Project: Dar’s Mad Cat Handwarmers

My friend Daria recently celebrated a birthday and asked me to make her some new handwarmers with a “crazy cat” on them as a gift. I think my cat came out a little more mad than crazy, but I still think they are very Dar! They feature a cat face on the front and a paw on the back. (The paws are a tribute to the paw print tattoos Daria has.) The cuff and top band are a simple cable ribbing.
Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers
For these handwarmers, the thumbhole is made in the peasant style, meaning it has no gore or added stitches for the thumb. It is a simple method that allows you to put the thumb a little more naturally where it is on your hand than a side gore. Here is a little tutorial on how to do it…

1. Knit to where you want your thumbhole. Knit the stitches for the thumb hole with a piece of scrap yarn. Using a yarn that contrasts from the working yarn is really helpful.

2. Move those thumbhole back to the left needle. Now, knit them again with your working yarn. Then continue knitting the rest of the mitten or handwarmer.
Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers
3. When you have finished the mitten or handwarmer. Carefully remove the scrap yarn at the thumbhole picking up the stitches from above and below the scrap yarn. You want to put the top and bottom stitches on separate needles.
Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers
4. Once you have removed all the scrap yarn, you are ready to knit your thumb. Typically, one or two stitches are picked up on either side of the thumb from the body of the mitten.
Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers
One last tip for colorworked mittens – When you are knitting with the scrap yarn do not twist your floats. Go ahead and twist them when you knit those stitches with your working yarn.
Peasant Thumb
See, easy!

Dar’s Mad Kat Handwarmers

These handwarmers are woman’s size 8. You can change the size by adjusting the gauge.
Download the Mad Cat Handwarmers Chart and Mad Cat Handwarmers Pattern
Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers
I do the design by stranding my yarns. I twist the yarns every 3 stitches so there are no long floats.
Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers
It makes the body of the handwarmer a little thicker. If you don’t want to do so much carrying of yarn, you can do the designs in duplicate stitch


  • 2 balls Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (you need about 145 m or 159 yd)
  • 1 ball Lion Brand Vanna’s Glamour
  • Four size 1 double-pointed needles (2 1/4 mm)
  • 1 cable needle or spare double pointed needle
  • 1 stitch marker
  • Scrap piece of yarn in a different color
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge: 8 stitches and 11 rows per inch

Required Skills:

  • knitting and purling in the round on four needles
  • simple cabling stitch
  • stranded color knitting
  • following a color chart
  • picking up stitches


  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • c2b – Slip 1 stitch purlwise to a cable or spare needle and hold to the back of the work. Knit 1 stitch from the left needle. Knit 1 stitch from the cable needle. (also known as c2b)

Dar's Mad Cat Handwarmers

Cast on 64 stitches. Divide by putting 22 on two needles and 20 on one. Join in the round being careful not to twist. Place a stitch marker between first and last stitch to mark rows.


Row 1 – 2: k2, p2 until the end of the row
Row 3: c1b, p2 until end of row
Row 4 – 6: k2, p2 until end of row
Repeat rows 3 – 6 six more times or until cuff is desired length.

Row 1 -12: k
Row 13 – 23: k while working chart (download the chart above)
Row 24 (Right hand): k3, k next 11 stitched with scrap yarn, move those 11 stitches back to the left needle, k the rest of the row with working yarn.
Row 24 (Left Hand): k18, k next 11 stitched with scrap yarn, move those 11 stitches back to the left needle, k the rest of the row with working yarn.
Row 25 – 45: k while working chart
Row 46 – 48: k2, p2 until end of row
Row 49: c1b, p2 until end of row
Row 50 – 51: k2, p2 until end of row
Bind off

Carefully remove scrap yarn putting the stitches on two needles as you go. You will have 12 stitches on top and 11 on the bottom. Divide between 3 needles
Row 1: Pick up and knit one stitch from between the top and bottom stitches, knit the stitches from the bottom, pick up and knit one stitch from between the bottom and top stitches, knit the stitches from the top needle. Place stitch marker.
Row 2: k
Row 3: bind off

This pattern has not been test knit. If you find any problems with it please let us know.

Copyright 2013 Kathy Lewinski Do not duplicate for distribution, sell or teach this pattern without permission.

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© 2005 – 2013 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish
11 years ago by in Knitting , Knitting Projects , Needlecraft , Projects | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
14 Comments to Project: Dar’s Mad Cat Handwarmers
  1. Pingback: Mad Cat Handwarmers from Knitting Bee

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    • jay
    • If thryve nit been test knit id love to do it! Aldo im wondering if you have a chbe substituart for a skull pattern tjat can be put in id love it. Thank jsy

      • Kat
      • No, I don’t have a skull pattern, but I’m sure you can find one online easily. I’m not hiring test knitters, but the pattern is free so go for it.

    • Pamela Welbourn
    • I cannot figure out how to “carry” the contrsatng yran (for th face, paw etc). When I knit the first row, the contrasting yarn end up on the left but for the next pattern row, I need it to be on the right!


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