Knit a pair of Extra Long rainbow hued legwarmers to brighten up your wardrobe. No need to fuss with multiple balls of yarn when one ball of self striping Lion Brand Mandala Yarn cake does all the hard work.
Our local roller rink turned 40 recently and they threw a 80s themed roller disco party. Can you believe that the 80s was 40 years ago?
Of course no 80s outfit is complete without a pair of scrunchy knitted leg warmers. So I got to work.
I had a ball of Lion Brand Mandala yarn kicking about, and thought the colours would be super fun for a pair of cheerful leg warmers.
I love how the Mandala yarn cakes come in such pretty colour combinations. This one is called Thunderbird and has a cool rainbow gradient.
It does have a big chunk of yellow, which are actually two slightly different yellow hues. I don’t mind all the yellow because it matches my skates, but if you are looking for a more evenly distributed rainbow gradient, try the Gnome colourway.
Unfortunately I didn’t finish my rainbow leg warmers in time for the roller disco, but now that the weather is cooling down in Melbourne, I’ll be wearing them to skate practice and around the house.
Mandala yarn balls have a surprisingly generous 540m of yarn per cake, which means you can make a pair of super duper long leg warmers with just one ball.
In fact this pair goes well over my knees and ends around mid thigh!
Because the yarn doesn’t contain elastic fiber, they won’t stay up by themselves on bare legs, but will stay up perfectly over leggings or tights.
The length and their stretch makes them ideal for keeping legs warm during dance practice, ice skating or before yoga classes.
I like to wear mine scrunchy for an authentic 80s vibe!
The stretchy bind off top makes them very expandable, so they will fit over my knee pads nicely.
To make sure each leg warmer knits up to the same length without having to count rows (or run out of yarn), I split the ball evenly and just knit each as a long tube until the yarn ran out.
I’ve got some tips on separating yarn balls into two even halves below.
If you are comfortable with knitting in the round these leg warmers are really so easy to make!
Of course if you don’t want super long thigh high leg warmers, you can stop knitting at whatever length suits you.
You may also enjoy:
- Retro Knitted Leg Warmers
- Rainbow Baby Blanket Knitting Pattern
- Knitted Grid Beanie
- Lazy Days Mini Shawl
Ribbed Leg Warmers Knitting Pattern
You will need:
- 1 cake Lion Brand Mandala Yarn – Thunderbird – split into 2 equal balls (see below)
- 4mm circular needles with long cable for magic loop method (or 4mm DPNs)
- Yarn Needle
- Digital kitchen scale (recommended)
- Yarn Winder (optional) – I use the Knit Picks Ball Winder
How to evenly divide a ball of yarn
Weigh your ball of yarn and calculate the weight for half a ball (in my case 135g/2 = 67.5g)
You’ll need to split your ball into equal halves by pulling out the center of the ball and weighing it till it adds up your goal weight.
If you have a ball winder available, wind your halves into two separate balls. Otherwise just wind your two balls by hand.
Each ball will be the total amount required for one leg warmer.
If you don’t have a digital scale or ball winder, try winding 2 balls by hand to around the same size.
CO cast on – long tail
BO bind off – super stretchy
Gauge un-stretched 2×2 Rib: 32st and 25rows in 10cm/4″
Finished sizes: diam 16-55cm (6.5″-22″), length 89cm (35″)
To fit leg width: up to 55cm/22″
Legwarmers are knitted in 2 x 2 rib individually in the round (un-seamed). Magic loop circular knitting method is used, but double pointed needle method can be substituted if desired.
These knitted leg warmers are super stretchy and can adapt to fit most average sized calves and thighs. If an increase in width is required cast on extra stitches in groups of 4. Every group of 4 stitches will add up to 4cm/1.5″ in diameter.
Use a long tail cast on method with a 60cm/24″ tail of yarn – View video instructions here
Super stretchy Bind off is recommended for elasticity – View Video instructions here
For each leg warmer
- Long tail CO 60 stitches onto 4mm needle. Work the following in the round using your preferred circular knitting method.
- 2×2 Rib – K2, P2 for the entire ball until 1m/1yd of yarn remaining
- BO using super stretchy bind off (see link above)
- Break off yarn and weave in ends
No need to block, once you weave in the yarn ends your knitted leg warmers are ready to wear.
If they stretch out in width when you’ve been wearing them for a while, just pull the ends to make them long again and they should tighten back up again.
You can purchase the yarns featured from www.americanyarns.com.au