Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Simple arm warmer pattern

I started making these arm warmers for Jessamy in the pre-yarnstore days. Somehow the one completed arm warmer (I'm pretty sure I had started the second one, but who knows) had survived and was found while I was packing for England and made it across the pond. One of the set is a 1X1 rib, the other is 2X2. The arm warmers are one of Jessamy's Christmas presents, the other one being a Denise Needle set, not the most unselfish choice, I know, but she did seem happy when I presented it to her.

Here is the pattern for the arm warmers:
Pattern for 2X2 rib arm warmers:
*Any yarn that looks ok with a gauge of 16sts to 4 inches in 2X2 rib pattern.
*Double Pointed Needles that will give you the right guage (look at the yarn label for guidance)

Gauge:16sts for 4 inches in 2X2 rib pattern (unstretched). If there's any doubt, since measuring with ribbing is tricky and you think your gauge is a little smaller then it's better to cast on 32 stitches, work a few inches, assess the situation, and decrease to an appropriate stitch count, than to make it too tight and have to rip the whole thing out.
Size: my arm measures 10 inches around right above the elbow.

Arm body
CO 28 sts, join in round
Work 4.5 inches in k2, p2 rib
Decrease 1 sts at either end of the next round (it will look better if you decrease the purl stitches with a p2 together).

Knit for another 3.5 inches (the length of the arm warmer will be a few fingers above the elbow) for a total of 8 inches from the beginning.

Thumb hole
Start next row - k2, p1. Turn work. You will now be working back and forth (flat) instead of in a circle. Continue in pattern, in other words k1, *p2, k2,* repeat between the *s until you end with a k1.
Turn again (still working flat). Increase a stitch at beginning of row (doesn't matter which kind), continue in the rib pattern.
Turn again. Increase a stitch at beginning of row, work in rib pattern
At the next row (should be a Right Side, RS, row) treat the increased stitch as a knit stitch, and work in rib patt.
Work three more rows in pattern for a total of 7 rows You should have just finished a WS row.
Turn. Work sts in pattern until you get to the last sts. Slip last sts.
Closing thumb hole:
Without turning, knit the next two stitches together, then pass the slipped stitch over the k2 together and off the needle. You have closed the fabric and will now be resume knitting in a circle. Work three more rounds in pattern. Bind off loosely (if it's too tight it might cut off your circulation).

Variations could be single rib, k2Xp1, stockinette, etc. If you do stockinette you'll have to do a gauge swatch and don't forget to include about half an inch of ease.

If you want to use a different gauge, it's really simple too, just do a gauge swatch in what ever pattern you want (if you hate gauge swatches and are pretty good at guessing then that's fine, just be prepared to have some flare at the bottom of the arm warmer), measure the circumference of your arm, multiply that number by your stitches per inch, add a half an inch worth of stitches for ease and you're ready to cast on and start.
4.5 inches into the arm warmers you'll have to decrease half an inch (or more depending on how unstretchy your fabric is).
Work another 3.5 stitches. Follow the instructions for the thumb hole as described above if your gauge is roughly 16sts to 4 inches, if the gauge is ridiculously bigger then just increase by one stitch (ignoring the other increase), if the gauge is ridiculously smaller than increase by how ever many stitches make up a quarter of a stitch. and that's it!

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