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Free Knitting Pattern: Baby Frog Legs

Baby legwarmers are genius. They’re cute, too, of course…but seriously…brilliant.

I call these “Baby Frog Legs” because the first thing my mom texted me after seeing a photo of newborn Harper was, “Awwwwww, baby frog legs!” You know, little babies always have their legs drawn up in a frog-like fashion. It’s extra-cute.

You can  put them with pants and socks while on a walk so baby’s ankles don’t get cold. You can put them on their arms for a funky (and functional) look. You can put them on with a diaper and a onesie to make changes really easy. You can put them on baby to protect her knees when she’s learning to crawl. Seriously…awesome!

BUT, the commercially produced ones are kind of expensive (especially for what they are – basically adult socks, made in China with the feet left off – they should be about $2 at the most). And honestly, I don’t want to just cut off the feet of cheap socks. I don’t know why I’m so against it – I guess I just don’t like the raw edges (even if they are serged).

Enter my free knitting pattern for baby legwarmers!

These are seriously easy-to-make, and there are dozens of amazing sock yarns out there to ensure your baby will be looking her (or his) styliest (did I just make up that word?). You can make them as long or short as you like, and if your baby is particularly thin or chubby, you can alter the pattern down or up.

So here you go!

  • Yarn: I used Shibui Sock in Spectrum – but any fingering/sock yarn will do.
  • Needle: 40″ Size 2 circular (for Magic Loop) or set of 4-5 Size 2 DPNs
  • Gauge: 7-8 stitches/1″
  • Skills required: Knit stitch, purl stitch, long-tail cast-on, sewn bind-off


    1. CO 42 stitches using long-tail cast-on method.
    2. Join to work in the round using whatever method you prefer. I used Magic Loop as shown in the video below.

    1. Work K1/P1 ribbing for 5 rounds. For the legwarmers pictured in this post, I double-stranded the yarn for the ribbed portions because I like them a little thicker. However, this effectively increased my gauge and caused the ribbing to not gather in like it normally does. If you want your ribbing to be a little thicker like mine, note that you might have to thread some elastic thread through the ribbing after you’re done to get the gathered-in effect that ribbing normally produces. (In fact, the elastic in the ribbing is a good idea either way.)  See this tutorial to learn more about adding elastic to your baby legwarmers.
    2. Work in stockinette stitch (knit every round) until work measures approximately 25cm. Commercially produced baby legwarmers are 20-25cm for newborns and 30-35cm for infants, but I like mine on the short side even for my six-month-old. You can make yours as long or short as you like.
    3. Switch back to K1/P1 ribbing, and work 5 rounds.
    4. BO using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-off (see video below). This is very important because you want the edge to be very stretchy! Don’t ruin your baby legwarmer with a basic bind-off! But don’t worry, the sewn bind-off is simple.

A few notes to make your baby legwarmers awesome:

  • If you use Magic Loop, don’t worry about getting an even number of stitches on each needle. Instead, put 20 on one and 22 on the other. This way, when you switch needles, you will always be starting with a knit stitch while you are working the ribbing. Otherwise, you might get confused and throw off the K1/P1 pattern.
  • I highly recommend you put the elastic in the ribbing as shown here and in my photos at the end of this post. Otherwise, your baby’s legwarmers will inevitably fall down. This is a common problem with all baby legwarmers – both hand-knitted ones and commercially produced ones. They are probably going to eventually come off anyway (babies love pulling at them), but this will up your odds of success.
  •  The baby shown in these photos is six-months-old, 26″ long and 18 pounds. I would say her legs are average – not too thin, not too chubby.
  • My finished baby legwarmers as shown are 3″ (7cm) wide and 9″ (23cm) long.
  • The Shibui Sock yarn is incredible – it feels slightly stiff while knitting, but after a good Eucalan soak, they are soft and squishy…just like my baby! :)
  • I recommend using a superwash wool so you can throw these in with the rest of the baby’s clothes in case…you know…an accident happens!

Here’s how the legwarmers look after the application of thread elastic through the ribbing:

Much better! And they actually stay up. I made the elastic a little tighter on the ankle cuff than the thigh cuff for obvious reasons. Here’s what it looks like on the inside of the legwarmer:

Happy knitting!

  • Cheryl

    I soooo want to try these! Alas, I bought a few commercial pairs last year and felt the same on the “footless sock” front. :-/ Thanks for the free pattern and tutorials!

  • Susan lewis

    Cute baby leg warmers. Thanks for the pattern.

  • K Shepard

    these are great, my cousin used these little leg warmers for her first baby and she just had another one so I am going to try to make these for her. Im just learning to knit so it may be a little difficult to do the ribbing but we will see

  • Lauren Kelloff

    you’re amazing. I love the tutorials. I’ve been knitting for a few years, but I don’t really know much. I’ve been knitting scarves and my own version of fingerless gloves. lol I’m starting to post some of my stuff on I hope I can do these, too.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you so much!

  • Rachel Kirby

    I am wanting to make these for a 2 year old. Any suggestions on how many sitches to cast on and how long to make them?

  • Josi Mae

    I love this pattern! I just made a pair for my 3 month old, but they seemed awfully tight on his little thighs, they look more like newborn size to me. Any idea what went wrong? I’m wanting to make another, bigger pair, but I’m not sure if I should CO more stitches or use a bigger needle size. 

    • Lauren

      Josi Mae – I would suggest casting on more stitches. Just make sure you use an even number. Your little guy must have some chubby thighs! ;)

    • Lauren Dahl

      I would definitely cast on more stitches to make them bigger. Good luck!!

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  • threadsofdesign

    What size is this for? I want to make some for my boss who is due in February. I want to make sure that they are small enough for a new born because it gets warm fast here in GA and I want her to actually be able to use them.

    • Lauren Dahl

      This pair is for a 6-month-old baby. It’s really tough to get a fit exactly right since babies’ legs vary so widely in chubbiness! If you want to make them smaller, simply cast on fewer stitches. :)

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  • Kate

    Thanks so much for this pattern! I’ve looked at baby leg warmers in stores and couldn’t convince myself to spend $12-$15 on a single pair and I feel the same about not wanting to just cut up a pair of socks… it just doesn’t look right. Anyway, this is a much more economical (and adorable) choice and my baby looks adorable in them.

  • Elissa

    Does one ball of yarn make one set of leg warmers? Or more? Just trying to figure out how much I should order! Thanks!

    • Miranda Pike

      I am wondering the same thing as above! Thanks!

      • Lauren Dahl

        Yes! One ball is all you need. :)

  • Mimi

    One of the easiest to understand patterns for beginners. Thank you! I can’t wait to make these for my baby girl. I haven’t knit since 5th grade, but this pattern has inspired me. I voted for you. I just would like to ask what you mean by double-stranding the yarn. Btw, Harper is freaking adorable!!

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  • Heather Moss

    So bummed to just now be finding this! I just spent $$ on leggings as gifts for friends and I could have made them! I will def be using this pattern in the futures, thank you!

  • smoo

    Is that a purple cloth diaper your baby is in? If so, did you make that cover? Thanks a million for sharing, I will be sure to post my results!

    • lauren

      The diaper cover is a Bummis Super Lite as seen here:

  • Brenda Whatley

    I want to learn how to knit.

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  • Samantha Baker

    Really like this and looking forward to making these soon, but do I have to use 40″ circular needles or can I use shorter?

    • lauren

      Samantha – You could try…but I’m not sure it would work very well for magic loop. You should go with either DPNs or the longer needle. I just don’t think there would be enough cord with anything shorter than 40″ for that method.

  • Rachael C.

    These look so cute! My sister is due next month and I’m excited about making these. She and her hubby are football fans, so I’m going to try to create a football pattern down the front to look like the stiching on a football. We’ll see how successful I am. Thanks for the pattern and the great helps!

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  • Leah

    Wow I love this pattern- i would wear it all the time, it’s so cute!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Oh thanks, Leah!

  • Marie Stevens

    I love these