Knitting Tutorial – Frills & Ruffles

How has your week been? Hope it was a nice productive one. For me, I think the holiday is definitely over as it is getting very busy in the world of C&C. Wata kept waking me up all night last night, so I am really sleepy!

Today I would like to introduce you to 3 kinds of knitting frills: 1) simple gathered frills, 2) bell edging (2 ways) and 3) short-row frills. Frills / ruffles add such a nice feature to knitted garment. My new knitting pattern called Mermaid Bolero is an example how simple frills add extra gorgeous-ness. :)

This really pretty image was taken by Melissa from Melissa Corcoran Photography. I love this so much!

This really pretty image was taken by Melissa from Melissa Corcoran Photography. I love this so much!

Note: Arrows indicate the direction of the frills. For example (↑) means that the frills are knitted from bottom up while (↓) means from top down. (→) means that they are knitted side ways.

1) Simple Gathered Frills (↑)

In a nutshell: CO 3-4 times the amount of final sts you want. Once you reach the desired length of the frills, gather at the top (either k3tog if you multiplied by 3, or k2tog for 2 rows if you multiplied by 4).

Advantage: This is the easiest method of making frills. They are dense and effective.

Disadvantage: You have to CO so many sts which could be daunting.

Gathered frills. Although it involves lots of stitches to start off with, the frills are dense, cute and easy to do.

Gathered frills. Although it involves lots of stitches to start off with, the frills are dense, cute and easy to do.

2) Bell edging (either ↓ or ↑)

In a nutshell: 2 sts are either inc or dec for every repeat on alternate rows. It gives a very prominent frills due to the use of ribbing. Bell frills can be knitted either up or down-wards according to your need.

Advantage: Does not involve as many stitch number as the gathered frill technique. It also gives an ordered and prominent frill effect. The identical effect can be achieved by both up or down direction of knitting (see further).

Disadvantage: The frills are not as dense and random as the gathered frills.

2.1) Bell Edging (↑) bottom up

Multiple of 12 sts plus 3.

Row 1 (RS): p3, *k9, p3. Repeat from * until end.

Row2 (WS): k3, *p9, k3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 3: p3, *ssk, k5, k2tog, p3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 4: k3, *p7 k3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 5: p3, *ssk, k3, k2tog, p3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 6: k3, *p5, k3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 7: p3, *ssk, k1, k2tog, p3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 8: k3, *p3, k3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 9: p3, *sl2tog, k1, psso, p3. Repeat from * until end..

Row 10: k3, *p1, k3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 11: p3, *k1, p3. Repeat from * until end.

Row 12: As row 10.

Bell edging knitted from bottom up.

Bell edging knitted from bottom up.

2.2) Bell Edging (↓) top down

Multiple of 4 sts plus 3.

Row 1 (RS): *p3, k1. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, p3.

Row2 (WS): *k3, p1. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, k3.

Row 3 and 4: Repeat rows 1 and 2 once more.

Row 5: *p3, (k1, p1tbl, k1) into the next st. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, p3.

Row 6: *k3, p3. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, k3.

Row 7: *p3, yf, k3, yb. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, p3.

Row 8: *k3, p5. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, k3. When you work the yo (i.e. yb and yf) made in the previous row, make sure to twist these sts to prevent holes being made. The same applies to the subsequent rows.

Row 9: *p3, yf, k5, yb. Repeat from * the last 3 sts, p3.

Row 10: *k3, p7. Repeat from * until end.

Row 11: *p3, yf, k7, yb. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, p3.

Row 12: *k3, p9. Repeat from * until the last 3 sts, k3.

Row 13: BO.

Bell edging worked top down. Identical effect to the bell eding worked bottom up. Very useful indeed :D

Bell edging worked top down. Identical effect to the bell eding worked bottom up. Very useful indeed :D

3) Short-row Frills (→)

In a nutshell: This is basically a series of horizontal darts to make a spiral with garter stitch. Stitches are later picked from the shorter edge and knitted at right angle. This technique can also be used to add frills on right or left side of the piece with larger number of stitches.

Spirals become frills :D

Spirals become frills :D

Advantage: The length of frills depends on the number of sts casted on. So you can easily control how long / short your frills to be. It also gives a very prominent, ordered and dense frills.

Disadvantage: It is a very time-consuming process as garter stitches does not grow fast… I only recommend this technique when you are working on a smaller projects.

CO 10 sts.

Row 1: k8, wrap and turn. Row 2: k8.

Row 3: k7, wrap and turn. Row 4: k7.

Row 5: k6, wrap and turn. Row 6: k6.

Row 7: k5, wrap and turn. Row 8: k5.

Row 9: k4, wrap and turn. Row 10: k4.

Row 11: k3, wrap and turn. Row 12: k3.

Row 13: k2, wrap and turn. Row 14: k2.

Row 15 and 16: k10. Note: here, you have an option of picking up the wrap (see the video tutorial). With garter stitch, you don’t usually need to pick up the wrap but depending on the yarn, you may have holes where you have wrapped and turned.

Repeat these 16 rows until you have the desired length along the shorter edge. Then pick up the desired number of stitches to knit vertically (below).

Short row frills after picking up the stitches along the shorter edge to knit vertically.

Short row frills after picking up the stitches along the shorter edge to knit vertically.

Do try them out. You will love the effects for all frill types ;)

Responses to “Knitting Tutorial – Frills & Ruffles”

  1. Jo

    OMG Kyoko! That is sooo cute!!><
    Sigh!! Knitting it is!

    • kyoko

      Hi Jo!
      Thank you <3
      You have to do knitting soon ;)
      Have a lovely weekend.
      x
      Kyoko

  2. Tracy

    WONDERFUL tutorials, Kyoko! I just love such embellishments…so lovely! Thank you… :o) Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

    • kyoko

      Hello Tracy!
      Thank you :D Frills makes it so pretty don’t they? I am totally into it.
      Hope you have a lovely weekend to you too.
      x
      Kyoko

  3. Pili

    You always post such amazing tutorials!
    And those frills look gorgeous!!

    Hope you had a great week, and hopefully you’ll get some rest this weekend!

    • kyoko

      Hello Pili!
      AAww thank you :D Frills are totally in (in my head). I am making another one with frills (LOL!)
      Hope you have a good weekend to you too – I must sleep in a separate room where Wata cannot reach me (he put his tiny paw on my cheek when he wants to wake me up..).
      x
      Kyoko

  4. Wendy

    Thanks for sharing such great info! Loved it!

    • kyoko

      Hi Wendy!
      AAww, thank you for your lovely comment :D Made my weekend.
      x
      Kyoko

  5. Rain

    Thanks for the tutorials! You’re great!

    • kyoko

      Hey Rain!
      Thank you :D I am so into frills that my next free pattern will have one too (LOL!). How is it going? It’s been very sunny here (but cold) in London.
      Have a lovely weekend!
      x
      Kyoko

  6. Diana

    I love the clear and concise manner in which you do your tutorials. You’re a blessing! I know exactly what project I wish to try one of these out on now. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • kyoko

      Hi Diana!
      Aw, thanks :D I am so happy to hear that it’s been useful. Happy knitting!
      x
      Kyoko

  7. Oh how cute that is. Again, you make me want to knit…perhaps I’ll get to it this year sometime.

    My Charlie wakes me up in the middle of the night by lying on me, or sitting next to my head. It’s cute but also a little bit annoying :)

    • kyoko

      Hi Jo!
      Hehe! I bet you have lots of craft projects going on this year – me too :D
      I can just imagine Charlie sitting next to your head. Wata tends to put his little clammy paw onto my cheek to wake me up. He also nudge his head against mine with all his might. He knows that I get up because I’m worried about his nose. Cats are so bad!
      x
      Kyoko

  8. Mary

    Hi Kyoko! This bolero is one of my favourite patterns and the photos are amazing. I must try out this pattern and make one for my daughter.

    Thanks for the tutorials too.

    Mary

    • kyoko

      Hi Mary!
      So happy to hear that you like the bolero. I think your daughter would look super cute in it :D Yep Melissa is such a great photographer.
      Hope you had a nice picnick :D
      x
      Kyoko

  9. stephanie

    SO cute! Great tutorials (as always!), Kyoko! I have been taking a knitting break, but I always get so inspired when I see your work. I am going to have to pick my needles up soon. :) I hope your week is off to a great start!

    • kyoko

      Hi Stephanie!
      Thank you :D Summer is a slow phase for knitting. I am the same, I knit slightly less than usual. Your comment really made me happy :D Fingers crossed that I won’t be woken up by Wata’s cold paws this week…
      x
      Kyoko

  10. Janie

    Hi,
    This is great!!! I love how easy these patterns are. I already used the bell ruffle on a pair of gloves and they turned out great. I do have a question though. I am fairly new and a beginner when it comes to knitting. I would like to try out the pattern for the last ruffle but I am not sure what to do when it says wrap and turn. Thanks for all your help

    • kyoko

      Hi Janie,
      Thank you-! :D To wrap the stitch on the knit-side, you will bring the yarn in front as if to purl, then wrap the next stitch around. If you are working on the purl-side, then you could need to bring the yarn back as if to knit and wrap the next stitch around. When you wrap the next stitch and turn the work, you would basically leave the stitches after the wrap unknitted. This makes the section before the wrapped stitch to have more rows than the section after the wrapped stitch hence the spiral shape. When you encounter the wrapped stitch, you can either pick the loop up and knit together (this will prevent the hole being made usually) or ignore it depending on your preference or texture you like.
      Hope this helps. Happy New Year! :D
      x
      Kyoko

  11. Anna

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I want to girly up some longies I am knitting and this is perfect!

    • kyoko

      Hi Anna,
      Thank you for your comment :) I am so glad that the tutorial has been useful :D
      x
      Kyoko

  12. liz

    I can’t wait to try out the bell edging, I’m so glad I found your site–so very helpful!
    thanks

    • kyoko

      Hi Liz!
      Thank you very much :D I will be doing more knitting video tutorials in the coming weeks.
      Hope you enjoy the bell edging. It has a lovely effect to it and easy to make ;)
      Happy knitting!
      x
      Kyoko

  13. Allison

    I am confused. I was trying the #3, short row frills and followed the directions but I did not come up with any frills.. just a weird shape with holes were the wraps were.

    What am I missing??

    • Kyoko

      Hi Allison,
      Thank you for your comment. With garter stitch you don’t generally need to pick up the wraps, but sometimes depending on the yarn and the gauge it may create holes if the wraps are not picked up. So in your case, you may want to pick up the wraps on row 15.
      I have a video tutorial for short-row knitting which you might find helpful.
      I am not sure, however, it has not come up with frills (even with holes, the pattern should become a frill). If you like, do please send me an e-mail with the photo so that I will be able to see what may have gone wrong.
      Hope this helps.
      Happy knitting!
      x
      Kyoko

  14. R

    For the bell ruffle, which side is the right side?

    • Kyoko

      Hi!
      I have added the RS and WS on the instruction. Hope this helps!
      x
      Kyoko

  15. R

    Sorry, also, what do “yf” and “yb” stand for? I’m used to seeing that with slipped stitches, but these seem to be yarn overs. Is that correct?

    • Kyoko

      Hi again!
      Yes you are absolutely correct. They are two kinds of yarn overs.
      yf stands for yarn forward – please bring the yarn over the needle from back to front.
      yb stands for yarn back – please bring the yarn over the needle from front to back.
      Hope this helps. Any questions, please feel free to contact me again.
      Happy knitting!
      x
      Kyoko

  16. R

    Thanks so much!

  17. jena

    This is exactly what I was looking for – thank you!

  18. Joanne

    Thank you for showing me how easy it is to add frills and ruffles! :)

    • Kyoko

      Thank you very much for the comment!
      x
      Kyoko

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