Sunday Stitch – Afterthought Pockets


I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Zimmermann. She taught me to be the boss of my knitting and she gave me permission to do whatever I wanted. That includes cutting holes into perfectly good knitting.

Putting in an afterthought pocket in knitting

I’m passing that freedom on. Here is how you can safely cut a hole after you’ve finished your knitting. This is great for afterthought pockets, button holes, and heels.

Come to think of it… I’d like to have some pockets

Afterthought pockets get put in after you’ve finished your sweater. Afterthought heels go in after you finished your sock. And so on. All you need is to open up a hole in your knitted fabric.

Grab some scissors and don’t be scared! Lol. Its not hard at all

You cut a strand. Just the one. That gives you two ends which you pull out, exposing live stitches on the top and bottom. How cool is that? If your reluctant to give it a try, here are two cheats that make this trick even easier to pull off:

  1. Use a spray water bottle and spritz the knitting before you cut. Damp yarn is heavier and usually clingy. Those live loops won’t go anywhere if they are a bit wet.
  2. For the pick up, use a small needle. If you knitted with a size 8, pick up the new loops with a size 4 or even a tapestry needle and some waste yarn.

Do you have a knit cardigan that you always wished had a few pockets? Now you can add them in even if its been finished for years, even if its store bought. Do all your socks wear out in the heel? If you make a pair with afterthought heels, those heels can be pulled out, pulled all the way back to the loops that you used to start your heel with and then remade. No more darning heels.

There is another way to cut into your knitting and it called steeking. Steeking is for when you want a vertical cut. I think I’ll do that next week. Then we will all be able to cut up our knitting any way we like!

Did you find this tutorial helpful? We have more! Check out our Tips, Tricks and Videos page. There is stuff for knitter, crocheters and handspinners.

Its also Mother’s day. You didn’t think I’d forgotten did ya? Not me. I like my head on its shoulders, thank-you very much. But I was hiding the Mother’s Day knitting from you because mom reads this blog. That makes it tough to a) get credit for all my work while b) keeping presents a secret!

But her package arrived on Friday and she opened it immediately. I do that too, by the way. I open all my prezzies as soon as they come. Waiting is for people with self-control and parents who make them. I don’t have either of those things.

Here is what mom got:

(She got more than just knitting but the knitting was the most important.)

Its an Almost Lost Washcloth with two Mini Almost-Losts. The yarn is Sweet Pea Stripes from Peaches and Cream. I love this pattern, its easy and elegant and the minis go fast!

Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re a mom, I hope someone does all your dishes and cleans your kitchen today. But not with handknitted washcloths. They are not was washing with. They are decorative! I can rest easy in the knowledge that all the washcloths I’ve made for my mom have never been used to clean anything, lol.

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7 Comments on "Sunday Stitch – Afterthought Pockets"

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hi jenn :-)) it’s martina from germany … i really REALLY like your posts and i have to tell you that it’s especially the variety of subjects and topics you are sharing with us that makes it always a pleasure to find your daily post in my inbox .. THANK YOU SO MUCH to brighten each of my days with your lively and refreshing way to let me be part of your daily life in a way .. i’m a spinner and knitter, too .. and i have a feline overlord myself .. so it’s so lovely to know you… Read more »
Hi Martina. I’m so glad you like the posts! I write them and I never know which ones will flop and which will be a hit. I used to stress over that and try to figure out which topics would do best. Then I gave up. I can’t predict what readers will like AT ALL! So now I just write whatever is in my heart and on my mind and send it out. Its more fun that way. Feedback like yours means a lot. It tells me that I should just keep doing what I’m doing and not worry. And… Read more »

I just happen to have an almost finished cardigan that I love … and will adore once it has perfectly placed pockets!! You are amazing. Hug!


Oh good!

Me, I love pockets. I have too many little things that have to follow me around and I hate purses. Pockets are a must! So of course I completely understand that every cardi needs pockets!


This is cool! I had never heard of this technique, I shall have to experiment with it. My Mother-in-law got tech support for Mother’s Day and she was very, very happy with it 🙂


tech support? huh. That’s a wonderful idea. I may have to steal that. I’ll steal a good idea from anyone.

Deidre Marks

Reblogged this on Deidre's Knitting.