The mention of leg warmers to some people brings visions of a 1980’s throwback fashion faux pas… luminous leggings with legwarmers over high heels is not quite what I’m thinking of when I see or knit leg warmers! Time to breathe a sigh of relief!
I knitted a pair of leg warmers out of curiosity and necessity recently. Legwarmers have many benefits. Firstly they are a very useful, practical item of wool wear. I spend a lot of time on my feet outdoors, in damp, often cold woodland. Wearing legwarmers keep my ankles and calf muscles warm so I can spend longer on my feet. I wear them over my hiking boots nearly all the time in the cooler months and don’t ever feel like a fashion victim!
Knitting Expertise and Stash Busting Benefits
Legwarmers can be short or long, thick or thin, large or small, patterned or plain and suit all ages and sizes. As an added bonus, a basic pair of adult or child’s legwarmers only takes 2 x 50g balls of DK (double knit) yarn, so they’re an excellent stash buster. They are also unisex and I would promote men wearing them while outdoors gardening or hiking for example. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, or know someone who does, then a hand knitted pair of legwarmers is a must!
With the revival of leggings, you could knit a pair of unique, bespoke legwarmers to match using your own choice of colours, yarn or stitches. Leg warmers can also be embellished for a more stylish look with beads, buttons or knitted flowers/leaves, or other brooch like items for an added personal touch.
They are also flexible and adaptable to your needs. You can tailor make your own hand knitted legwarmers, and practice using different yarns and pattens without having to do much pattern following or shaping.
If you do make your own legwarmers, I would love to see the end results, let me know how you get on
Want to use a legwarmer pattern but don’t know where to start?
Looking for inspiring legwarmer knits? I love the Rowan book Nordic Knits by Martin Storey. This book is tailored for the more advanced experienced knitter, and has some great legwarmer patterns using fair-isle and cables knits for adults.
For a simple leg warmer design try Sirdar Pattern Leaflet 9135 in Crofter DK. I found this pattern excellent for a wider range of sizes and using a simple rib and stocking stitch throughout would make it an ideal starting place for beginners or intermediate knits.
If you are after a more chunky, thick yarn effect, Sirdar Pattern 8921 HUG has an easy knit pattern for wide range of ages/sizes, and again, would suit beginners or intermediate knits.
[box]I am currently working on a pattern for a pair of handknitted bespoke legwarmers in Eco Wool DK. You’ll be the first to see them.[/box]