Clowning Around: Part Three: Knitted Leg-Warmers

Clowning Around: Part Three: Knitted Leg-Warmers

I’ve made my dress from my pattern and now it’s time to jazz up my daughter’s clown costume with some funky accessories. Since the skirt of the dress is quite short I thought it would look cute with some striking stripey flared leg warmers. While I was buying the fabric for the dress I grabbed a couple of balls of wool in red and yellow for these and some matching arm bands (which you can find a tutorial for in part four).

These leg warmers are designed to start just above the knee and finished at the ankle with a flare – if you want a different length, say starting just below the knee, you’ll have to bare this into consideration when you are measuring.


Everyone knits at different tensions and of course many factors such as needle size and wool type / size makes a difference to the size of each finished piece. To ensure the correct measurement of these pieces I first knitted myself a test patch 30 stitches x 30 rows and measured this piece to roughly work out how much I would need for each leg warmer using the same wool and needles. I worked out that approximately 4 stitches would yield an inch in width and as far as the length goes I was happy to keep measuring the piece as I knitted until it was the desired length.

I got my daughter to stand straight and still, measured her from the knee downward and around her ankle at the point I wanted the leg warmers to flare around and…

…Heres the basic knit pattern I used for each piece (which of course will be subject to your alterations as necessary but as with the dress pattern, I am hoping these details will give you an idea).

To create a piece roughly 13″ x 13″

(Explanation of measurements: 13″ x 13″ will achieved a rough square of knit. The top will be folded over to create a turn over of around 1.5″. Once sewed together to create a tube for the warmer the piece will be attached together along a diagonal, the bottom to be flared as so will measure the 13″ knitted and the top to be cut to size and elasticated to fit the smaller circumference of the top of her knee – if this is too confusing, don’t panic, read ahead as the pictures will help explain this better as the tutorial continues.)

  • Size 4.5 mm Needles
  • Wool, 100% Acrylic Aran Wool
  • Cast on in Red; 50 Stitches

(If you’re new to knitting, this video tutorial will show you how to cast on with one needle)

  • Row 1: Pearl all in red
  • Row 2: Knit all in red
  • Row 3: Pearl all in red
  • Row 4: Knit all in red
  • Row 5: Pearl all in red
  • Row 6: Knit all in red
  • Row 7: Knit all in red (this is where the fold of the turn-over at the top of the leg warmer will be created – just like the top of a sock!)
  • Row 8: Pearl all in red
  • Row 9: Knit all in red
  • Row 10: Pearl all in red
  • Row 11: Knit all in red
  • Row 12: Pearl all in red

Now add your yellow wool: Here’s another video to show you how:

  • Row 13: Knit in yellow
  • Row 14: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 15: Knit in yellow
  • Row 16: Pearl in yellow

From this point in, until the very end you’ll be knitting four rows in red (K,P,K,P) and four in yellow (K,P,K,P) to create your stripes. remember.

  • Row 17: Knit in red
  • Row 18: Pearl in red
  • Row 19: Knit in red
  • Row 20: Knit in red
  • Row 21: Knit in yellow
  • Row 22: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 23: Knit in yellow
  • Row 24: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 25: Knit in red
  • Row 26: Pearl in red
  • Row 27: Knit in red
  • Row 28: Knit in red
  • Row 29: Knit in yellow
  • Row 30: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 31: Knit in yellow
  • Row 32: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 33: Knit in red
  • Row 34: Pearl in red
  • Row 35: Knit in red
  • Row 36: Knit in red
  • Row 37: Knit in yellow
  • Row 38: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 39: Knit in yellow
  • Row 40: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 41: Knit in red
  • Row 42: Pearl in red
  • Row 43: Knit in red
  • Row 44: Knit in red
  • Row 45: Knit in yellow
  • Row 46: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 47: Knit in yellow
  • Row 48: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 49: Knit in red
  • Row 50: Pearl in red
  • Row 51: Knit in red
  • Row 52: Knit in red
  • Row 53: Knit in yellow
  • Row 54: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 55: Knit in yellow
  • Row 56: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 57: Knit in red
  • Row 58: Pearl in red
  • Row 59: Knit in red
  • Row 60: Knit in red
  • Row 61: Knit in yellow
  • Row 62: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 63: Knit in yellow
  • Row 64: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 65: Knit in red
  • Row 66: Pearl in red
  • Row 67: Knit in red
  • Row 68: Knit in red
  • Row 69: Knit in yellow
  • Row 70: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 71: Knit in yellow
  • Row 72: Pearl in yellow
  • Row 73: Knit in red
  • Row 74: Cast off on a pearl

(This way I have a small strip of red at the end for stitching the ruffled trim along the bottom.)

If your pieces are curling up at  the edges you can take a cool iron and with a damp tea towel on top of each piece gently iron out until your pieces are easier to work with.

Next I pinned over my turn overs which will form the top piece of each leg warmer

and carefully stitched them into place

At this point I’d like to make it clear that if you prefer to hand sew these together with a large wool needle and wool that’s absolutely fine. Using the machine is simply a personal preference of mine and there are no hard and fast rules here. The wool here is much thicker than fabric that would normally go through a machine so I sewed this piece with the foot up and turned the wheel manually by hand.

Remembering the measurement I’d taken and jotted down of the circumference of the area just above my daughters knee where I want the top of the warmer to sit and allowing around 1″ – 1.5″ extras since the area will be elasticated I folded the piece in half with the reverse on the outside and pinned at a diagonal to form my flare.

I stitched along this line using a machine like before and trimmed the excess

I then hand sewed the edges to ensure the piece holds together and doesn’t fray

If, unlike me, you are really good at knitting then you could easily knock up a piece that was flared without cutting down and stitching like this. If you’re terrible at knitting you could just make the leg warmers with fabric.

Even though I’ve stitched the openings of the top fold together I can still insert my elastic by using a safety-pin and threading it through one of the holes in the knit itself at the point of the stitch line on the inside.

Once I have it all the way round, exit the fold in the same way and tie the elastic together at the back, trim the excess and tuck into the back of the leg warmer.

To finish the piece, add a red silky ruffled trim around the bottom in the same way as I showed you on the dress in part two of this tutorial

Stich along the red edge that you allowed yourself while knitting

Do the same for the second warmer and voila! Two super cute and funky 70’s style clown striped leg warmers!

Don’t forget to check out part nine below to see them with the full outfit!

If you’re completely new to knitting Video Jug has a great selection of video tutorials from the real basics to the pro stuff: Click here to visit Video Jug


Clowning Around: Part One: The Pattern

Clowning Around: Part Two: Making The Dress

Clowning Around: Part Three: The Underskirt

Clowning Around: Part Four: Knitted Leg-Warmers

Clowning Around: Part Five: Knitted Armbands

Clowning Around: Part Six: Bow Tie

Clowning Around: Part Seven: Hair Ribbons

Clowning Around: Part Eight: Baton with Swirly Ribbons

Clowning Around: Part Nine: Full Materials Needed Breakdown

Clowning Around: Part Ten: Final Full Outfit Images

Clowning Around: Part Eleven: The Carnival Parade Goes Live!

(Please Note: This tutorial is presently still a work in progress and not all of the parts are available yet, please either bookmark the homepage or follow us through Networked Blogs, the WordPress RSS Feed, hit the email subscription box on the right column, or add us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates. Thank You.)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Clowning Around: Part Two: Making The Dress | Lily P Chic
  2. Trackback: Clowning Around: Part One: The Dress Pattern | Lily P Chic

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