Monday, July 27, 2009

Emma Peel: The School Jumper

Before I share my latest FO, I feel moved to digress a bit. It's about blogging. I am a blogging neophyte. I've only had my blog for a little over a year and I only post about once a month or so -- whenever I finish making a knitted item. But I greatly admire many other bloggers (mostly knitters) who write amusing and interesting blogs on a regular basis about a wide range of topics. With these inspirational folks in mind I've been musing a little about broadening the scope of my blog to share my latest read or talk about the amount of yardage I've swum that week. Stuff like that. But then I think to myself, who would really care? And, isn't that the fabric of my private life so why would I splash it all over the Internet? And then, finally, I think to myself, no one ever comments on my blog anyway so I know that I really have very few readers. (Sometimes I even feel a little bit sorry for myself about that last point.) But then I read the Yarn Harlot's recent blog about all of the hate mail she's been getting lately (mostly from one particular offender), and I think maybe I'm lucky that my blog seems to stay under the radar. Mostly I feel saddened that there are a few people out there who have to ruin the fun for the rest of us who would like to trustingly share a little bit of our lives with the world and spread the joy of a well-cut steek or a well-turned heel. Sigh. Okay, digression over. On to the knitting ...

This FO is the second of two knitted jumpers (i.e., sleeveless dresses for all you Brits) I made for my six year-old niece who begins first grade in a month.

She is a very active, athletic little girl who much prefers leggings and jeans to dresses despite the attempts of my sister, my sister's MIL, and me to dress her in girly-girl clothes. So when I saw Emma Peel which is described as a dress that school-age girls will appreciate more than a "frou-frou" knit with ruffles and bows, I thought I'd give it a try.

Okay, I couldn't resist some embellishment, so I embroidered a heart on the breast. I found this particular heart in libbyguillard's Flickr photostream, but I'm not sure if she made it up or used a pattern. Anyway, it was the perfect outline of a heart for this little dress. Sort of like the alligator on Izod shirts.

I love the trompe l'oiel effect of the belt. The skirt design is created using a slip stitch pattern. I added in a third color (the white) to give it a plaid look.

I used Rowan handknit cotton yarn, because my niece lives in Southern California and I thought wool would be too hot for her. But, I have to admit, although cotton yarn has its uses it's like knitting with string in my mind. I muuuuuuch prefer wool!
Anyway, I hope she likes it.
Design: Emma Peel
From: Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines by Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne
Yarn: Rowan handknit cotton
Needles: US3

If you have something nice to say and you'd like to leave a comment, please do!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Twenty-eight pansies

My dear niece begins first grade in September, so I decided to knit her a couple of jumpers to get her started off on the right foot. (Not that she needs it, mostly I just thought it would be fun).

I finished the first of the two. It's actually a baby design by Kari Haugen published in the Dale of Norway Baby Collection Nr. 114. I modified it to fit a 6 year-old and added the colored stripes at the bottom of the bodice.

I purled the yellow centers of the pansies to add texture to the design and while I was knitting it the fabric was somewhat puckered. However, a good blocking seems to have taken care of 99% of the problem. There is still a small amount of pulling just below the yellow centers where I wove in the floats. I got lots of support and ideas about how to prevent this in the future from Mary Ann of and the Two Strands group on Ravelry. Many thanks!

I was watching "An Affair to Remember" when I picked up the stitches on the left armhole which is clearly not beneficial to my knitting technique. The right sleeve stitch pick-up looks much more professional thanks to the fact that I gave it my full attention!

I thought these pansy buttons were perfect! I found them on Etsy at

Here are the specs:
Design: Kari Haugen for Dale of Norway, Baby Collection Nr. 114
Yarn: Baby Ull (natch) - light green (9013), deep lavendar (5135), deep blue (5545), pastel lavender (5303), and yellow (2015).
Needles: US0 and US2
Gauge: 28 stitches and 38 rounds in 4" x 4"