Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gansey Legwarmers

Yes, some knitting! Oh, the knitting. It's been a hard road this summer. After I finished the pocket-on-a-string, which, by the way, I've been using all summer and love to bits and thank goodness I decided to line it, I tried some cabled gloves. I messed up the cable, a whole bunch of stitches fell off the needles when I tried to fix it, and I turned the glove back to yarn. Then I tried a doily. A whole bunch of stitches fell off the needle while I was trying to switch from DPNs to a circular, I got frustrated, and I turned it back to string. So I decided to forget the cables, forget the lace, but maybe, just maybe, I could handle some knits and purls? You think? (In my defense, my fingers have been hurting all summer. They don't seem to work right. But still.)

These are the Gansey Leg Warmers from Interweave Knits Weekend 2011, which I saw while buying the circular for the ill-fated doily and decided to bring home with me. If you click over to the Ravelry pattern page, you'll see that mine are a bit less slouchy than the originals. I swapped out yarns, using Reynolds Soft Sea Wool that I already had, so my gauge was a little off. I don't mind, since these still reach from my ankle to my knee. (Is Reynolds still making yarn anymore? I can't find a good link to share. I'm really out of the whole yarn-buying groove and I have no idea what's out there. I could not buy yarn for years and still knit away.)

If I'd been paying attention, I could have just added a few more repeats of something or other to each leg, but I wasn't, so I didn't. I had two skeins of natural and two of grey, and while I think these would look great all in natural, I didn't think 100 g would do it. (I was right; these took 113 g.)

The pattern has you doing four different repeats and gives you the order, but you only do the star repeat once, and it's not in the middle. This drives me a little batty, but since I was going to be batty anyway, I decided to do that one in grey for the first legwarmer. (You can tell that more easily in the top photo; the star is in grey on the right legwarmer.) To continue the apparent theme of utter randomness begun by the pattern, I knit one of the diamond repeats in grey on the second legwarmer.

When I finished weaving in ends and showed my husband, he said, "Are you going to wear those?" Well, that was the general idea, yes. I love the Reynolds Soft Sea Wool; it's so smushy and soft (truth in advertising!). But it doesn't wear well as a sock, despite having all that sock pattern support. But I can wear these under jeans, or over leggings with a skirt, because you know what? It gets cold here in the winter. I hate being cold.

I maybe even got my knitting groove back in time for autumn, because I'm wanting to cast on something new...

(We fared remarkably well during Tropical Storm Irene--she got downgraded before she reached us--much, much better than most of the state, since we never even lost power. We've gained a couple extra days of summer vacation, too, and I'm thrilled. School shouldn't start in August in New England.)


Rose Red said...

You are myl third knitting friend to make leg warmers...and I have to say I am coming around to the idea for myself! Definitely a go-er with boots and a long skirt, I think! And yay for the return of knitting mojo!

lamina@do a bit said...

Gosh I remember wearing legwarmers in the 80's .. my first pair were black with gold specks through them.. I LOVED them :)
Yours look great and I'm sure they will keep you nice and toasty :)

Glad your ok after the tropical storm - Irene... phew!!! :)

Bells said...

i'm with rosered. I'm coming around too. Sure, they have a bit of an 80s thing going on but i think we can reinvent them for the (now not so) new century. I love them.

I remember knitting with Reynolds that you sent me and loved it. It really is very smooshy.

Michelle said...

Yay for cute knitting!

I have a sensory thing with leg warmers. It's the same with 3/4 sleeves. Cover the leg, don't cover the leg, make up your mind! hehe, but OVER some leggings would be nice! Leggings are never warm enough alone in the winter. Even down here.

Donna Lee said...

the last (and only) time I wore leg warmers when I dislocated my ankle and they put me in a fiberglass cast. It was scratchy and hurt the skin on my other leg at night when I was trying to sleep. I found a pair of bright pink legwarmers on clearance somewhere and they fit over the cast (which gives you some idea of their size!) and kept my skin from getting scratched.

Yours look great! I like the randomness of them.

amy said...

@RoseRed--If I wore my boots with a skirt, the legwarmers would be completely hidden--which might be okay. (Man, I love those boots. They almost make winter bearable.)

Thanks, @lamina--we got off amazingly easy with the storm, and now school doesn't start until next Tuesday. I'm ecstatic!

@Michelle--I can't stand 3/4 length sleeves. Why would I want my wrists to be cold?!?!

@everyone--yes, I'm having some sort of flashback thing going on, what with the friendship bracelets and the legwarmers. I'll have to rustle up a can of AquaNet next. ;)