I’m going through all my images  saved on Pinterest and my stash of pages ripped out of magazines and I’m realising that I’ve ‘squirreled’ away lots of images of ruffles. I’ve got them in every guise. My particular favourites are from Gucci’s winter collection  and


Most ruffles will be knitted by machine and sewn onto the garment later, some are knitted into hems, and as borders as part of the silhouette. Depending on the scale of the ruffles, the end results are nearly always a little sculptural. Some are worked in really fine gossamer yarn and the effect is quite feminine and delicate. However, hand knitted in a chunky yarn on big needles they can make a silhouette look really quite dramatic.


I’ve had a go at hand knitting some of the ruffles I’m seeing around this season, here are 3 of my favourites and instructions on how I did it.

  1. Basic ribbed  ruffle
  2. Dinner bell ruffle
  3. Tulip ruffle

Abbreviations K- knit, P- Purl, Sl 1 wyib - slip 1 st with yarn in back of work, Sl 2 – slip 2 sts ; St(s)- stitch(es), p2sso – Rep – repeat, g st – garter st (knit every row), st st – stocking st; yo – yarn over

1. Basic Ribbed Ruffle

Ribbed Ruffle

In principle ruffles are created when excess fabric is forced into a smaller space or seam. The excess fabric flutes out and distorts, causing a ruffle effect.





This basic ruffle is worked in a K2,P2 rib but could easily be worked in any other rib or even in plain stocking st. It’s worked from the bottom up.


You need to cast on 4 x the number of stitches you want to end with. In this case I cast on 80sts, worked 10 rows in K2,P2 rib then worked 2 rows in st st decreasing as folls:


Row 1 (dec) K2tog to end (40sts)

Row 2 (dec) p2tog to end (20sts)

Once the desired number of stitches remain on your needle you can continue to work the rest of your project.


2. Bell Ruffle

Bell Ruffle

This ruffle is created from the bottom up so can be worked integrally onto a project, or alternatively it can be worked up and sewn on later as a trim.






Unlike the basic ruffle this ruffle is formed by a serious of shaped bells, using a central decrease technique. This creates a very regular bell shapes at the edges of the fabric.


There are numerous ways to manipulate and adapt this ruffle by increasing or decreasing the number of stitches and rows and playing with yarn choices.


Cast on 10sts for every 4sts required at the completion of the ruffle, plus 3 selvedge sts

Rows 1 and 3 (WS) – k3 *p7, k3; rep from *

Row 2 – P3, *k7, p3; rep from *

Row 4 – P3, *k2, sl 2 – k1, p2sso, k2, p3; rep from *

Row 5 and 7 – K3, *p5, k3; rep from *

Row 6 – P3, * k5, p3; rep from *

Row 8 – p3, * k1,sl 2 – k1 – p2sso, k1, p3; rep from *

Rows 9 and 11 - K3, *p3, k3; rep from *

Row 10 – p3, * k3, p3, rep from *

Row 12 – p3, * sl 2 – k1 – p2sso, p3; rep from *

Row 13 and 15 – k3, * p1, k3; rep from *

Rows 14 and 16 – p3, k1, p3; rep from *

End with several rows of st st or garter st.


3. Tulip Ruffle

tulip ruffle

Unlike the bell ruffle this technique produces a larger more rounded tulip shape with the shaping happening on the edges of each individual ruffle rather than in the centre.





This is extremely easy to adapt to bigger, longer, wider bells with more, less or random spaces between the bells.


This version is worked from the top down, however It can also be worked from the bottom up by using decreases instead of increases.


Cast on a multiple of 6sts + 1

Rows 1- 5: Knit

Row 6 (WS) k3, * p1, k5; rep from *, end last rep on k3

Row 7- p3, * yo, k1, yo, p5; rep from, end last rep p3

Row 8 k3, *p3, k5; rep from * end last rep k3

Row 9: p3 * yo k3, yo, p5 rep from * end last rep, p3

Row 10: k3, *p3, k5; rep from * end last rep k3

Row 11 p3 * yo k5, yo, p5 rep from * end last rep , p3

Row 12 k3, *p7, k5; rep from * end last rep k3

Row 13 p3 * yo k7, yo, p5 rep from * end last rep , p3

Row 14 k3, *p9, k5; rep from * end last rep k3 Row 15 p3 * yo k9, yo, p5 rep from * end last rep , p3

Row 16 k3, *p11, k5; rep from * end last rep k3

Row 17 p3 * yo k11, yo, p5 rep from * end last rep , p3

Row 18 k3, *p13, k5; rep from * end last rep k3

Row 19 p3 * yo k13, yo, p5 rep from * end last rep , p3

Row 20 k3, *p15, k5; rep from * end last rep k3

Cast off, k all k sts, p all p sts


There are infinite variations to these 3 ruffle techniques, work the ruffles in lace sts and extra-large for that full on Gucci feel, get creative and don’t forget to share on my facebook page 


Check out my Pinterest boards for inspiration , knitwear tips and techniques @ Happy Knitting! Jo x