Longies pattern

This is my longies pattern – knit in the round and includes a gusset. Longies or shorties made to this pattern will look like this:



Please note – apart from the longies in the top right pic, the longies above don’t yet have elastic in the waistbands, which is why they look so wide! 
The finished gusset looks like this (on some shorties this time):


This page is a work in progress and I don’t have measurements for all sizes. I haven’t made this in the smaller sizes so I am guessing at the number of stitches cast on.

8 ply, 100% wool is best. You’ll need 150g up to about 1 year size, allow 200g for 18 month old sizes.  NOTE:  sizes are a guestimate based on my rather skinny daughter – if you have a chubba bubba you may wish to size up and/or add short rows.

Gauge:           about 22 stitches = 10cm. 

You’ll need:   4mm 40cm circulars

                        4mm 30cm circulars (or a set of dpns)

                        2x 4mm dpns

                        Waste yarn

                        4x stitch markers

Sizes:   newborn, small (up to 6 months), medium (6-12 months), large (12 months), extra large (18 months)


Using a single cast on, cast on 72 (80, 88, 96, 112)

Place marker (A) and join to work in the round

SS for about 2.5 inches

On the next round, pick up the cast on edge of the first stitch and slip it onto the left hand needle. Knit that stitch and the next stitch together.

Keep picking up the cast on edge as you go and k2tog to form a tube

For the last 2 or 3 stitches of the round don’t pick up the cast on edge – this leaves a wee hole to slip the elastic into. You will have a nice tube, about 1 inch wide.

Option for a ribbed waistband:    Use a cable or double cast on and make sure the number of cast on stitches is divisible by 8. k2 p2 for 5 rounds then do one round of *YO, k2tog, p2 (repeat from *) then k2p2 for 5 more rounds  (I prefer a ribbed waistband for nb and small sizes, but I use the elastic casing waistband when the baby is old enough to undo the i-cord tie on a ribbed band)


K 18 (20, 22,24,28), place marker (B), k36 (40, 44,48,56), place marker (C), k to end of round

A marks the centre back, B is the left hip and C is the right hip.

knit for one inch.

Starting at A, k to B, then turn and p back to C for a short row.

At C, turn the work again and k to A = 1 short row

I use the technique shown in this tutorial to do short rows on circulars

Knit for an inch and add a short row as above.

knit for another inch and add another short row

Keep knitting and remove markers B and C

Keep knitting until the body measures the required length – for nb do 15cm from top of work, for small do 16cm, for medium do 17cm, for large do 18cm, for extra large do 19cm. (You don’t have to stick to my measurements!  If you know the rise measurement over the nappy from crotch to waist then you can measure how long the gusset will be (ie if its a small gusset measure 6 rounds), and subtract that from the rise measurement so that you know when to start the gusset.)


You should still have marker A at the start of each round. When you get to 1 stitch before it, place a marker (“1”) Then when you get to A, slip it off and slip it back on 2 stitches from marker 1 (so A becomes marker “2”) – you will now have markers 1 and 2 with 2 stitches between.

Find the middle front of the work and place marker “3” and marker “4”, with 2 stitches in between, at the middle front. The markers show the sides of the gusset.  

Knit to marker 1, slip marker, kfb (knit front and back), knit to 1 stitch before marker 2, kfb, slip marker, knit to marker 3, kfb, knit to one stitch before marker 4, kfb, slip marker, knit to end of round.

For nb and small size, do this for 6 rounds = 14 stitches between the markers

For a medium size, do this for 7 rounds = 16 stitches between the markers

For a large size, do this for 8 rounds = 18 stitches between the markers

For a XL size, do this for 9 rounds = 20 stitches between the markers

Split for legs

Knit to 3 (3, 4, 4, 5) stitches before marker 2.

Place the last  8, (8, 8, 10, 10) stitches you just knit on a dpn. Using a 30cm circular (or dpns), knit across to 3 (3, 4, 4, 5) stitches before marker 4. Place the last 8, (8, 8, 10, 10) stitches on another dpn.  You will now have the stitches for one leg on a 30cm circ, the stitches for the other on a 40cm circ, and the gusset stitches on dpns in between. Thread waste yarn through the stitches on the 40cm circ to hold them. Then cut the working yarn leaving a long tail and use it to join the stitches on the dpns with kitchener stitch.

Your work will look like this after the kitchener stitch – waste yarn holds the stitches of the leg on the right, the other leg is on a 30cm needle, you can see the working yarn held to the left.



You will hopefully still have a long tail of yarn to start knitting the first leg with (this leg will already be on the 30cm circs). When have done one round and get back to the gusset, pick up stitches along the side (maybe 4 or 5, depending on how many rows your gusset is). Picking up stitches this way means you don’t have to sew up any holes later. Then just keep knitting until the leg is the desired length.

OK the best way to determine leg length is to measure against some pants that fit your longies wearer, but if you can’t measure then this is a guideline only for the length of the inseam (I measure from the edge of the crotch gusset) and including the cuff:

nb:   19cm

small:   22cm

med:   26cm

large:  30cm

xl:  33cm

I may have erred on the side of too long for those measurements, but you can always just fold up the cuff if they are too long 🙂

For the second leg, start knitting on the stitches immediately after the gusset, so that you have done one round on the leg first and then pick up the same number of stitches along the gusset as you did for the other leg.

This is what the gusset should look like when you are about to start the 2nd leg.  On the first leg I picked up 3 stitches along the edge of the crotch (they are green, can you see them?) so I will pick up three along the other side, to match.  So I will start with the first stitch after the marker, knit the round and then pick up the 3 stitches.


This is what the finished gusset looks like – no sewing required, other than the kitchener stitch that was done before the legs!  You can see the three stitches I picked up along the gusset on the left in green, and on the right in blue.



For a simple cuff, do 8 rounds of seed stitch (k1 p1) on an odd number of stitches. If you are about to start the cuff and have an even number of stitches, just k2tog on the inside leg before you start the seed stitch.  For a ribbed cuff do 10 rounds of k2p2 rib on an even number of stitches.  

For a lacy cuff, cast off at the desired length and knit the lace trim separately. The trim should be sewed on to the leg using a slip stitch.

About this pattern:

Free for personal, gift or donation (of knitted items) use. Do not sell items made with this pattern. Do not copy this pattern and post it on another website – you are welcome to link to this entry. Do not sell this pattern!

Splitting for the Legs:   Photo guide
I've added some pics to help you see how I do this.
Here is the work on the 40cm needle, crotch is between the two markers and ready to split for the legs.
 Now I've knit across to 4 stitches before the 2nd stitch marker.

Now I’ve slipped the last 10 stitches I knit onto a dpn (this is an XXL pair of longies)


Now I’m about to start knitting stitches onto a 30cm needle


Now I’ve knitted around the leg on the 30cm needle, and across the other side of the crotch until 4 stitches from the 2nd marker (sorry for the blurry pic)


Then I’ve slipped the last 10 stitches onto a DPN.  I now have the crotch on dpns on each side, one leg on the 30cm needle and the other leg on the 40cm needle.


I’ve turned the work around in the next photo, so that the tail of the working yarn (pink) is on the right.  I’ve replaced the 40cm needle with waste yarn (blue) so that there aren’t so many needles to juggle.  Plus I’ve finished with the 40cm needle now so that leg can just sit on the waste yarn until the other leg is finished.  I’m ready to join the crotch with kitchener stitch using the working yarn.  I’ve cut the working yarn leaving it about 3 feet long to stitch the crotch and start the leg.



57 thoughts on “Longies pattern

  1. I just knitted these pants, my first attempt at longies in the round, unwrapped short rows, and kitchener stitch and this pattern is really easy to follow and quick to knit up too! So my unwrapped short rows and kitchener stitch leave something to be desired but you’d never know unless you looked close 😉

    Thanks heaps Jen!

  2. Pingback: Pimp My Longies longies « Knewbieknitter

  3. Pingback: Time for a “THANK-YOU” post….. « Amelia and Leo’s Weblog

  4. Very fun! I’ll have to give your pattern a go. Thanks for explaining how you get your gussets looking so lovely. I’m definitely doing the kitchener stitch and picking up stitches next time. THANKS!

  5. Pingback: Obsessions « Purdy Peas

  6. Pingback: The Princess and The Pea « i n c i d e n t a l h a p p i n e s s

  7. I have a question. I’m wondering if you think the short rows are needed for a good fit? I like knitting for babies and wee ones, but my boys are older now, so I have no one around to try them on. 🙂 Thanks, Cadi

  8. Hi Cadi! I put the short rows in to fit over cloth nappies, because I find that over cloth you need the back to be higher than the front by a good inch. But if the longies are going over underpants or (*gasp*) ‘sposies, then you can probably leave out the short rows.

    I know some people prefer to not do short rows (particularly if they are doing stripes) and just do a couple of increases after the waist to make the butt more roomy.


  9. This was so easy. It was my first time knitting longies and first time using circular needles. I had problems with the short rows but they still look good! Thank you!

  10. Pingback: Columbus ’til I die « Signs of Life

  11. Pingback: Winter Hat and Wool Shorties « The YarnTotingBlog

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern and for the clear instructions. I have just one question: after I have done the short rows, and it says ‘keep knitting until the body measures the required length’, do I measure this on the front (without short rows) or back? I hope that makes sense!

  13. Thank you for sharing your pattern. I havent knitted for a number of years and found the instructions easy to follow and the photos were a great help. Had to go back and re-read a few times, and didnt know a couple of terms you used, but found them on google. Have learnt there is a whole new way of knitting and learning via the internet, thank you. My daughter thinks the finished result is great (she’s put them on her blogg with a link to your pattern) and my grandson is warm. Am now onto the second pair, this time with circular needles instead of dpns. Thanks again.

  14. OMG!!! Thank you sooooo sooooo much for your super duper clear instructions on how to do the gusset!! I was terrified of the gusset and followed your instructions to the letter and finally have success with making a crotch in a pair of longies!!! Thanks again! Next pair I make, I will be using your instructions for the elastic waist band too.

  15. Pingback: My current cloth diaper system «

  16. Pingback: Boulevard Designs - Just another WordPress weblog » Prime Numbers Longies

  17. Pingback: Long longies « a stitch in lime

  18. Pingback: 1 Week Later « refashionista

  19. I just found this patter and LOVE it!!!! They are so cute and would love to make them for my friends daughter who is wearing a 3T. I’m horrible at adjusting patterns so I was wondering if you had written a pattern for larger sizes? These are just the cutest, thanks for sharing them. 🙂

    • No I haven’t written a larger pattern – it turns out that my daughter was skinny and a fairly light wetter, so I never had to make particularly big longies (just really really long ones when she was 3). Now my wee boy is a heavy wetter, has HUGE nappies and at 6 months fits the longies my daughter was wearing at 18 months!

  20. Pingback: One Woman’s Decadence Is Another Woman’s Frugal « refashionista

  21. Pingback: Autumn Knitting Cravings « Stewed Apples and Longies

  22. Thanks for the great pattern! When I make these the legs end up really wide. They look wider than yours. When you pick up the stitches along the gusset do they become extra stitches or do you knit two together to decrease somehow?

  23. Pingback: Id like to learn how to knit! - Natural Parenting Forum

  24. This is the greatest longies pattern, thanks very much for sharing it. It is amazingly easy to follow (I am a very new knitter, your longies are my first significant project).

    I second Jana’s question about picking up the the stitches on the side of the gusset – how is that done?

  25. I am still confused with the gusset. Why aren’t all the stitches between markers grafted together.
    I am ending up with a very odd shaped gusset. Grafting is ok but when I pick up stitches it doesn’t look right.
    Any suggestions? Thanks

  26. I just used your pattern for my second pair of wool shorties. I lOve the pattern and will be making a pair of longies next with this pattern agan!

  27. Please could you clarify if 8ply is aran or Double Knit (DK) in UK terms.

    I’m looking forward to rying out the pattern for my granddaughter!
    Many thanks

  28. Wow, I wish I had this tutorial to look at when I was knitting my first pairs of longies. So nice of you to do this for free 🙂

  29. Pingback: Poco Mountain Girl » Blog Archive » for a very small bottom

  30. Help! I am stuck after placing markers B and C. It says to knit to the end of the round (where A marker is placed right?), then knit for an inch. Then knit from A to B. How can I knit from A to B if I just knitted an inch past A?
    I have never knitted short rounds so I am so lost, but I am determined to do this correctly. Thank you!

  31. Pingback: Monster Knit Pants « Media Knits

  32. I just want to thank you for this pattern. My son had a beautiful pair of longies he has worn for a long time. They are starting to look like capris so time for another few pairs because these are my favorite longies and I don’t want to use any other ones.

  33. I just want to thank you for this pattern. My son had a beautiful pair of longies from this pattern he has worn for a long time. They are starting to look like capris so time for another few pairs because these are my favorite longies and I don’t want to use any other patterns again.

  34. Thank you for your great gusset instructions! I’ve been knitting for a while, but just started knitting soakers for our little one and had been utterly confused on how to handle the gusset on this style.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s