Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Long Enough

Barbara asked: "About the legwarmers, how long is enough? And what about those of us with queenly calves - how many stitches? Any ideas? "

How long? Well this long.

I like the top of my legwarmers to come a little below the knee. I'm 5' 7", which I used to consider tall, but these days is more like average. The item in the picture measures 11" when it is on my leg. However, it measures 12" when it is off my leg and laid flat. Whaaaa? Why is that? Because putting them on stretches the ribbing widthwise: and when ribbing is stretched widthwise it shortens lengthwise.

So my ballpark figure is: measure the length from your ankle to wherever you want the top of your legwarmers to fall, then add a good inch to that.

To my mind, the best thing to do is to try the first one on before binding off. If you have been working on two circs (or using the magic loop) this shouldn't be too hard. If you work, as I do, on double pointed needles you may want to slip the stitches onto a piece of waste yarn or a circular needle first. I generally don't bother with this, though.

If I have my stitches on three needles, (knitting with a fourth), I do arrange the stitches on four needles before trying on. Why? 1) fewer stitches per needle makes it less likely that any stitches will fall off the ends in the process, and 2) I have snapped smaller needles pulling the whole thing over my heel when the stitches have only been distributed on three. (Also, pull the legwarmer on cast-on edge first, so the needles are at the narrower, ankle, end of things.)

However you decide to manage it, try the thing on, pulling the top up to wherever you want it to be and figure how much longer you want it. Mark the round you are on, then knit the "how much longer".

Having now definitively and oh so precisely answered the length question, I'll try to address circumference issues in the next post.


CatBookMom said...

Thank you, Cindy! I promised a friend a pair ages ago and never finished the crochet version. Maybe if I knit them she may get them after all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I am considering making a pair of #2 son's gf. I am learning from your experience. Legwarmers are much less daunting to me than they were a week ago :-)

magnusmog said...

too late! My legwarmers are enourmous!

TracyKM said...

When you're 5'2", 5'7" is definately TALL!
It's not my lower legs that get cold when I walk, it's my thighs. I'm thinking maybe I need to knit an overskirt. And sew some bloomers while I'm at it, LOL.