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Leg-warmers are back in style and can easily be made from the sleeves of old sweaters, even sweaters with holes! Just turn the sweater inside-out and cut the seam out at the arm-hole using sharp scissors. Next unravel the sleeve (from the top down) until the top is straight and level all around.
If you know how to knit or crochet, just loosely put one loop over the next (all around) until the area is "bound off" If you don't know how to knit or crochet just sew or (using fabric glue) tack each loop of yarn down inside the sleeve.
You can make your leg-warmers shorter by just unraveling more of the top (or cutting the yarn off, then turning it in, then zig-zagging or hand stitching) If you need to make the leg-warmers thinner, simply turn them inside-out and sew a seam up the inside, then zig-zag and cut off excess. I, myself leave the extra piece on and just tuck it down inside and tack it. This is good for a little extra warmth, but it also adds bulk.
For washable leg-warmers use acrylic sweaters, but for super-warm ones, use wool sweaters. For kids sizes, use kids sweaters. I've made lots of these using sweaters from thrift stores and they sure are warm and help keep your legs dry when it snows. Sometimes I'll even spray silicone on them as an added water repellent!
Wool sweaters (with or without alpaca/angora/cashmere) will shrink (felt) in hot water, and then they are amazingly dense and warm! No sewing or hemming needed. Long sleeves make leg warmers that stay up without elastic. Arm warmers are very cozy in cool or chilly weather, and great if your coat sleeves always seem too short. Wear them instead of mittens or gloves. They cover your wrists and hands almost as far as fingerless gloves and are so easy to make and enable you to keep the thermostat way down! Uses for the body of the sweater have been described in many places. Have fun!
By Toby from Berkeley, CA