Gloworm Legwarmers

April 12, 2005

Gloworm Legwarmers

Oh, it is so nice out. Spring has come to NYC. This past weekend was warm enough for flip flops, which I wore to the park for an afternoon of lounging, where I managed to sunburn my right shoulder only.

Also, after nearly three years of living in my current apartment, roof access has been discovered! roof access rocks. I plan to spend all sorts of time enjoying roof access this summer. Well, it would be even better if the scantily-clad hipsters who live two buildings down and enjoy photo shoots did not also know about roof access. these hipsters do not rock. Perhaps their trust funds will soon run out.

However, spring has not come to my office. Its freezing in here. I'd love to wear cute spring clothes, but for fear of extreme coldness, I have not yet deviated from my winter pants uniform. brrrr. There must be a knitted solution to this temperature dilemma, right?

Enter the Gloworm legwarmers. Perfect for in-office wearing, and equally cool-looking with skirts or pants. Also okay even if one forgets to take them off while dashing out for gummi bears.

I plan to follow the pattern for these legwarmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, using these 3 yarns held together:

Peruvian_wool_celery.jpg Habu_Kusa_mohair.jpg lana_gatto_mohair.jpg

Peruvian Highland Wool in Celery. 4 skeins remain from a Christmas gift.

Kusa Silk Mohair from Habu Textiles, shade 24

Lana Gatto Mohair Royal, color 2118.

One strand of each, on a size 8 12" circular needle. probably without a fancy cast-on, but one never knows what I will come up with.

Office warmness is all but ensured!

April 13, 2005

Glowing

The Gloworm Legwarmers are this much closer to keeping me warm:

glowworm_3yarns.jpg

I am loving this project. The combination of the three yarns is interesting. Initially, I thought it might be too fuzzy or too heavy, as the pattern only calls for one strand of mohair. ah no. Two strands just make them softer.

The Kusa Mohair Silk is a surprisingly fabulous yarn. In the picture above, its the coned yarn, in the middle. Maybe its the 40% silk content. It is subtley shiny and glowy and single-handedly makes the gloworm legwarmers *glow*. This is the first yarn I've worked with from Habu Textiles, and I am so very impressed.

Here's a close-up, check out the little glowy strands of Kusa Mohair:

glowworm_CloseUp.jpg

Today I am wearing really boring grayish/blackish machine-made legwarmers. They are super warm, but not much fun really. Can't wait for these to be done!

April 14, 2005

One Down

So the first legwarmer is done!

gloworm_onedone.jpg

The patten calls for the legwarmers to be 26 inches long. This is really long! I stopped mine at 21 inches. The 1x1 rib makes it a bulky-ish item as it is, so extra slouchy-ness is not ideal. I think the 26 inch version could be super comfortable to wear with skirts, per the model in the book. But underneath pants, a shorter version is more practical.

Legwarmers truly are a versatile item. I've never really worn them with any regularity, but really, they are for more than just cheesy 80s movies. They are a viable solution to all sorts of fashion dilemmas.

For example:

1. Post-boot weather when its still cold. Tired of your winter boots? ready to move on to cute spring flats even though the weather isn't? no problem! just pull on some legwarmers under a skirt or pants. They're equally as warm as boots, but cuter, and removable on those sneaky warm spring days.

2. Really cold offices. The weather outside might be sunny and 80 degrees, but in the office its brisk and 50. Who is in control of the thermostat? Rather than trying to solve this mystery, put your legwarmers to work. They also double as armwarmers in a pinch.

3. Minimal gym storage. Related to item one above, legwarmers are ideally suited to limited storage situations. There are these subminiature lockers at the NY Road Runners club, and leaving my winter boots unsecured makes me nervous. However, the equally warm flats+legwarmer combo is imminently storeable. Now there is no reason to skip workouts and risk becoming a huge running slacker like myself.

April 15, 2005

The end of the Mohair Royal

One of the mohair skeins has run out, and the legwarmers are not done! argh.

The tag on the Lana Gatto Mohair Royal states that it has 235 yards*. By the end of the first legwarmer, I knew that barring some sort of real miscalculation on the part of The Lana Gatto Yarn Manufacturing Company or rift in the mohair yardage-per-ounce continuum, it would run out. Yet I kept knitting. I thought, hey, its mohair, do they REALLY know the yardage on this? Its so skinny and light, they must add extra. That 235 number is just an estimate, right? Nope. It was pretty much dead on. Those mohair manufacturers, they know what they're talking about.

So here I am, one legwarmer of 20.5" and one legwarmer of 13".

gloworm_cannabalize.jpg

They way I see it, there are a couple options.

1. Buy more yarn. No no no, I do not want to buy more yarn. It would be okay if I actually liked it. But its kinda cheap feeling. There would be extra, and its not suited to a scarf. Perhaps some project would arise someday for which this mohair would be perfect, but there is enough yarn under my bed. No more.

2. Keep going without this yarn. It wouldn't change the gauge. Alas, the now-extinct mohair provides essential color. The top 7 inches of one legwarmer would be a visibly different shade. Can't do this. nope.

3. Steal yarn from the first legwarmer. Undo the bind-off edge on the first legwarmer and use that yarn to keep knitting the second. Keep undo-ing the first and knitting the second until they reach an equal length, somewhere around 16 inches. Now this is an idea.

Option 3 it is. The second legwarmer will cannibalize the first. This should be fun.

April 16, 2005

Gloworm Legwarmers Complete

Its April 16th, and I've just finished knitting a cold-weather item. Surely now it will be spring.

gloworm_done_model.jpg

Yarn: 3 strands held together: Peruvian Highland Wool in celery, Habu Textiles Kusa Silk Mohair in color 24, and Lana Gatto Mohair Royal in shade 2118
Gauge: didn't really check gauge, used size 8 12-inch circular needle
Finished Size: 16 inches
Pattern: from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Pattern Modifications: Used two strands of fingering-weight mohair instead of just one; adjusted the length from 26 to 16 inches due to lack of yarn.

gloworm_done_flat.jpg

Other Technical Notes:

Cast-on and Bind-off. One could easily use the Tubular cast-on and kitchener bind-off for a super professional look. I didn't do this, partly due to laziness, and partly because the yarn was so nice, it carried the project. If using a plain yarn, I'd go with the tubular cast-on and off.

Length. The 26" length specified by the pattern could really only be worn under skirts and loose pants. The legwarmers would be super comfy at that length, but I'd recommend shortening them for practicality.

I like these legwarmers. I am still not sure if I am really a legwarmer-wearer, but if I needed a pair to convince me, these would be it. The combination of worsted-weight wool with mohair strands makes a very soft fabric, similar to Rowan Kid Classic.

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