Knitting used to be very popular in the 1930s and 1940s and there were many knitting patterns available. The availability of inexpensive, machine-made knitted garments caused hand knitting to fall out of favour for a while. However, there were always some dedicated fans who never gave up the tradition. The Internet appears to have revived interest in this creative craft, assisting loyal knitters who want to support each other, trade patterns and pass on the tradition. Although baby clothes, hats and sweaters remain the most commonly hand-knitted garments, it is also possible to create a beautiful and unique child's skirt.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 284gr. cotton yarn, worsted weight
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Size 7 (4.5mm) knitting needles (or size to obtain specified knitting gauge)
- Size 7 (4.5mm) circular knitting needles (or size to obtain specified knitting gauge) in 24-inch length
- Size 7 (4.5mm) circular knitting needles (or size to obtain specified knitting gauge) in 16-inch length
- Safety pin
- Yarn needle
- 1 inch wide elastic
Cast on 20 stitches and knit 20 rows in stockinet stitch with regular straight needles to verify your knitting tension. Change the needle size if necessary to ensure a knitting gauge of 20 stitches and 20 rows (rounds) equals 4 inches. Discard this sample swatch.
Cast on 200 stitches with the 24-inch circular needle for the bottom edge of the skirt. Work one row in knit stitch. Mark the point where the end of your first row meets the last cast-on stitch. Use a stitch marker or safety pin so you can track the number of rows knitted. Work the next round in purl stitch. Repeat for fourmore rows for a total of 6 rows from the edge.
Knit one round, increasing evenly around the circle, adding 1 stitch after every 10 stitches for a total increase of 20 stitches in the round. Work these 220 stitches in stockinet stitch until the knitting measures 12 inches from the cast on edge.
Change to 16-inch circular needles and knit 2 stitches together all the way around the circumference. Purl one row with these 110 stitches. Knit 10 more rows and cast off loosely.
Fold the waistband in half towards the wrong side of the skirt. The cast off edge will meet the purled row. Stitch in place using the same yarn from the skirt. Leave a gap of about 1/2 inch.
Measure the circumference of the child's waist. Cut a length of elastic 1 inch longer than this waist measurement. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic. Insert the elastic into the gap left in Step 5 and thread it all the way through the waistband. Overlap the edges of the elastic by 1/2 inch. Sew the two ends of the elastic together and then stitch the gap closed.
Tips and warnings
- The directions given here will make a skirt to fit a 2 to 3 year old child. For larger sizes, cast on 20 extra stitches for each larger size. In the increase row, you will add 10 per cent of the stitches you started with. For example, if you begin by casting on 220 stitches, add 22 additional stitches in your increase row.
- Using a variegated yarn will produce an interesting, multicoloured pattern in the skirt.
- Block the knitting when you have competed the garment. This can be done by laying it flat on an ironing board and pressing with a damp cloth.
- Check your knitting gauge carefully before you start to prevent incorrect sizing of the finished garment.
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