Basic Armwarmers Tutorial


Armwarmers are an awesome crochet project. Quick, fun, and not finicky – these babies have been a go-to for me whenever I have a spare skein of soft yarn that needs a purpose. This pattern/tutorial/guide is customizable, with enough structure to use as a straightforward pattern for beginners, or for more experienced crocheters to use as a base for inspiration.

UPDATE 2/2021: This pattern has been paired with the Rambler’s Mitts design in a brand-new purchasable PDF pattern set! This downloadable, printable, ad-free file is available in my Etsy Shop , Ko-Fi Shop, and Ravelry Pattern Store now 🙂


This tutorial features a guide for figuring gauge & sizing, base pattern for two different gauge sizes, and some ideas for creative extras. My favorite features of the gloves themselves are the continuous round construction that eliminates the join seam and the unique thumb opening, which creates a more contoured fit at the base of the thumb.


So without further introduction…

Basic Armwarmers Tutorial


200 -300 yds #4 or #5 weight yarn (1 pair of the Rainbow warmers shown are made with Yarn Bee Glowing, #4 weight – 198 yards. The Copper, olive, and turquoise pair is made with 2 skeins Lion Brand Landscapes, #4 weight, 100 g / 147 yds) Yarn amounts are variable depending on weight and size made.
5.00 mm hook
Scissors, tapestry needle
2 Stitch Markers

For bulky yarns, 3 sts & 2 rows = 1″ in hdc
For worsted yarns, 7 sts & 5 rows = 2″ in hdc


Figuring Gauge:


For this project you’ll need to make a gauge swatch. This is just a square of fabric worked, for this project, in rows of half double crochet. Generally more stitches per square will give you a better reading of your gauge, but I have cheated a bit here and made relatively small swatches. The worsted weight swatches (purple, top left and rainbow, bottom) both measure 7 sts & 5 rows = 2″.

You can find out your gauge by creating a swatch 10-20 stitches in length, with enough rows to make a fat rectangle or a square. Then, take a measuring device and measure across a row of stitches in the middle of the swatch.


As you can see, for this gauge measuring to ONE inch means I’d have a fraction of a stitch included in my gauge (since one inch covers about 3 and a half stitches). Since that makes for messy math, measure for 2″ instead, which gives 7 sts = 2″.

Next, measure how many rows will equal your 2″ in height.


So for this yarn, my gauge is 7 sts and 5 rows = 2″.  My bulky weight yarn gauge (the yellow) is more even, with 3 sts and 2 rows equalling an inch. You can use your gauge to create a custom sized pair of armwarmers, or you can change hooks or yarn weights to match one of the two gauges listed here and use the pre-written patterns for each gauge.


To figure your own custom size, take a tape measure and get the circumference of your hand measured across the base of your thumb with your hand relaxed (not spread or closed tightly). For me, this is about 8-9″. This is how wide the armwarmer will be. This measurement will also be enough to get the warmer snug on my mid-forearm, which also measures about 8-9″.


Since I like my armwarmers snug, we’ll shoot for an 8″ circumference (don’t forget they will stretch some also). In the bulky yarn gauge, 3 stitches = 1″ in width, so 8 (inches) x 3 (sts) = 24 sts. Our armwarmer pattern for bulky yarn will use a base of 24 sts.

In worsted weight gauge, I had 7 sts = 2″, so since 2″ goes into 8″ 4 times, I use the formula 7 (sts) x 4 (sets of 2 inches) = 28 sts. Our armwarmer pattern for worsted weight will use a base of 28 sts.

The photos for the tutorial appear for the worsted weight pattern, with the bulky weight pattern instructions appearing separately below 🙂 But you can use the photo reference for both!

Basic Armwarmers: Worsted Weight

Notes: Worked continuously in the round. Place marker in the first stitch of every round.

Rnd 1: Ch 28. Join in a ring by working a sc into the first st of the chain.


Rnd 2: Hdc in the next st. Place marker in this first stitch. Hdc in ea of the next 27 sts.


Rnds 3 – 21: Hdc in ea hdc around.


Rnd 22: Hdc in the first st. Place a 2nd marker in the stitch half way around the row from the first stitch of the round (the 14th st). This is where you will create the hole for the thumb over the next 2 rounds. Hdc in ea of the next 12 sts. 3 dc in the marked stitch. Move the 2nd marker to the 2nd dc in this st. Hdc in ea of the next 14 sts.





Rnd 23: Hdc in ea of the next 13 sts. Dc in the next st. Sk next 3 sts, dc in the next st. Hdc in ea st around.





Ta-Da! Thumbhole. NOW, you can add a few more rounds of hdc, but since I will be adding post stitch ribbing to the end, I am not going to do that. Whenever you have reached the length you like (saving room for embellishment if you want to), end your final round and then use:

1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 sts.  Cut yarn and tie off.



This accomplishes a height change so your edge will be even. To add trim like contrasting sc, scallops, or post stitch rib, rejoin your yarn and work in regular, non-continuous rounds.


Post Stitch Rnd 1: Join yarn in any stitch, ch 2 (does not count as first st). Hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st in the first hdc of the round.
Post Stitch Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count), Fphdc in the same st. Bphdc in the next st. *Fphdc in the next st, bphdc in the next st. Rpt from * around. Join with a sl st in the first st of the round.

Rpt Rnd 2 again, or until you have the length you want. Cut yarn and tie off.

Repeat Rnds 1-3 of the Trim for bottom edge of the armwarmer if desired.
Weave in all ends!
For more info on how to work post stitches, see my tutorial here! For the purple armwarmers below, I added a round of scallops and some contrasting embroidery. Okay, my embroidery needs a little work 😛


Basic Armwarmers: Bulky Weight

Notes: Worked continuously in the round. Place marker in the first stitch of every round.

Rnd 1: Ch 24. Join in a ring by working a sc into the first st of the chain.

Rnd 2: Hdc in the next st. Place marker in the first st. Hdc in ea of the next 23 sts.

Rnds 3-16: Hdc in ea hdc around.

Rnd 17: Place a 2nd st marker in the 12th stitch of the round. Hdc in ea stitch until you reach the marker, then 3 dc in the marked stitch. Transfer 2nd marker to the 2nd dc of this stitch. Hdc in the next 12 sts.

Rnd 18: Hdc in ea of the next 10 sts. Dc in the next st. Sk next 3 sts. Dc in the next st. Hdc in ea of the next 12 sts.

Rnds 19 – 21 (or until you have the length you want): Hdc in ea st around.

To end, finish your last round then 1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 sts. Cut yarn and tie off.


I added some spiffy autumn trees to the mustard yellow gloves!

I hope this little tutorial has inspired you to use up some orphan skeins (or go out and buy new ones… hey, I ain’t gonna judge).




33 thoughts on “Basic Armwarmers Tutorial

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  1. Omigosh, your pictures are SUCH a huge help. I finally get how to do the thumbhole! And I love your embellishments. Thank you so much for the pattern and for explaining it so clearly.

  2. I love everything you create. This a comment about the arm warmers tutorial…dang girl, you freaked my freak. I love your thoroughness, the test swatch and measuring. I appreciate that you share your craft. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. Looking forward to what magic you’ll be sharing in the new year.  Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  3. I shared your post and my daughter has asked for these gloves. Im starting it right now and I have a questuon. Your first step was to chain 28 then join in the round in the first stitch. Round 2 says , hdc in next stitch which would be chain #2. Then hdc in the next 27 chains, wouldn’t there be only 26 chains to hdc into? Please help, I’m short one stitch!

    1. Hi Rose! The join in the round should be made by creating a sc in the first chain, then working a hdc in the next ch (the 2nd ch). This allows you to join in the round while simultaneously setting yourself up to work continuously. So after the sc join you’d half double crochet in the next stitch and in ea of the next 26 chain stitches and then make a 27th hdc in the sc that you made to join, since that sc isn’t counting as the first stitch. Does that make sense?

      1. It should be ch 28, then join in the round with a sc stitch (that doesn’t count as the first stitch) in the first ch. That leaves 27 chain stitches into which you will work a hdc, so 27 hdc, then work a hdc into the top of the sc you made at the beginning, making that your 28th hdc, making it 28 hdc for the whole round. 🙂

      2. Oh ok, I finally got it, last hdc in sc and it still comes out to 28 hdcs. Thanks for your prompt response !

  4. For R22 of the worsted pattern, it says to do 14 stitches, Mark 14th stitch, then 12 more stitches, then 3DC in marked stitch. But I have two more stitches between the 12th stitch and my marked stitch due to 28 stitches each row (14+12=26). Am I skipping 2 stitches?

    1. Hi Grace! I took a look at that round and here is what I came up with:
      The round works over a total of 28 sts. The beginning of the Rnd has 1 hdc in the first st (1) then after you place the marker, you hdc in the next 12 sts (1+12). In the next st, you will work 3 stitches (but since you are working into 1 stitch, it counts as 1 if we are trying to account for the stitches in the row below so 1+12+1) then you work 14 more hdc stitches after the increase (1+12+1+14 = 28). Does that make more sense? If you are still getting too few stitches let me know!

      1. Hi. I’m still confused on round 22. The 2nd marker is placed into stitch 14, then hdc another 12 stitches. Like the previous commentor, I have 2 more stitches at the point where you say to 3 dc in the marked stitch, which would leave a hole between stitch #26 and the 1st stitch of the next round.

        Thank you in advance for your help! I’m excited about making these💙

      2. Hi Kathryn, the second marker is actually placed into Stitch #15 of the round (because you are making 1 hdc in the first stitch, marking it, then making 14 more stitches). Does that make sense? I may need to run this pattern again to double check this round since people are getting hung up on it! 🙂

  5. I love these arm warmers!! Easy to understand pattern. You do beautiful work!! Thanks so much for free patterns😍

  6. I’m sry, I left a message in the wrong location. It says these take 300 to 400 yds of yarn. The skeins I get are 170. Am I correct in thinking it will take 2 or more skeins per pair of arm warmers? I just love them and I am anxious to try them out.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. No worries! I have made a pair of these armwarmers from one skein of Yarn Bee glowing, which is 198 yards. However, some of the bulkier yarns may take more than that – so 200-300 yards per pair is a better estimate. I will adjust the yardage listed in the post 🙂 I tend to overshoot the mark because it’s better to have too much than not enough yarn, lol!

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