Design on the double!

Rivulet Legwarmers

A few weeks ago at work we got in a box of brand spankin’ new Fleece Artist yarn.  It’s called Merino Angel, and is a blend of merino, kid, and nylon.  It’s a two ply sock yarn with an amazing halo.  When I pulled out the first skein, I noticed it felt a bit stiff, somewhat scratchy.  Bob, Nancy, and I manhandled it for a good 15 minutes, wondering if it would knit up into a softer fabric.   In the end, we decided that we’d need a knitted sample before we put it up on the website for sale.

Glacier, in the skein

Nancy told me to pick out a skein and go to town (not literally – I actually live in the woods, so “get out of town” is more realistic).  My mission: determine if the yarn would soften up when knitted, and design a one-skein project that would showcase the best qualities of the yarn.  I had the skein on the swift and winding into a ball within minutes of getting home.  The ball came off the winder looking like some small, colorful, furry animal!

Halo like a cloud

As is typical in Oregon, the summer heat of the day gave way to a cool, breezy night – not cold enough for dense, fuzzy socks, but just right for a pair of light, airy legwarmers.  I decided to knit the Merino Angel on larger needles than necessary so that the resulting fabric would be as light as possible, while the kid prevented it from appearing too holey.  After knitting the gauge swatch, I knew the outcome would be perfect –  not a hint of scratchiness, and a soft cloud of kid enveloping every stitch!

Handpainted yarn means each legwarmer is unique

The legwarmers all but designed themselves.  I knew I wanted to keep the knitting fairly simple – ribbing at top and bottom, mostly stockinette in-between, with a single simple cable for interest.  My inherent compulsion for symmetry determined the cable.  Since I was knitting two legwarmers simultaneously on two circulars, I wanted something that wouldn’t have to be reversed on each leg.  Thus, “print of the hoof” was perfect.

Ready for their maiden voyage

The Rivulet Legwarmers pattern is available on my Free Patterns page.  I’d love to hear about your experiences with the pattern, and see photos of your finished warmers!

Me, enjoying two of my favorite things: knit wear and roller skates!

2 thoughts on “Design on the double!

  • September 29, 2010 at 7:14 am
    Permalink

    I love your legwarmers. The cable is completely beautiful, and I am completely overwhelmed by them. In the true sense, meaning…I can’t figure out the pattern. This is not your fault, but mine. I am a completely beginning knitter, who has come here to seek solace from the absolute misery that goes with achieving my dreams of being a novelist. I am not being very clear for a novelist, am I? Promise my book is clearer. What I mean is that achieving my dreams threw me into a mental tailspin which knitting seems to quell to some extent. That said, I have now learned to cable (sitting at my daughter’s soccer practice a nice knitting mommy showed me how), but what you are doing here is over the top for a not so crafty girl who would love to make these leg warmers for her ballerina girl who would love them when wearing leotards in winter. I don’t even know how to ask the question I want to ask, but that I want to make these legwarmers for an 8 year old girl and haven’t a clue how to follow what you are saying when you get to the cable part. I will take the pattern to soccer practice and beg nice soccer mommy to help me, but I thought perhaps you might have some ideas on what I need to be aware of. When I say beginner, I mean beginner, like don’t even know how to knit on a round needle. And I am old. I promise I am not stupid, though. Your blog is lovely. I am very impressed at your craftiness. Your shawls are beautiful and I can’t even believe you are spinning wool, for the love of God. I was in Oregon in June on my book tour. It’s gorgeous there. I was in Bend (at Between the Covers which is my favorite bookstore ever), Sisters, Redmond and Sunriver, and then I went out to Portland to Powell’s (AMAZING) and stayed with a friend in Vancouver. Wonderful place to be. Let me know if you have any advice for a beginning knitter wanting to figure these legwarmers for a little girl.

    Thanks so much,

    S

  • October 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm
    Permalink

    i’m not sure where you’re having the trouble, but i’ll do my best to explain the cables. you’re really doing two cables side by side. if you learned how to make one cable, you just do it once with the first 4 stitches, then do it again, in the opposite direction, with the next 4 stitches.

    if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with the circular needles yet, you can knit these legwarmers flat, then sew up the seam. i would recommend adding two selvege stitches, knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side.

    wish i could be of more help, but it’s very difficult online!

    what sort of novels have you written? i agree, Powell’s Bookstore is amazing. i could spend days in there!

Leave a Reply