How to knit legwarmers with circular needles

Written by beth celli
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How to knit legwarmers with circular needles
Knit your own leg warmers using yarn and circular knitting needles. (YARN BASKET image by brelsbil from

Leg warmers can add a splash of style to almost any outfit. Knitting your own leg warmers using circular knitting needles will allow you to create a pair for every outfit in your closet. This is a quick and easy project that is easily portable and fun to knit. Once your friends see your hand-knit leg warmers, it will not be long before you will be knitting more as gifts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Yarn
  • Circular knitting needles in two sizes
  • Stitch marker

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  1. 1

    Browse your local yarn store to find a yarn you love, or search online yarn sites. Choose a chunky yarn or use a double strand of a worsted weight. You will need between 400 and 500 yards (double that if you use a double strand), so be sure to purchase enough, matching the lot numbers for colour consistency.

  2. 2

    Ready your knitting needles. Leg warmers are usually knit using two different size 16-inch circular knitting needles. One needle is typically two sizes smaller than the second. For worsted weight yarn, you might choose size 7 and size 9 needles, while chunky yarn would dictate using needles as large as size 17 and 19.

  3. 3

    Cast the appropriate number of stitches on the smaller needle. For example, 20 or 22 stitches will yield an average woman’s size leg warmer with chunky yarn and size 17 circulars, while 40 stitches would be correct if using size 7 needles and lighter yarn. More stitches will create a larger leg warmer.

  4. 4

    Join in the round, without twisting any stitches. Place a stitch marker before the first stitch to help you keep track of your rows.

  5. 5

    Knit the first six to ten rows using a knit 2, purl 2 pattern or a knit 2, purl 3 pattern to create ribbing.

  6. 6

    Switch to larger needles. Continue knitting in the pattern of your choice, either continuing the ribbing or switch to a stockinet pattern created by knitting every row in the round until the warmer is the almost the length you would like.

  7. 7

    Switch back to the smaller needles and repeat the knit, purl pattern you used for the start of the warmer for another six to 10 rows.

  8. 8

    End by binding off your stitches.

  9. 9

    Begin the second of the pair by casting on the same number of stitches and work the warmer in the same patterns you used for the first one.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not like the ribbing pattern, try knitting the entire leg warmer using a stockinet stitch.
  • Experiment with stripes and variegated yarn.

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