A Labor of Love

47 inches of ribbing.
1,075 yard of sock yarn.
US 3 needles.

I feel like I could stop right there and not write anything else, and most knitters would understand what an undertaking these would. But I won't do that.

Guys. I knitted a pair of tights! I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I say that. Not because the project was difficult - it was super easy. But it took me almost 6 months! And there were definitely times when I thought they'd never be finished. There were a few things that kept me going: the first is that there are a lot of projects I want to knit in 2015, but I knew if I started anything else, I'd never finish these. So getting them off the needles early in 2015 became a real goal once I finished up my Christmas knitting. Secondly, every time I tried them on, I could tell that they were going to be so awesome once they were finished, and I was definitely not wrong there.

These are insanely warm, and so ridiculously comfortable that I'm pretty sure I could wear them every day. 

 (You probably never thought you'd see this many photos of my butt (or lack thereof))

The pattern is Tangerine Tights from Mel Clark's book Knitting Everyday Finery. I definitely bought this book for this pattern specifically, but it has a few other patterns in it that are definitely inching towards my "to knit" list. The instructions were pretty clear and easy to follow. I mean, it's basically just tall socks up until the crotch. I had to modify it a bit to knit them two-at-a-time, because I knew if I didn't, I'd make the first and never finish the second (it's best just to be honest with ourselves sometimes). Plus, this way I knew they were exactly the same, which is great peace of mind. I do wish there had been some more photos of the gusset for the crotch, but I'm a very visual learner, so photos are helpful for me sometimes.

The yarn I used was Knit Picks Stroll Tweed, a blend of wool and nylon, which I'm hoping will make these long-lasting tights. I bought the yarn during a sale, making it affordable at the same time. I used just over 4.5 skeins, so I've got about 300 yards left since I bought 6 skeins. I had my eye on using Cascade Heritage Sock yarn, but when I saw the tweed, I fell in love. 

I know I'm crazy, but I could totally fill my drawers with so many different pairs of knitted tights, in all different colors. I will, however, not knit them again in ribbing. I think had these just been stockinette stitch they probably would have gone a bit quicker. I'd also love to knit some up with cables.

I've heard this is what having a baby is like - you forget all the struggles of childbirth as soon as you feel the love for your child, and a few years later you do it all over again, even though you swore in the heat of childbirth that you would never do it again. The feeling of frustration I often felt while knitting what felt like neverending ribbing is already starting to fade, I can hardly remember declaring "I will NEVER knit another pair of tights", and I'm imagining myself with multiple pairs of these.

Can you blame me??

You can see more photos on my Ravelry project page, and more of my in-progress photos on my Instagram account, or by searching the hashtag #takingontights.

I want to thank every single one of you who helped motivated me with these. Every comment, either here, Ravelry, or Instagram, every email - they all helped keep me going. You guys are the best!


  1. Corinne Roffler1/4/15, 3:16 PM

    wow, these are so cool! You should wear them with as little clothes as possible, because they need to been seen.

  2. I love them SO much! They are truly special. And I'll tell you this: I think it's probably a good thing you didn't use Heritage. I've had a couple pairs of socks I made using it shrink and felt to the point of being unwearable. Enough of a drag on a pair of socks that takes me 8 hours - but tights! It would be terrible!!

  3. LOOOOOVE! I'm not sure if I'd have the patience for them, but they look fabulous and I can tell they fit you perfectly! great job

  4. MichelleCarter1/5/15, 11:33 AM

    Oh, Jennifer you're motivating me! Now I have to do the Kalaloch leggings. These are excellent. I love the stroll tweed! I could go on and on...

  5. Rachel Smith1/5/15, 11:37 AM

    These are fantastic!! Well done!! Happy new year :)

  6. SillyLittleLady1/5/15, 11:22 PM

    These are, as you know, the most stupendous knitted tights I have seen. So motivating, not only to take on tights necessarily, but to take on projects that you know will be time-consuming and potentially boring and so totally worth it. You rock!

  7. Woollen Wilderness1/6/15, 4:43 PM

    I have no words, these are so fantastic. I'd never have considered before to knit so much ribbing, but seeing how awesome the end result is I might just change my mind. Great job!

  8. www.tresbienensemble.com1/6/15, 5:00 PM

    Jennifer, these are incredible. Really. Truly. Incredible. They look like they fit you perfectly too. I want a drawer of knitted tights, but I have to get my mind in the game and ready to play. That's a lot of yards to knit!

  9. These are amazing! I've been dying to knit some tights for a few years--you've motivated me to get serious about it!

  10. These are so coooolll! I showed them to one of my friends at knit night last night and she said, "wow, that's hardcore!" So awesome and now I kind of want my summer project to be knitting myself a pair of tights for winter!

  11. Melissa Pritchett4/30/15, 7:25 PM

    I was working on a pair of these when I got discouraged! Its taking forever! So I thought I'd search pinterest for it and see who else had persevered thru this pattern. I love the color! It looks great and this post was just what I needed to push thru! Thank you for posting this! Love your blog. Might have to blog stalk you for a while.