Mindful Blog

How to Knit Leg Warmers

Winter has arrived and with the season of some cozy knitwear. Knitters do not have to search for warm garments when they can easily make some with their knitting needles. Whether you want to knit sweaters, cardigans, socks, hats, shawls, cowls or anything warm, with yarn you can fashion some knitted warmth. Leg warmers may seem like a blast from the past, but they’re actually really practical to keep your legs warm and cozy. Whether you pair them with your skinny jeans or pyjamas with flappy legs, they’ll keep you warm when you need them most.

Knitting leg warmers is a pure delight. You can take any yarn, the ones in your stash will also do wonders. The best part the yarn can be double-knit (dk) yarns, worsted to chunky and you can easily make a beautiful and warm pattern. You can use single, double, or even circular needles for knitting needles. If you knit back and forth, assemble the project with a darning needle. With circular needles and DPNs you can easily make a seamless tube without any edges. Though the project is quite simple, the combination of rib and cable stitches is a joy to knit and challenging to make.

So, let’s get started. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to knit leg warmers. You can work with a pattern or make your own design.

Step 1: Choose the Yarn 

Leg warmers can be knit with any yarn. You can buy any single skein for the project. If you have leftovers in your stash it may be a good idea to put them to use. Chunky-knit projects are also wonderful for these. You can knit them quite easily and get them done quickly. In fact, it is the ideal winter weather project.

Step 2: Choose Knitting needles 

For leg warmers, you can use any of your knitting needles. Just make sure that the size matches your yarn weight. Here’s a quick table to help you choose.

Yarn Category name


Metric knitting needle size

Knitting needle size


fingering, crochet 10-count thread

1.5mm - 2.25mm

0 - 1

Super fine

sock, fingering, baby

2.25mm -3.25mm

 1 - 3


sport, baby

3.25mm - 3.75mm

 3 - 5


DK, light worsted

3.75mm - 4.5mm

 5 - 7


worsted, Afghan, Aran

4.5mm - 5.5mm

 7 - 9


chunky, craft, rug

6.5 - 9 mm

 9  -  11

Super Bulky

bulky, roving

9 - 15mm

 11 - 14


jumbo, roving

15mm and higher

14 - 17

With Single Pointed Needles (STNs) 

Knitting with Single Pointed Needles

If you prefer to knit back and forth and then seam to shape, go ahead with any pair of STNs. Make a flat fabric and then join the ends together with a darning needle. Refer to our guide on knitting with single pointed needles. Choose any needle length from 25 to 40 cm, but make sure they can accommodate all your stitches comfortably.

With Double Pointed Needles (DPNs) 

Knitting with Double Pointed Needles

The original method for knitters to make projects in the round and to date favoured by many, double-pointed needles is ideal for knitting leg warmers. This solves the problem of darning the edges later and you can have a seamless tube growing on your needles. If you are a beginner knitter, our guide on knitting with double-pointed needles. Choose 15 or 20 cm lengths according to your comfort level. Also, you can work with 3 or 4 DPNs to make the circumference of your project.

Knitting with Circular Needles 

Knitting with Circular Needles

Invented for the purpose of smooth knitting in the round, the circular needles are ideal for seamless knitting projects. Both fixed circular knitting needles, as well as interchangeable circular needles, are appropriate as long as you have the right needle length. A 25 cm circular needle is ideal for the leg warmer without stretching the stitches.

Magic Loop with one circular needle 

The Magic Loop is a knitting method done with a long 80 cm to 150 cm circular needle. The cable plays a major role in the magic loop. Make sure to use smooth and memory-free cables that bend easily to form loops while you knit with the needle tips.

Two Circular Knitting Needles 

Advanced knitters love to be quick and creative with knitting. Knitting with two circular needles is a way to be quick about making seamless tubes. With two needles of the same size and cable length, you can try to knit two leg warmers at a time.

If you are interested yet overwhelmed with the choices, refer to our guide to circular knitting needles.

Step 3: Knit a Gauge Swatch 

With the yarn and knitting needles you’ve chosen make a gauge swatch. This will help you get an idea of how the pattern will look and how much yarn you’ll need.

Instructions to Knit Leg Warmers 

Cast on - Use a stretchy long-tail cast-on method. Use the invisible join by simply casting an extra stitch and slipping it into the other knitting needle. If you are knitting on a 100 cm circular needle, cast stitches on one needle tip. Divide them equally on the other needle. Arrange your cables so that they make a loop on both sides.

Knitting the Pattern - You can use any stretchy stitch pattern you like. Be it a simple stocking to cables or ribbed stitches knit till have attained the length of your leg warmers. To get creative with your project use reversible stitches. Even the garter (rows of knit stitches) or stocking (alternate rows of knit and purl stitches) look beautiful. Try out colourwork or knitting with three of more colours. For the cuff and the ankle make sure to knit a stretchy pattern.

Cast Off: Once you’ve reached the measurements or finished according to the pattern, it’s time to cast off. You do this with two stitches at a time knitwise or purlwise, according to the stitch pattern.

With this step-by-step tutorial, you can easily go ahead and knit a leg warmer. You simply have to knit a tube and nothing more. But, even this simple and practical project does not stop you from being creative. Kid’s leg warmers can be made colourful or textured stitches. Even though if you knit for an adult, why stop experimenting? Try out textured stitch and patterns that you’ve never tried.

So, get ready to make your pair of leg warmers. Choose stainless steel knitting needles from the Mindful Collection. Accessories such as stitch markers, scissors and needle sets assist you in the practice of mindful knitting. The inspirational word imprinted on the needle body helps you focus on the positive feelings of the craft.

Happy winter knitting!

stainless steel knitting needles