How to Knit a Skirt

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Use stockinette and garter stitch for a form-fitting knit skirt.
Use stockinette and garter stitch for a form-fitting knit skirt. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

A knitted skirt can keep you warm and stylish in a handmade creation of your very own. Customize the fit to your proportions and you will have a skirt that matches your size perfectly. If you have a basic understanding of knit stitches, and if you can knit in the round, you can knit a skirt. The simplicity of the straight style makes this skirt suitable for a moderate beginning knitter, and more advanced knitters can customize the instructions with varied stitch patterns or shaping.

Things You'll Need

  • Circular knitting needle
  • Yarn
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Elastic
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine

Knit a gauge swatch. To do this, use the yarn you want for your skirt and a circular needle in a size that corresponds to the yarn label recommendations. Cast on 20 stitches, and knit in stockinette stitch -- alternate rows of knit and purl -- for 5 inches. Bind off gently. With a tape measure, measure how many stitches fill an inch horizontally in your swatch; call this measurement A. Now measure how many rows fill an inch vertically; call this measurement B.

Measure around the widest part of your hips, and round up to the nearest inch. Multiply this by measurement A; this is the number of stitches you will need to cast on for your project. Measure from your waist to the part of your leg where you want the hem of your skirt to fall, then add 1 inch. Multiply this number by measurement B, and that is how many rows you will have to knit for your skirt.

Cast on the number of stitches you just calculated. Use a circular needle that is slightly smaller than the measurement of the widest part of your hips to knit this skirt. Join the stitches to work in the round, and knit in stockinette stitch; since you are knitting in the round, you will knit every stitch of every round. Use a stitch marker placed after the last stitch of the round to help you remember when you have completed one full round. Continue knitting until you are 2 inches short of your desired length measurement.

Knit the last 2 inches of your skirt in garter stitch. Since you are knitting in the round, you need to alternate knit rounds with purl rounds. Making a garter stitch hem on the skirt will keep the bottom hem from rolling up when you wear the skirt. Bind off loosely. Cut the working yarn, and weave in the loose ends with a large-eye, blunt needle.

Make the waistline of the skirt. Cut a length of elastic that is 1 inch shorter than the measurement of your waist. Turn the skirt inside out, and fold down the top by 1/2 inch. Sew this waistband all the way around, leaving a 2-inch opening. Attach the elastic to a safety pin, and thread it through the waistband, then overlap the ends slightly, and sew the elastic into a circular shape. Sew the waistband closed, and turn the skirt right side out to wear it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use variegated yarn for a colorful skirt.
  • Instead of making the hem with garter stitch, you can end with stockinette and add a crocheted edging.
  • Create alternative waistband or hemline options by knitting the first rows in a ribbing or other stretch stitch to eliminate the need for elastic.
  • Knit a lace pattern and line the skirt with stretch fabric in a matching or contrasting color for a different look.
  • Add increases to flare the skirt out more, or decreases for a closer-fitting style.
  • Use heavier, thicker yarn to make the skirt suitable for fall and winter, or lighter, thinner yarn for spring and summer.
  • Do not machine wash a wool skirt.

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