I’m clearly going with the Enid Blyton title model these days. You know the ones. “Five Solve a Mystery” “Five Visit the Fair”. Right to the point with her titles was Enid. You’ll be unshocked to hear this post concerns loom knitting, hand warmers and thumb holes.
A few weeks ago, Aldi had a kids loom knitting kit thing on special for $12. The kit included three knitting looms, and five balls of yarn. Bargain town, right? I’ve seen looms for $12 each so three for $12 was irresistible. The booklet included many fine things to do with the looms, most of which I have ignored because I am not 10 and therefore probably can’t carry off a massive knitted headband. The arm warmers, however, appealed. It’s is rather Wintery about my person at the minute, so anything to keep warm is welcome. I pondered for a while and decided I’d like hand warmers, but with thumb holes. As a species, we’ve spent a lot of time evolving thumbs, it seemed a shame to not honour that with holes for them. I figured out if you “drop” a stitch on the loom, you can make a gap, and in case you also want to highlight the wonder of human evolution with a handy thumb hole, here’s how to do it.
You Will Need
A ball of yarn – I did two hand warmers with less than one 100m ball. I had a ton left over. See how precise these amounts are? It will depend on how long you want your arm warmers (or how far up your arm you can get the resulting tube)
A round knitting loom. Mine is about 8cm across. I can’t fit my hand through it, so you don’t need a massive one you could wear as a bracelet or anything.
A measuring tape
A stitch marker that can be removed later, or a paperclip or something. Anything that can hold a stitch in place for a little while.
Pen and paper
Usual things like scissors, yarn needles and anything you’d like for embellishing.
Measure and Note
First, divide the hand into three sections. From the fingers (where ever you want the handwarmers to end, long or short. Up to you) to the top of the thumb joint. Then from the top of the thumb joint to the bottom of the thumb joint and then from there to where ever you want your arm warmers to stop on your arm.
If you’re not sure how far up your arm you can comfortably go, knit up a few rows with your loom and then see how far that tube will go comfortably. Don’t push it until it’s tight, as this won’t be comfortable to wear.
Start your… looming.
Cast on according to the instructions in your kit, or online. I’m saying here you need to ask someone else. I don’t want to lead you astray with odd directions. Anyway, cast on and knit as normal until the section you have knitted is the right length for the top section of the hand warmers (the bit that goes over your fingers). Keep a note of your rows as you go, it means you can do the second one by row count rather than centimeters. Also, when you’re measuring your knitting, pull on it gently to spread it out – it tends to bunch up a bit.
Once you get the desired length, find your stitch marker because you’re going to be daring now.
When you’ve just completed a knit row, and you have only 1 loop on each peg, take your stitch marker and slip it through the last peg (the one before the one the yarn is at). Lift this loop off and tuck the stitch marker inside the knitting so it doesn’t get in the way.
Carry on again as normal, adding a loop to each peg, but don’t wrap the peg you’ve just taken the loop off. Knit this row as usual. Now you’re going to wrap the yarn again, but you’re going to go back the way you came. Working in the opposite direction, wrap the yarn (take it behind the first peg as usual, should work) and knit the row. Repeat this as many times as you need to to get the length you need for your thumb. It’s tricky to measure this “Gap”, so if you can figure it out from your measurements it’s easier. My finger section was 6cm and the thumb was 3cm, so I was able to just halve the number of rows needed.
When your gap is long enough, wrap once around the empty peg and then carry on to the rest of the pegs. Knit the bottom loops, then wrap around your special formerly empty peg again. Now you just keep on knitting as usual until you have the length you want. You don’t need a stitch marker or anything on this end of the gap as you’ve basically just cast on again.
Cast off according to someone else’s instructions. Seriously this time because I have no idea how casting off on these circle looms is supposed to work and I am still a little bit shocked the whole thing didn’t unravel from my appalling attempt to do so.
Once you have the warmer off the loom, turn it inside out so you can get a good look at your stitch marker. This stitch will unravel if we don’t do anything about holding it in place, so thread a needle with the same yarn as you’ve been working with.
Secure the yarn near the stitch, and then slip the needle in beside the stitch marker. I doubled my yarn over so it was 2 strands going through the stitch, just to be super sure it would hold. Once the needle is in the stitch, carefully remove the marker, making sure you don’t pull at the stitch. Complete your stitch with the needle and secure your yarn on the other side. At this point, even though it’s inside out, pop your warmer on and see how the thumb hole is. You can carry your needle down one side and pop a couple of stitches in at the bottom of the hole if you find it’s too open. Secure, weave in ends and turn the whole lot the right way out.
You’re done. Make another one if you like, or just rock the One Hand Warmer look made famous by… someone’s done it, probably.
Embellish as you wish, I went with purple blanket stitch around the edges because I like blanket stitch and I like the way purple and red look together. If you have a plainer yarn you could do all sorts like felt applique or surface embroidery. Let your creativity go nuts. Speaking of creativity and nuts, here’s the “Model Pose” showing both gloves, styled by my Mother.
Claiming the plain wooden table was “boring as a background” she instead opted for the Green Guide – the TV lift out from the newspaper. Why? “It looks a bit like snow. And these are for the cold”. Anyway, enjoy my wonky blanket stitch!
Oh, before I go – the yarn I used. If you’ve fallen in love with it and want to find the same thing (I am, afterall, a trendsetter), it’s from a company called Yarn Bee. The range is Boucle Traditions Ragg and the colour is Cranberry and I bought it at Hobby Lobby in the USA in 2009, so it might not be available any more. I don’t even know. You now know I’m the kind of person who buys yarn while on holidays.