Alouette

“Alouette, gentille alouette…”
As sweet as a whimsical children’s song, this little cardigan is the prefect addition to a little girl’s wardrobe.
Straightforward to knit with its top-down construction and pretty stitch pattern, it features lovely details such as the subtle flare at the top of the 3/4 sleeves, which echoes the overall swingy shape.

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Alouette calls for sport weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 8 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

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Tutu Top

Sweet and simple and super-swingy… The idea was to give that gauzy, “tutu” feel while keeping this top modern and practical.
The result is not too frilly but definitely girly!

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Tutu Top calls for aran weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 8 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Silverfox Hats

Soon after I released my Silverfox Cardigan I started receiving requests for a matching hat. I pretty quickly came up with a cute little bonnet using the same cable motifs on garter background — I love bonnets for younger babies and toddlers who will instantly remove any other type of hat placed on their heads, and thus, here’s Silverfox Bonnet (which comes in sizes Newborn to Child:)

But of course, the bonnet style is a bit girly, and I thought I’d better come up with a classic beanie as well, with a slouch option because why not, and sizing from Newborn to Adult. Behold Silverfox Beanie and Slouch:

So here you go, 2 Silverfox Hats, available both as individual patterns and as a discounted eBook (click on image to go to Ravelry for eBook purchase):

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Catch Up post: Summer Into Fall

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This design has been in my head, pretty much exactly as you see it above, for years. The ruffles on the straps, the V-shape of the straps at the back (cute but also ensuring the straps do not fall off of the shoulder!), the side tabs and A-line shape…

I am not sure why it took me so long to knit it and write it up. It’s the perfect instant-gratification project: a very easy knit, it also includes a few “tricks” to make it look polished and practical. It calls for aran-weight yarn, so it knits up extremely quickly, and uses very little yarn. It’s a versatile garment, which could be a worn as a back-to-school jumper/pinafore dress over a shirt and tights, or as a simple summer dress.

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I was so impressed with the versions that my test-knitters made that I made a little collage (the photos were used with permission): doesn’t it look completely adorable on all these sweet little girls?

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Credit (Ravelry user ID) from top left clockwise: cbahler, buttons29, Cellybelle, Serendipitystitch, LauraPNW, JuneK, blogiete

Summer Into Fall calls for aran weight yarn and comes in sizes 3 months to 6 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

Catching Up post: Silverfox cardigan

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I don’t usually knit cables very much, let alone use them in designs, I’m not sure why, I think I might carry this impression from my beginner-knitter days that they are an expert skill (like fair-isle, steeking etc).

But I do love the look of cables, especially when they don’t overwhelm a garment (well, sometime, cablepaloozas are fun!). I’m particularly fond of garter stitch and cables together, which you don’t see much of for some reason. I think there is a nice contrast between the squishy garter stitch and the disciplined cables imbedded in it, particularly for children’s clothing.

The cable here is very simple and repeated everywhere, so the charts/written instructions aren’t really needed after the first repeat (I really dislike having to constantly refer to a chart, it takes me out of my knitting groove!). I also wanted to do a variation on the raglan yoke, something that looked a bit like a saddle shoulder, featuring that pretty, tight cable. I also used this same cable along the button band and used its natural properties to my advantage: since it pulls the fabric a bit, it naturally lowered the front neckline, meaning no shaping was needed. It stiffness also made the front bands lay very nice and flat.

Finally, I wanted to pay extra attention to the finishing details, including some more intermediate techniques that I haven’t used very much in my patterns: I-cord edgings, I-cord bind-off, grafting (a tiny amount of that only, I promise!!).  The cardigan is worked from the bottom up, completely seamlessly, which I also don’t tend to do, but it was the best option for this design.

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So here’s the result, which I am so proud and happy with. This is another one where my tech-editor and amazing test-knitters were beyond helpful. It’s also one of the handmade things that my daughter has worn the most. For those who are curious, I’m working now on a matching bonnet as well as a beanie. Coming very soon, stay tuned!

Silverfox calls for dk weight yarn and comes in sizes 6 months to 6 years. You can find it in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores.

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Petite Purls

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Je voulais vous signaler un nouveau site de modèles de tricot gratuits pour bébés et enfants, ça s’appelle Petite Purls. C’est un peu comme Knitty, que vous connaissez sûrement, ils sortent un numéro chaque nouvelle saison, pour le moment ils ont 2 numéros disponibles, Summer 2009 et Fall 2009.

J’ai vu pas mal de modèles vraiment jolis, notamment ça, ça et surtout ça… Une belle initiative!

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Do you guys know about Petite Purls? It’s a new website with the cutest free patterns for babies and children… Sort of like Knitty except that it focuses on kids.  A new issue comes out every season (two issues are out so far: Summer 2009 and Fall 2009)

I saw quite a few patterns on there that I love, like this, this and especially this —  you should totally check it out!

FO: Mr. Escargot

Escargot Front

Just in time for Spring…

Escargot Back

Mr. Escargot comes out of his shell…

To just, you know, check stuff out.

A couple close-ups:

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Pattern: Mister Escargot, from Bergère de France’s Tricot Baby catalog

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK (about 3-4 balls in Nutmeg and 1 in Asparagus), and some leftover Debbie Bliss’s Cashmerino Aran (Denim)

Needles: Size 5

Modifications: I invented the size 3 years, so I didn’t exactly follow the instructions to the T.

Also, the instructions for the collar seemed like too much of a hassle, so I simply picked up the stiches all around the neckline using a circular needle, and did a 2×2 rib until I thought the length was good (about 8 rows). Then I did the same on either side of the neck opening and sewed the bottom edge of the two ribbed strips to the bottom edge of the opening.

I added two pockets with a repeat of the stitch used for the edges of the sleeves and body, Since there was no room left for the escargot, I just decided to put it on the back of the sweater to add interest.

Time it took: Off and on, I would say about 3 week? A month?

My opinion: Pretty straightforward pattern, a little boring to knit, the seaming felt like it took an eternity. *But* I’m happy with the result, the sweater looks comfy with a nice worn-in quality, the yarn is pretty soft and very pleasant to knit with. Makes for a neat little everyday sweater.

This is going to be a “pwesent” for Dil, Gabe’s 2-year-old nephew. It will probably be a bit big on him, but that’s not a bad thing. I’m hoping to get an action shot this week-end…