Rainbow Welted Skirt Guidelines


I just finished this skirt and love it to pieces!   Here’s an outline to help you create your own welted skirt, or customize a skirt in  your own personal way!   My skirt is worked from Lopi, the Icelandic yarn, which I love!   It’s not for everyone though.   This guide will allow you to use any yarn and any size needle you like!

Just a few simple measurements and a gauge swatch and you’ll be on your way!


Rather than measure my body, I picked a skirt that I wear all the time to measure.  You need three measurements:

A:  _____ Waist Circumference

B:  _____ Length from Waist to Hem Line

C:  _____ Hem Line Circumference

You’ll need the standard measurements from your gauge swatch.  Keep in mind, skirts work best with a firm fabric.  I went down a needle size from what I would use normally.

D: ____ Stitches per Inch

E: ____ Rows per Inch

The skirt is worked from the top down, starting with a provisional cast on and a folded hem to make an encased waistband…very easy to make and comfortable to wear!  The body is simple stockinette in the round, making increases at markers every few rows, amazing if you have an inner process knitter!  The welts at the bottom are six rows of stockinette, followed by a seaming row that is worked by picking up the purl bump six rows below.   Then knitting the live stitch and the picked up bump together.  Check out this blog post for more details and some photos.  I finished the skirt with an extra large welt, which was seamed and bound off at the same time.   Super easy but no one else has to know!

On to the math, it’s gonna be easy!  I promise!

Cast On:

A ____ x D ____ = F ____

Cast on ____ F stitches, provisionally.


Working flat, you’ll work E ____ rows in Stockinette Stitch.

Join to work in the round.   The knit side will be your right side.   The purl side will be your wrong side.

Purl 1 Round as the turning round for the waistband

Work E _____ rounds in Stockinette Stitch

You’re now ready to remove the provisional cast on, fold your work in half and work a round of K2tog with the two stitches being one live stitch and it’s mate from the cast on edge.  You’ll now have a pocket with a narrow slit to insert your elastic into.  One of my very favorite knitting tricks!

Here’s the inside of the waistband, the slit for the elastic, made by the section of flat knitting, before being stitched closed:


Skirt Body:

Time for a little more math.

C _____ X D _____ = G _____ (# of stitches at the hem line)

G _____ – F _____ = H _____ (# of stitches we want to increase)

H _____ ÷ B _____ = J _____ (# of stitches we want to increase per inch)

J = the number of markers you want to place, evenly spaced on during your next row.  Some rounding may be necessary here.  My J = 5.9, so I rounded to 6.  Round up for more increases/a wider bell shape.  Round down for fewer increases/a more narrow shape.

F _____ ÷ J _____ = K _____ (# of stitches between your markers)

First round of the body: *Knit K _____ Sts, Place marker, repeat from * around, having placed J _____ markers.

Continue the body in Stockinette Stitch, working an increase round every E _____ Rounds.  (for me, I worked an increase round, every 6th round).

The increase round is : *Knit to Marker, M1, Slip Marker, repeat from * around.  Knitter’s choice on the M1, I used M1L (just because it’s the one I like).


This is the part where things are less math and more eyeballing.  I went to just above the knee and started my welts.  I didn’t measure or do anything precise.  So pretty much, keep increasing until you want to begin your welts.  I had 6 welts so I started my first welt ~6 inches above the hem, theoretically.  My next skirt will definitely have more welts!  and more colors!

For my welts, I knit six rounds of Stockinette Stitch per color.   The 7th round was the welt seam knitting together the live stitch and the purl bump six rounds below.  After the welt seam round, I changed back to my main color and worked four rounds before beginning the next welt.

This is where the fun of customization comes in, you can make you welts bigger, you can space them farther apart and the possible number of  color combinations is limitless!

At the same time (I know, we all hate that phrase…sorry).  At the same time as the welts, the increases should be continued.  For simplicity sake and rather than keep an accurate count, I increased in the round immediately prior to the color change of each welt.  If you prefer to keep an accurate count, I would count the first welt round and the seaming round.  I would not count the ‘body’ of the welt in the round count.

Here’s a close-up of my welts, inside and out:










For the final welt, I increased it in size by 50%.  For me, my 6 round welt became a 9 round welt.  As I seamed the welt, I also bound off.

Just weave a few ends, secure your elastic and have fun!  It’s hard not to enjoy! I may never take mine off! (at least not until I finish the second one!)

One last shot, on a body!


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