Fifth Birthday Dress

Posted by Wood | Friday, February 26, 2010 | , , ,

A few months ago, my knitting mentor DW sent me some beautiful yellow yarn from a local mill on Prince Edward Island. She knew that I wanted to make something for Juniper, and she knew that yellow was her favorite color. The yellow yarn she sent me was gorgeous and incredibly soft; I couldn't wait to make something with it.

The only problem was finding the right pattern. I fell in love with this cool, modern dress, but the pattern called for a lighter-weight yarn. I don't know if it's because DW was excited to see me use yarn that she sent me, or if she is just a crazy lady who doesn't mind doing a ridiculous amount of work for someone else, but she painstakingly modified the original pattern so that I could make the dress with thicker yarn. I don't know how she did it. I'm guessing it was a combination of the various math subjects that I hated in high school tossed with some magic.

DW's pattern was easy for me to follow, and because I was using thicker yarn, the dress came together pretty quickly. I started it two weeks before Juniper's birthday, and used nearly every non-working minute to knit. I had just enough time to block it before her birthday. Juniper knew that I was making something for her (no way to hide the project from her when I was sneaking in stitches during dinner), but she didn't know what it was. I promised myself I wouldn't be disappointed if she didn't really care for it, but she loved it and wore it all day on her birthday.

(I can't take credit for the sweet knitted gnome. It was a birthday gift from Juniper's teacher, who gave me a copy of the pattern. I can't wait to try it.)

Juniper and I chose the buttons together. Browsing buttons is probably the most fun part about a trip to the fabric store, but when I actually have to buy buttons and also consider the emphatic input from a nearly-five-year-old, it can be difficult. Of course the nearly-five-year-old wanted every fluorescent flower or giant-sparkly-faux-crystal-button, and I was starting to despair when we finally found these tiny white rabbits. They satisfied her desire for the buttons to "be" something, and they satisfied my criteria that the buttons be simple and not compete with the dress.

It's no surprise that DW has made her modifications to the pattern available on her site for anyone who is interested. She is just too nice. The size I made for Juniper is probably best considered a 3T, but you could easily make it longer or shorter. I think it would fit any 2-6 year-old with length modifications. (**Edited to add: DW's modifications are no longer available on her website. Tora Froseth, the author behind the original pattern, asked DW to remove her instructions. Of course DW obliged.)

And there's the birthday crown. She loved that too. I followed a template in Kata Golda's book for the red bird, but made the pheasant based on a sketch by Jim.

Finally, comments are broken here on woodcraft, which stinks because I love getting comments from you guys. The best I can do is encourage you to comment on ravelry if you're a knitter, or to leave a comment on flickr or DW's post.