Well, right from the start I have to let everyone know that I'm addicted to The Purl Bee. This is the blog run by Purl yarns and Purl Patchwork in Soho, and I stalk it daily for fun new knitting projects and other craft projects from time to time. These handwarmers are a variation on ones that Whitney posted this past December. I was drawn to the length of these handwarmers because I always doubted that the ones that end at the wrist would still keep my arms warm when it's unusually cold (like it gets from time to time here in Georgia). I also liked the idea of having the cuffs a different color than the body, and I chose to accentuate that even more.
For the wedding, one of my dear bridesmaids, Stephanie, gave me a gift she knew I'd really use - yarn. She manages the knit shop in Atlanta - Knitch - in Virginia Highlands. Part of her yarn gift to me were two skeins of red Manos del Uruguay silk blend (merino and silk), and I knew I wanted to save them for something fun like this... no more scarves! The blue skein is Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherd's Wool - another popular one at Knitch - in baby blue. This wool is a lot of bang for your buck, with 250 yards a skein for only $10.50. To top it all, it's ridiculously soft, and anything you make out of it will be your new favorite. As you can tell from the picture, the fine employees at Knitch wound my blue skein for me... while I did my best to wind the red skein around my thumb. The center pull works fine, just not as pristine, I guess.
For the step-by-step instructions for these warmers, you can click here for the project journal on the purl bee. I made a few changes, though. I had just finished knitting some socks for Collin's dad for Christmas on size TWO needles... and even though it was effort well spent, I just wasn't ready to bring out those freaking toothpicks again so soon. I opted for the Brittany birch double points I have in 5's, and altered the pattern from that point. Instead of casting on 60 stitches, I did 42. Instead of splitting for the thumb at 30, of course, I did 21. Instead of adding 19 stitches for the thumb piece, I knitted until I had added 13. Instead of carrying two yarns up the work for the striping, I just did my cuffs in blue and the rest in red. If all of this sounds like jibberish - just print out the pattern from purl and cross out all the numbers and replace them with mine - it'll make perfect sense.
With bigger needles, thicker yarn, and a little less to think about in general, these hand warmers didn't take me hardly any time at all. I didn't quite finish them in time for our 16 degree trips to the gym first thing in the morning, but I hear there's more cold to come in February, right?