Knitting Nuances

A 2015 – 2018 Top 100 Knitting Blog!

These Playful Pleats Don’t Require Folding

Pleats1OK, who’s ready to have a little fun this winter? As promised, here’s yet another way to use the Showy Decrease and this one is just delightful (if I do say so myself).

This time we’re going to use the Showy Decrease to knit some pleats and there’s NO folding or overlapping stitches required. The technique itself results in pleats that stay put. You can see it in the You Tube video listed below.

The pattern is fully reversible too, that makes it perfect for a scarf that you can flip and knot and wrap around. The drape is beautiful in the alpaca/silk version shown here.

Knitting Pleats

Tips_Text_BlockIn this project,  vertical Showy Decrease lines are added to both sides of the design and the result is … pleats! Yes, real accordion like pleats. The base pattern is garter stitch and like some of our other Showy Garter patterns the combination of the horizontal garter lines with the vertical Showy Decrease lines is dramatic.

The Projects

I had so much fun knitting these that I’ve knit 4 samples and have one on the needles still. This simple project is perfect to take on a road trip, knitting with friends and watching TV. You can see I knit the blue gradient scarf over Christmas and photographed it in front of my tree.


The name Arisaid comes from the kilts worn by women in old Scotland, the perfect tribute to my family’s Scottish/Irish heritage. My son, Graham, modeled the 5-color version above on a blustery Lake Tahoe day. I definitely have a knit skirt on my todo list. I can already picture the pleats at the bottom of a kilt-like skirt playfully swinging as you walk.

Twist & Shout

One of my favorite elements of the design is what happens when you twist the pleats. It’s really spectacular. OK, you may be thinking that’s a little over the top Laura, but wait until you try it yourself. Pure fun! Yarn shown below includes Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and Wonderlands Yarn fingering.  I am especially in love with the Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, well, anything from Blue Sky to be honest.


The Free Pattern on Ravelry

The stitch pattern is flexible and the 4 samples are meant to inspire you to create your own version. You can download the pattern on Ravelry here.

  • Gauge: there are fingering, DK and sport weight instructions
  • Size & Shape: 2 shorter versions, one joins as a mobius and one with a spiral crochet tie; 2 longer versions. This would make a great sports fan or school colors scarf for anyone.
  • Stripes: the horizontal and vertical contrast of the design give the stripes added impact. We’ve included a number of variations for you to try. The multi-color version is an example of letting the yardage determine the pattern. It’s hard to design stripe patterns that use up all of the yarn. This scarf starts with large block stripes and ends with narrower stripes that use up that extra yardage. It results in an interesting, non-symmetrical pattern. You can use this idea with any of the designs.

More Photos

This is easily the most photogenic project I’ve knit. I have dozens and dozens of striking  photos with all kinds of wraps, folds and twists. Here are a few of them for you.



Getting Started


You Tube Video Tutorial

Want to see the pleats in action? There is a tutorial video on the Knitting Nuance You Tube Channel that shows you how the stitch pattern holds its pleats and steps through the pattern to show you how its done.

I can’t wait to see your pleats. Any designers interested in including pleats in your pattern just email me and I can send you a PDF tutorial to include in your pattern.



12 comments on “These Playful Pleats Don’t Require Folding

  1. crfarina
    January 16, 2018

    The link to the ravelry e-book is broken

    • Laura Cunitz
      January 16, 2018

      Thanks for the info. You were correct, strange because I had it saved as a bookmark and the name of the e-book in Ravelry changed also. Oh well, I updated it. Thanks again. Laura

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  3. Elisa j Beauchamp
    March 10, 2018

    This is lovely! I’ve saved it in my Ravelry library. It will be on my needles soon. Beautiful!

    • Laura Cunitz
      March 10, 2018

      Thanks Elisa! I have the sample in the Jimmy Beans retail store where I teach and people are always playing with it.

  4. Margaret Hall
    August 18, 2018

    Could I make a Cowell using this stitch.

    Or how would I join the ends without them showing.

    Many thanks

    • Laura Cunitz
      August 18, 2018

      Hi Margaret. The pattern includes a mobius version that is joined in the round after twisting. The join does show a but I just wrap it so it does not. If you just join and don’t twist it, the pleats line up. The pattern is free on Ravelry. I will add the link here for you.

      Thanks for visiting! Laura

      • Margaret Hall
        August 18, 2018

        Thank you for getting back to me so quickly.
        I’m thinking of using the decrease for the v neck on a cardigan I’m knitting. I’m knitting the button bands along with the fronts. See you on KP.

      • Laura Cunitz
        August 18, 2018

        Take a look at the Fiftyfifty Shell in Knitty. I used the decreases for a v-neck there and really like how it turned out. Knitty patterns are free so you can just download it.

      • Margaret Hall
        August 18, 2018

        Thank you for the link. Love it. I would like even better if it had sleeves. Any idea where I could find out how to add a sleeve. I’m 70 so have old lady arms.🙂
        Will definitely try the decrease on my cardigan.

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This entry was posted on January 16, 2018 by in Nuances, Patterns, Scarves, Showy Decrease, Showy Garter, Videos and tagged , , , , .

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