The Yarnologue

Simple Striped Arm Warmer

The other day I was wondering around Ravelry and came across one of those threads about expensive knitwear in stores.

In this case it was arm warmers that ranged from $45 to $88. (In their defense, some of them were at least merino wool.)

Like most of the people reading the thread I thought, “Pfft! I could make those in colors I like and (probably) for less money.”

Since it was a cold day and I was wearing 3/4 length sleeves, I did.

Finished warmer

Is it long enough?

As you can see by my double points sticking up in the bottom of the picture, I’m not quite done yet, but so many of you clamored for the pattern after I posted the first picture on Facebook that I thought I better tell you what I know!

Simple Striped Arm Warmers Pattern

Size: 7 1/2″ circumference x 10″ long (or desired length)

Materials: 2 hanks Mirasol Tuhu yarn (50% Baby Llama, 40% Merino Wool, 10% Angora with approx 109 yards per 50g).

I used colors #2000-Tangerine and #2008-Cream

Needles: US6 DPN or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5.5 sts x 7 rows = 1″ in stockinette stitch in the round


BO-Bind Off, CO-Cast On, K-Knit, P-Purl, St st-Stockinette St, Sts-stitches

NOTE: I suggest you either divide the balls in half before you start knitting OR work the arm warmers two at a time. This will help ensure they come out even and you don’t run out of yarn on your second arm warmer.

NOTE: Project starts at the fingers and progresses toward the cuff.

Stripe Pattern: 2 rows color A, 2 rows color B, repeat

Twisting yarn

Bring the new yarn under the old yarn to prevent a hole.

Tip: Since the stripes are just two rows tall you don’t have to cut the yarn. You can carry it up the inside of the project. Avoid a gap at the color change by bringing the new color from underneath and then around the old color. You can see in the picture I just worked a white repeat and am switching to an orange repeat. Twisting the yarns together in this manner will also secure the floats from carrying the yarn.

The Pattern:

Right hand arm warmer

Cast On 36 sts

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to indicate beginning of round.

Work K2, P2 rib for 4 rounds

Change to St st and work 10 more rounds (14 rounds total)

Make Thumb Hole:

Knit 6 sts, bind off next 6 sts, knit to end

Next row: Knit 6 sts, cast on 6 sts using “backward e” method, knit to end.

Keeping stripe pattern correct, continue working even in St st until piece measures 9″ from cast on edge. Work 4 rows of K2, P2 rib.

Bind off all sts. Weave in ends.

Left hand arm warmer

Work as for right, reversing shaping. (ha!)

Thumb Hole: K24, BO 6, K to end. Next round: K24, CO 6 using “backward e” method, K to end.

Knit on to match right arm warmer.

Wear with pride.


Resizing: Ok, so the first thing you’re thinking is that I must be a small person to make such small arm warmers. Well, I am. But I also didn’t include any ease in the pattern since I like my mitts and arm warmers snug.

Since these arm warmers are plain stockinette stitch they are easy to make larger (or smaller). Before you do so, I suggest you knit a few rounds to see just how the pattern will fit as written. Also, keep in mind that llama yarns have a lot of drape and you can expect the arm warmers to stretch a bit after you wear them a few times.

That said, I suggest you increase (or decrease) stitches in groups of 4 to keep the ribbing correct.

Remember to shift the thumb hole accordingly to keep the seam on the bottom. Stick your hand in the project, see where your thumb lines up, count stitches.

Changing Length:

hand warmer

Stop at the wrist for a hand warmer instead.

My first arm warm is reaching almost to my elbow and I still have quite a bit of yarn to work with. At this point I’m curious to see how far I get. You, however, might not want such expansive arm warmers. Since they are just plain St st the length is even easier to change than the size.

You’ll have noticed I started the arm warmers at the finger end and worked toward the cuff. I like to do this because it’s easier to control the length (and ensure my fingers are covered to the degree I want). I made a pair of mitts once starting at the cuff and felt they ended up a little short.

If you just want hand warmers, stop knitting at your desired length. Work some ribbing and cast off. If you are in gift knitting mode these might be a good option. Judging by how long my arm warmers are you’ll probably get at least two pair of mitts (if not three) out of the 2 hanks of Tuhu.

If you want longer arm warmers, keep in mind you’ll reach a point on your arm when you might want to start increasing stitches. Try to do it gradually so you don’t get a strange flair in your project. I’m at that point now. I think I’ll increase two sts on either side of the central seam, work 2 rows, then increase 2 more (remember, groups of 4 to keep the ribbing correct).

If you want more of your fingers covered, work more rows before the thumb hole.

For you advanced knitters: If you want fingers or half finger, start with a provisional cast on. To conserve yarn, I suggest you work to cover the hand, then do the fingers, then extend the cuff.

Rolled edge:

Rolled edge

Skip the ribbing for a rolled edge

In the thread on Ravelry people were laughing at the catalog description of the arm warmers having a “rolled edge detail.” As knitters we know that isn’t a detail, that’s just what stockinette stitch does! We can, of course, leverage that as a feature if we want.

In this case, just skip the four rows of ribbing and start working stockinette stitch right away (keeping your stripes correct, of course). This picture is of my swatch and you can see it’s curling nicely.

I did not want a rolled edge because I know it will drive me nuts when I’m trying to type. Another option would be to do ribbing at the fingers and a rolled edge at the cuff. They are your arm warmers, go wild.

Skip the thumb: These are, technically, really long fingerless mitts. To make pure arm warmers, skip the thumb hole and just knit as long as you like.

Changing colors: This is perhaps, the simplest modification of all. I selected orange and white because it echos the fall leaves. And looks like a creamsicle (yummy!).

Tuhu is available in 18 colors, including 8 new jewel tones for the fall. Use my colors or other colors. Work wider stripes. Work random stripes (some narrow, some wide). If you work wider stripes consider how long your floats will be if you decide to carry the yarn. Or ditch the stripes and work your arm warmers in a solid color.

Remember, you are only limited by your imagination.

gather supplies

A cheering section always helps.

I hope you enjoy this arm warmer pattern. If you make a pair share a picture on our Facebook page. I’d live to see your interpretation.

You can add the pattern to your Ravelry queue here.

Find the Crocheted version here.


  1. Love this idea! Great way to use up scrap yarn, too! Will be doing these.

  2. Thanks so much for this pattern. Love arm warmers and cannot find my pattern. Need to order some yarn and get busy on Christmas gifts.

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