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Dear Ann,

I don’t know who came up with #KnittedSkirtsAreTheNewSweatpants as a hashtag for Nell Ziroli’s new Shakerag Skirt pattern, but it tickles me pink.

I need a new sweatpants, because if there is one thing I can’t abide, it’s wearing sweatpants. You have seen me in leggings of all descriptions, from saggy to snug, and you have seen me in the majestically spacious linen trousers that I call my day-jamas—but you have never seen me in sweatpants. Don’t even try to fool me by calling them joggers—I am onto you, purveyors of sweatpants, and it is not happening.

Seeing so many people having a great time knitting the Shakerag Skirt—it’s a hit, people!—and having a few spare skeins of Rowan Creative Linen on hand, I just had to cast it on. Once you’re done with the lace edging at the hemline, it’s plain stockinette in the round, around and around until you get to your ideal sweatpants, I mean skirt, length. Shaping is minimal, and finishing is a snap, especially for a veteran of Blu Baby Jeans such as I.

Hard to believe it, but this loop of stitches is going to be a breezy summer skirt, real soon.

The yarn:  Rowan Creative Linen in Stormy, the official color of my closet.

Sharp-eyed knitters will note that I’m doing a basic eyelet pattern (yo, K2tog) in place of the lace hem of the Shakerag Skirt. Nell helped me engineer this modification, which makes an easy pattern even easier. If you want to do the same, it’s pretty easy to figure out. But a little birdlover (that would be Nell) tells me that there is a new skirt pattern coming with different hem options, so look for that soon.

I have easy springtime knitting now, and very soon I’ll have a skirt. Maybe in time to wear at Shakerag? You never know.




  • Here in Australia they are called “trackie pants” or even “trackie daks”. Not a garment I like to wear in public! Can’t wait to see the evolution of the skirt.

    • Embrace your trackie daks – life will immediately be more comfy!

    • Or just “trackies”

    • I had purple sweatpants 42 years ago, #neveragain! My Shakerag skirt is all day everyday, can’t wait for the next one.
      Also, at the knitting getaway, I might just go Full MDK Shakerag: top, skirt, and finished scarf-made-from-the Barnyard-set. Luckily, it’s the opposite of the full Monty.

    • I just watched an espisode of Kath & Kim and heard Kath say trackie daks when Kel walked into the room wearing his!!

      • LOVE Kath and Kim. Kath and Kel 4 life

  • My skirt is just over half done. I can’t wait to wear it! Such a fun knit!

  • Mine is going for a bath this weekend.

  • I hope you finish it for Shakerag. I so want to see it up close and personal.

  • Our own dear skirt-loving Yvonne came up with what is now a somewhat trendy hashtag!

  • How do you knit so FAST?

  • I’m so enjoying knitting my skirt as well. It’s a dream knit, and I’m overjoyed to hear of a new pattern. Dresses and skirts for the summer=GREAT AIR CIRCULATION!!

  • Haha. No one has ever seen me in sweatpants, either, including myself!

  • Love, love, love this pattern. I’m a huge fan of skirts & dresses for summer. I’ll make mine a bit longer being of a certain age & lumpiness. Thanks, Nell


    • Ha ha I so want to knit this skirt but hesitate because of my circumference miles and miles around I’m thinking

  • I’m making good progress on mine and really enjoying the knitting. I stopped wearing skirts a long time ago because they never fit right. Now that I’ve knit a few that fit perfectly and are comfortable, I want to wear skirts all the time. Also—leggings are a game changer. Can’t wait to see more skirt patterns and options!

  • Yes, yes! My perfect pairing (threesome?): Cristina’s Crochet Bucket Hat, Shakerag Skirt, and

    • Love that this comment is flagged as racy. Oh you algorithms have a dirty mind – we are just titillated knitters!

      • Haha!!!

  • I’m looking so foward to making this skirt and I also want a different hem.

    • Send me an email, we can figure that out!
      nellknits at gmail

  • I’m almost finished with my Shakerag skirt in stormy. I have had some phenomenal lace failures in the past but Nell’s pattern was easy peasy once I added stitch markers. Can’t wait to sport this skirt all summer!

  • Loving my skirt and ready to cast on another one! #summeruniform

  • I purchased the pattern the second you showed it. I’ll be casting on for my version soon.

    • Same here!

  • Have the yarn (Rowan Creative Linen in Oasis!) and the pattern…now just need the time. Work is too busy right now and I’m exhausted. Soon I hope to cast on.

  • Also have the yarn in the pattern now just waiting for the time! #Work gets in the way!#

    • And the pattern. . .

  • This looks amazing and just what I need, but has anyone tried to insert pockets yet? I know I can’t put heavy things in the pockets, but still, pockets?

    • In her book, Knitting without Tears, Elizabeth tells you how to put a pocket precisely where you want it. In her case it was on a cardigan, but you can do it on any garment if you are brave enough to snip one stitch and unravel a few stitches to the right and left. Mag Swansen further refines this technique by knitting a flap to be sewn down (instead of a pouch with two sides and thus added bulk).

    • I did knit a patch style pocket for another skirt and have mixed feelings about it.
      It’s cute, somewhat functional, and lumpy. #trueconfession

  • I’m not into sweat pants or track pants either. I’m not really into skirts either. But could those shirt pattern be altered a little and be made into shorts or maybe even longer into pants?

  • I’ve lived in rural areas most of my life, and I live in sweatpants. I wear them for comfort, but also, the cuffs help keep out ticks. I would have loved a knit skirt when I was a city girl in the ‘70s. Cannot imagine wearing a knit skirt now. I look forward to seeing who wears it best!

  • How saggy does the bum area of the skirt get?

    • Rump sprung! I laughed til I cried when I first heard that term in the 60’s (linen shifts…).

    • My first thought as well. Maybe one could turn it !/4 with each wearing so the area sat upon would not always be the same.

  • Ohh when will that new pattern with additional hem edges hit?!? I have made the “Tink’s Twirly Skirt” and a “Floofy Skirt” but might try this new one!

  • Sweatpants = winter knitting clothes!

  • Do you line the skirt?

  • I need to get a move on mine. I want to have it ready to wear for the event with Olga Buraya-Kefelian! I’m so excited! I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to buy yarn for a second skirt while I’m at MDK World Headquarters!

  • Years ago, knit dresses were in style, however, after sitting in it you’d have a stretched out “seat”. My mother always told me to wear a taffeta slip under it. The taffeta won’t stretch, so the seat of the garment won’t stretch. I know that women today rarely wear slips so you probably won’t find this on a store, but you can certainly get a yard or two of taffeta from Mood or a place where designers would shop. Just see the short ends of an appropriate length of fabric together. Make a hem that would fit a length of elastic and voila!

  • Sweet I would love a pattern for pants.

  • I reaaally wish I had thought to get some Creative Linen in my last purchase!!

  • I’ve never knitted a skirt but I’ve been considering it because of this one. I always wear long skirts though to cover the swelling from lymphedema. Long skirt = not enough patience to knit all that plain stockinette. Especially in my plus size.

  • Would love to make this – did anyone who’s crafted this gem have issues with “sag in the seat” after sitting for extended periods of time? It appears to be perfection for summer…

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