In praise of the knitted skirt.

I have a feeling that knitted skirts might be a bit like Marmite, you either love them or you hate them. I am firmly in the love camp!

I do however have one caveat – it has the be the RIGHT knitted skirt!

My reflections on the knitted skirt began when I was flicking through an old copy of a Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine and came across the Flint pattern by Sarah Hatton. I remembered how much I had loved the pattern when I first got the magazine and considered making it now but then I thought a bit more about it and realised that a mid thigh length, 3 layer, 3 colour wrap over skirt that then needs to be felted is probably not the best option for a number of reasons;

  • my track record of felting means that my results would be unpredictable and potentially disastrous.
  • 3 layers of felted dk weight fabric which are then wrapped over each other is going to be way too much bulk around my middle.
  • mid thigh length skirts are not my friend, if I have to worry about flashing my knickers every time I move or can only wear it with leggings/ very thick tights then we have a problem.
  • 3 colours is 2 colours too many!

I then started thinking about the commercial knitted skirts that I have owned, some considerably more successful than others. I’ll start with the less successful ones. The first was a grey, textured, knee length straight skirt with an elasticated waist which ultimately just made me look like a frumpy school girl. Not the look I am going for. The elasticated waist was its only saving grace! I need more volume and more length and grey has no place in my wardrobe. The rest have really been the lower half of knitted dresses, generally a fine (lace weight at most) knitted fabric that was ribbed around the bottom and finished mid thigh. I think I have already covered the length issue but the ribbing around the bottom is a big no no and it just served to emphasise the width of my hips and the light weight fabric just seemed to show off every lump and bump and VPL.

The successful one however is a thing of beauty. It is a floor length, textured, flared  and lined skirt knitted in a heavy lace/ 4 ply weight yarn in a dark chocolate brown and it has an elasticated waist. I have worn this skirt on many occasions and at many dress sizes (including whilst heavily pregnant – it did however sit under my bump resisting on my hips at this point) and what I want it really something just like that. So what are the criteria for a perfect knitted skirt? Well for me it should be all of the following;

  • floor length
  • flared/ full
  • have an elasticated waist
  • be 1 solid colour, ideally a dark one
  • lightly textured
  • knitted in a 4ply – dk (at most) weight
  • lined so that it skims nicely over my body
  • oh and pockets would be amazing!

Essentially I want something similar to the bottom half of the Arwen Gown by Marie Wallin  but just a bit closer fitting at the waist.

Unfortunately I am rather lazy and even though I am only 5’5″ I am also currently a UK size 14-16 so the idea of knitting a skirt to fit me in a dark 4ply/dk weighy yarn makes me want to cry. It has just taken me 6 months to finish an aran weight cropped, 3/4 sleeve v neck cardigan so anything bigger will have to wait until I get my knitting mojo back properly. In the mean time though I will be dreaming of the perfect skirt pattern and wearing it whilst swishing about across open countryside filling my pockets with treasures.


About themanyknitsofnadine

Interested in all things crafty, I knit, spin, sew, crochet, quilt, grow my own and bake (although the baking these days is all allergy friendly) and I try and blog about all these things. I also host a bi-weekly podcast on incorporating slow living into all my crafty adventures
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