Archive for the “armwarmers” Category

I've been going out for runs before work, because it's been too hot in the afternoons. The other day I was all dressed and ready to go and... it was only 47 degrees out, so that was a nope. I'm going to need to come up with ways of keeping warm if I want to keep going out in the mornings! Since my hands get cold easily, I thought I'd begin with a pair of armwarmers. The idea of the Watch Me! armwarmers comes from wanting to be able to see and control my sportswatch without having to mess around with sleeves and other layers while I'm trying to run in a straight line.

Look, it's got a little window for my watch! ...which took several tries to size appropriately, but eventually I figured out what I was doing. The part of the armwarmer that goes over the watch band is seed stitch, and then it goes back to ribbing for the rest of it.

The back side of the Watch Me armwarmers shows a sports watch poking through a little 'window' over the wrist.

Getting the thumb gusset right was another challenge. I needed to adjust several times; I tried different types and rates of increases and liked none of them. Finally, I decided to just let it grow out of one of the ribs, and that worked well.

The next challenge was figuring out how many stitches to set aside for the thumb, and how many to dedicate to the hand - most of the glove/armwarmer patterns that I have in my library have the same number of stitches on the wrist as on the hand, but my wrist is only 6" around and my hand is about 7.5" around, so I needed to come up with some more stitches to keep my hand from getting squashed. I cast on a few extra after I set the thumb stitches aside, but I think if I make another pair of these I'll add even more. (Or knit the hand portion in stockinette, rather than in rib - that would probably work, too.)

The palm side of the left-hand Watch Me armwarmer

And then, of course, the inevitable challenge of picking up stitches for the thumb in order to leave the smallest holes possible between thumb and hand! I used the tail to sew up the little gaps that remained.

The thumb of the Watch Me armwarmers connects to the rest of the hand without any holes at all!

I took very careful notes as I knit so that I'll be able to duplicate my work. The right-hand armwarmer won't have the opening for a watch, of course, so I'll probably continue the ribbing instead of putting the seed stitch band in. But the notes will be very helpful when it comes to the thumb gusset!

The Watch Me! armwarmers are knit in Patons Kroy Sock FX, which is a heavier-than-standard sock yarn, on size 2 needles. The colourway is "Cascade Colors" and I absolutely love the teals and grays. I could easily see knitting a whole sweater out of this, actually, though I might try a swatch on size 3 needles to see if I can get a slightly more drapey fabric without it being too loose.

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I'm very excited to be able to share my latest design, the Carved Lines Armwarmers! This project has been in the works for several months and is finally ready for release.

Inspired by the sinuous shapes that skiers and snowboarders leave in the snow as they carve down the mountain, the Carved Lines Armwarmers are meant to close the gap between your jacket and your gloves, keeping the snow off your wrists and keeping you out on the slopes longer! The slipknot cast-on and sewn bind-off are stretchy without being floppy, giving neat finished edges to your work.

~~~~~~~~ IMPORTANT NOTICE ~~~~~~~~
Through August 2015 the Carved Lines Armwarmers will be available at a discounted price of $1.49.
On September 1, the price will go up to $1.99. Get your copy today!

Check out the Carved Lines pattern page on Ravelry or click the button to purchase the pattern:




YOU WILL NEED: A set of five US 4/3.5mm double-point needles (or the size needed to get gauge for your particular yarn), and a darning needle to weave in ends. Optional: stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: The stitch pattern has some stretch to it, and should fit hands 7 to 7.5" around.

YARN and GAUGE: Approximately 1.5 skeins (160 yards) Jo Sharp Classic Wool DK, or any DK-weight yarn you like, to get a gauge of 26 stitches to 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette. To make a larger size, a light worsted weight such as Cascade 220 and US 6/4mm needles is recommended.

Important Copyright Information: The Carved Lines Armwarmers knitting pattern is © 2015 Knitting Pirate. You may not sell or otherwise distribute copies of this pattern, but you may absolutely sell the armwarmers you make, and Knitting Pirate would very much appreciate it if credit is given for the design. If you have any questions about what you can or can’t do with this pattern, please feel free to contact the Knitting Pirate.

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You know that phenomenon where you have a hobby or interest, but you skip a few days at it, and then a few days turns into a few weeks, and before you know it, months have gone by? You think, "gee, I really should do that thing I used to do all the time," but you've gotten caught up in life and other interests, and some more time passes. And then one day you realize, "hey! I miss that! I'm going to get back to doing that!"

I have two socks (of different pairs) in progress, but I haven't been working on them. One is right there in my coffee table, staring at me every night. The other gets carried around with me in my purse, for goodness' sake. And there's the armwarmers pattern, which is written up and ready to go, if only I had good pictures to paste into the pattern. I need to take pictures of some of the yarns I've spun recently, too. Not to mention the other projects and ideas which are languishing... sigh.

This morning I realized that it's already the end of May, which means it's only five weeks until the Tour de Fleece begins, and I really want to do that again this year. And THAT means that in the next five weeks, I need to clear my bobbins - which should be easy, since there's just one lace single that needs to be wound off and fulled, and only one half-done spin in progress: this rust-and-cream coloured merino/tencel blend.


Spinning the other half and then plying it shouldn't take too long; the fibre is wonderful to work with. It drafts so smoothly, I barely need to look - so I might bring the wheel downstairs tonight and attempt to spin while watching the hockey game. (Let's go Rangers!) This may or may not be productive, depending how exciting the game is... but we'll see! If the spinning doesn't work out, I'll work on a sock instead.

My consolation to the sad thought that I haven't been knitting or spinning lately is that I haven't brought anything new in yet this year. I've gotten rid of some yarn; the "Starry Night" handspun went to Mom so she could knit a hat, I sold some sock yarn that I wasn't getting around to knitting, and I crocheted a washcloth, knitted a hat for my brother, and finished Stef's armwarmers. So there's already a thousand yards of yarn already gone this year, with none brought in to replace it. I suppose that's not too bad after all.

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Some time ago, I promised to knit a pair of armwarmers for my friend Stef. She asked for a charcoal gray yarn that would go with her office clothes, and I chose KnitPicks Andean Treasure, a 100% alpaca sportweight yarn - and of course, took the opportunity to create my own pattern while I was at it.



Unfortunately, the fuzziness of the alpaca yarn masks a lot of detail in the stitch pattern, but it's there! I'll be refining my notes and knitting a pair for myself in a smoother yarn that will better show the stitches, and then publishing the pattern for everyone to enjoy.

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Last Sunday on the Remrants forum, we were taking pictures of pictures of pictures of looking at our mornings, much like the Infinite Cat Project. I can't take pictures without a particular spotted cat showing up. "Pictures? We're taking pictures? Oh boy oh boy! Can I be in the pictures? Can I get really really close to the camera-- or should I just stare from across the room?"

Sunday with Kipling

The greatest part of doing this is that I grabbed the only knitting in the living room at the time for the picture - the grey armwarmers that have been languishing in the cabinet for months, while I felt more and more guilty about not working on them. Then the project was right there on the table in front of me, so I finished knitting the first of the pair - hooray! I need those DPNs to do the decreases on the hat I'm designing, which I hope to finish knitting over the weekend so I can write up and publish the pattern.

After that, I can knit the second armwarmer... and write up that pattern for publication as well, though it will be necessary to knit a second pair using a yarn with better stitch definition for the photographs. This first pair is made of KnitPicks Andean Treasure, which is a lovely soft yarn... but between the fuzz of the yarn and the dark grey colour, it's really hard to see the stitch pattern.

I'm looking forward to sharing both of these patterns soon!

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My friend Teresa, Ship's Cook of HCPS Tygershark, loves black and silver. I've only ever seen her wear black and silver - maybe a little bit of white, sometimes, when silver can't be found.


About a year and a half ago, she mentioned something about armwarmers, and I filed the thought away in my head with a note that I had to find black and silver yarn for the project. Not long afterwards, I bought a skein of Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver. It just seemed fitting to use real silver in something I was making for Teri!

I was going to give these to her last year at Pennsic, but I didn't end up going - so unfortunately, they were set aside for other projects. But I finished them during the Olympics (hooray! a WIP completed!) and mailed them off, and just heard from her that she's received them, so now I can post about the project!


The pattern is Lacy Fingerless Gloves, available for free on Ravelry. It was and easy and quick project which took less than half a skein to make. The armwarmers are worked flat in rows of alternating fan-shapes, edged with a round of single crochet, then seamed up the side with a hole for the thumb. I like the construction and would use it again with another stitch pattern!

Kipling tries to be in all the pictures (look at those adorable paws!) but it's a good closeup of the shape of the fan stitches. The silver strands are even more obvious in real life; the camera didn't really capture how they shine.


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I finished the first "As I Go Along" armwarmer last week, working with the notes I'd scribbled down when I started it. While I saw some room for improvement in the fit, I was happy enough with the way it came out and decided to knit the second to match. This yarn doesn't seem like it would be happy about being ripped out and re-knit, anyway, so my decision was based on that as well as on the fit. Trendsetter Tonalita is a soft and loosely spun yarn, not very sturdy at all, and unfortunately I don't think the armwarmers will last very long before they get fuzzy and pilly.

I decided to save weaving in all the ends until I was done with both, and as it later turned out, that was the best decision I could have made, because I ended up using every single inch of this yarn. The full ball of Tonalita would have been enough for both armwarmers if I hadn't taken a dozen yards out of it for the top of the Hurricane Hat.

The colours of the first armwarmer are nicer than the second. On one hand, I like that the Tonalita doesn't have a repeating colour pattern in the skein. On the other hand, why did they have to put all the silvers, greys, and beiges together at one end of the yarn, and all the lovely greens and blues together at the other end? In the Hurricane Hat, the lack of repetition was perfect, and the higher stitch count meant the grey and beige parts were less obtrusive. But here, it almost looks as if the two armwarmers were knit from different colourways, and I like that less.

The second armwarmer got all the dull colours. I knit most of it on a four hour train ride on Sunday afternoon, and as I got towards the top of the hand I began to worry that I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish. The more worried I got, the faster I knit. I tried to tell myself that I've had this concern before and that everything has come out just fine, but the little voice in my head kept saying no, I was going to run out of yarn before I ran out of armwarmer to knit. I knit even faster, because that's what knitters do when they're afraid the yarn will run out - don't ask me why! - and had worked everything but the thumb before my train pulled into the station.

No one on this train ride commented on my knitting. First I sat next to a woman who lived one town over from where I grew up, and we talked about that a bit, but by the time I pulled out the needles and yarn she was deep into a movie on her laptop. After she got off the train, a man came on with a box of cookies. He offered me one, but didn't say anything about my work. As introverted as I can be, I'm almost disappointed! I enjoy when people notice my knitting, and the conversations that often come of it. I've met so many nice people that way.

The little voice turned out to be right. On Monday evening I sat down to knit the eight thumb rounds, and had only enough yarn for five. The ends from the first armwarmer came into play here. I wove them in and scavenged what was left to splice onto my sadly short yarn tail, and managed to get the thumb finished and bound off... only to find that the double thickness in some places had conspired to give me a thumb that's considerably larger than it ought to be. There's no way of pulling this out and redoing it, so either I'm going to ignore it or I'm going to take it in with some sewing thread. I'm leaning towards ignoring it, because if I sew it up there'll be an unpleasant lump on the side of the thumb. The only other thing I could think of would be to ask on Ravelry if anyone has an extra ten yards of Tonalita in the same colourway that they'd be willing to send me. Then I could snip out the thumb, pick up the stitches, and try it again.

These are good little armwarmers, even with one oversized thumb, and I actually have them on right now to keep my hands warm as I work. It's often cold in my office; I expect to get a lot of use from them. The best part about them, though, is how much I learned from making them up as I went along. It's given me more confidence to begin the design work on the pattern I'm dreaming up.

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At first I couldn't decide what to knit on the plane. While I was thinking about it I took out the leftover Tonalita and idly knit fifteen rounds of ribbing, then some stockinette, then started to increase for a gusset. I just sort of made them up as I went along, and I wrote down everything I'd done so that I could have some hope of making a second armwarmer just like the first one.

By the end of the flight I'd gotten up to the part where I would set aside stitches for the thumb, decided that I wouldn't make individual fingers on these due to the thickness of the yarn, and written down what I think will be the rest of the pattern. I could probably finish the first one in less than an hour, and the second one will take about two hours to knock out.

If I were being more picky about the "as I go along" armwarmers, I would put four more stitches into the ribbing to make it easier to get over my hand, even though it's the right size for my scrawny wrist. I'd spread out the gusset increases over a few more rounds, because I reached the target number of stitches before I'd reached the base of my thumb. But I'm not being picky, because they'll look totally fine, and I have no plans to write up or publish this pattern.

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Last weekend, while my house in Virginia was buried in more than two feet of snow, I went to Canada. Ironically, the weather there was beautiful and clear, if really cold. It was even too cold for me to want to skate on the canal. Instead, my sworn-sister the Ninja and I, along with our friend Amy, took an afternoon to visit yarn stores.

Our first stop was Wool N' Things in Orleans, where I was thrilled to find some of the discontinued Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed, the same yarn that I used to knit my Fleep-Tops. I picked up two skeins in Cedar, a gorgeous dark green with red and yellow flecks. They'll probably become another pair of Fleeps, as backup for when my first pair inevitably wears out. The green totally doesn't match my dark blue winter coat, but it's time for a new coat anyway. Perhaps something in green, or preferably black. Black goes with everything.

Then we headed over to Yarn Forward in Ottawa proper, where I bought two skeins of this super-soft (and superwash!) Lang Merino DK in a gray so dark it's almost black. My first thought was that it might make a pair of Fleeps for Michael, but he wanted something thicker and tweedier, so I'm going to use it for a pair of classy office armwarmers for myself and pick up some Rowan Felted Tweed in as black as it comes for him. Not that I mind being able to use this pettably soft stuff for myself, not at all! I am thinking about making something like these Cafe au Lait Mitts from SnapperKnits, or perhaps I will come up with my own pattern for them.

I did have a disappointment this year: My old Stellar Toque, now over four years old, may be nearing retirement. It's gotten stretched out and too large, and lets the wind through to my ears. I am thinking that before next Winterlude, I will knit a colourwork hat with earflaps and line it with fleece. We saw many of them in the Byward Market when we were there for the Stew Cook-Off on Friday, and I was seriously tempted to buy one - but why buy what I can knit? Pirate-Husband suggested that I could salvage the Stellar Toque by knitting earflaps onto it and lining it with fleece, instead of making a whole new hat. I could also felt it a little to shrink it and make it more windproof.

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Because it would be a pain in the butt to try to measure out a length of heel color stripe against another stripe, I think I'm just going to start the entire heel over with the next stripe in sequence. Not only will this be easier than measuring, but it will be easy to reproduce on Sock #2.

Today, I was complimented on the policy I have on the Highwayman Armwarmers pattern: Distribute the pattern freely but don't sell it. You may sell armwarmers made with this pattern if you give me credit for having designed it. Since I don't plan to make and sell armwarmers, it's not taking any money out of my pocket if anyone else wants to do so. Feel free! Have at it! Enjoy!

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