knitted: redemption of a 12 year-old (handspun legwarmers)

It was the fall of 1983 and I was in seventh grade. Flashdance had been released that spring and all of a sudden, legwarmers were everywhere.

My friend Stephanie had gotten a pair in soft pink. They were so beautiful and feminine. Mine were rainbow striped. I thought they rocked.

I was sitting in English class one day, wearing my rainbow-striped legwarmers with a red miniskirt. I thought I looked good. Until after class was over and Chris Jones, who’d been sitting next to me, said, “You know, with your curly red hair and those bright legwarmers, you look like a clown.” I was crushed. I never wore legwarmers again.

Until, now, baby!

I’m dedicating these to my 12 year-old self with her fragile self-esteem.

I improvised these with the goal of slouchy legwarmers that would still stay up. I knit the first one way too long – I mean, it was the perfect length, but I had to rip back in order to have enough yarn for the next one. This is my handspun, from the HelloYarn July fiber, “Patchwork.”

I called them "Jam" because I got the idea from my "Toast" mitts, and what goes better with toast than jam? (and coffee, of course). I just wanted to knit a straight slouchy tube. After a first go, though, I realized I really did need some ribbing. My goal was ribbing that was loose enough to not hug the ankle, and a calf that also wasn’t fitted.

I’m really pleased with the looseness around the ankles. I love pulling them down over my feet.

for Rav: Jam legwarmers

I love that they are stripey and mismatched. I love that they both have pink around the cuff. I love that every time I wear them, I feel like I am sending a little hug back to the 12 year-old I once was.

for Rav: Jam legwarmers


15 thoughts on “knitted: redemption of a 12 year-old (handspun legwarmers)

  1. Lord, can I relate to that – your 12-year-old self and my 12-year-old self went to different schools together and 20 years apart … 8-(

    The leg warmers are terrific, however: very nice work!

  2. Adorable. I was 16 when I learned to knit–legwarmers on 4 different sizes of dpns. It was a few years before Flashdance came out–I remember dancing to it in college. Thanks foe reviving the memory.

  3. The pretty pink toes peeking out, oh so sweet! It screams Valentine’s Day! My little girl’s dance instructor wears leg warmers at ALL the ballet classes, I LOVE them! I love the reference to Leslie’s toast – Jam is perfect! Happy-happy.

  4. He only said that because he’d never witnessed the glory of Rainbow Brite!

    Perhaps somewhere in an alternate universe, he is a drag queen, and he dresses as you, in a hope that his homage will serve as his penance 😉

  5. Pingback: Fashion Friday :: let’s talk about legwarmers | earthchicknits

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