Week 7: Beginning the SKIRT!

First, forgive the late post. I have no good excuse except I didn’t realize it was Monday. Sounds impossible, but there you are. So sorry! Won’t say another word about it!

Finally!  We are ready to make the skirt!

1. A Tale of Two Ellas: As you know by now, the original Ella had you begin the skirt at the bottom and it is the first thing you do. I have saved it for week 7 in order to make the coat more accessible and easier to fit. The Ella Rediscovered pattern has you begin the skirt at the bodice and work down to the hem. That is what I want you to do.

2. What You Need to Know: All you need to know at this point is your original bodice cast on number. For those with the original pattern, here are the numbers:144 (164, 180, 200, 216, 236). If you altered your CO for fit, go with that number. If you followed my advice way back in week 1, you have markers just waiting for you in the marker locations you will need for the skirt.

If you did not follow my advice, you will re-place markers where you placed them when you cast on for the bodice. Here is the text from Week 1 that tells you where to place the markers: Row 1 (WS): Purl across, placing 6 markers as follows: p18 (20, 22, 25, 27, 29), pm for center left front;  p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for left side seam; p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for center left back; p36 (40, 44, 50, 54, 58), pm for center right back; p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for right side seam p18 (21, 23, 25, 27, 30), pm for center right front; p18 (20, 22, 25, 27, 29) to end.

3. My Innovations & Tweaks: In order to work the skirt by picking up the bodice stitches and working down, you will return to the bottom of the bodice and pick up and knit according to your size on the RS of the bodice fabric.

If you have been working on the bodice and feel that it is a bit short, I recommend that you pick up the whole stitch. This will make the transition from bodice to skirt almost invisible. If you need greater length in the bodice, work down for a bit before you start the increases for the skirt.

If you would like the bodice cast on to show, you will pick up in the back half of that first cast on stitch.

And let’s imagine that you want a sort of “belt” look. You will pick up in the back half of the cast on stitch, work down (no increasing) for about an inch and a half or desired length and then cast off again–being careful to transfer your markers to stitches–and then pick up again in the back half of the stitch. It’s a great detail!

If you want to fake this detail, simply knit on the purl side.  Doesn’t look the same but has a similar effect.

4. What to Check As-You-Knit

I want you primarily to be concerned with making sure the bodice length is correct for your body and that the coat is fitting.

If you want greater width in the skirt, start increasing sooner and increase more often.

If you want less width, begin increases where they occur but increase less often–that is put more rows between one increase and the next for a straighter skirt.

For those of you with the original pattern, you will work the increases thus:

*Knit to 1 stitch before first marker, M1L, k1, sm, k1, M1R; repeat from * 5 more times, knit to end–12 stitches increased during each increase round.

Continue increasing every 14 (or desired #) rows until skirt is the length you desire.

You have three weeks to work the entire skirt, so no rushing! People working stripes, enjoy this process. People working striped borders, please keep this in mind as you work down. How much of a border do you want? If you are matching the border on sleeves, you will have to start the stripe pattern at the right point to get the right length.

Try on your coat every once in a while to see if you like the length. Remember, Ella can be many coats. She can be hipbone length, mid-thigh length, just above the knee, just at the knee, duster length, to the floor, she could have a train. . . The choice is yours.

6 thoughts on “Week 7: Beginning the SKIRT!

  1. Yes the pictures are a HUGE help for ladies reading! (Someone asked for a picture of “picking up from the back”(of the stitch) and Jenn posted one on Rav for this week’s thread. The details written in the blog are great and very thorough, but your photos always help too! Thanks!

  2. Hi,
    I am wondering about the increasing on the skirt. I am most likely going to have to make mine a bit wider in the hip area. I am wondering if I should measure my hips across the widest part and based upon my gauge figure out how many stitches I will need for that width and then based upon that number and my current number of stitches I can figure out how often I need to do the increases based upon the final number I need. Now I am not sure if I should subtract the 1-2″ of ease from that?

    Does that make sense or is there an easier way to do it?


    • Yes, this sounds like the right method to use. I think you should figure that you do want some extra room, so keep at least 1 inch of ease (or add it to your hip measurement at the widest point is what I mean).

      So, you can stay with the 6 increase locations, or you can do a much bigger increase all at once maybe 2 rows after you pick up stitches. This would mean a lot more increases evenly spread out over a row. Then go along with the increases as written every 14 rows. This way you will get the width you need and the A-line flare.

      Thanks for asking this question. Would you be willing to post your question in the comment section on the blog and I will answer it again there so some of those non-Rav folks will see it?

      Great question˜Thanks for asking it.

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