Fairy Wren Cottage Hand Warmers.
These hand warmers are great during the colder months when my hands get freezing cold but I find it too hot wearing gloves and mittens that can also be cumbersome and restricting. Sometimes I only make one for my injured hand since it gets colder more often when I am outside tending to the garden or animals.
Why make them:
They are surprisingly cosy but don’t restrict your hand movements, no more having to fumble around while taking your gloves or mittens off to find your keys, wallet or phone at the bottom of your bag!
Cheaper to make then buying them. They will cost you the price of two 50g balls of 8ply wool.
A good stash buster if you have bought a couple of extra balls of wool for a bigger project. If you like the rainbow effect those smaller left over balls can make some skippy happy stripey hand warmers for those cold weather days where everything is looking grey & glum.
You could support local artisan fibre artists who hand dye and hand spin wool, the hand warmers will be unique.
If you are lucky enough to have your own sheep or alpacas and spin your own fleece this project only needs a small amount of yarn.
The are a light weight gift to send in the post.
Make some hand warmers in school uniform colours to keep those cold little hands warm while waiting at the school bus stop.
You will need a total of 2 x 50g balls 8ply wool.
1 x 50g ball for each hand warmer, I like my hand warmers long enough to cover my sleeves.
As long as you know how to work the basic crochet stitches or knitting stitches then you can follow a simple pattern of your choice making a long rectangle. If you are more experienced and know your way around a crochet or knitting pattern and like to design and experiment then the limit is your imagination. When making test practice pattern swatches for other projects (eg: fair isle or cable patterns) you could adjust the size and make a pair of hand warmers once finished with the pattern swatches.
A size guide for you:
My hand fits firmly into a Ladies Medium Size Garden Glove.
My usual foundation chain is a total of 36 stitches.
As a guide my hand warmers I make for myself or for female friends are between 20cm to 27cm in length. The finished rectangle approx. 22cm wide.
For anyone wanting to make some hand warmers for a little person in their life, when my daughter was Primary School age I used 30 foundation chain stitches. The hand warmers were 16cm to 18 cm long.
Got a bloke in your life who needs some hand warmers? As an indication Michael uses extra large mens size gardening gloves, for his hand warmers I chain 40 as a foundation chain or cast on 40 stitches using 4mm knitting needles & 8ply wool.
Some patterns can gobble up yarn, for example patterns using bobble stitch or Close Shell stitch. The foundation chain is often longer as well. For Example: when I use the Close Shell Stitch pattern my foundation chain is 44 chain stitches instead of my usual 36 chain stitches. Measure as you go to avoid finishing a hand warmer and it being too small.
Use a separate ball of yarn for each hand warmer, make the foundation row and the 1stthree rows of each hand warmer at the beginning of your project, then you are all set up. Keep the project in a small bag. I often have to leave crochet projects for weeks on end, this way the project is easy to restart when I go back to it. I don’t have to try and work out my foundation chain and pattern for the second hand warmer because it is already started.
Depending on your taste in fashion some people prefer a simple design and some like adding fancy edging to their hand warmers, for example picot or scallop stitch, if this is a preference remember to leave enough yarn to do so.
Wait until you finish both hand warmers then add the fancy edging to both and sew them up. Your stitching stays consistent and pattern stay consistent. Just speaking from experience with weeks between finishing each hand warmer I’ve forgotten what fancy edging I made on the first one!
Hand warmers are light weight, don’t take up much room in your hand bag or back pack and are an easy project to work on while waiting for an appointment, on public transport or during lunch time.
How to make Crochet Hand Warmers:
1. Crochet or knit two rectangles the same size using the same pattern.
2. Once you have reached your desired length, sign off leaving a long piece of yarn at least twice the length of the rectangle.
3. Thread that long length of yarn on to a large darning needle.
4. Fold your rectangle in half length ways with right side edges together.
(Make sure that the wrong side is on the outside when you sew).
5. Hand sew along the long edge. Keep your stitches about 2-3mm apart from top to bottom of the rectangle. Take your time keeping your stitches neat & even.
Optional: You can leave a gap for your thumb to fit through when you are at step 5, stop and try on each hand warmer as you are sewing, everyone’s hand size /thumb shape is different. Sewing from top to bottom, when you reach the point for the top of the thumb opening sign off, leaving enough yarn to thread your end in. Fit your hand warmer on your hand, leave an opening that is comfortable for your thumb to fit through, restart your sewing at the base of your thumb, sew to the bottom of your work, sign off.
6. Make sure you sign off with your thread appoximately 4-5cm long and thread your ends in well so your work doesn’t unravel.
7. Turn your work inside out. You’ve finished!
Double Crochet Hand Warmer Pattern:
This simple pattern looks very effective using hand dyed, variegated yarn.
It is also the pattern I use when I embroider cross stitch onto hand warmers.
Double Crochet Stitch: Yarn over hook, insert hook into the next chain, yarn over hook again and draw yarn through chain stitch, there are now 3 loops on your hook. Yarn over hook and draw yarn through all three loops. Repeat.
Using 8ply Australian wool & a size 4mm crochet hook, Chain 36.
Crochet rows of double crochet until reaching your preferred length, approx. 20-25cm.
To complete follow How to Make Hand Warmers instructions 2,3,4,5,6,7.
How to make Knitted Hand Warmers:
Miss Lil, age 13 years at the time made me some lovely knitted hand warmers for my birthday present. The repetition of the pattern made the project manageable for a young beginner. Hand made with love, the best present in the world!
Using 8ply Australian wool & size 4mm knitting needles cast on 36 stitches, knit rows of stocking stitch until work measures approx. 25cm.
Follow How to Make Hand Warmers instructions 2,3,4,5,6,7 to complete.
Fairy Wren Cottage Hand Warmers
October 6, 2022