Retro Knitting Pattern: Classic Legwarmers

Knitting pattern - Classic Legwarmers - Bernat Satin Yarn Review -

Brought to you by American Yarns

Legwarmers are back BABY! Well if they aren’t already, they’re certainly due for a come back. As a girl who grew up in the 80’s I’m partial to a little legwarmer action.

Not only do they look HOT, but they keep your legs cosy too. Just what I need to get me through the chilly Melbourne winter.

As soon as I picked up my new batch of yarns to review from American Yarns HQ, I knew exactly what this Bernat Satin in Aqua was destined for – A pair of legwarmers!

bernat satin yarn review -

My first ever knitting project was a pair of legwarmers made from thrifted sock yarn and double pointed needles, quite the challenge for a beginner, and even thought they turned out less than perfect I’m still super proud of my first effort.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been knitting now, so I thought it was fitting to revisit making legwarmers with some nicer yarn.

Bernat Satin is a soft silky yarn that comes in a wide range of colours. Because it’s acrylic it can be machine washed and is a great all rounder for both knitting a crochet.

It’s pretty economical at only $6.50 for a 100g ball, which just happens to be the right quantity to make a pair of legwarmers!

Knitting pattern - Classic Legwarmers - Bernat Satin Yarn Review -

I’m a big fan of circular knitting, which means no seaming at the end, and because I’m super lazy, I knit this pair 2 at a time on a magic loop so both legwarmers would be guaranteed to be finished. (I’ve been known to knit one of a pair and never finish the other).

It was my first time using the 2 at a time technique (forgot to take a photo, sorry), and I referred to several You Tube videos using a cast on method similar to the one.

If you aren’t comfortable with 2 at a time magic loop knitting, go ahead and just knit them individually with the magic loop method or DPNs.

TIP: If you are knitting individually, split the ball into equal halves before you start to make sure you don’t run out of yarn on your second legwarmer.

For straight needle knitters, I’ve added some pattern conversion suggestions at the end.

Knitting pattern - Classic Legwarmers - Bernat Satin Yarn Review -

Retro Knitting Pattern: 80’s style Classic Legwarmers

Finished length: 33cm (13″)

You will need:

  • 1 ball x Bernat Satin 100g (Aqua) 8/10ply
  • 4mm circular needle or DPNs (US 6)
  • 5mm circular needle or DPNs (US 8)
  • Stitch marker (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

Stitches used:
K Knit
P Purl
CO cast on
BO Bind off (stretchy)

Gauge for stockinette: 16st and 21 rows in 10cm/4″

Pattern note: One size fits most. To increase or decrease width, add or reduce CO stitches in groups of 4. Length can be adjusted as desired but keep in mind you may need extra yarn if you make longer legwarmers.

Pattern instructions:

For each legwarmer

  • CO 48 stitches onto 4mm needle. Add marker if desired and work the following in the round using your preferred circular knitting method.
  • Ribbed section – K2, P2 for 5cm/2″ (about 14 rounds)
  • Change to 5mm needles
  • Stockinette stitch (K all) for 23cm/9″
  • Change to 4mm needles
  • Ribbed section – K2, P2 for 5cm/2″ (about 14 rounds)
  • BO Using a stretchy bind method – This is the one I used
  • Break off yarn and weave in ends.

If you haven’t worked both together at the same time, go ahead and start your other legwarmer.

TIPS FOR STRAIGHT NEEDLE KNITTING: Add an extra stitch on front and back of cast on (ie 50 total) to allow for seam. Knit 2×2 rib, stockinette is K then P alternating rows, then finish with 2×2 rib. cast off and sew up side.

Knitting pattern - Classic Legwarmers - Bernat Satin Yarn Review -

They turned out so soft and squishy, and I’ve worn them heaps already. They were particularly useful on my recent trip to New Zealand where the daily temperatures hovered around 4 deg C or less, Brrr!

Knitting pattern - Classic Legwarmers - Bernat Satin Yarn Review -

Here they are ‘in the wild’ doing a great job of keeping my legs from freezing! Don’t let the sunny sky fool you, it was cold!

Will you be making your own pair of legwarmers?

My thoughts on Bernat Satin – Pro’s & Con’s

bernat satin yarn review -


  • Good colour range
  • Economical
  • Soft against skin
  • Smooth and pleasant to knit with
  • Great stitch definition
  • Machine washable (gentle cycle)
  • Lovely drape
  • Satin sheen
  • Loose twist = Tendency to split (mainly crochet)
  • Prone to pilling with heavy use
  • Unforgiving with stitch errors
  • Some may not like satin finish/shine
  • Minimal elastic qualities
  • More like an 8ply than a 10ply
  • You can purchase the yarns featured from

    Knitting pattern - Classic Legwarmers - Bernat Satin Yarn Review -



    • Priscilla says:

      These leg warmers are so cute. I’d wear ’em! Thanks for the yarn review. I don’t knit, but I do crochet, and I like to hear about other people’s experiences with a yarn before I buy it.

    • I just love wearing leg warmers in the winter! They’re perfect for gals like me who love wearing skirts even in the coldest of weather! 🙂 Lisa

    • Heidi Thaens says:

      The photos of the leg warmers are quite lovely/adorable, but the instructions are BAD. I decided to make them for a friend but quickly realized that they would only fit a very thin child, so I started with 60 stitches and increased by 6 stitches after the first 2 inches of ribbing and another 6 stitches before the second 2 inches. I also made them extra long so as to cover the knees. In short, the number of stitches must be adjusted with the size of the recipient in mind.

      • Thanks Heidi. Of course with all knitting, tension, needle size and yarn type make a big variation on the pattern. I must have much looser tension than you. I’m glad you made the pattern work for you and for sharing your adjusted instructions with other readers.
        I’d be interested to know what yarn/needle combination you used and what the finished measurements were.

    • Stacy Sachais says:

      Hello, I’m making these adorable leg warmers for a 12-year old girl. Would you recommend I shorten the length? Her leg from ankle to just below the knee is 10 1/2 inches. Thank you so much! Stacy

    • Mikhayla says:

      This pattern is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing! Before I get started, I’m curious–how long was the cable on your circular needles? Thank you!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.