Want to learn how to knit pleats and welts?

Pretty Peaks and Valleys, Creative Knitting Winter 2013

My design Pretty Peaks and Valleys, Creative Knitting Winter 2013

It’s STITCHES class proposal time! And I’m brainstorming class topics to tempt you, the knitting and crocheting fiber enthusiast student.

If I go with what currently interests *me* most, one of the class proposals would be about those fabric-folding techniques known as pleats and welts (aka tucks).

I’ve had a thing for tucks for some time now, as those who have taken my 1-hour Market Session A Taste of Tucks can attest: they’ve seen the swatches. My favorite looks like the skin of a Shar Pei puppy.

The interest in pleats has been more recent, and apparently  is shared by the likes of Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, Proenza Schuler, etc, for Spring 2014 (see here and here). Whoo hoo, I’m on-trend!

Cover of Creative Knitting Winter 2013

Winter 2013

I used both techniques for the Pretty Peaks and Valleys cardigan in this winter’s issue of Creative Knitting, and wrote a tutorial on them for the same issue. The cover design uses tucks too; I looove it and the way it uses tucks. Nice going, Andi Javori; wish I’d thought of it!

FreshStitches’ review turned me on to Olga Pobedinskaya’s book Knitting Pleats, full of beautiful patterns. Quenna Lee’s Tucked pullover in the most recent issue of Knit.Wear beautifully uses tucks at the neckline.

So… what do you think? Interested in a hands-on, in-depth class on how to pleat and tuck, and what you can do with both techniques? This inquiring mind is enquiring… Here’s what I have so far:

Playful Pleats, Wondrous Welts

Pleat and welt (tuck) techniques fold fabric back on itself, creating flaps and corded ridges. They can be used to add or eliminate volume, shaping a peplum or neckline, giving texture to a stitch pattern or room to walk in a skirt. Learn how to create basic left and right pleats, and see how they can be combined to form knife, boxed, and inverted pleat combinations. Learn two methods for making a tuck and how to work partial row tucks, creating all-over texture.

Class proposal sample photo

The swatches illustrate techniques taught in class.

Pleat Skills

  • true full pleats – left and right
    • mechanics of underlay/overlay/middle, sl sts for fold lines, working layers tog
    • arranging L & R pleats to form inverted, box, etc.
  • cable needle inverted pleat
  • discussion:
    • pleat size, length and spacing
    • other types
    • stitch patterns

Tuck Skills

  • basics of lifting top of stitch in row below: 2 methods
  • partial tucks: irregularly w/in fabric
  • discussion
    • flaps instead of ridges (purl and yo turning rows), rouleau welts
    • stitch patterns

One thought on “Want to learn how to knit pleats and welts?

  1. Beautiful work and design. Thank you for sharing your ideas and techniques.
    Anita Endeman

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