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knitting pleats

darlaki | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

I have been knitting for over 50 years, but have neve knitted a pleated skirt. I am now knitting one for my granddaughter and am having a ptoblem. Anybody that can help me would be greatly appreciated!!!!  After knitting the body, consists of knitting and purling it says on next row to slip 6 stitches on to a double-pointed needle, slip another 6 stitches on second  double pointed needle, turn the 2nd needle so wrong sides of both needles are tog. Align left-hand needle behind the 2 double-pointed needles and knit tog the first st from each of the 3 needles(pleat made). Rep 15 times more. What happens to the other 5 stitches on the double-pointed needles?


I am really confused.


  1. Jean | | #1

    It would appear to me that your three needles are lined  up in a Z to make a pleat, and you knit together a stitch off from each needle 6 times in all. Repeat. 

    654321  All the 1s are knit together, then all the 2s ,etc.
    654321  Without seeing the rest of the pattern, this is my best guess.

  2. stitchmd | | #2

    For the time being they probably stay on the double points. Sounds like you need a lot of double points! How many sets of needles does the pattern call for? Is there any mention of stitch holders?

    As for what happens in the future you have one good guess, but the best thing would be to read the rest of the pattern and if you still can't understand the instructions ask again.

    1. JeanetteR | | #3

      Darla,  Jean's directions sound right to me.  You shouldn't have any stitches left over on any needles except the two actual knitting needles once each 'repeat' or pleat is completed.  You knit through three stitches at once, six times to make each pleat.  So you use up 18 stitches for each pleat.  The 'cable' or double-ended needles are just there to enable you to position the pleat before knitting it into place by making one stich into what was three.

      Done the way your directions are quoted, all the pleats will face the same direction.  This could be varied as box pleats depending if you reverse the directions of the cable needles on alternating pleats.  " Each pleat has a face, turnback and underside" . This is so easy to explain with a peice of paper, or in person, and so difficult to write down! If you have access to the Reader's Digest book of Sewing and Knitting, it is on p485 (1993 edition).

      1. darlaki | | #4

        Thanks for the info, it just seemed so complicated to me but I knew there had to be an easy way to do it.

      2. darlaki | | #5

        Hi again, Have any idea how I could get a copy of the referenced Readers Digest 1993 edition of Sewing and Knitting, I went to a couple of different sites and no luck. Do you have access to a scanner that you could scan the page to me?

        1. JeanetteR | | #6


          The instructions are probably in all the editions, just on different pages as the book got revised.  I'm afraid I do not know how or where to access it on the web.

          DH has put a new whiz-bang scanning (HP scan-jet wizard, if anyone out there can tell me how to use it!?) programme on the computer and I really don't know how to upload the scanned document into this chat site format.  It cannot just copy, switch programmes and paste it in, tied that.  If you'd like to email me, i'll then be able to send it to you.

          It's not much simpler than the written instructions, but they say a picture tells a thousand words!

          1. darlaki | | #7

            HI AGAIN


            THANKS AGAIN


          2. rjf | | #8

            Can you tell us what seems to be going wrong?  Tomorrow I'm going to my knitting group and since I'm not working on anything really interesting, I'll try some pleats while I'm there and let you know.  The worman who runs the group is a very experienced knitter and may have some advice to offer.  And I'll look through my "How-to" books.               rjf

          3. JeanetteR | | #9

            I'll be really happy to send you a scan of the page, if you could email me... just write a reply, and then before you send it, click 'reply via email', down the bottom of the message page, rather than the default which is 'post to the message board'. 

            I have tried to upload this scan in into an answer in this format, but don't know how to do it this way! 

            I'd even be happy to post you a 'sampler' on satay sticks or something, if it would help, about a week airmail from Australia!

            In the meantime, maybe the ever-helpful RJF will have found a way to do this before me!

          4. rjf | | #10

            I found a description of how to do those pleats in Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear".  The article didn't include diagrams but there were pictures of the finished product and a pretty good description of how to (pg 213).  What I gathered from reading it was this:  (Put six stitches on a double-pointed needle) three times.  Fold the fabric so you see the pleat.  The 3 needles will be lying on top of each other.  Pick up all 3 in your left hand as if they were one needle.  With the right hand needle, slide the tip through the first stitch of each left hand needle.  Knit them as one.  Continue across.  This might feel awkward at first but it really works.

            I've found that most libraries will get books on interlibrary loan for you if you know what you want.                               rjf

          5. JeanetteR | | #11

            RJF, your description is much clearer than mine! Were you a teacher in anothr life?

          6. Jean | | #12

            And I have to resort to pictures, but am not an artist on the computer, (or even with a pencil for that matter)

          7. rjf | | #14

            Your diagram made perfect sense to me.  You always seem to find a simple way to make a point.       rjf

          8. User avater
            ehBeth | | #15

            Jean, that was a great explanation of knitting pleats. Funny how I could 'see' it once I'd read your description - and then your visual confirmed it. Good going! I love it when someone can explain something that is sooooo visual for most of us.

          9. Jean | | #16

            Well, Hi! Fancy meeting you here! ;-) Are you a knitter too?

          10. User avater
            ehBeth | | #17

            Hello, Jean. I am indeed a knitter. It's one of the joys of my life.

            I'm always watching the knitting section here to see what's up. I've had a couple of interesting discussions about knitting technique. 

            Don't tell anyone I said this, but I think the knitters are the nicest part of Gatherings, and Gatherings is the nicest part of Taunton.com. 

             (i didn't say this <wink>)



          11. Jean | | #18

            Uh oh. Well, I can  keep a secret. I really miss the knitting articles that they used to publish in Threads. I have every one of those early issues, but stopped  buying them regularly after they dropped the knitting. I still pick up an issue at the bookstore when I go to DDs, but no one here in my town carries any Taunton mags anymore. I  buy the bound edition of FC, wish they would do that with Threads too. Oh well. Happy knitting.

          12. User avater
            ehBeth | | #19

            I originally came to Taunton mags through knitting many years ago.

          13. sanderson | | #20

            Hi there .... since we're all playing hookey from the kitchen would you please tell me if I can do this prime rib (brioche) stitch back and forth instead of in the round?  Here's the directions (copied from the author's web page) 

            Circular Prime Rib (Brioche) by Megan Mills, email:[email protected]







            Knit two together


            Purl two together


            Slip 1 knit-wise, Slip 1 purlwise, insert left-hand needle through both stitches from left to right and knit them together.


            K1,  P1 rib.

            MethodCast on an even number of stitches and put a marker between your last and first stitch    

            Foundation Row:

            Knit 1, *bring yarn forward as if to P, slip 1 purlwise, K1 – allowing yarn to make a sloppy diagonal loop over right-hand needle.  Repeat from * to last stitch, yarn forward as if to P, slip 1 purlwise, yarn around needle (this is the same as the simple increase one does when purling).

            Row 2:

            *Slip 1 purlwise, yarn around needle, P2T (the purl stitch and sloppy diagonal loop); repeat from *

            Row 3:

            Take yarn to the back as for K.  K2T (the knit stitch and the sloppy diagonal loop), *bring yarn forward as if to P, slip 1 purlwise, K2T (the knit stitch and the sloppy diagonal loop)  - allowing yarn to make a sloppy diagonal loop over right-hand needle.  Repeat from * to last stitch.  Yarn forward as if to P, slip 1 purlwise, yarn around needle. 

            Repeat the last two rows.

            I remembered this stitch from Elizabeth Zimmerman's book Knitting Without Tears;  I can't find my copy.  I thought her's was for back and forth on two needles.  The ladies round here are nuts for making scarves out of that eyelash novelty yarn.  I wanted to try one out of my homespun in this stitch on really big needles.  It seems to me that if I change the directions for the second row to say knit instead of pearl it should work.  What do you think?  And yes, I'm going to try a swatch right now.  Thanks. 

          14. Jean | | #21

            How are you doing? If that doesn't work try this.

             Brioche Stitch

            Cast on an even number of stitches, like 18. Knit one row. Then all other rows both sides - * Knit l, K1 in the row below.* repeat across. It forms a wonderful exaggerated ribbing.

          15. jscraphappy | | #22

            Brioche Ribbing.perhaps this may help as well.

            Cast on a multiple of 2. etc., 18

            1st row-*W.fwd.,sl.1 purlwise,K.1,rep.from*toend.

            2nd row-*W.fwd.,sl.1 purlwise.K.2.tog.(the sl.st.and w.fwd.,of previous row),rep.from*to end.

            Rep.2nd row to form the pattern.

            To cast off omit the w.fwd.and work a P.1,K.2tog.action all across the sts.as you cast them off.

            Its still raining here in the UK.):

          16. JeanetteR | | #23

            Oh June, you're so funny with the weather updates!!!  It actually feels like winter here in sunny Sydney, about 17C and overcast, it was pretty chilly at 5am - 7degrees C, taking my daughter to the flower markets for november lillies for her wedding flowers on Saturday. 

            How's your knitting project going June?  Mine's on hold too much to do, and having second thoughts about that Aran pattern fro the deep purple.  Bought some ..more..! wool in a lovely deep terracotta, Patons Zhivago.  Now searching for another nice Aran for this one, and of course have misplaced the one that's in mind!  I really have enough yarn to stock a small woolshop.

          17. jscraphappy | | #24

            A very happy wedding day for your dd & future dsl.have a really wonderful day & hope that it is not to cold!!!!We have had summer 3 bbq's!!!! back storms/rain/hailstones ah well it was nice while it lasted.Back into wearing a short sleeved jumper(hand knitted of course)  machine embroidered butterflys just 3 on the shoulder area.+ nearly forgot also wearing a skirt. But, with such an important day coming up knitting/sewing the works go out of the window.Did you make your dd's outfit?or your own?My I wish you & everyone all a wonderfully happy day on Saturday.June

          18. JeanetteR | | #25

            Dear June,

            Thanks so much for your kind wishes!  We had a lovely day, far better than expected, really, as many tasks were undertaken by folk we didn't actually know until the wedding day, and everyone gave 150% - it was wonderful rather than the shemozzle I was expecting.

            I started out making dd's dress, up to cutting out the first toile stage, then she appointed a dressmaker couple...I was told, well, you haven't been featured in a magazine...couldn't compete with that!  Actually, she's tiny, but had to cut out a basis of a pattern as a 14, and I guess she was having none of that!  So I just got to do embroidery on it in two sahdes of gold, interlaced chain stitch in an 'art nouveau-ish' design, just on the back bodice and points of the long long medieval sleeves.

            It all went really well in a lovely old sandstone church, with a gorgeous medieval 'a capella' choir, and everything came together on the day!  It was exhausting till 2pm when my friend came to relieve me of the twins (3 1/2).

            The weather held off and there was even a little sun for some fun shots in the graveyard!  It started out pretty chill, and the bride was glad of her velvet lined frock.  Sounds like England's summer is the usual sort of all four seasons!  Hope you get more summery weather soon....

            Thanks again for your blessings!   (please excuse me, gentle readers, for kind-of answering twice about the wedding on this forum to 2 different correspondants!)

          19. rjf | | #26

            It sounds like a wonderful day...and dress!  Are there pictures posted somewhere?  rjf

          20. JeanetteR | | #28

            Yes, but at the moment it's saying there is no such site to access, will get my DH onto it after the twins are in bed, this evening!

          21. JeanetteR | | #30

            RJF, and Everyone

            You can access pictures of the wedding at http://members.iinet.net.au/~tiare/the-wedding/ , Peter just fixed it up for me (again)...these are just the first ones through that a friend took on the day, the formal ones from the two photographers are pending!  The bride is on red velvet, her sister is the bridesmaid with shocking red/pink hair, and I'm the large woman in a turquoise trouser suit!

            Photo 11 shows the wedding dress the best, and 21 shows the sleeve embroidery the best, no back views with this set!  Photo 14 has my DH in the foreground.

            Edited 7/23/2003 6:25:24 AM ET by Jeanette

            Edited 7/23/2003 6:26:16 AM ET by Jeanette

          22. rjf | | #31

            The pictures are wonderful!  So is the dress, the cake, the bridesmaids, the mother of the bride, the church and everything.  Thanks very much for sharing.  I felt as if I were there.               rjf

          23. jscraphappy | | #32

            how wonderful the pictures are. full of envy everyone looked smashing thank you for showing them (you looked great)perhaps you will have started a new fashion in weddings(: June

          24. JeanetteR | | #34

            June, maybe the medieval thing will take off!  Once you got used to the fact the bride wore red, everything else clicked into place.  Glad that you enjoyed them, and that the links worked OK.

            Me again.  Did you ever get all those kneelers finished, what a huge undertaking.  My MIL is making extra or replacement kneelers for Goulburn (country NSW) cathedral where she lives and is a guide, she even published a book researching the existing kneelers.  She's finding it very hard to finish this task as her hands are becoming arthritic.

            Edited 7/24/2003 3:22:31 AM ET by Jeanette

          25. jscraphappy | | #37

            goodmorning from a rain-soaked uk): yes I did finish the kneelers from that particular time.Unfortunety have had to add extra 1's due to close family members dying.Its my way of coping with these events, & rembering them.They are those kits from "Jackson's of Hebden Bridge Yorkshire"Its dh's groups annual fuchsia show this weekend to-day getting things ready,Sat/Sun open to the public & its tipping it down typical.a yard long hair gosh that is beautiful to achieve that. mine has always been like a unruly mop(:June

          26. JeanetteR | | #38

            Dear June, Freezing here overnight as cold as it ever gets!  It must be snowing down in the Snowy Mountains, about 200 miles south.  Looked up Jackson's of Hebden Ridge to see if there were patterns of your kneelers, but Google didn't come up trumps this time.  making extra kneelers to commemorate friends sounds like a very constructive way of grieving.

            How did the fuschia show go?  Did he enjoy himself/ win prizes? I enjoyed embroidering some fuchias and a hummingbird in stumpwork about six months ago, from Inspirations (Classic Inspirations in the UK).

            Fiona was determined to grow her hair longer than mine got to and hasn't quite done it yet!  Mine reached 39 1/2" long....now this sounds like just a number till you see just how long it is on a metric metre rule!  It's in our female line, the long-hair -growing thing, my Nana as a little girl had hair which passers-by used to exclaim over.  Mum had plaits like ropes.  hairdressers get cross blow-drying, it always takes about twice the time they think with the thickness.  James' is thick and needs cutting regularly otherwise, is a wavy 'unruly mop'!

          27. jscraphappy | | #39

            overcast again Summer has diisapeared for the time being. nearly finished the backing of my quilt.www.Jacksons.org.uk. the kneelers I did are in The Seasons section.Springtime/Spring flowers/Summertime/Russet.Those were my lastest 1's.Never attempted Stumpwork, but have seen work in a book ""Fairytale Quilts & EMbroidery"by Gail Harker. in the book is work by Barbara & Roy Hirst & Rosalind Sunley.looks really interesting.My copy of my "Threads"mag should be with me tomorrow.The newsagent phoned to say it had arrived & would put into the post.hpe you can get though on that addy for Jacksons.Bye for now June

          28. JeanetteR | | #33

            Thanks for your kind words about the wedding, she did look stunning!  There are quite a few of the cake and my friend Kim who made them, as it was her DH with this camera!  So glad that you enjoyed them.  It was really done on a v. tight budget, but didn't feel skimped.

          29. User avater
            ehBeth | | #35

            Thank you for sharing those photos! Everyone looks fabulous - the bride's gown is perfectly stunning - as is the bride - the cake is gorgeous - and you look just happily divine.

            It really does feel like we were there - very personal photos (in a good way!)

          30. JeanetteR | | #36

            ehBeth, it is very nice to hear from you again.  It was my pleasure to post these pictures, and it was great to hear back from yourself and others that they enjoyed them.  We don't have any of the formal shots yet, these are ones my friend took, the DH of my best friend the cake maker.  Fiona did look really lovely in her red velvet, with her almost yard-long hair.  They are a sweet couple, very young, but we all feel that they've had a good flying start! Both are back with their noses at the grindstone of Uni next week.

          31. jscraphappy | | #27

            hello from the rainsoaked thunderbug UK (: OH I am so pleased to read your wonderful description of the day.sorry to sound "daft" but what does a "capella choir" sound like? the church description is great the church in our parish is 11thC.& as cold as grave.beautiful but cold. about 15yrs ago some bright spark(me)orginized re-newing the church kneelers.everyone about 45people said  what a wonderful idea & they would help guese who cross-x ed most of them???hope to see pictures of your dd's dress sounds beautiful.even the bit you were delegated to.So pleased you all had a wonderful day.June

          32. JeanetteR | | #29

            June, thanks for your kind words, it was a truly lovely wedding, almost as nice as my own(!).  An a capella choir (that 'a' should have an accent over it) is one that sings unaccompanied by musical instruments.  Though while B & G signed the register there was a trio of harp, recorder and treble (larger deeper) recorder.  The church is from 1860, and for Sydney that is truly venerable!  Totally English in stlye, Gothic Revival.

            The one my Mum was married in, in Morden, Surrey, was built in the 1500's with a church on that site since 1100's.  It has the best collection of some particular kind of large diamond painted on wood coats of arms in the country.  Jeanette

          33. darlaki | | #13

            Thanks for your help but I figured it out, turned out just fine. Have a great day.

            Darla in Cle Elum, Wash. North America

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