Swatching for the Fuzzy Pants

As a professional ballet dancer and teacher, I wear tights and a leotard 7 days a week.  In the summer, it’s easy to keep the studio warm enough for muscles to stay warm and limber, and for warmup I wear pants made of rip stop nylon.  No, really. These ones.

For winter, though, I often need an extra layer. For that, I like heavier knit tights/pants that go over my leo and dance tights, but are thin enough to fit under my rip stop pants. (Ballet dancers dress in layers. Lots and lots of layers.) Leg warmers are fine for a sore ankle, but I really like something that comes all the way up over my hips and can be rolled down to give extra warmth to my grumpy lower back.

I had a pair of fuzzy pants that I liked well enough. I think they were made by Sansha, but the tag got cut out years ago, so I’m not sure. They finally started to wear through at the heels after 3 or 4 years of constant use. I bought a new pair, these ones, because I wanted a rollover waist. I liked them at first, although they weren’t quite long enough in either the legs or the waist, and they were a bit baggy around the ankles on me. But now, less than 2 months later, they’ve completely worn through at the heels.

So now I’m making my own. The good news is that I have both of my old pairs to make a pattern from, and some experience sewing pants, so I’m familiar with the general shape of the pieces I’ll be making.

I made some swatches last night, from both the Knit Picks Stroll that I got for the body of the pants, and from the Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky that I got for a felted heel patch.  I’m amazed at how soft the Stroll yarn is.  It feels, to my wool sensitive fingers, like a cotton/acrylic blend, but there isn’t a hint of squeak on the needles.  The Wool of the Andes is rougher, but it still doesn’t give me hives, and on size 10 Addi Turbos, it moves right along and actually feels smoother while I’m knitting it than it does in the ball.  Now on to wash/felt them, and see what happens to the various rib stitches I tried out!


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