Unvented March 2020, in the time of isolation caused by the Covid 19 virus.
Here’s a (sort of) pattern, in case you want to make your own. Please contact me on Twitter if you try this and have any questions.
Fingering weight or 4-ply yarn – about 50g should do it
2.5mm circular needle (or whatever size needle gives you a nice stretchy fabric with your yarn)
Another knitting needle or cable needle of roughly the same size as the one you’re using
Abbreviations and techniques
m1: make 1 stitch by placing a backward twisted loop on your right hand needle.
kfb: knit into the front and back of the same stitch
Both these increases are described here, with pictures
pfb: purl into the front and back of the same stitch – it’s a bit awkward, but I’m sure you can figure it out
3 needle bind-off: See here for a good explanation with pictures – there are also loads of videos on YouTube
Leaving a fairly long tail, cast on 48 stitches (this is the number of stitches I used, but you might need to make a little swatch and work out the right number for your yarn/needle/hand combination. It should be a multiple of 4 stitches, and should fit snugly around the widest part of your hand.)
Join, being careful not to twist.
Round 1: k1, *p2, k2*, repeat until last 3 stitches, p2, k1
Repeat round 1 until your wrist warmer is as long as you want it to be, from your wrist up to the base of your thumb.
Making an opening for the thumb
Row 1: k1, *p2, k2*, repeat until last 3 stitches, p2, k1. Turn the work
Row 2: Slip 1, *k2, p2*, repeat until last 3 stitches, k2, p1, Turn.
Row 3: Slip 1, *p2, k2*, repeat until last 3 stitches, p2, k1. Turn
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the opening you have made is big enough for your thumb to fit through. On my wristwarmers, this was 12 rows (I think). Finish on a row that ends with a knit stitch.
Knitting the thumb
You are going to knit the thumb at a right angle to the rest of the wristwarmer, using the edges of the opening you’ve just made as your foundation row.
At the beginning and end of each row of the thumb, you will make an extra stitch. These extra stitches just sit on the needle – we will use them in a minute.
Row 1: m1, pick up and knit 8 stitches (or however many you think you need to go halfway round your thumb – about 2/3 of the number of rows you did. The number of stitches should be a multiple of 4.) evenly along the edge of the thumb opening, from top to bottom. Then pick up and knit another 7 stitches along the edge on the other side of the opening, from the bottom back up to the top. For the last stitch, pick up a loop and kfb, to make 2 stitches. Place the second of these onto the left hand needle, then turn the work.
Row 2: m1, p1, *k2, p2*, repeat until last 3 thumb stitches, k2, pfb, place the extra stitch you just made onto the left hand needle, then turn the work.
Row 3: m1, k1, *p2, k2*, repeat until last 3 thumb stitches, p2, kfb, place the extra stitch you just made onto the left hand needle, then turn the work.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the thumb is as long as you want it, ending with a row like row 2. Mine was about 8 rows long.
Cast off row: m1, cast off 16 stitches in pattern (or whatever number of stitches you originally picked up from the edges of the thumb opening). Pass your one remaining stitch onto the left needle and turn the work.
Finishing the thumb
Now it’s time to use the extra stitches you’ve been making. These will be cast off in a 3 needle bind-off, to join the edges of the thumb together.
Hold both ends of the needle in your left hand, one in front of the other. Move your stitches up near the tip of the needle on both ends. Count how many extra stitches you have on each needle tip. Hopefully, you have the same number of extra stitches on each side (including the one you have just passed over).
Pass that stitch to your third needle, and use a 3 needle bind off to join the two edges of the thumb together, getting rid of all the extra stitches. You should now have the same number of stitches on your needle as you originally cast on. Your thumb should be a little cylinder. The join will look quite messy – don’t worry, that will be on the inside when it’s finished.
If you don’t have the right number of stitches, knit two together on the next round, to get back to the right number.
Carry on knitting in the round, in pattern, until the hand section is as long as you want it.
Cast off in pattern.
Check for tiny holes at the base of the thumb. If there are any, you can probably deal with that when you’re weaving in your ends.
Weave in ends on the outside, then turn the whole thing inside out.