We Have Legwarmer Knitting Patterns. Do You Care?
There is a schism in our office over the topic of legwarmers. Half the staff thinks they are cute, and that includes my colleague Sarah. The other half loathes them. I am in the other half.
For those of you old enough to remember, legwarmers were everywhere in the 1980s along with big hair and Jordache jeans. The movies Fame and Flash Dance, along with the aerobics fitness craze, catapulted legwarmers into popular fashion. It didn’t matter if you were a dancer or not, you wore legwarmers. Preferably neon ones.
Sarah is much younger than I, and definitely less jaded, so she had a very different take on today’s leg warmer fashion:
“I’ve seen some fashion-related drama in my short existence; I lived through the 1990s, leggings becoming pants, and the struggle with my mother over the usage of pantyhose, but I obviously have no personal experience with the legwarmers of the 1980s outside of jazz-tastic aerobics videos. To me, legwarmers are a sign of progress in women’s fashion. They are a powerful finger to the evils of pantyhose (whose only function is to change the shade of your legs ever so slightly) and increasingly uncomfortable tights (as companies keep adding constricting “shaping” to parts of my body I never thought to “control”). Trust me, this is a bandwagon you won’t regret jumping on, and I have three reasons why.” – Sarah
3 Reasons to Love Legwarmers
1. They are a great replacement for uncomfortable tights (and they will definitely keep your legs warm).
*Note from Allison: I don’t understand your antipathy toward tights, but that’s a different conversation. And these are pretty cute, upon reflection.
Look at these Gansey-inspired beauts; so modern and trendy! Her legs are now safe from a dreaded spring or fall cold snap. This quick, simple project looks great with a skirt, and there’s no heel to turn.
Finished Size: 11″ circumference and 17¾” long.
Yarn: The Fibre Company Road to China Light (65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd [145 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): jade, 3 skeins. Yarn distributed by Kelbourne Woolens.
Yarn Weight: #2 – Fine
Needles: Sizes 2 (2.75 mm) and 3 (3.25 mm): set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Marker (m); tapestry needle.
Gauge: 26 sts and 38 rnds = 4″ in patt on larger needles.
2. They complete your hiking gear.
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to hike around in the beautiful wilderness in this set? Classic Aran cables and simple shapes make the Inishmore Hat and Legwarmers. (Allison isn’t buying this, but she has been known to hike in a skirt, so I’m ignoring her.)
Finished Size: Leg warmers: 9¼ (11, 13)” circumference and 16½” tall. Hat: 18½” circumference and 8″ tall.
Yarn: MountainTop Crestone (100% wool; 100 yd [91 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #5103 smoke, 6 (7, 8) skeins (4 [5, 5] skeins for leg warmers only, 3 skeins for hat only), distributed by Classic Elite Yarns.
Yarn Weight: #3 – Light
Needles: Sizes 4 (3.5 mm) and 6 (4 mm): double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Marker (m); cable needle (cn); tapestry needle.
Gauge: 26 sts and 30 rnds = 4″ in Cable patt on larger needles.
3. Use them to learn and practice techniques.
Mosaic knitting? Sounds fun to me! *Note from Allison: I totally agree here. Mosaic knitting rocks. Knitting a set of legwarmers is a quick project, perfect for perfecting new techniques. In Knitted Leg Warmers: Learn Mosaic Knitting with Double Pointed Needles, you’ll learn color knitting the easy way with designer and instructor Allyson Dykhuizen.
Allyson will guide you through the traditional method of using double-pointed needles to knit in the round on small-diameter projects, and you’ll end up with a beautiful, stylish set of textured legwarmers. Use a solid-colored yarn that coordinates with a colorful variegated yarn, and knit a bold, geometric design. By working with only one color at a time, create a beautiful stained-glass pattern that you can apply to future knitting projects.
What do you think? Leave them to die in the 1980s? Wouldn’t be caught dead in neon scrunched leg catastrophes? Or do you think they’re fun, and you are willing to give them a try? Let us know in the comments!
Allison and Sarah