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marc [cover] bella a capella c3 diamonds cheesylovevoodoosuki
fuzzyfeet tangled gardenstraight-laced  loopy & lusciousnosewarmer

by Amy R Singer

When my sister and I were little, Grandma used to knit for us. The one thing I remember loving the most were her nosewarmers. I have a vivid memory of the scent of frosty winter air coming through the warm fabric she'd knitted.

None of us could find a existing sample of this unusual garment, but our mom clearly remembers the following details: pointy main part, braided ties at the sides, tassel on the tip.

So I decided to try to recreate her pattern. I knit a cone shape on 4 DPNs and came up with a ridiculous mess. Giving up in frustration, I went back to knitting a sock. And as I finished the short-row toe, I realized I had a new kind of nosewarmer staring me in the face! A few adjustments in width and depth and voila.

My husband doesn't quite understand them, and believe me, I know they're silly. But when you're six years old, nothing is cooler on an icy winter day than tying on one of these and heading out. Everyone else freezes but you.

My version is made in cotton Fixation, which has a lovely dense springiness and is suitable for most everyone [especially those allergic or sensitive to wool]. It's available online from Red Bird Knits, and one ball will make a billion nosewarmers! If you need to substitute, use any worsted weight yarn. Knit it tightly, on much smaller needles than the yarn calls for. No one wants air leaks in their nosewarmer.

Bonus: they take just over an hour to make. This time of year, you can't beat that.

models: the lovely and talented Jenny and Reese Grandy     photo: Amy R Singer

Child [Adult]


Cascade Fixation [98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic; 100yd per 50g skein]; color: hot pink #6185; 1 ball
small quantity of complementary yarn for tassel and braided ties
1 set US #2/2.75mm straight or double-point needles
sharp-pointed darning needle


36 sts = 4" in stockinette stitch


Fixation is a very stretchy yarn. It takes a little getting used to, so expect it to feel odd to knit with at first. Pull it lightly snug as you work with it, but not taut. This leaves just enough spring in the fiber, but keeps your stitches uniform.

Wendy Johnson has documented the short-row toe process described below here, step-by-step with photos and description. Thanks, Wendy!

CO 20[25] sts.
P 1 row.
Begin short-row shaping as follows:
K to last st. Bring yarn forward. Sl last st purlwise. Move yarn to back of work. Slip last st back to left needle. Turn work.
P to last st. Move yarn to back. Sl last st knitwise. Bring yarn forward. Slip last st back to left needle. Turn work.
Continue in this manner, wrapping the NEW unwrapped last stitch until 8[10] wrapped sts are on each needle, leaving 4[5] sts live in the center.
Now k across work. Pick up wrap [it's the extra horizontal yarn laying over the usual vertical stitch] and then the stitch and k the two together. Turn work.
P to last st. Pick up wrap from the front of work and then the stitch and p the two together. Turn work.
Continue in this manner until all 20[25] sts are live again.
BO all sts.
Weave in ends.


Create a tassel by wrapping complementary scrap yarn around three fingers 8-15 times.
Remove yarn from your fingers, carefully, and slide the top of the loops over a pencil or chopstick.
Take a small piece of complementary yarn and tie it around loops below the stick.
Wrap the yarn around and around until you have a secure and attractive tie.
Trim the bottom of the tassel to a uniform length.

Slide the tassel off the stick and sew it to the front of the nosewarmer using MC [hide the knot inside], going through the top loop of the tassel at least twice to secure it.

With more complementary scrap yarn, create two braids long enough to reach from the side of your nose to the back of your head with room to tie a bow. Secure one to each point of the nosewarmer [on the inside] with MC.

Note: In the sample, the child's nosewarmer ties are made of one strand of Fixation and two strands of a worsted-weight cotton. The adult's version is made with three strands of Colinette Wigwam. Both tassels are made with remnants of Fixation in a variety of colors.

Editor's note: Fixation is my favorite sock yarn -- two balls are enough for a pair of socks and you'll still have enough yarn left over to make a ton of nosewarmers!


Amy is the editor of Knitty and the reason it has a sense of humor.

She lives in the friendliest neighborhood* in the most pompous city in Canada with her husband and their baby, an adorable mini-rex rabbit. If she had a choice and unlimited funds, the three of them would be living in Paris right now.

In the summer, Amy and the hub kayak. In the winter, not so much.

*The models in the photo above are Amy's really nice neighbors. See how nice?

© 2002 Amy R Singer. Contact Amy.