Tutorial – Knitting Pleats

Today we launched the first of our spring pattern collections, Papyrus: In the Conservatory.

Note the giant spring the model is holding. It’s a “spring” collection. :/

As the cover promises, this collection contains patterns all containing peplums, pleats, and ruffles, all knit in new yarn Papyrus. There is actually just one project that utilizes pleats, and that is the Kaizen cardigan.

The pleats are added just to the sleeve cuffs here for a touch of feminine playfulness to an otherwise classically shaped cardigan.

Though I did my best to give accurate written instructions of how to make the pleats, this is one of those techniques where pictures really do speak a thousand words. There are a few photos of how to join pleats included in the pattern file, but the following is a much more detailed instruction.

This small swatch shows the cuff prior to the pleat joining. Stitches are reduced by almost two thirds after the pleating process.
First, the edge stitches are worked.
Next, the following 3 stitches (the eyelet column) will be slipped to a double pointed needle.
Eyelet column is now on a spare needle.
Next, the following 3 reverse stockinette (purl) stitches are slipped to a second spare needle.
Now the first 2 stitches of the row on the right needle. We’re going to be ignoring those stitches. After that, we have dpn 1 with the Eyelet Column sts, dpn 2 with the purl sts, and then the working left needle with all remaining stitches.
Rotate dpn 2 counter-clockwise, so that the wrong side of these sts is against the wrong side of the 3 sts after it (the 3 sts on the working left needle)
Wrong sides are now together. Slide the sts from this dpn toward the tip.
Place dpn 1 behind dpn 2 without rotating. Align the tips of all 3 needles in preparation for joining.
Now we’re going to be working k3tog – 1 st from each needle. Insert the tip of the right needle into the first st on the front needle.
Continue by inserting the tip of the right needle into the first stitch on the middle needle, and then the back needle.
Yarn over and pull through all 3 stitches.
Slip the stitches from the needles – k3tog complete. You will be working k3tog 2 more times to finish this pleat.
All com-pleated. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

If you thought this looked complicated at the beginning, I hope I’ve changed your mind. It’s just a matter of arranging some stitches and working some k3togs.

Happy knitting!


2 thoughts on “Tutorial – Knitting Pleats”

  1. I purchased this pattern and began to knit it today. The eyelet column Row 4 instruction is only for 4 stitches. I have been knitting it the same as Row 2 (WS). Am I correct in doing this? Otherwise the eyelet column would look wrong I think. Please let me know as I do not want to continue if I am incorrect.

    1. Hi Janet,

      There was a typo on the text instruction for row 4 – you’re correct, it should be the same as row 2: k1, p3, k1. The chart is accurate, and I’ll be updating the pattern file to reflect this correction.

      Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. I hope you enjoy the project!

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