Thursday, November 1, 2012

Totally 80's Legwarmer How-To (Neon Optional)



I love Halloween, and this year decided to dress up as an 80's aerobics instructor. I figured it was fun, comfy, and relatively easy given my yoga-centric wardrobe. One thing I was lacking though was a rockin' pair of neon legwarmers. No problemo- it had been a long time since I'd done any knitting, although I had a few of my needles, and for whatever reason the nearby store that sells everything from bathroom pipes to eggs to refrigerators to nail polish had lots of choice of neon yard. Weird? Yes, but not surprising in Thailand. So, I picked up a few colours- neon turquoise, pink, and yellow, and whipped these up. The pattern is really easy, and you can pick whatever colors you like - neon totally optional! Halloween costumes aside, legwarmers are a great way to cuddle your calves during chilly yoga sessions (or commutes to the studio), to wear under boots, or just for fun. Here's how: 


You'll Need:
- 1 set of circular knitting needles, US size 8 (5mm), 40cm length OR size 8 double pointed needles
- yarn needle for weaving in ends
- yarn in your colour choice: worsted weight or lighter, 1 skein of each stripe colour (blue and yellow, in my case), 1-2 skeins of the main colour (pink in my case)

The yarn I bought didn't have the typical weight/thickness markings. It was lighter than worsted weight, more like sport weight or sock weight. You can use whatever yarn you like. If it's thick, you may need to cast on fewer stitches, if it's light, use more stitches. 

To Knit:
Use your first colour choice to cast on the desired number of stitches. I used lightweight yarn so cast on 56 stitches. I have average sized calves. If you use worsted weight yarn cast on less (about 40-44). Cast on as many as you need to circle your calves, just make sure the number of stitches is a multiple of 4. These legwarmers are really stretchy so don't worry too much about this. Let's keep it casual. 

Knit 1 row

Join ends together and continue in 2X2 rib (K2, P2) until piece measures approx 1 inch long

Switch to second colour and continue the pattern with this colour for another 1 inch

Switch back to first colour and continue for 1 more inch

Switch to second colour and continue for 1 more inch. You should now have a tube about 4"long, with two stripes of each colour. 

Join the third, main colour, and continue in stockinette stitch (just knit every stitch) until piece reaches desired length. 

Cast off, and weave in ends. 

Don't be afraid to play around and customize these as you like. Want thin stripes? More stripes? No stripes? Longer? Shorter? Do what you like. Knit them a little longer than you want them, as the ends will roll up a bit. Also, I do find that the rib stitch at the top tends to stretch out so the legwarmers fall down a bit. If you don't like this, you can either sew some elastic along the inner edge, or, do what I did, which was to cut off a length of the first colour of yarn, weave it in and out along the top edge, then tie the two ends of the string together into a bow behind my knee. Worked like a charm!



Want to see the rest of the costume? Here it is!


Yes, yes I did wear this to yoga. Duh.

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