Saturday, August 9, 2008

May Baby Dress

Pattern: Dress with Eyelets by Debbie Bliss from her book Baby Knits for Beginners
Date finished: May 30, 2008
Needles: US 6 to get the recommended gauge
Yarn: KnitPicks Cotlin in color Swan
I used approximately 6 balls (730 yards)
Modifications: see below

I was waiting for better pictures before posting this one but I'm afraid it may never happen as the intended recipient is a very busy 15 month old who will probably grow out of this garment before getting a chance to model it for me. Such is life.

For this dress, I knew I wanted to substitute the recommended wool/cotton blend for something more suitable for steamy DC summers. I had been playing around with Knit Picks Cotlin for another project and had even swatched and washed it to see about shrinkage. Since it had the added bonus of being machine washable, it seemed like a natural match for this pattern.

The Yarn: The Cotlin is aptly named as it is a blend of cotton and linen. Knit Picks is known for quality yarns at reasonable prices (only $2.49 a ball; the materials for this dress cost me about $15). The resulting fabric is soft and totally wearable. I suspected that machine washing would cause some shrinkage and I was right - mostly in length. Easy enough, I just knew that I had to add an inch to the skirt and bodice.

The Pattern: I know I usually complain about Miss Debbie Bliss, knitwear designer extraordinaire with her own line of yarn. But I'm still so drawn to her simple lines and clean aesthetics. That being said, her pattern writers and editors usually leave a lot to be desired. Her book Baby Knits for Beginners is not a great book in which to learn knitting techniques although she does have some nice illustrations. However, it is a good book for beginners armed with some basic knitting know-how and a good knitting manual. This pattern was reasonably well written and easy to follow.

My only modifications were to add an inch to the skirt (forgot to add an inch to the bodice) and to knit a fold-over hem instead of the recommended garter stitch hem.

Overall, I was very pleased with this little garment. It looked lovely on the hanger and hopefully would have looked lovely on a real live girl.

sigh. It's hard being an aunt.