Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sweater Legs

Last year at this time I had not yet learned how to knit. So I had sewn sweater tights out of repurposed sweaters. My girl loved them, but they didn't hold up as well as I would have liked, and as she grew throughout the season they rode ever lower and lower down her backside.
So this year I devised these sweater legs that I think will go a lot better. They are foot-less, so they can be worn with any shoe - like legwarmers. Except they won't slide down her legs and she'll get the warmth all the way up her bottom like she did with the tights. I do plan to knit her many, many more of these this winter. In the future, however, I will have the ribbed pattern go all the way up the legs and into the waste band.

These are going to be so useful! She can run around the house in them and be comfortable. She can sleep in them, or wear them as long-johns underneath pants to play in the snow. And yes, they can be worn under a skirt to keep her legs warm when it's cold out. I'm probably going to make some for my 6 year old boy too, to keep him toasty this year.

Materials: 1 skein of worsted weight yarn (the softer the better so they're not itchy).
1 set of size 5 needles (either circular or DPN to work in the round).
Stitch marker
Piece of elastic, the size of the waste.

CO 90 stitches onto circular needles
Rounds 1 through 10: K2, P2
Rounds 11 through 40: Knit

Set half (45) stitches on reserve
Cast on 5 additional stitches using the reverse cast on method, join to the other side in the center to create the leg hole.
Rounds 41 through 50: Knit
Rounds 51 through 130: K1, P1

Check the length and if it is not long enough for your child, continue knitting until it is, then bind off.

Pick up the stitches from the other leg and knit it as you did the first.
Weave in all of your ends.

I found it necessary to sew a seam from the middle of the front to the middle of the back - the same place most pants have them, in order to avoid bunching.

Sew the elastic band around the waste and viola! You have a pair of nifty sweater legs.


  1. These look great, thank you!! I've started a pair and they seem a little large, but that's a problem I can just wait out. I have almost two year old twins, so I plan on making a bunch of these. Thank you for the pattern!

  2. Thanks Gwendolyn! I specified the size on Ravelry, if that's where you came from, but I forgot to put it on the pattern here. These are size 4, but you can make them as long or short as you need - and if you need to, you can take them in, in the waist and bottom area.

    If you find these are far too large, turn them inside out and sew them vertically from the center of the waist (where the belly button sits) to the center of the back - through the crotch, taking out as much of the fabric as you need to. Do a double seam, or zigzag, then trim the seam to half an inch.

    Congrats on your twins, and good luck with the pattern!

  3. Do you think these would fit a size 6/6x girl if I went up a size or two in the needle?

  4. Hmmm, I'm not sure. This pattern is 5 stitches per inch, and they are size four. It would likely be easier to increase the number of cast on stitches, by ten or twenty.
    It's very easy to sew in a seam, if they come out a tad large.