Legwarmers. A quick to stitch, super simple and fun accessory.
Today, I am sharing a pattern I created from way back in 2008. I originally made these for my daughter- she was 9 at the time. I had barely begun my knitting journey and could not find a pattern for basic legwarmers. So I did what I do and figured it out. Back then, I used Red Heart’s Strata yarn. The stripes were dyed into the yarn, fantastic bonus for a new knitter! This particular yarn is no longer available. However, Red Heart has a new striped line out called… Red Heart Super Saver Stripes.
The Strata had 202 yds [185 m] per skein and the new Stripes has 236 yds [215 m]. Both are 100% acrylic.
I know, I know. Acrylic yarn makes some shudder. But here’s the thing- I am a mom of 4, handwashing a utilitarian item like legwarmers is not high on my list of “things I got time for” (especially back then, when all mine were so young). Also, the handy stripes are built right in, the colors are fun and lets face it, this is not an heirloom item I expected her to pass down for generations.
My nieces stayed with me for a week and I made them each a pair for fun. It was time to update this pattern, anyhow. The original picture didn’t even have the ends woven in (shameful) and I used this new yarn so you see, rewriting and posting was necessary.
Also!, I’m adding a crochet version. I’ll have that pattern up and available very soon.
–Great News! The crochet version is now available, HERE
A note on using a different yarn
Because of the yardage difference from old skein to new, I was unsure what length they would be if I used all of the yarn, which was definitely my goal. I’m not great at throwing away my yarn scraps but I’m not great at using them, either. You can see that this causes… well, issues of teeny yarn balls in many glass jars. So, if you are using a skein with 220 (a typical amount for a worsted skein of wool), I suggest either winding off half the skein and using a scale to ensure your halves are even, or doing as I did- knit from both ends.
If you choose to knit from both ends of your skein, I recommend your first leg warmer to start with the outer end. By starting with the outside, you will save yourself from the wrapping of yarn around the other warmer that will likely happen as you pull yarn off for stitching. From previously using the strata yarn, I know that 202 yds [185 m] will produce 2 leg warmers with 2″ [5 cm] bottom rib, 13″ [33 cm] stockinette, and 2″ [5 cm] top rib. So I followed the pattern for the new warmer until 2nd ribbing. At this point, I started the 2nd warmer with the inner yarn end and worked same point. I then added a few rows to one and then the other and when I started to get nervous about the remaining yarn being enough to create the finishing rib, I stopped adding length and made the upper ribbings. Barely winning the game of yarn chicken with 26″ [66 cm] after casting off both warmers- whew! If you do not enjoy the anxiety of yarn chicken, you should weigh your skein after completing the first ribbing on the first warmer, this will tell you exactly how much yarn you used and what you will need to reserve (x2) for your final ribbings. If you choose to knit both warmers at the same time, you will need 2 sets of double pointed needles in size US 8 [5 mm]
Winter Legs, Knit
A knit pattern, by Rebecca Velasquez
YARN: Worsted weight (#4 medium); Red Heart, Stripes, 100% acrylic; 236 yds [215 m], 5 oz [141 g]: Favorite Stripes; 1 skein
NOTIONS: Stitch marker (1), tapestry needle, tape measure
GAUGE: Exact gauge is not crucial, but to achieve length shown- 17 sts X 23 r = 4″ [10 cm]
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: 18″ [46 cm] long, 10 1/4″ [26 cm] circumference
SIZE: tween (to fit approx age 9-12 yrs)
PROJECT LEVEL: Easy, confident beginner
TECHNIQUES USED: long-tail cast on, joining in the round, knit, purl, cast off
- Warmers are made in the round.
- Stitching begins at the ankle.
- Make 2.
With sz 7 [4.50 mm] needles, using a long-tail method, cast on 44. Being careful not to twist your work, join stitches to work in the round.
K2, P2 ribbing for 2 inches.
K for 2 inches.
Switch to sz 8 [5 mm] needles, continue to k in the round until entire piece measures 16 inches [40.5 cm].
K2, P2 ribbing for 2 inches. Loosely bind off in pattern, weave in all ends. •
I hope you have enjoyed this free pattern.
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