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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Shakerag Q & A

"It really does look good on every body" Stephanie B.

First of all, I send a huge thank you to MDK for inviting me, and to everyone who participated in the Shakerag Conversation on Monday (13 May 2024), so much FUN!  

After going through the pages of chat notes I highlighted a LOT of questions that slid by without a solid answer - I'll update this as more questions come up. 

Also - keep an eye on the Lounge conversation.

Where does the name Shakerag come from?  

I cannot begin to tell the story the way our beloved Claire Reishman does, but here's how I remember it-

The site of Shakerag is in a holler. During prohibition, but perhaps anytime a person might want some moonshine, they'd walk down to a particular stump, lay down their money and shake the rag left there to alert the lookout to complete the exchange. Cheers.

💓From JM : "I wore my Shakerag Skirt while hiking in Hawaii last summer. 85 degrees and hiking uphill. Super comfy, no stretch that I noticed, and (confession here): sweat marks didn’t show, unlike on my poorly chosen t-shirt." 

Questions and Answers


The given measurements are the measurements of the knitted fabric, you decide your ease. I have both body skimming and more flowing skirts, each is wonderful and has its own advantage.

Using your LARGEST measurement and hip-to-waist ratio

Do measure at and make note your largest circumference. If your waist is larger than your hips you may not want to make an A-line, and can adjust for a pencil style. Email me with your specifics and I will add recommendations to this post. 

Making fewer decreases for a larger waist  

Begin with the decreases for your size and stop when you arrive at the measurement for the waist that you want to achieve, ie, how to make a size 4 hip with a size 6/7 waist. You would work 3 or 4 sets of decreases working from 240 stitches to either 204/224  stitches. The decreases will cover just 3 -4"/7.5-10 cm, would your shaping look better with wider spacing between each set? Choose what will work best for your body - this leads me to: 

Using a favorite skirt as a template! 

Choose a skirt with a similar weight fabric and remember that if your skirt has either a zipper or buttons rather than elastic, your knitted skirt must have a larger waist.  The fabric and the elastic band will allow for a more fitted fit.

My first skirt, knit with Rowan Denim, 
and fitted to my favorite jersey skirt.
22 March 2022

Make the decreases/increases to follow the slope of the hip to waist/waist to hip

 My new favorite skirt is now the template for the Shakerag skirt.

Although I prefer knitting a skirt from the waistband down (more on that later) 

the undulation of the lace edge works best from the cast on up.

Shortening the waist

To use the same number of decreases, but need a shorter hip to waist depth omit a decrease made on the 10th round and include another decrease on the 4th (or even 3rd) round.  That will omit 1" of depth... 

At 7 rounds per inch, the depth between decreases:

4 > ½"

5 < ¾"

6 > ¾"

7 = 1"

8 < 1 ¼"

9 > 1 ¼"

10 < 1 ½"

11  > 1 ½"

12 < 1 ¾"

13 > 1 ¾"

POCKETS - We Need Them. 

Measure your phone, keys, lip care product, etc. I estimate a 10”/25.5 cm circumference.  Multiply by 5.5 and then adjust for your border pattern or leave as is for stockinette. Work in the round to make a tube to the desired depth. 

Add a flap, or button loop… Also, make and attach ties to go around your waist or as a shoulder bag. (WIP)

Patch Pocket, knit with the same needles as your skirt. 

This sample I'm still on the fence about loving, but the pocket has potential. 

I'llreallign it to the center of a panel and not over the decrease column 

to allow it to lay flatter to my body.

Cast on 32 stitches , purl 1 row, knit 1 row

Right Side (RS) - Knit across.

Wrong Side (WS) - Knit 1, purl to the last stitch, knit 1.

Repeat to the desired depth (less than the 1½ "/3.75 cm shaping, below)


RS  - Knit 1, K2tog, knit to last 3 stitches, ssk, knit 1

WS  - Knit 1, P2tog, purl to last 3 stitches, ssp, knit 1

Repeat 4 more times.

Bind off purl wise on the RS.

How do I make this skirt for my 71 year old body? 


Be like our Pennieb 

How does it look with Athletic Shoes? 

The Vibrato Tee, which has the same lace border as the skirt, preceded the skirt and yet, is only nearly finished, it was abandoned when life took a turn last fall, and my focus was needed elsewhere.

I'm back on it, let me know if you need the pattern now, email me and I'll send you a copy!

Yarn Options -

Shakerag was written for Creative Linen, but 100% Linen is a YES!

Note that you can pre-soak your unwound skeins to soften the fibers, but be sure to wash all of the yarn that you expect to use.

Length options

<In the works>

Kay's Border

Cord Vendors 

Search "Barber Cord" for a handy aluminum tin with 3 cords of varying lengths.

Search “2mm with 1mm hole rubber tube cord” for a spool.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Bloom Where you are Planted, updated Goyard

Winter finds me still in Saratoga Springs NY, where I'm already dreaming of Spring.

I have memories of Lilac and Lily-of-the-Valley.

Until the next season arrives I'll wear my Bloom Where You Are Planted cowl 

to remind me that Spring is coming.  

Shown knitted with Modern Daily Knitting Atlas (Peat) with applied blooms of 

Spincycle Dyed in the Wool (Sunset Strip)

The hat is knit in Seaglass Atlas, with Gauge Dye Works Merino for 

the stripes and blooms, which could be worked with a variety of leftovers. 

The Gauge Dye Works shade, Happy Accident was used for 

Saki Clog Socks, the hat blooms are those leftovers.

 Thank you to Lucy for the perfect name!

Goyard (2013) 

PS ~ Another Hat and Cowl duo is being updated to my current format 
reknit in worsted weight. The hat unties to a gaiter, so handy!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Thankful, still.

another look

My travel knitting leftovers came in handy. 
That week-long visit has lengthened into much chillier weather than I'd packed for. 

I've so loved fall here in Saratoga Springs.  The foliage has been brilliant.

I cut the following from my November 2016 post, Thankful, referring to my 2013 pattern, Firefly.
Firefly is a terrific set of cold-weather head and hand accessories.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Bandangle, and Load your (Tapestry) Needle

Hello sweet Bandangle!

The simple pattern was born from my love of floral Bandana Borders.

The knitted fabric lent itself to creating the shape as folded; just an angle.

 The fabric is similar on either side - mark the RS edge with a bold and removable marker, 
and move it up as your Bandangle grows in length.

Here is the completed design with the eyelet blooms around all three edges -
 ready to work the stretchiest bind-off, Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Bind Off.  
Because this technique requires a very long tail, 
I recommend folding the yarn a few times to shorten each pull.

We folded the border over before tying it around the neck of beautiful Nichole.

When completed, wet block; expand the bound off edge as wide as possible! 

To store, roll from the point up toward the bound-off edge, 
this will keep the fabric wrinkle-free and relaxed.

Thank you, enjoy your own Bandangle 💙
I'm casting on another in red this time...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Shakerag Skirt!

 #knittedskirtsarethenewsweatpants  ~yvonne

After making and wearing my Rowan Denim skirt last spring,
I knew that I would love to have another one (or more).

A discontinued cotton blend de-stash was purchased with a skirt in mind, and a lace edge that I had been playing with (as a sweater hem) since 2016 found its true home.  

The skirt was smashing.  

With a little adjustment to the prototype pattern, the skirt is now written to be knit with a currently available and slightly lighter-weight yarn, Rowan Creative Linen.  

I shared my progress on our Shakerag Zoom gatherings; it became a KAL test and was named for the event that has bound us all together.   

An overview of the pattern and options:

Cast on at the hem, the scalloped and lacy edge creates a beautiful, yet not too fussy border.

The A-line is flattering to many shapes, but you can knit this as more of a pencil shape if that’s your style.

Short rows can be added to drop the back hem, and again below the waistband, to raise the upper back, for hug and flow over your curves.

The skirt top ends with a self-turning waistband casing for elastic, creating comfort and a little more fit.

The pattern is written to Standards, but who is shaped just so?  

There are notes to adjust for many sizes and can be made with little, no, or however much ease you want and is easy to make a custom fit.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Applied I-cord

 Hello, hello.

While finishing the edges of a friend's project with an applied I-cord, I came up with a time-saving technique that helped me to track the 3 out of 4 columns to pick up along the selvage edge. 

I did not pick up the stitches around the rectangle as directed by the pattern, rather worked the I-cord directly.

To begin, using DPNs, cast on 3 stitches (I used an e-loop or thumb cast on), pick up and knit into the selvage stitch where the I-cord begins, (not at the corner!) then slide the 4 stitches to the other end of the needle.

*Knit 2, ssk, pick up a stitch, slip to the other end*

The formula for working along the selvage edge is to pick up 3 stitches along the selvage column and then skip one column. 

I spent a lot of knitting time trying to recall just where I was in that 3 step process.  

My Solution

Ready to begin, the I-cord is complete (3 stitches), skip one column stitch, 
pick up and knit the first of the next 3 column stitches. Use the left-hand needle to scoop the next 2 column stitches up; tip down in stitch #3, and tip up in stitch #2 -  
resulting in just one loop over the needle.

Then slip the loop from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle
then slip all stitches to the other end of the DPN.

At the end of the next round of I-cord, pick up and knit into the opening, 
leaving the final pick up on the left-hand needle, slip as above.

The final round of the I-cord 

Pick up the final column stitch, and begin again.