February 19, 2011

The story of the mahaila knitted shorts: a labour of love..... and tears

After months of knitting, unravelling, constructing, elation and tears I have completed the mahaila designed shorts. They are now on a journey, travelling from Berlin to Perth. Kaye, consider Challenge number 3 complete!

Making these shorts was a complete challenge for me. OK so I can knit, but to design the garment was quite tricky for the amateur knitter. I ended up making 3 pairs of shorts (2 were unravelled) 

In late June, Kaye suggested that I knit some shorts for a challenge. Starry eyed mahaila accepted the challenge with enthusiasm.
In July 2010 I went to my favourite yarn store in Berlin, Loops. I bought a few balls of GGH Java black yarn and was very excited to start the challenge. I struggled to find a pattern, but eventually found a 'rainbow shorts pattern'.  

 After completing 1/4 of the rainbow shorts, I came to the conclusion that perhaps they weren't going to work out as well as I had wanted. So I searched and found another pattern by the knit designer Craig Hunter, Gam shorts. 

After realising that I needed more yarn, I discovered that the GGH Java yarn had been discontinued. So I searched a number of stores in Berlin with little luck. At this point I was desperate to find the right yarn. Luckily a lady at loops searched and searched for black Java yarn, where she found the last 3 balls. YAY!
As you can see from the photo above, I had nearly completed these shorts when I came to the conclusion that perhaps these shorts were too big. The shorts had taken me weeks to make and I learnt the hard way that you have to keep trying the shorts on every so often. But I did learn a lot with this pattern. E.g. shortening rows and working in the round. With much regret, I unravelled these shorts.   

I then searched and found the studio shorts pattern on ravelry by Elisha Laubacher. After reading articles by knit designers I decided to have a go at making something based on the pattern I wanted, to ensure that it would work. So I ended up making a coral neck brace thing (which you will be able to see in a later post).I then utilised the studio shorts stitch count when creating the ribbing at the bottom of the legs. I added 10 stitches on each leg and started on my cabling/moss pattern. I was concerned that they would not fit because I did not know how the cabling would effort the fit of the shorts. I frequently placed the stitches on salvage wool, so that I could try them on. Luckily everything seemed to go along smoothly. 
 In January 2011, the shorts were completed in Berlin! YAY!. 
Today I they were sent via registered post to Kaye in Perth. Fingers crossed they get there!

Wrapped up and ready to go

PLEASE get there in one piece mahaila shorts!

I definitely had a love hate relationship with these shorts. I feel that I have learnt a lot from them and I am currently working on a 1930's knitted swim suit. Fingers crossed these will work out as well as the shorts!

Watch this space: Soon we will both be posting our photos with the shorts.


  1. Those shorts look amazing, well done. :)


  3. they will get in one piece unless they unravel again;)

    lovely lovely and ...did I mention lovely?

  4. These are AMAZING I need them in my life! I have been thinking about doing somehting similar but I don't think I have the skill.


  5. those look gorgeous! you did a really, really fantastic job. I've only knitted two items ever, but I want to take these on so badly! thanks for linking to the patterns!

  6. just came across your blog and it is absolutely amazing. I can't believe you knitted those shorts yourself, that is beyond amazing. I would try and dos omething like that but i definitely would have gotten too fed up before i oculd have finished them.
    following now!

  7. loved these shorts fancy sending some to England xx

  8. this was so good! i'm going to try and follow your lead and just start figuring it out. thanks for your sticktoitiveness!

  9. How did you do this? Do you have a pattern?

  10. Hey! I've been searching for a knitted shorts pattern and came across your post. The final product looks dope! Do you have the pattern that you used? I see that it was sort of a combination/trial and error based on a few different patterns. I would to get that pattern from you!