Pamela Hovland
Pamela Hovland

Designer and contributor-of-brilliant-ideas Pamela Hovland recently improvised wonderful wrist-warmers out of an old pair of wool socks. Here’s how this inspired bit of repurposing came about, in her own words and photos:

“I often wear wrist warmers while I’m working away at my computer as my hands are cold from the fall to the spring. I first saw them in northern Sweden; someone was selling hand-knit versions at an artisan’s market in a remote village. I remember that I didn’t know what they were; I was simply attracted to the colors and patterns. Once I figured it out, however, I bought a pair knit from beautiful charcoal grey and burnt orange wool and ended up wearing them nearly every day last winter.

A few months ago I washed some beautiful (and expensive) wool socks in the washing machine by mistake, and as a result, they shrunk. As I couldn’t bear to throw them out, it occurred to me that perhaps I could repurpose them somehow.


The idea of simply cutting off the “foot part” transformed them into another pair of wrist warmers. I can pull them way down over my hands (while reading or typing) or push them above my wrists (while washing my hands), depending on the task I am involved with or how chilly I am.

Pamela Hovland
Pamela Hovland

I had my tailor use her fancy sewing machine that does a tight “hem.” But you could simply turn under the edge and hem it or sew it yourself.

I will do the same “intervention” with a pair of cashmere argyle socks once the feet wear out, which they tend to so quickly. Perhaps with their looser weave, I’ll actually stitch them before cutting them that prevents them from unraveling. Then I’ll do the same hem as on this first pair.

(By the way, I’ve bought a few pair of these on Etsy, but they aren’t that great and they usually have a hole for one’s thumb, which I’d rather not have. But they must be a popular item as there are many available for sale there. I wonder what the origin is….they seem a bit Victorian to me, for some reason.)

Thanks Pamela!

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3 replies on “pamela’s brilliant d-i-y wrist warmers

  1. My friend’s mother is 94 and is wending her way toward heaven these days. On my last visit she had soft velvet wrist warmers on and, not knowing what they were, I inquired. I was told they were to keep her arms warm as she had been quite chilly and yes, they are from the Victorian era.

  2. Also, this reminds me of crispina ffrench’s terrific work ( as well as her new craft book The Sweater Chop Shop.

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