count rows more easily.
Continue in K2 P2 for 8 rows.
From the 9th row, K in every stitch.
Continue for 20 rows.
Row 29; turn and P 60 stitches. Note for this stocking stitch section, always slip the first stitch purlwise on a purl row, and knitwise on a knit row)
Row 30; turn and K 60 stitches
Repeat last two rows until there are 20 rows of stocking stitch.
Row 50; join the work so you are knitting in the round once more, and continue knitting in each stitch until the work measures the desired length (in this example, 31cm from the beginning)
K2, P2; for the next 8 rows.
Cast off in K stitch loosely, and weave in the loose ends.
Voila, one handwarmer! Now just repeat for the second one... if you want to get fancy it is pretty easy to incorporate a cable design or something down the backs of each hand, but this is the basic unadorned model to start with. This is a super easy project that doesn't require much thought at all, so is perfect for while your family is watching TV or something and you want something mindless to do... and your toasty warm hands will thank you in the winter!
Handwarmers; my own design, knitted in Morris 4 ply merino, in Imperial Blue (col 424)
Top and tights; Metalicus
Skirt; Vogue 7303 in charcoal suiting, dyed blue by me here
Scarf; a gift
Boots; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes