PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

knitted wristwarmers

Yes, you read it right, this is a post about knitting – who’d have guessed!

I’ve tried, and failed, to enjoy knitting before. I bought straight needles and hated them. I bought dpns and hated them. It always seemed like such a struggle to wrangle the yarn without a handy hook with which to grab it. But, thanks to my practice with knooking, I now understand the shape of knitted (and purled) stitches, and how they fit together. I’ve done a lot of theoretical learning – reading books, watching videos – and I finally hit on a way to make it all work for me! Here’s the June magic formula:

Circular needles: so much easier to keep hold of than those long pointy sticks. I took a chance and ordered some from KnitPicks before I moved out of shipping range, but didn’t have a chance to play with them for many months after that.

circular knitting needle

Knitting right-handed: I’m left-handed, and I crochet left-handed. But you knit with both your hands, so why shouldn’t I learn the ‘standard’ right-handed way and save having to reverse instructions later so they work for a leftie?

English (throwing) style: this is the magic part for me, as a crocheter. Because I’m left-handed, I hold my crochet hook in my left hand, and tension my yarn with my right hand. By knitting right-handed, English style, I can still tension my yarn with my right hand – something I have years of experience with!

Magic loop: This technique makes so much sense to me. Working on one circular needle with a flexible cable instead of constantly switching between DPNs: yes. This is good.

So, with my strategy in place, I tried putting the theory into practice. I don’t like making test pieces, so I decided to make my knitting practice piece into something useful: wristwarmers. Even if they looked awful, they’d come in handy in my unheated house once summer ends.

I made up my own pattern, because that’s just how I like to work. Long tail CO 34, knit in the round with magic loop until the thumb, bind off 6 for the thumbhole, next round backwards loop CO 6 to go over the top of the thumb, continue working until long enough, stretchy bind-off. Easy.

(Don’t I sound like I’ve been doing this for years?! Never underestimate the power of research.)

knitted wristwarmers by planetjune

I love how they turned out! My tension is pretty even for a first attempt, and that’s thanks to using the same hand I always use for tensioning. There are slight ladders at the bottom of the first wristwarmer, before I figured out how to keep the tension even when switching the needles for the magic loop, but I love that too – every time I wear these wristwarmers it’ll show me ‘this is when I learnt to knit’.

knitted wristwarmers by planetjune

I used 4.5mm KnitPicks nickel needle tips with a 32″ cable. The yarn is Bernat Satin in the gorgeous Plum Mist Heather colourway – a very dark purple tinged with red, and pretty much impossible to photograph – if my skin tone looks off here, that’s why! (Indoors, they photographed as almost black.)

I can already tell I’m going to get a lot of use out of these. There’s no central heating in our house and my hands get very cold when I’m working. These will be perfect to wear while I work – I’m wearing them as I type this and they aren’t impeding me at all: success!

knitted wristwarmers by planetjune

I was all fired up after finishing these, and decided to order some larger needle tips so I could try something a little more ambitious. My LYS actually carries the same brand of needles (although outside N America they are known as KnitPro, not KnitPicks – isn’t that strange?!), and told me he could probably get them within 1-3 weeks. That was in November, and they just came in last week; I can confirm that the concept of ‘Africa time’ is no myth – it’s taken 3.5 months for my needle tips to arrive!

I haven’t picked up the needles in the meantime, so I expect I’ve now forgotten everything I briefly knew about knitting and will have to re-learn it all again before I attempt progressing to anything more complicated. It may be a while before you see another knitted project from me…


  1. I crochet left handed too, and knit right handed, English style. It’s good to know that there are more of us out there :).

  2. Chelita said

    They are beautiful!!!

  3. MorganAdel said

    These look amazing! You did a great job! I started knitting last year and immediately jumped into a pair of cabled mittens on dpn. I was too stubborn to start with swatches or a simple scarf, so I understand your wanting to start in on a project right away! Also, if I make the mittens again I will definitely use circular needles! 😉

  4. Monica said

    WOW! They look great, June! You’ve inspired me to at least try knitting again- soon 😀 Thanks for sharing this big achievement of yours! Thanks for the tips, too 😀

  5. Merry Thornsburg said

    Hey June…I think you did great for your first knit! Love the color! I learned to knit 6 years ago and LOVE it, and then learned how to crochet about 3 years ago and LOVE it too! I love the magic loop too…just started a toe-up sock…so fun! Wow, a cardigan…can’t wait to watch your progress on that one! My first knitting lesson was with a pair of straights and all I did was drop one on the floor and then the other one! LOL! Love circulars!
    Happy Knitting!
    Merry ?

  6. Gillian McMullen said

    My heart leaped into my mouth when I first saw your Facebook post, June – thank goodness you reassured us that you’re not abandoning crochet! Your hand warmers look beautiful, so evenly stitched. Now that you’ve done one at a time, are you going to try two at a time on one circular needle? I prefer double pointed needles myself, but I use a circular needle for sock and glove projects that I carry to meetings. So embarrassing to hear needles dropping on the floor in the midst of a serious discussion . . .

    • June said

      Oh, I am categorically, 100% definitely not abandoning crochet! Anyone who thinks that crochet is a lesser art in some way and now I’m ‘graduating’ to knitting is very much mistaken. For the kind of sculptural design I specialize in, crochet is absolutely the best medium.

      The reason I want to knit is because I like to keep my hands busy when I watch TV etc, but I just can’t crochet all the time – I need a break from work sometimes, and my hands get painful with too much repetitive motion. Having a different craft project on the go that uses different hand/wrist motions and doesn’t require too much concentration sounds like just what I need! My plan is to try a cardigan next – there’s nothing like being over-ambitious 🙂

  7. Nicole said

    Hi June 😀

    Nice Wristwarmers! 🙂 You made a good job.

    and it’s good to read, that there is someone other, that hates straight needles and dpns!

    If I startet knitting again in the last year, my mention was: I will knit socks! Every well versed knitter says to me, I must learn to knit with dpns, before I use the magic loop method, but, I hate it.
    So I was stubborn and used my circular needles for knitting my first socks and it works! Circular needles rules 😀

    • June said

      Agreed! Not that I plan to knit socks any time soon (although never say never) 😉

      • Nicole said

        Right 😉
        I love crocheting Socks (with a good book with a heel like the “JoJo-Heel” from knitting), but knitting is fun, too 😉
        Two years ago I couldn’t believe, that I will knit sometimes again (I had an accident 12 years ago, with a broken hand and that hurts, but no longer, since I crochet more than one times a year).
        But my plan for knitting are only scarfs, mitts/gloves, hats and socks 😉

  8. DOULOS said

    Great job!!! i like your idea of make useful pieces for a practice… June i can not wait to learn more and grow in my wool experience!!!thank you for sharing your talents have a blessed and creative day

  9. Chrisie Merriman said

    Those turned out really nice! I’d been trying to find a good pair of wristwarmers in crochet, but now that it’s spring (theoretically) I guess that search can wait. Or maybe I’ll take up knitting! So many nice garment options in knitting… hmm… 🙂

    • June said

      I do have to say that for warm, solid, fitted garments made with thick yarn, knitting has the edge for me. That’s why I like the idea of having both skills available to me for making clothing for myself. I’m hoping to make two cardigans – one knitted, one crocheted – and compare the process here on the blog, but I suspect it may take a year or longer to make the knitted one!

  10. Yay, June! They look great!
    It’s actually really common for left-handed folks to knit ‘right handed’… I would say more than half of the (left-handed) knitters that I teach knit the right-handed way. When teaching students, I don’t even tell them that there is a ‘right-handed’ way and a ‘left-handed’ way… it’s just important to do what feels comfortable to you 🙂

    • June said

      I think that’s the right thing to do, Stacey – I really can’t imagine any reason for teaching a person with two normally-functioning hands to knit left-handed! It just sets them at a huge disadvantage compared with other knitters.

  11. Joanne Klauber said

    Nice job, June! Beautifully even stitches…

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment here! I read and appreciate every comment. I only respond to questions here on the blog, so please return to this page to see my reply, or check the box below to subscribe to new comments by email.

Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

  • Quick Links: Crochet

    navigation: arrow

    buy crochet patterns and accessories from my online store

    Everyday Crochet, and the Idiot's Guides to Crochet and Amigurumi by June Gilbank

    Crochet video tutorials and step-by-step photo tutorials

    Free PlanetJune crochet patterns

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Quick Links: Crafts

    navigation: arrow

    Punchneedle Embroidery information, ebook & patterns

    Papercraft ebook & tutorials

    Free PlanetJune craft projects & tutorials

  • Blog Post Categories

  • Blog Archives

  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

    If you'd like to get in touch, you can contact me here.
    crocheted Canadian flag by PlanetJune
  • Support PlanetJune!

    Want to say thanks? You can send me money in seconds at (over $20) or (under $20) or send me a donation through my shop.

    Or simply click through from my links before you shop at Amazon, Etsy, KnitPicks, LoveCrafts or, and I'll make a small commission on your purchase, at no cost to you! Start here:

    ♥ Support PlanetJune ♥

    Tip: This link is also in the footer of every page!

    Thank you so much for your support!