Pattern of the Week: Make These Leg Warmers in a Flash (dance)

leg warmers

Some fashions are classic. Leg warmers were at their height in the 1980s; it seemed everyone wanted to be dressed for an impromptu workout at all times. From the craze of home workout videos to Alex Owens in Flashdance, leg warmers were everywhere.

via GIPHY and the American Film Institute

These accessories have assumed a less fitness-focused role in recent years, entering into the athleisure category of modern fashion, fashions that look like athletic wear but are designed for comfort. Today, leg warmers are a fall and winter must-have, pairing perfectly with leggings, boots or slippers, and a pumpkin spice latte.

leg warmers
The perfect accessory for lounging with a book or getting sweaty to a Denise Austin VHS.

In Quick and Easy Knits, Jennifer Thompson designed an accessible and fun pattern based on the mistake rib stitch. Jennifer’s Effortless Leg Warmers combine the iconic 1980s style with our modern athleisure fashion. Knit and purl stitches create a comfortably fitting tube of fabric with a beautiful texture. Her Effortless Leg Warmers are shown using the same stitch pattern in 3 different yarns, showing how versatile this pattern is. Whether you want to kick back with a good book on the couch or live your Flashdance fantasy, the Effortless Leg Warmers provide a quick and approachable pattern for knitters of all skill levels.

The Effortless Leg Warmers are shown in three different yarns because this pattern is so versatile.

Pattern Details

leg warmers
Difficulty Easy

Finished Size 8 (11, 14)” (20.5 [28, 35.5] cm)


Lion Brand Yarns Fisherman’s Wool (100% wool; 465 yd [425 m]/8 oz [227 g]): #150-202 Birch Tweed, 1 skein.
Red Heart Yarns Treasure (70% acrylic, 30% wool; 151 yd [138 m]/3.5 oz [100 g]): #E788 Mosaic, 2 skeins.
Lion Brand Yarns Heartland (100% acrylic; 251 yd [230 m]/5 oz [142 g]): #136-105 Glacier Bay, 1 skein.

Yarn Weight 4

Needles Size 9 (5.5 mm): set of double-pointed needles (dpns). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions Stitch marker; yarn needle.

Gauge 16 stitches and 22 rounds = 4” (10 cm) in Broken Rib pattern.

You want leg warmers? We got leg warmers!

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