Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Yarn

Custom Leg Warmers

Leg Warmers never actually fit me right, I am blessed with long legs. Because of my long legs, most of them would slide down and become ankle warmers.

This pattern allows you to get the length you want, and uses single crochet (sc) and double crochet (dc) to help you adjust for your legs. The pattern works side to side and includes crochet sweater ribbing on top and bottom. 

It is brought together using the crochet mattress stitch (which is really easy). The best part is that YOU customize your own! Your length will be correct, you can get as creative as you want, and they will fit YOU perfectly.

Materials, Tools, & Gauge

Yarn: This is a customize your own pattern, so it is difficult to give you exact amounts. I used Red Heart Super Saver, Artist Print (2 skeins) and Red Heart with Love, Lettuce (1 skein) for the ribbing.

Because you will be customizing your leg warmers the yarn you pick doesn't matter. Most people will need 8 - 12 ounces, or about 400 - 600 yards. Keep in mind that if you're going larger (over the knee) that you'll need more yarn.

Crochet Hook: I used a size I/9 crochet hook for the body, and G/6 crochet hook for the ribbing. Whatever main size hook you pick, use one that's 2 sizes down for your ribbing.

Additional Tools:

A few bobby pins as stitch markers, these seem to work better for this pattern than traditional stitch markers. Also a Scissors and a Yarn (darning) needle. You will also need a piece of graph paper (1/5th works for most people).

Gauge and Measuring for Leg Warmers

This is ultimately important, for this pattern, for you to get a perfect fit. PLEASE take the time to follow these instructions. Take out a note card or paper so you can write this information down and have your graph paper handy.

1. Measure your gauge using your larger hook for both single crochet and double crochet. Do a swatch that is over 4 inches. If you need to refresh your memory on gauge you can do so here. Write down your 4 inch stitches and rows for both single crochet and double crochet. Then divide the number by 4 so you have your stitches and rows per inch.

Single Crochet (sc) 14 stitches = 4 inches (3.5 st / 1 inch),
                            15 rows = 4 inches (3.75 rows / 1 inch).
Double Crochet (dc) 14 stitches = 4 inches (3.5 st / 1 inch),
                              8 rows = 4 inches (2 rows / 1 inch).

2. Put on the clothing (and socks) that you will most likely wear with your leg warmers. LOOSELY measure around your ankle, measure around the largest part of your calf, and measure from your ankle bone to where your knee bends (or over the top of your knee - don't go much higher).

Ankle = 11 inches
Calf = 17 inches
Length = 14 inches

Seeing my measurements you can see that just double crochet would make the ankle too big, or just single crochet would make the calf too tight. This is why you will be staggering single crochet and double crochet to make your leg warmers.

Double Crochet vs Single Crochet

1. Calculate the number of rows for your pattern. Single Crochet rows per inch multiplied by your Ankle measurement.

3.75 x 11 = 41.25 (42)

Round this to the closest even number, I go up as just a little loose is better for me. However if you don't mind a snug fit, go down. So mine is 42.

2. The difference between your Ankle Measurement & Calf Measurement:

17" (calf) - 11" (ankle) = 6"

I will need to add 6 inches of fabric to the width of my leg warmers at the top. This will be done in double crochet. Remember you'll be working side to side, not from the top down or bottom up. This will change from person to person and depending on what you're wearing.

3. Next figure the number of rows that will need to be Double Crochet in order to add the additional width. You need to know how many Single Crochet rows you'll need to change. Multiply your inch difference by your Single Crochet rows per inch.

6 x 3.75 = 22.5 (22)

Again round to the nearest even number. For me just dropping the .5 works, so mine would be 22.

4. I'm a visual person so I put this on a piece of graph paper. Then a simple check mark on the row I've done keeps me on track.

The center line represents the middle or the FRONT of your leg warmers. This is going to be the part that goes up your shin. It's a flatter section of your leg so you want more Single Crochet there. Each outside edge is the BACK of your leg and the back of the pattern that you'll sew up.

I counted out 42 (how many Single Crochet rows I'll be doing). I marked the center with the long line. I also marked the first and last rows with the two short lines | |. Both those rows will need to be Single Crochet. The large V indicates the rows that will be Single Crochet on the bottom (the ankle) but change to Double Crochet at the top (the calf).

No matter how you even out your multiple stitch rows the first and last row should always be Single Crochet. The next row should always be a multiple stitch row.

Leg Warmers Pattern

This pattern uses my numbers (in red).

Using Single Crochet stitches per inch (for me 3.5) multiplied by Length (for me 14), equals your beginning chain (for me 49). Add one so you can turn your work (49 + 1 = 50).

Chain (ch) 50

Row 1: Single Crochet (sc) 49.

(If you are changing color for your ribbing, tie the new color onto your existing yarn - DO NOT CUT YOUR EXISTING YARN. If you are not changing color simply continue but change hook.)

Drop your 'body yarn color', pick up your 'ribbing color'. Change Hook to your smaller size.

Chain (ch) 11 (if you're making these for a shorter person or child reduce this number)

Row 2: The last measurement is where to switch from Single Crochet to Double Crochet on the row. The easiest way is to divide your stitches (for me 49) by 3 (for me that would be 16.33 or 16).

If you would like you can measure from your ankle bone up to where your leg starts to widen and calculated how many stitches that would be.

Single Crochet (sc) 10 into the top of the chain (ch) only. Switch yarn and change hook.

Continue Single Crocheting (sc) 16, mark your last stitch with a bobbie pin.

Start Double Crocheting (dc) to the end of the row (for me 33).

The bobbie pin is NOT going to be the exact place you'll always switch. I count throughout the pattern. This just gives me a visual indicator.

Notes for the rest of the Leg Warmers body pattern:

You should have your graph paper grid. This is YOUR personal pattern.

When you are turning on a Double Crochet row - only Chain 2 and turn. This gives you a tighter top to work the final top ribbing into.

RIBBING AT BOTTOM: You create the ribbing at the bottom as you crochet the body. If you need a refresher on ribbing click here. Remember to always switch colors and switch hooks. Ribbing is always crocheted into the back loop of each stitch. In order to make sure you are always crocheting 10, count 10 stitches up from the bottom. This will change in location and it makes a really nice pattern at the bottom.

At the end LAST ROW: Your final row should be a Single Crochet (sc) row and you should be at the ankle end, on the ribbing.

Chain (ch) 1 and turn. Single Crochet (sc) Rib Stitch 10. Measure a tail (used for sewing later) 3 times the length of your ribbing section, cut your yarn and secure.

Change color, change hook. Single Crochet (sc) to the end. Measure a tail (used for sewing later) 2.5 times the length of your body section, cut your yarn and secure.

Top RibbingIf you need a refresher on how to attach ribbing click here.

Using your smaller hook, and your ribbing color yarn slip knot 1 stitch onto your hook. Attach this to the body of your leg warmers, at the top, on the same side as your sewing tail, with a single crochet (sc) stitch.

Single Crochet (sc), across the top, to the other end. You will pick up each row and you will single crochet (sc) 1 stitch around the post of each of your double crochet (dc) rows.

At the end, Chain 11. Single Crochet (sc) 10 in the top loop of the chain. Slip Stitch (sl st) 1 into the first stitch and Slip Stitch (sl st) 1 into the next stitch. DO NOT CHAIN. Turn your work and Single Crochet (sc) into the back loop back up.

Chain (ch) 1 and turn. Single Crochet (sc) into the back loop back down to the body. Slip Stitch (sl st) into the next two stitches on the body, turn and go back up.

Repeat until you've reached the end.

Make sure your last row of ribbing ends on the top most end. Measure a tail (used for sewing) 3 times the length of your ribbing section. Cut and secure your yarn.

Mattress Stitch Sewing: Fold your leg warmers so the outside is on the inside (in other words you'll be sewing on the inside). Start at the top, thread your yarn needle with the ribbing tail and use the mattress stitch to sew. When you get to the end of the ribbing switch colors and continue down the body. When you get to the bottom ribbing, switch colors again and sew to the end. I always use the needle to bring this end, through stitches, back up to the point I changed color. This way I don't have to try and hide the yarn later.

Knot the loose ends together before you trim them. No need to hide any yarn as the loose ends are hidden on the inside. Just trim the ends short.

This leg warmers pattern was developed when I was about 16 years old. I had been invited to a winter party. I had also just finished making my first crochet sweater for myself. I had plenty of yarn left and decided to make a pair of matching leg warmers. My first pair didn't have the ribbing on top and bottom (I didn't know how to do that), but even without it my matching set was a hit.

Customize this pattern to your heart's content. Add flowers, or buttons. Go crazy with color. Make them truly YOUR master piece. USA, LLC

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