Putting on the Pleats

You may remember from past blog posts that I knitted my first-ever skirt this year. I had resisted knitted skirts because I didn’t appreciate that they really could be flattering. But over the past year, I’ve seen several that appealed to me and I determined that I’d give it a try.

I’ve named this skirt Putting on the Pleats because it has pleats as I really do like to put it on. I’ve just posted the pattern (in four sizes) on Ravelry and the pattern page on my website.


The photo above was taken by my photographer friend (Lisa Loubiere). The model is about a size 000, so we had to clip the back of the skirt to make it hang right on her. In truth, I made the skirt to fit me and I think it’s only fair to show it on a “real” body. Amy Herzog took a photo of me wearing the same skirt at the Knitter’s Review Retreat in Canandaigua, New York, last weekend.


She even took a detail:


I absolutely love this skirt! I wore it two days at the retreat and again this week when I went out to dinner with a couple of girlfriends.

If you’re ready to knit yourself a skirt, respond to this blog to enter your name in a drawing for a free pdf.

Putting on the Pleats

Worked in Wollmeise Pure (a fingering weight wool yarn) at 7.5 stitches/inch, this skirt fabric is firm but lightweight. It’s designed to have about 1” (2.5 cm) negative ease around the waist and hips for a slimming fit. Four darts shape the upper hips, then purl stitches are added between stockinette-stitch “pleats” to provide flare toward the lower edge. Twisted stitches are worked along each edge of the stockinette sections for crisp pleat definition. The bind-off produces slight scallops around the lower edge, which add to the overall appeal. The skirt shown measures 18” long but, because it’s worked from the top down, it’s easy to adjust the length.

My First Skirt

While waiting out the rain and watching news of the flood and clean-up  unfold these past weeks, I keep my fingers busy knitting away on my first-ever skirt.

Finished skirt

I have a friend who likes to say, “just because you can knit a skirt, it doesn’t mean you should,” or something to that effect. Well, I’m pretty delighted with the results and I can’t wait for the weather to turn cool!

Travel Knitting

Last week I accompanied my husband to a conference in Manchester, England. We went a few days early and toured a bit of Scotland, too. The flights were ideal for working round and round on my pleated skirt.

Pleat progress 1

I had planned to knit while we drove through the Scottish countryside but the roads were so narrow and twisty and I was so afraid that we’d veer onto the wrong side of the road that I mostly clutched the seat instead.

For the Love of Pleats

I’m having fun knitting my very first skirt. After I got to my hip circumference, I added purl stitches to define wide pleats.

Beginning pleat

You can hardly see them here, but they’re after every 14th stitch. To make the stockinette stitches stand out in sharp relief against the purl stitches, the knit stitches on each side of the purls are knitted through the back loop. I’m loving the crisp lines!

‘Round and ‘Round

There’s something comforting about knitting around and around in stockinette stitch.

For this, my very first skirt, I knitted for 2″ for the waistband facing, purled a round for a turning ridge, then knitted 2″ more for the waistband. I plan to sew the cast-on edge to the turning round, then insert 2″ elastic in the casing so the skirt will grow with me (wink).

Upper hip increase

As I approach the upper hip, I’m working “dart” increases — two in the front and two in the back.

Another Beginning

At The Loopy Ewe’s Spring Fling back in April, I fell in love with the idea of knitting a skirt when I saw the skirt that Claudia from Wollmeise was working on. I don’t know what possessed me because I’ve never considered knitting a skirt before — maybe it was Claudia’s beautiful Wollmeise yarn (which is distributed by The Loopy Ewe).

Anyway, I bought three skeins in a beautiful dark teal called Moses and have been eying it hungrily all summer. I finally knitted a swatch (7.5 stitches/inch; 11 rounds/inch) and came up with a plan for a wide pleated skirt. I cast on 242 stitches for the waist.

cast on

I have a lot of travel planned for the next couple of months, which will give me plenty of opportunity to knit. At 7.5 stitches/inch, this isn’t going to be a quick knit!