This is the fleece cowl-neck sweater that turned into a skirt. I had grand plans, but the stripes at the top just weren’t creating the effect that I wanted. The bottom, however, was perfect. I ripped back, put a lifeline in place, pulled it off the needles, and voila! The Swirt. And it looked good on, too. This is a very easy knit. There’s some minimal shaping, ribs and color changes to keep you from getting bored to tears, and some eyelets at the top to thread the tie through. You can easily whip this puppy out in a weekend. The most challenging aspect for a newbie knitter is the funky, fleecey yarn.

Julia is a sometimes attorney temporarily living in the hills of Los Angeles, and moonlighting at the fabulous Knit Café. Her life is enriched daily by the company of her hottie husband (and he’s smart, too!), two fabulous felines, and a pair of pups.

Difficulty Level



For hip size 32[34, 36,39,41,43,46,48]inches
(If your size isn’t listed go up a size rather than down to be safe – hips!)

Waist: [30]inches
Hem: 31.5[34,36.5,39,41,44,46,48.5]inches
Length: 15[15,15,16,16,16,17,17]inches

Materials used:

GGH Esprit [Polymide (100); 89yd/80m per 50g skein];
MC: Green (022), 1 skein
CC1: Powder Blue (014), 1 skein
CC2: Slate Blue (013), 1 skein

1 24-inch US 8/5mm circular needle or size to make guage
1 24-inch US 7/4.5mm circular needle
1 size G-6 crochet hook

notions required:
2 stitch markers, each in a different color
1 tapestry needle
1 crochet hook to weave in ends


13.25 sts/23.5 rows = 4″ in 4×4 rib pattern worked flat on larger needles



1) To avoid “jogs” in the stripes created by working in the round, knit to the end of the first round of the new color, slip the marker, and lift the right side of the first stitch of the old color below up onto the left-hand needle. Knit this stitch together with the first stitch of round 2 of the new color. Voila! No jog. You can thank Meg Swansen for that little bit of advice.

2) If you want to add a little more length, add some rows above the bottom rib before any shaping takes place.

3) Berocco Plush and Trensetter Blossom are two possible substitute yarns if you can’t find Esprit. I like the rich colors of the Esprit.


4×4 rib: *K4, P4*, repeat to end.
2×2 rib: *K2, P2*, repeat to end.
skpo: slip 1 st knitwise, knit 1 st, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch and off the needle to decrease.
pm: place stitch marker on needle at this point

The Swirt:

Using larger 24-inch circular needle and MC, CO 104[112,120,128,136,144,152,160] sts. Pm to mark the beginning of your first round. Begin knitting in 4×4 rib. Continue for 22[22,22,23,23,23,24,24] rounds total.
Change color: Change to CC1 and begin knitting in Stst by knitting all rounds. (See tips above for changing colors without a jog.). On the first round, place marker at the side seam of the swirt, just after stitch number 52[56,60,64,68,72,76,80]. (This will mark your decreases). Continue in Stst until round 28[28,28,29,29,29,30,30] (counting rounds from the beginning of the knitting, not from the color change).
Decrease: On next round, dec 4 sts as follows: k2, k2tog, k to 4 sts before side marker, skpo, k2, slip marker, k2, k2tog, knit to 4 sts before round marker, skpo, k2. 100[108,116,124,132,140,148,156] sts remain. Continue in Stst.


dec as established on round 44[44,44,45,45,45,46,46]. 96[104,112,120,128,136,144,152] sts remain. Knit in CC1 for 25[25,25,26,26,26,27,27] rounds total. End color on round 47[47,47,49,49,49,51,51].
Change color: On next round, change to CC2 and continue in Stst for 15[15,15,16,16,16,17,17] rounds total. End on round 62[62,62,65,65,65,68,68].
Change color: On next round, change to CC1 and continue in Stst for 10[10,10,11,11,11,12,12] rounds total. End on round 77[77,77,81,81,81,85,85].
Change color: On next round, change to MC and continue in Stst for 14[14,14,15,15,15,16,16] rounds. On round 92[92,92,97,97,97,102,102], retain MC, but switch to knitting on smaller circular needles in 2×2 rib. Continue rib for 3[3,3,4,4,4,5,5] rounds.

On next round work ribbing with eyelets as follows:*k2,p2, k2, yo, k2tog, k1*. On round 97[97,97,103,103,103,109,109,109], return to 2×2 ribbing and complete 2[2,2,3,3,3,4,4] rounds. Bind off.

Weave in yarn ends.

Make tie: Using CC2 and crochet hook, chain enough yarn for your waist size plus about 18-22 inches, based on your preference. Weave the tie through the eyelets and swirt!


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