My Material Life

Spool Knit Wrist Warmer

This is a wrist warmer that I made with a homemade embroidery hoop and craft stick spool knitter (similar to the large knitter used to knit the poly cord drawstring bag). Isn’t it exciting to see another accessory* that we can create with our spool knitters that will actually work for us humans as opposed to the many things we can make with our knitters for dolls – not that I have anything against dolls. In fact, I may just have to get to work on some wrist warmers for some of the dolls in our house very soon.

I’m excited about this wrist warmer experiment for at least a couple of reasons. One is that it is possible to knit a finished hole into your knitted tubes and two is how nicely an edge of single crochet finishes the edges. Plus I love the way the knitting turned out with the yarn I used (Lion Brand Nature’s Choice 100% Organically Grown Cotton in Almond) and the size and spacing of my craft sticks. It has a lace quality, but the stitches are still close enough to create a knit fabric that provides coverage and warmth.

I can tell you a few things about how I did this and if you’d rather not know, then please stop reading here (but do take a look at the photo below and notice where it came from). To create my knitter, I used the outer ring of a 3″ embroidery hoop. I was too impatient to wait for my wood glue to dry, so I used an inappropriate sticky goo material in tape form to attach my sticks. I didn’t even try to measure how many I would need or where they should go. I just had at it and hoped for the best, and you know what – it worked! Sometimes life is like that. I ended up with 17 fairly evenly spaced sticks that I attached to the inside of my embroidery hoop, but I don’t recommend the adhesive I used (even though this is a very useful material to have at your disposal in general) because you want a rigid hold on your sticks and mine were swaying to and fro as I knitted which was somewhat unpleasant to say the least.

Next, I started knitting and when it seemed like I was at about the place to create a hole for the thumb, well, please refer to the photo in the lower left corner of the gallery above as I go on. (But don’t be mislead by the photo, either; it’s just to show you how to start a hole. I knit my warmer from the bottom up, so I actually had quite a bit more knitting on it before I started working the hole.) Now I always like to know where I started my knitting, so I can knit in complete rounds. When I got to the point where I thought I should place the bottom of my thumb hole, I completed the round I was working on.  Then, I moved the loop on the stick that I would have knit next (I work clockwise) to the next stick on the left. Remember, I had 17 sticks. I wanted my hole to have an even number of stitches on either side and I wanted a hole, not just a slit, so I needed to leave that center stick in my hole with no stitches on it as I knit back and forth around it to create the thumb hole.  The next thing I did was to take my working yarn and lay it across the outer face of the stick to the right of the now stitchless center stick. Then I wrapped the yarn across the back of the stick next to that one (again on the right), across the front, and around the back again as you usually wrap a stick for knitting. Remember that in spool knitting, you can knit (and when I say knit, I mean you pick up the loop underneath the wrap and draw it over and off the stick) one by one or in complete rounds. Continue knitting until you reach the last stick of the round, the one with two loops on it. Just knit those two loops together, i.e. lift both of them up and over your wrap. Now you are ready to knit in a clockwise direction again. Remember with the first stick, all you need to do is lay your yarn across the outer face of the stick. You’ll start your usual wrapping technique with the second stick. Just continue back and forth like this until you’ve got the size hole you want and then just go back to knitting all the way around and including that center stick again. This back and forth does create an interesting little pattern; not sure if you can make it out in the photo above or not. It’s subtle, but it’s there.

When I got to the point that I thought I should bind off, I cut my working yarn with a good 12 ” or more left on it. Then I thread that yarn on a needle and ran it through each of the loops on my sticks and slipped it all off the sticks. I wove in my ends and finished the top and hole edges of the wrist warmer with a round of single crochet using some left over Debbi Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Finally, I hand washed it and layed it flat to dry.

If you are new to spool knitting, please see Attack of the Knitting Nancys for more information. I also recommend Poly Cord Drawstring Bag, Part 2 because I go into more detail there.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own knitter, you can also use a round loom knitter like you can find at a fabric or craft store. But as I’ve said before, the benefit of making a craft stick knitter is that you can use your hands only (no additional tool needed to manipulate your loops on your pegs). It’s also fun, fast (!) and produces an interesting-looking textile because of the extra bit of space you have between stitches.

Oh my goodness, I didn’t think this post would go on so long, but I have to show you one more thing before I go.

Source: Simply Crochet

Source: Simply Crochet

These are cycling gloves designed by Anna Glowinski for AnaNichoola. They’re so cool, aren’t they? I think I’d prefer them without the bows, but then I’m not a racing cyclist either. I found these in a relatively new magazine from the UK, Simply Crochet. Check out their website; really nice.

* In addition to the drawstring bag, you can make a groovy belt. Click here to see.

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