Wee Legwarmers

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I am a huge fan of legwarmers.  During the winter months I wear them every single day (and rarely wash them-how gross is that?)  I have two pairs, one that Jonny ordered for me from Peru (not sure how or why that came about, only that they took forever to arrive), and one that I knit myself last fall.  Both are knit from alpaca yarn, which is very very soft, but not very elastic the way that wool is.  So both pairs end up around my ankles, which means that before next winter, I need to knit myself some more using wool yarn.  Anyway, none of that has much to do with these latest legwarmers.
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I knit these for Larkspur because she of course wants to be like mommy.  (They look a bit lumpy around the bottom because her shoes actually have a knit cuff on them.)
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 I used Mission Falls 1824 wool to knit these.  It is very soft, washable, not too expensive, and my local yarn shop carries lots of it.  I am super terrible about paying attention to how much yarn I use, and for these I used I believe, one entire skein plus a bit that I had left over from another skein that I had previously knit a hat from.  So I guess that means you would need to buy two skeins.
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In addition to the yarn, you need a set of size 7 double pointed needles (mine are six inches long).  Yes, the dreaded double points indeed.  Here’s the cool part though:  By the time I got to the second legwarmer, I was a heck of a lot more comfortable using the dps and found my groove so to speak.  So if you want to get comfortable with double pointed needles, without thinking about decreases (as in a hat) then legwarmers are a great project.  Even better is a set of legwarmers for a kid if you have an attention span like mine.  These are very very simple.  Definitely a good beginner project.
Here is what I did:
Cast on 36 stitches on one double pointed needle.  Now divide the stitches between two more dps, giving you 12 stitches on each of three needles.  Now pick up your fourth needle and join to knit in the round. (Here is a video demonstrating this technique-you may want to look for some others as well if this one isn’t clear enough for you.  There are tons of knitting tutorials online. The lady in the video is using a total of five dpns, I always only use four.  I find it easier and haven’t found any reason to use five.)
These legwarmers are knit with a knit 2 purl 2 ribbing all the way up.  Easy.
So you will knit the first stitch, pulling it tight to avoid a gap, knit the second stitch (I always pull the second stitch tight as well) and then purl the next 2 and then just keep on with the k2 p2, round and round until you reach your desired length.
Regarding gauge, I knit these for Larkspur, although they also fit Beatrix, and I believe one of my rotten boys put them on today as well.  K2P2 is very stretchy so I am not sure how important gauge really is.  Your best bet is to cast on and start knitting and then after a few rounds take a look and see if they look like they are going to fit.  I would say that these that I made are size 0 to 4 years, but this also depends on how skinny your kids’ legs are and of course it’s up to you how long you make them.  Larkspur’s legs are about seven inches around at the thickest part of her calf, and I know my guage in stockinette stitching with this particular yarn on size 7 needles is five stitches per inch.  So I just multiplied 7 x 5, and then added one stitch to make  my cast on number a multiple of 4 so my k2p2 pattern would work.
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Regarding the stitch marker to mark your first stitch in the round:  I didn’t use one and never do with double points actually.  I let the tail from my cast on serve as my marker.  However when I knit in the round I knit my first round, and then with the beginning of my second round I pick up the cast on tail and hold it with my working yarn and knit three stitches just to weave it in a bit.  So, my little tail hangs from the third stitch in.  When I finish knitting the stitches on the last needle before the section of work from which that little tail hangs, I know I have completed a round.
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See, right here my working yarn is at the last stitch of the round, and with my next stitch (on the next needle) I will begin another round.  You can use a marker if you want.  I just don’t bother.
When you reach your desired length (Larkspur’s are roughly 9 or so inches long, and could have been longer except I grew impatient), it’s time to bind off.  Here is a good video on how to bind off ribbing on double pointed needles.
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When you bind off that last stitch and pull your yarn through, you will see that there is a little gap between this last stitch and the stitches on the left.
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Use your yarn needle to pull that tail through the first stitch on the left, and then finish weaving the tail in.
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The gap will be pulled closed and you are finished.  Only now you have to knit the second one.  I need to learn magic loop…

Comments

  1. Thank you, Ginny for sharing your cute legwarmer pattern with us. The photos are great too. I would like to make these for a 3-year old girl and wondered how old Larkspur was when you made these for her.

    thank you

  2. I was on Ravelry then clicked on your site, really love the color photos, so happy to see a stay at home mom doing something creative. Keep up the great work, and good luck to you. ;) paula

  3. This looks like a very cute pattern. I can’t wait to knit the leg warmers for my granddaughter.

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  1. […] Jen and is 100% Merino, so soft and a real pleasure to work with. The pattern I used can be found here  is from Ginny over at Small Things (linking up with this week’s ‘Yarn Along’ as […]

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