Hearts Warming Hands

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Last night I tucked the boys into bed and casually checked my email, where there was a March KASnippet waiting for me. I began reading about Hobby X and the move to the new office space (YAY!) but the Hand-Warmers stopped me in my tracks. I’ve always thought I needed to send a hat with a batch of squares but there’s been a surplus of hats. The perfect solution is Hand-Warmers! ‘What a fantastic idea’ was my first thought. ‘Think of the possibilities!’ was my second – the colours of the South African flag, a rainbow, adding a flower, adding a butterfly, stripes, a diagonal pattern… the possibilities truly are endless.

HandWarmers1I immediately went upstairs, chose my colours and started crocheting. I used 25 stitches, as Linda laid out in the pattern, worsted weight yarn and a 6.0 mm hook. In the time it takes me to crochet a square, one hour, I had a pair of completed hand-warmers. And they weren’t kidding, it took very little yarn. A great stashbuster! The sizing is perfect for both my 4-year old and 7-year old.

I did make some alterations. To save myself from the sewing, I crocheted my last row to the beginning chain, with the chain row at the front of my work and using the back loops of my second-to-last row, right sides together. For stitches 15 to 20, I crocheted only on the second-to-last row to create the thumb hole (see below), then picked up both rows for the last five stitches. Lastly, I added an edge around the top to stop little fingers from snagging the places where I carried the yarn. It also helps to give a nice finishing and shows where the top is so no one is guessing which way is up.

HandWarmers3

I’ve spent the last month crocheting mittens and hats for an April craft sale so making a pair of Hand-Warmers was a welcome diversion. I’m no stranger to ribbing, both on my mittens and from my knitting friends who tease me all the time about how fast crochet is compared to knitting.

HandWarmers2I can see already that these are going to be addictive. I have so many little balls of yarn to use up, some that were donated to me, some that were the end of a larger ball. It’s a great portable project with very little time commitment. They would slip nicely into a KAS package. And it would be an amazing first project for anyone learning to crochet or knit.

I say, HOORAY! for Linda Maltby!