Legwarmers are done and the joke’s on me

Noah loved his legwarmers. I don’t have a photo of this yet – these pics are pre-gifting so those are my legs. He also received a Buck knife from a friend of ours who was laughingly concerned for a young man who wanted mismatched legwarmers more than anything else. But one of Noah’s new hobbies is camping so the knife was also a happy gift.

My pattern is simple but my mom, ever the motivator, urged me to write it up for the internets anyway. Who knows when my evil twin will want to knit legwarmers for a wacky relative? This way she can give it a Google or look on Ravelry and try my recipe.


MISMATCHED LEGWARMERS

Size

The finished legwarmers were ~9 inches wide unstretched and 15 inches long. They will stretch to fit a calf up to 16 inches wide, depending on how tight your ribbing is. These fit both my brother and I from underneath the knee to the ankle.

Notes

Pattern repeat is 2 sts if you need to add or subtract width. Just knit them longer or shorter if you want longer or shorter legwarmers. I think a nifty alteration – for those of us who just don’t get the legwarmer – would be ankle warmers. In that case you would need to knit them only about 4 to 6 inches long.

Materials

Cascade 220, 2 skeins (turquoise and ruby red). Noah’s legwarmers weighed about 125 grams so if you want to substitute another worsted weight yarn, you will need about 150 grams of the substitute yarn.

US 7 (I used DPNs because pointy sticks make me feel safe but of course you could also use circulars)

Tapestry needle and snips

Gauge

Approximately 5 stitches per inch in stockinette.

Directions

Make one in turquoise and the other in ruby red

Cast on 56 stitches (I used the long-tail method).

Join in the round without twisting.

Knit 1, purl 1 ribbing for 15 inches.

Bind off very loosely! I used the following stretchy bind off, found on Grumperina‘s blog through Google. She doesn’t credit its source, nor can I:

Work 2 stitches in pattern (in this case, K1, P1). Bring yarn to back (if it is not there already). *Move those two stitches back to the left needle and knit them together through the back loop. Work one stitch in pattern.* Repeat between the asterisks until all stitches are bound off.

I find this bind off will stretch infinitely and am using it more and more when I need a loose edge. It made the bound off edge of the legwarmers ruffle just a little bit because of how it combines with ribbing but this did not detract from the product so I kept it.

Finishing

Weave in your ends.

With a contrasting color (I was able to use the snipped off ends), embroider a simple star on one legwarmer and put three French knots on the other. There are few limits here in what you could do to decorate your legwarmers. My only warning is to keep shapes small or loosely embroidered so as to not bind up your ribbing. I also chose to do my embroidery near the edge where it would perhaps be stretched less.


And the joke? When I gave them to Noah and explained my vertical striping dilemma, he said, “Oh sorry, I meant horizontal stripes.” Sheesh! With about 80g leftover, he might get lucky with a third, striped legwarmer to go with his mismatched set. Someday.

  4 comments for “Legwarmers are done and the joke’s on me

  1. November 9, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Oh, man…I think I would be sore if it were my brother. (Of course, I’m making a quilt for my brother with the directions “not warm” and “purple, brown, and yellow,” so I’m probably just as big a glutton for punishment.) I don’t think I’ll be making legwarmers anytime soon, but thanks for the loose bindoff instructions! Those will come in handy very soon.

  2. November 10, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    The words “opportunity for growth” keep popping to mind. And I do love my nearly completed new bedroom, which Noah painted since I couldn’t. I suppose, if anything, he gets a pass for that.

  3. Mom
    November 11, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Very nice entry. Now when I want to knit some let warmers, I know JUST where to go! (RE:Horizontal v. Vertical…maybe Noah was lying down at the time…:)

  4. Charlotte Mayhew
    December 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks for publishing the legwarmer pattern–I need to make some for me because I’m always cold! I’ve got one pair of knee-high wool socks, but those are only 70% wool, so not warm enough. Maybe alpaca legwarmers are what I should make…

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