It has been so cold in my area recently that I’ve picked up my crochet hook and yarn to make several things to layer up for warmth. Leggings or Leg Warmers are a quick project anyone can work up in an evening, two at most. They can be made to fit anyone from toddler to granny, can be worn with pajamas or business suit (at least for the commute), and are an inexpensive way to assure warmth. I prefer to make them in an easy care yarn with some wool in it like Wool-ese, but they can be made with any yarn you have on hand. Make them stripes to use up scraps and partial skeins or for a funkier look.
The pattern is easy. Here’s a free one for you. But, if you have a basic sweater sleeve pattern, that will work too. Or, just crochet a cylinder. No ribbing or elastic is required, although they can be added. I have not done that with the ones I’ve made. The first pair I ever made was for my dear MIL who was not used to winter’s chill and wanted them to wear under her sari. Since no one but she and I would ever see them, so I figured I couldn’t go too far wrong since I didn’t have a pattern. So, I winged it. It worked fine. They were perfect for her.
Since the warmth factor increases if the leg warmers slouch a bit, you can really adapt a pattern to suit your own needs. If you have long, skinny legs (oh, not me!), make them long enough to fit you no matter what length the pattern says! If you’re shorter and rounder, make the leg warmers shorter and rounder – or leave the length so they will slouch a bit and be that much warmer.
If you choose not to use a pattern, start with a simple rib stitch at the ankle so the leg warmers will stay in place. Then, work up from there. You can choose to shape them a bit as they go up your leg, especially if you have shapely or muscular legs (yep, I do!). The easiest way to do that with a last minute, mindless pattern, is to simply switch to a larger hook size when you want to increase the diameter of the leg warmer. So, with a worsted weight yarn, you might start with a G hook then trade up to an H or I as you approach the knee area.
Btw, there’s nothing written in granite stating that leg warmers have to fit between ankle and knee. If you want them longer, make them that way! Men can wear them too. Who says they don’t suffer cold feet and legs?
And, if you’re really out of time or have too many other things to crochet, grab an old sweater and cut off the sleeves. You’ll probably need to crochet around the shoulder edge to stabilize it. But, it’s fast, cheap (free?), and Boho chic.
By jd wolfe