We spent a full day in the yoga studio yesterday, which marked Day One of our Teacher Training Programme. Twenty two potential teachers from all walks of life gathered for introductions and a study of our first asana, Tadasana, the foundation of all standing poses.
It was a good time to put theory into practice and test the legwarmers I had designed for Sarah. I wore them throughout the day, mostly to keep warm, but they stay in place during practice and don't slide on the wooden floors in the studio. They are quick to knit and fit a variety of sizes; remember that they will stretch, so you want them to fit tightly on your feet.
If you're using the recommended yarn, or any other non-superwash yarn, you will have to hand wash the leggings. I don't mind washing hand knit socks with care. I enjoy it and take pleasure in blocking my socks to the size and shape I require. If you leave them near a hot air register to dry, the leggings will be ready for your next trip to the yoga studio.
Sarah's Soxy Legwarmers
I designed these legwarmers with some shaping in the leg, ankle and the foot, so that the sock would stay up when worn. Both toe and heel are open so that the sock can be worn during practice; the shaping at instep and arch keeps the foot secure. These legwarmers use 2-50 gram balls of Noro Bonbori, a blend of 94% wool, 6% nylon. The socks will stretch when worn, so be sure to knit them to fit tightly. The socks fit a variety of people—this pair fits nicely over my straight-legged yoga pants, while Sarah wears hers over leggings. Try them on as you go. It’s easy to add or subtract stitches to get the perfect fit for you. Remember that socks are knit with negative ease, smaller than your foot and leg.
2-50 gram balls of Noro Bonbori, 94% wool; 6% nylon. 80 metres per ball. I used almost all the yarn for this pair. Be sure to buy sufficient yarn to complete your project. If you are lengthening the legwarmers, you will need at least one more ball of yarn.
Double pointed needles; 2 circular needles or 1—40 inch/100 cm long circular needle to work the sock using the method of your choice. I used Magic Loop for this pair. Size 4 mm or size required to give correct gauge. Blunt Tapestry needle, stitch marker.
Gauge: 4 sts/inch/2.5 cm on 4 mm needles in stockinette stitch. (Knit every round.)
Finished size after blocking at top: 11 inches/27.5 cm, at ankle 8 inches/20 cm, at foot 7 inches/17.5 cm.
Using the needles required for your technique, cast on 40 sts. Place marker on right needle and join to work in the round.
K1,P1 for 8 rounds or to desired depth of ribbing.
Knit 10 rounds then begin decreasing by K2tog after the marker, knit to 2 stitches before marker, SSK. Continue decreasing every 4th round until 32 stitches remain. Work 16 rounds even, then knit 4 rounds in K1, P1 ribbing for the ankle shaping.
Cast off for heel: Arrange your stitches so that you have 8 stitches on either side of the marker and your working yarn is at the right hand side of those stitches. With the right side of the work facing you, bind off 16 stitches in K1, P1 ribbing. Work around instep in K1, P1 ribbing. Turn work. With wrong side of work facing you, work across the instep stitches to the gap created by the heel bind off. Turn work and continue in ribbing around the foot to the other side of the heel gap.
Cast on 10 stitches in K1, P1 ribbing, placing a marker after the fifth stitch to mark the beginning of the round. (Note: If you have a wide foot, cast on 12 stitches and work the rest of the sock over 28 stitches.)
Work in K1, P1 ribbing over these 26 stitches for 4 rounds. Continue in stockinette stitch for 10 rounds. (Note: You can continue to work in ribbing throughout the foot. I found that doing so added extra bulk.) K1, P1 ribbing for 4 rounds. Bind off loosely in ribbing.
Using your tapestry needle, weave in all ends, reinforcing any loose areas between heel and instep stitches.
Wash the leggings in a no rinse wool wash product. Roll the leggings in a towel to remove excess moisture. Dry flat, blocking to shape. Enjoy!
Note added December 2013: In typical Noro fashion, this yarn has now been discontinued. You can substitute any wool yarn with the approximate yardage (88 yards/50 grams) and a stitch gauge of approximately 4 stitches per inch.)