work, knitting, general life and the other blogs have been taking too much of my time in the past few months, it's time to get back to basics and concentrate on the important things - family and work, knitting gives me a lot of joy - creating, exploring, expressing and I want to share that part of my journey with you, the thoughts and ideas, the infant patterns - those that make it and those that end up transformed.
You may have noticed that a number of my garments are now available as knitting patterns, this has more to do with time constraints and wanting to get the designs "out there" I want to share what I love with as many people as possible, I want loads of beloved babies wrapped in my designs, carefully knitted by those who love them.
A few of the designs are digital downloads - you purchase a download of a .pdf file, which you can then keep on your computer, and print out when required, I like this idea because it saves on trees and air miles, the rest of the designs are free .pdfs, same tree saving ideas, but you can also share them with friends and family for no money, a recycling of ideas and a thank you to those who appreciate my designs.
This week I have been working on an idea which started with a photo of my great Aunt as a child, wearing a dress with a smock style overdress, I liked the way the smock softened the severity of the dark and fitted dress.
My first idea was to knit a dress incorporating elements of both garments, but when I tried it on my 2 year old model I realised that it worked well as a sweater. In translating an idea into knitwear it is vital to remember the limitations of fit - children must be able to take the garment on and off themselves with ease - remember the panic you felt as a small child trapped in a sweater or dress that you could not remove, so stretchy necklines and armholes with ease are very important.
The garment was knitted from the neck down, on a circular needle to give the shape I wanted to convey, the collar stands up as does the collar in the photograph, and the smock neckline falls below this. The sleeves then emerge from the yoke, while the body of the garment flares in a slight a-line to a small folded hem at the hip.
I have decided to change the collar, the next version will have a darker, ribbed collar with a small hem where it meets the smock, the smock sleeves will have more fullness ( I love the dark ribbed sleeves and will keep them as is) and the darker hem will remain. I am battling slightly within myself at present, do I keep the severity of the garment as is, or do I soften it with picot edges to the smock (at neck, sleeve and hem?) maybe I will just create two versions of the pattern and leave it to knitters to decide for themselves! I like the dove and charcoal greys used for this version - but can also see the potential for the use of colour; deep rose for the smock and dark khaki for the underdress, or maybe a fairisle patterned yoke? I'll keep playing.