can I have one too?

The toddler dress has been finished, buttoned, photographed and delivered. I wish I could take all the credit for having it all done in the space of one weekend, but I can’t – I had a lot of help. But let’s take it one step at a time. I have a lot to say about this project!

The yarn I used was Serenada by ISPE Padova, a 50-50 blend of merino and acrylic. While it is listed as fingering, I’d personally classify it as light fingering, and I worked it on 2.5mm needles to get a fabric I was happy with (with 3mm the fabric was too airy, I don’t like cobwebby knits).

When I washed the finished garment, there was a pleasant and an unpleasant surprize. The unpleasant was that the yarn was extremely dirty. I don’t know if it was from sitting on the shelf for too long (Croatian yarn shops do not have the fastest turnover in the world, to put it nicely) or from the dyeing process, but I had to change water (with and without detergent) 5 times before it stopped going all black from dunking the garment in it. On the other hand, when it was finally clean, it blocked out very nicely, looking almost as if I had ironed it. Some of my other experiences with acrylic blends showed them very resistant to blocking, so I was happy that it was not the case with this yarn.

The pattern is Little sister’s dress by Tora Froseth Design. There is a Big sister’s dress pattern too, in larger sizes, but as opposed to this one it is not free, so I chose to modify the free one instead.

I was knitting for a 2-year-old who wears clothes for 3-year-olds. This took a lot of effort. Even finding what the standard measures for a 3-year-old are was extremely difficult: what with different clothing standards and impenetrable size denotations, I was completely lost. After having the child measured, I finally settled on some modifications. I increased the number of cast-on stitches and increase repeats and hoped for the best. I adjusted things as I went along. Unfortunately, it was only after having knit the whole thing that I remembered to compare my target measures with the measures given in the pattern for a 2-year-old. It turns out the pattern writers were also counting on a big 2-year-old. Their measures came out to exactly what I was aiming for. Hello, wasted effort! I am happy, though, with the fact that my dress has a larger neck opening, this will surely come in handy as the toddler grows, and hopefully some day she’ll be able to wear it as a nice pullover without hurting her ears in the process of getting it on. So some good came of it after all.

The pattern itself was very straightforward, easy to memorize and carry around with to work on during commutes and travels. I was pulling it out every chance I got and that was definitely a big plus, since there was a lot of mindless stockinette on tiny needles to be done!

The buttons were custom-made, by her own design, by my friend Maja. She made a bunch of different ones to choose from and I can tell you it took us a while to decide. When I say a while, I mean A WHILE. I’ve already reserved some of the ones we didn’t use for other projects and told her that she’ll need to make more of the ones we did use. I love both the idea and the execution of these, and I’m sure the little girl will love playing with them too!

I learned some crochet techniques with this project too. Firstly, I learned to make a simple crochet edging, which I used on the button band – it looked a lot untidier before the crochet treatment, and I’m happy to now have this technique at my beck and call. I also made little buttonhole loops out of crochet chains, which was super-easy, though of course the most annoying part was sewing them in and securing them. I do hope they stay put.

Finally, the photographs were done by another friend, more of whose work you can find here. This won’t be the end of our collaboration, and I’m looking forward to sharing more soon…

Still here? Well, I told you I had a lot to say! At least no one can tell me now that my blog is all photos, hehe! ;) Have a good week everyone!

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