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Really, really easy beginner knitting project (fingerless gloves or handwarmers)

Most people starting out in knitting very sensibly want to start out with something simple but functional. The old standby of a garter stitch scarf is OK but can be disheartening. A decent scarf needs to be about six feet long which feels like an endless task when you’re a beginner, also, as you knit you improve so one end always looks drastically different from the other if it’s a first project! These handwarmers are nice and easy small projects. I’ve seen them made with loads of mistakes in them, then get claimed by a teenager who proclaims them as ‘cool’. I start everyone I teach off on this. A 50g ball of wool and a basic grasp of the principles of knitting is all you need to make a pair.

Here’s how it’s done

Easy hand warmers

Using 5mm or 5.5mm needles cast on twenty five stitches. Knit (using the knit stitch only) until you have a square that is almost big enough to wrap around your hand (about 44 ‘rows’ or 22 ‘ridges’) then cast off.

Fold the square in half (top to bottom) so that the ‘stripes’ run from your fingers to your wrist and sew up each side leaving a gap in the middle for the thumb.

(Here it is in ‘knitting speak’

CO 25

Row 1; K to end

Row 2; K to end

Rows 1&2 make garter stitch, cont in garter stitch to required length (approx 44 rows)


The glove before and after it’s been folded (the stripy one is so you can see which way to fold, check out the picture below)


The bottom of the knitted piece is folded to meet the top. This takes advantage of the natural ‘give’ in garter stitch

As ever, feel free to comment, ask questions or even better put up pictures of your finished projects!


12 comments on “Really, really easy beginner knitting project (fingerless gloves or handwarmers)

  1. Pingback: URL

  2. angelamaracle
    January 18, 2013

    Thank you so much…fantastic idea for beginning knitters!

  3. Maggie
    September 16, 2013

    I visually impaired and find it difficult knitting complicated work and it was a joy to find something easy and practical not to mention stress free!
    Thank you

  4. Anonymous
    December 6, 2013

    I like it!! Can you do it in stockinette, because it’ more thin. I like this blog too. Thanks

    • oxknit
      December 9, 2013

      You could do it in stickingette but it wouldn’t be as elastic as garter.

  5. Sadie
    December 28, 2013

    I am so glad for your site! I was looking for beginner patterns and came across stuff like cabling and all categorized for ‘beginners’! I was tempted to type exactly what your title says but then I found your link and was like yayyyy this is exactly what I need! Thanks!!!

  6. Ylva
    September 26, 2014

    Thank you, this was just what I was looking for. I just started to learn knitting but thought a scarf would be just too big. May I please ask you to elaborate more on how to sew it together?

    • oxknit
      September 28, 2014

      For this project, pretty much any way you can manage will do. If you google mattress stitch that should get you started, just leave a big enough hole for your thumb.

      • Ylva
        September 29, 2014

        Thank you for your reply! It is always good to have a term to google, I found a good youtube-video. 😀

  7. Jane Crowe
    January 1, 2015

    Please can you say what yarn you have used? From the needle size I think maybe aran weight (worsted in US) , but it could work with dk ( double knitting I suppose. It seems strange to omit this information, especially in a pattern for beginners.

    • oxknit
      January 1, 2015

      Arran weight would work well. Any yarn can be used with the 5mm needles, 4ply would give a lighter, loosed fabric. I think these are best knit with a yarn designed for a 5mm needle. Yarn weights can be confusing but you can get away with anything from a DK through to chunky on this needle size if that’s what you happen to have.

  8. Anonymous
    January 1, 2015

    Please can you say which yarn to use eg. aran, dk ? ?

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This entry was posted on October 26, 2012 by in Patterns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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