How to make Handwarmers

These fingerless gloves, or handwarmers, are easy and fun to make.
These fingerless gloves, or handwarmers, are easy and fun to make.

I’ve been making variations of this handwarmer pattern for more than six years according to Facebook’s timehop! I knit them up in multiple color schemes for myself probably once a year and wear them every day from October through March because in my old age I get coooooooold like a popsicle.

I also give them as gifts each Christmas because when I don’t people ask about them. And because they’re fun and quick to put together! I can sit down to an hour long TV program and get one glove done. Even if I am distracted  I can put together a pair in an afternoon, no problem.

It’s that time of year…

A photo posted by Phaedra (@phaeriedust) on

These really are one of the items I make that get the most use. My daughters don’t like to wear gloves at all, they like their fingertips free to text and tap, but these leave your fingers free while keeping your hands toasty. They love when I make them handwarmers in their favorite colors (rainbow or black usually.) They tend to claim any handwarmers they see me currently working on, they’d own a dozen pairs apiece if they could.

I made some hand warmers and Liana claimed them. I asked her to model them….

A photo posted by Phaedra (@phaeriedust) on

How to Make Handwarmers

I usually use Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarns for this project when knitting for women or children, and often choose a heavier wool yarn for the guys in my family (and then adjust the pattern as necessary), as that is what they seem to prefer.

When using Caron Simply Soft yarns I use size 5 needles to knit the pieces, and a size 10 needle to bind off on the rectangle shape.

Be sure to check your yarn for gauge recommendations and make adjustments as necessary.

To make handwarmers you just need to knit two shapes, a rectangle and a triangle.
To make handwarmers you just need to knit two shapes, a rectangle and a triangle. You will hand sew the pieces together using the long tails.

One of my favorite things about this project is how easy it is to change the pattern up. You can get creative with the pattern as long as you end up with rectangle and triangle shapes that are properly sized.

The first thing I do, if I can, is measure for the person wearing the handwarmers so that I can custom fit the glove to their hands. I can usually get away without measuring for width, but I like to measure from mid-finger to the base of the hand so that I know when I can begin knitting the wrist detail. If I can’t measure for length, I usually just make the Large Handwarmers pattern below for adults, and Small Handwarmers pattern for kids.

Handwarmers Patterns:
(This pattern is for the fingerless gloves pictured just above, feel free to experiment with the pattern and design your own gloves!)

Large Handwarmers – Hand Piece 
Cast on 34 stitches to size 5 needles using Caron Simply Soft yarn in your choice of colorway. Your finished rectangle should measure about 6 1/2″ wide.
R1-3 K
R4 P
(Continue in garter stitch for 33 rows or 4″ (or your measured length from wrist to mid-finger)

Begin wrist detail:
R38 (RS) P
R39 K
R40 p3, k4, p2, k4, ps, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3
R41 k3, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k3
R42 p3, k4, p2, k4, ps, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3
R43 k3, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k3
R44 p3, C4F, p2, C4F, p2, C4F, p2, C4F, p2,C4F, p3
R45 k3, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k3
R46 p3, k4, p2, k4, ps, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3
R47 k3, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k2, p4, k3
R48 p3, k4, p2, k4, ps, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3
R49 p
R50 k
R51 k
R52 p
R53 k
R54 k
R55 p
R56 k
R57 bind off loosely using a larger needle (sz 10)
*Be sure to leave a long tail for you to use to hand sew the glove together

Handwarmers – Thumb
Cast on 15 stitches using size 5 needles
R1-R3 K
R4 P
R5 K2tog, k11, k2tog
R6 p
R7 K2tog, k9, k2tog
R8 p
R9 k
R10 p
R11 k2tog, k7, k2tog
R12 p
R13 k2tog, k5, k2tog
R14 p
R15 k2tog, k3, k2tog
R16 p
R17 k2tog, k1, k2tog
R18 p
R19 k2tog, k1
R20 p2tog
*Be sure to leave a long tail for you to use to hand sew the glove together

Small Handwarmers – Hand Piece 
Cast on 32 stitches to size 5 needles using Caron Simply Soft yarn in your choice of colorway. Your rectangle should measure about 6″ wide.
R1-3 K
R4 P
(Continue in garter stitch for 25 rows or 3″ (or your measured length from wrist to mid-finger)

Begin wrist detail:
R30 (RS) P
R31 K
R32  p2, k4 to end
R33 k2, p4 to end
R34 p2, k4 to end
R35 k2, p4 to end
R36 p2, c4f to end
R37 k2, p4 to end
R38 p2, k4 to end
R39 k2, p4 to end
R40 p2, k4 to end
R41 p
R42 k
R43 k
R44 p
R45 k
R46 k
R47 p
R48 k
R39 Bind off loosely using a larger needle (sz 10)
*Be sure to leave a long tail for you to use to hand sew the glove together

Handwarmers – Thumb
Cast on 15 stitches using size 5 needles
R1-R3 K
R4 P
R5 K2tog, k11, k2tog
R6 p
R7 K2tog, k9, k2tog
R8 p
R9 k
R10 p
R11 k2tog, k7, k2tog
R12 p
R13 k2tog, k5, k2tog
R14 p
R15 k2tog, k3, k2tog
R16 p
R17 k2tog, k1, k2tog
R18 p
R19 k2tog, k1
R20 p2tog
*Be sure to leave a long tail for you to use to hand sew the glove together

Once you have your finished hand and thumb pieces ready, use an embroidery needle to sew the glove together utilizing the long tails of yarn you left. I begin by sewing the thumb piece together right side facing from the top (cast-on row) to the beginning of the decrease rows. Set the thumb aside. I then fold the hand piece in half so that the right side is inside, and beginning at the bottom of the glove I use the tail to sew up from the bottom, stopping one stitch beyond the beginning of the wrist detail. I then turn the hand piece around, and sew from the top of the glove down, about 1″. Now I place the thumb piece into the thumb hole, making sure right sides are facing, and sew the glove edges and thumb edges together. I then use what is left of the tails to reinforce seams, and weave in my ends when I’m done. Try it, it’s easier than it sounds, and you get the hang of it after making a pair or two.

Handwarmers are cute, convenient and cozy. They are also easy to make!
Handwarmers are cute, convenient and cozy. They are also easy to make!

I hope you can understand my pattern, it is actually the first time I’ve ever written one of my own down with the intention of someone else utilizing it. Please do let me know if I can make improvements!

I know there’s one way I can make big improvements to my new baby blog and that is to actually take the time to do a proper photo shoot for my posts. So far I haven’t gotten around to digging out and warming up my old camera equipment. So, for now, you get my muddy iPhone photos and no pretty staging. But wait- doing things this way is convenient, and I almost always end up with a furry photobomber in the mix. Everyone loves cats, right?

Usually it’s Poofy getting in my business, but today it was Spirit, my daughter Lillie’s cat:

Photobombed by Spirit, my daughter's cat.
Spirit came to see what I was up to.




Today’s Projects: T-shirts and umbrellas for the Women’s March in Sacramento this weekend.

Today’s Soundtrack: Classic Rock playlist

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