Tutorial | High waisted knit shorts

Updated on Jan 28, 2011
gray DIY by Barbro shorts
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11 favorites
barbroandersen 's Thoughts:

Warning: heavy text post. My knit shorts have gotten a lot of attention on the internets and in real life, for that matter – and I have received so many requests regarding them I can’t even wrap my head around it. Many of you asked me if I could make you a pair, others were ready to pay me a lot of money to knit a pair for them, some asked for a recipe and a couple of you guys wanted to know where I bought it: because you didn’t believe I made them. Honestly, I just got lucky. I was aiming for a kind of voluminous skirt; but somewhere in the process I decided to make shorts instead. I wish I could make a pair for every single one of you guys, but I really can’t do that. So I’m doing the next best thing. Or, trying to. Here’s a tutorial.

I’ve never made a tutorial before, so please be gentle with me. I also never had the skills to follow knitting recipes myself, so I’m kind of making it up as I go: using my own terms and kind of winging it; much like how I came up with the idea of making these shorts in the first place. I tend to use humor as a defense mechanism when I’m insecure, which you may notice later on in this post. It’s actually very, very easy to make these shorts – I just don’t know how to explain it. Imagine a medium neck cowl, sown together in the middle of one end and there you have it!

I only use approximate measurements, mostly because if it doesn’t fit – I make it fit. I also prefer a bit of room in my clothes for more comfort.

- Approximately 3 balls of yarn. I personally used PT2. PT2 is a 100% natural Norwegian wool of highest quality, which is available here.
- 5 mm (US8) circular needles. You could also knit this back and forth on straight needles, but I prefer circular ones.

- First of: buy the yarn. Pretty self explanatory, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.
- Second: buy the needles. You will be needing them of the actual making the shorts.
- Third: if your mom or another friend is doing it for you, ignore the steps above and buy chocolate, flowers, wine, strawberries, scented candles and a pair of great shoes with a card that says “thank you for doing this for me”.
- Then; measure the length between your waist and crotch to get the approximate height of the shorts, which in my case was about 25 cm. Remember these are just ish-measurements, and I’m a size small. I didn’t have to measure the width of my bum-area because the circular needles where a perfect match to my size, but I suggest you do it and add a few cm for good luck.

How to:
This is the tricky part; for me. I chose to knit my shorts in a loose pattern of 5×5 ribs (knit 5, purl 5). Start by casting on that circular needle and measure as you go. When it comes to the width of the shorts I suggest you stretch the yarn and keep going until you reach your own measurements. Very unspecific, I know, but true nonetheless. Then you just keep knitting in circles until you reach you preferred height and remember to cast off every tenth stitch of every third row of the purl to get that defined waist. When you’ve reached your measurements and finished casting of, lay it flat and measure so that you find the middle (of the wide end). Sew together 2-4 cm using the same type of yarn.

So, to sum up:
Cast on (your bum-measurement in cm) and knit approximate 4 rows of 5×5 ribs (knit 5, purl 5). Cast of every 10th stitch of every 3rd row of the purled stitches, while continuing the 5×5 ribs. Cast of loosely. Sew together 2-4 cm in the middle of the bottom part and fix those little beauty flaws.

The best tips I have is to use your own creativity to decide what you prefer. This is only a vague guide. You can have a cleaner look with simple stitches alone, or make it even more complex with the patterns of your choice. You can use super-thick yarn to make chunky shorts, or make tight ones with thread-thin yarn. The last option is an everlasting project, I think. There are thousands of blogs and sites about knitting and recipes to guide you. The problem I have is that I took it straight out of my own imagination, and just knitted in circles, casting off to suit my waist, until I was satisfied – but I really hope this help you guys a little bit!

Good luck! More pictures on the blog

Remember to cast off somewhat loose in the end so that you don’t have to redo it all when you don’t get it over your bum, like I did.

*Previous post on this subject: DIY high waisted knit shorts, DIY high waisted knit shorts and DIY high waisted knit shorts *

Comments (18)

OHSOladylike on August 11
i love everything about this - i just don't know how to knit! but i do have a cousin who knows how... time to exploit the familia
barbroandersen on August 12
Thank you! Haha, you should most definitely make her knit them for you :D
ACO on February 27
love those shorts
barbroandersen on August 12
Thank you!
atusia on February 25
Chic! Chic! Chic!!
barbroandersen on August 12
Thank you so much!
opfiend on February 11
Ahh! I love these shorts! I'm so glad your made a tutorial! Now I just need to figure out how to work knitting needles haha...
barbroandersen on February 12
Thank you so much! Haha, it's kind of tricky in the beginning - but once you get the hang of it it's really fun!
anonymours on February 05
cool tutorial
barbroandersen on February 12
Thanks a lot :D
waiala on February 05
barbroandersen on February 12
THank you!
xolivykamxo on February 04
barbroandersen on February 12
Bombonica on February 02
you need guts to wear those shorts! love the coat!
barbroandersen on February 12
Haha, I guess I do :p Thanks :D
KatrinaBea on February 02
insanely gorgeous!! those shorts are amazing, so talented!
barbroandersen on February 12
Thank you so much!
leizledemaisip on January 31
nice shorts!
barbroandersen on February 12
Thank you!
irisanddaniel on January 30
Ah! LOVE knit shorts, really want some. :) this is great.
barbroandersen on February 12
Thank you so much! I love you guys :D
xanjelix on January 30
lovely! you are very creative
barbroandersen on February 12
Oh, thank you :D
Anglamark on January 29
Amazing shorts! :) And a wonderful tutorial, I really have to make a pair for myself!
barbroandersen on February 12
Thank you so much <3
KaylaMeow on January 28
amazing tutorial !! <3 those shorts are amazing :D
angiekje on January 28
LOVE it!! faving :D I need to make them :)
barbroandersen on February 12
Oh, wow, thank you so much!
browneyes on January 28
they're amazing! thank you for the tutorial :)
barbroandersen on February 12
I'm really glad you like them! Thank you!
editorspicks on January 28
Congrats! You've been by our editor for Chic Picks! xo
barbroandersen on February 12
Wow, thanks a lot :D
imjustmefashionblog on January 28
love this!!!! love the shorts!!
barbroandersen on February 12
Thank you!
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