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Knitting Spring: Wristers for Those with Cold Hands

This winter when the snow outside our house remained packed and piled as high as our mailbox, when many of my fellow Iowans were ordering seeds and planning their gardens, my craving for spring and color led me to dye a vast amount of wool. (See Knitting Spring.)

My oldest daughter Meera (of Road Scarf), and her friend who helped with the Kool-Aid dyeing took some yarn home with them. I sent a package north to my friend Vicki in Minnesota, where winters are even longer. Still I remained a woman who could count her worth in wool.

The deep wicker basket I filled with my hand-dyed skeins held a position of prominence in our living room. Its colorful contents were visible from my knitting throne. The rich oranges, yellows, reds and pinks and greens called out, "knit me."

Plain Jane wristers

Knitting Spring Wristers Pattern

I had planned on knitting a shawl – I still do – but after studying my beautiful bundles of LB 1878, the hanks seemed the perfect amount for a pair of wristers. Since I began making these topless, fingerless mitten-gloves years ago, there’s always been a pair on my needles. For good reason, too. My own cold hands had started me knitting them. But every time I wear my wristers, someone asks me: could I make them a pair? A lot of people in this world have cold hands.

I have knit wristers for my friends and my three daughters and some of their friends. And even their friends' mothers. Embroidered, beaded, and ruffled, with fingers and without. In cashmere, wool, cotton and even a pair in acrylic baby yarn. Those were for my youngest daughter, Lelia, who plays clarinet in the marching band. The bright white wristers match the school’s uniform and kept her hands warm on frosty fall days and nights when the marching band marches.

Knit Wristers Pattern

Knitting wristers with wool still fragrant with fruity summery scent of Kool-Aid. was a fast, practical commitment to positive thoughts about warm weather. Spring and summer wristers, knit from LB 1878, would be light enough to slip on before heading out on a cool morning to sip coffee in an outdoor café. Perfect for beating the chill on an early morning walk. Or a visit to the Farmer's Market. You could wear these wristers instead of pulling your sleeves down and warming your hands that way.

Wristers are for sharing. And so there's a pattern here for you. The one I used while waiting for the trees to bud. And the snow to vanish for good. Knitting Spring Wristers for those with cold hands. And warm hearts.

You can knit them in a stocking stitch, a rib or with a touch of lace. The pattern will have directions for all ways. The lace will make them even lighter and because they are a rib-type lace, and give them a stretch as well. The rib ones will cling nicely to your hand, fitting like a glove. You can embroider on the Plain Janes (stocking stitch) to make them a bit fancier. Or let them sparkle in their simplicity. Your choice.

Note: Wristers are not yarn hogs. Hard to believe how little yarn it takes to make a pair. If you choose LB 1878, you will have lots left over. Enough for a summertime shawl. Stayed tuned for next months essay: Knitting Spring Shawl.

If you don't want to dye your own LB 1878, you may want to use new Sock-Ease instead. It comes in 7 great colorways.

Wristers (wrist warmers, wristlets, etc.) are mittens that end around the knuckles. If you would prefer to make them in a worsted weight, you can take any mitten pattern and knit the body for two inches above the thumb hole. Some wristers leave the thumb hole open. You may do that or knit the thumb for an inch or to desired length.

In addition to the Knitting Spring Wristers, here are some more wrist warmer patterns that you might like:
Wristers are portable, quick and fun to knit. You may find you can't stop making them. So what do you do after you have knit a pair for just about every one of your pals and their friends and relatives? What do you do when there's the will, the want, and the yarn to knit mountains of wristers?

You know answer.

Start a pair of wristers for the friends you haven't met. Or maybe never will. They make a great charitable donation for wherever cold hands are found. Share the warmth.

Authored by

Michelle Edwards is the author/illustrator of A KNITTER'S HOME COMPANION and many award-winning children's books including CHICKEN MAN and STINKY STERN FOREVER. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys talking about books in schools throughout the US and beyond. Her newest book, Room for the Baby, will be available from Random House in Fall 2012. Visit Michelle Edwards at her website or on Facebook.
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