Though lots of leg warmers are designed to be worn ballerina style, bunched around the ankle, Maureen wanted something that would be more of an extended knee socklong and skinny leg things. So I made this pair to measure about 12” around at the top, the widest partto fit like stockings.
Vertical patterns work well on tube-like warmers. I found a lace pattern from a Barbara Walker Treasury that I liked; it has a pointy, vertical feel. I had fun playing around with the different ways I could use the stitch pattern. I started swatching it as an allover lace patternwhich I intend to use for a pair of wristlets sometime in the future. Then I isolated one motif and tried it as a column separated by panels of seed stitch, reverse stockinette stitch, and 1x1 ribs. I ended by running the motif lengthwise between 2-stitch single ribs.
To shape the leg, I used a few increases on either side of one of the ribs. You could just as easily use the lazy shaping method (one of my favorites)begin knitting on a smaller needle and move to a larger one(s) on your way up the warmer. Or, conversely, start at the top and work down to a smaller needle.
Alpaca Sox 60% alpaca, 20% merino wool, 20% nylon
When silk became difficult to come by during World War II, nylon was developed as an alternative fiber. Nylonsometimes referred to as polyamideis made from coal, air, and water. Initially, it was used to make toothbrush bristles, but it became famous when it replaced silk in women’s stockings.
Nylon has numerous characteristics that make it an important component in sock yarns. It’s smooth, strong, lightweight, warm and elastic. Its also lustrous and takes dye beautifully.
Small amounts of nylon make sock yarns that can stand up to the friction of wear without adding weight or thickness.
Where to buy Alpaca Sox.
Here's the free downloadable Alpaca Sox Legwarmers pattern
An excellent source for lace patterns, as well as other types of stitch patterns, is the collection of stitch dictionaries by Barbara G. Walker:
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns
A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns
Charted Knitting Designs
A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns
These books offer a comprehensive list of stitch patterns and are a great resource for knitters interested in working on their own designs. They not only offer inspiration for original designs, they also give you the information needed to alter a design’s stitch pattern to suit your style. Because the stitch multiple for each pattern is listed with its instructions, you can swap stitch patterns without changing the number of stitches in the pattern. (It is very important that you swatch the new pattern to make sure that you get the same gauge as the original.)
For example, for your second pair of Alpaca Sox legwarmers, you could change the lace pattern given to one of the following:
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns:
• Pearl Barred Scallop Pattern, page 192 (Knit the odd-number rounds when working this pattern in the round. )
• Shetland Fern Stitch, page 223 (Knit the odd-number rounds when working this pattern in the round.)
A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns:
• Ears of Grass, page 254: (Purl the knits, knit the purls on the odd-number rounds when working this pattern in the round.)
• Eyelet Wave Rib, page 254: (Purl the knits, knit the purls on odd-number rounds when working this pattern in the round.)
• Grace Note, page 305: (Knit the odd-number rounds when working this pattern in the round.)
The Treasuries offer many other possibilities for adding a new pattern to the legwarmers, just remember that these patterns are written to be worked flat and the WS rows will need to be changed when working them in the round.
Here is a blog where color photos of swatches knit from Barbara Walkers Treasuries have been posted.