I love self-striping sock yarn, but I always figure if I’m going to knit socks, they ought to be in fancy complicated patterns which never show up well in those yarns. It doesn’t help that I live in southern California and almost never wear socks — so I have a growing pile of neglected sock yarn that has been needing some love. I wanted to make some armwarmers with it, but I searched the internet high and low, and basically every armwarmer pattern ever written is for worsted-weight yarn. So I wrote my own! These are knit in a simple rib pattern which gives them stretch, and the decreases are hidden in the purl parts. They’re sized to fit my rather average-sized forearms, which are 10 inches around at their widest point near the elbow. The stretchiness should accommodate a range of arm sizes, but your mileage may vary!
(See note at end about resizing for larger or smaller arms.)
– Knitpicks Felici, in the Provence colorway, ~200 yards (a little less than one skein)
– US #2 / 2.75 mm dpns, or size needed to obtain gauge
– optional: Stitch marker
22 sts = 4 inches in k3p4 rib, stretched
– I recommend the long-tail cast on method here because of its stretchiness. If you begin right at a color-change so that your tail is a different color from the rest of your yarn, you get a neat “rim” effect. You can reproduce this at the top by choosing to BO right at a color change.
– If you use Knitpicks Felici, you can actually track your decreases by counting stripes. I’ve included both stripe counts and measurements in inches. Inch measurements in directions all reflect unstretched measurements (except for gauge, above).
– CO 56 sts using the long-tail cast on method, join, PM (if desired).
– Work in k3, p4 rib for 2″ (5 stripes).
– Next round: *k3, p2tog, p2, [k3, p4] 3 times, rep from* once.
– Continue in patt (knitting the knits & purling the purls) for 3/4″ (2 stripes).
– Next round: *k3, p3, k3, p2tog, p2, [k3, p4] twice, rep from* once. (In other words: move the decs over to next purl section.)
– Continue in patt for 3/4″ (2 stripes)
– Continue moving decreases at 3/4″ (2 stripe) intervals in this fashion until you are knitting a k3, p2 rib. (If you’re counting stripes & not measuring inches, you’ll notice that your stripes get a little fatter than the 3/4″ recommendation as you go on; that’s fine.)
– Continue in k3, p2 rib until piece measures 11″ or desired length.
– Make thumbhole: Turn work. Sl first st knitwise and continue in patt. You are now working flat instead of in the round. At end of round, turn work and continue back the other way in patt. Continue 7 rounds in patt this way, then rejoin.
– Continue k3, p2 rib in the round for 3/4″ or desired length, BO loosely.
– Weave in ends and block if desired.
A Note on Sizing
– You can widen these by adding
another 7 stitches so you can k3 p4 one more time (or 14 so you could
do it twice). Doing it once would leave you with 9 sets of k3 p4
instead of 8, so on one decrease round for each increment (where
“increment 1” would be the set of decreases to k3 p3, and “increment 2”
the set of descreases to k3 p2) you’d have to do just one decrease instead
of 2, but that shouldn’t make too much difference. By the time I
finished all the decreases, I still had at least 4 or 5 inches left to
knit in k3 p2 before I came to the thumbhole– so there should be
plenty of room for you to finish decreasing on a slightly longer
timetable. Conversely, to make them narrower, you can subtract stitches in groups of 7.