It’s hard to believe that my niece, Khloe, will soon be a year old. It doesn’t seem that long ago when her moms were anxiously awaiting her arrival, though it did seem like the pregnancy took forever to get though (speaking as someone who’s never been pregnant, natch). However long the pregnancy was in actuality, when Khloe arrived, time seemed to speed up. Every day she changed in one way or another. I remember seeing lots of pictures of a bewildered and unsmiling little thing in the early weeks. She was only able to wear the little socks I made for a few short days, and then, suddenly, they were too small. As she got bigger, she became more alert, and soon she started to smile. When my sister figured out best ways to coax a smile out of her daughter, she inundated us with videos of the process. I used this intel to my own advantage when I met her for the first time this past Christmas, when she was about 5 months old and beginning to show her personality a bit more. Soon, she was laughing, dancing to music, crawling so fast and, now, standing up with the assistance of people and furniture. It won’t be long before she’s walking, and then, look out!
I love my niece, and I especially love making things for her. But here’s a little detail that I’m ashamed to share: I have a terrible track record of making things for Khloe that are way, way too small for her. This happens for two reasons: 1) We live half a country apart, so I don’t actually get to observe her physical growth on a regular basis; and 2) I have basically zero experience with babies and no idea of their dimensions. For Christmas, for example, I made her an Abate pullover with a neck hole that was too small (why are babies heads so huge? WHY?) and sleeves that were too long. As with the socks, she was really only able to wear her sweater for that one day, but not without making her cry as I attempted to stretch that too-small neck over her large baby head.
So, for her first birthday, I resolved to do it right and make her something she would be able to wear for longer than a day or two.
This here is my Sproutlette Dress, and I believe it to be an excellent choice for the gun shy baby knitter I’ve become of late. The pattern comes in 3 sizes and can be easily customized using simple math to make modifications to the pattern or by switching to a heavier yarn and larger needles. In this case, I opted to make the largest size, 12-24 months, and to use the suggested fingering weight yarn so that she can wear it on or around her July birthday without it being too hot for her. The short sleeves of the dress mean that I don’t need to worry that they’ll be too long for her little arms, either.
My favorite fit detail is the large keyhole and button closure in the back, which effectively solves the problem of accommodating her large baby head. With any luck, this closure (and, by the way, isn’t that button cute?) will mean that she can continue to wear the dress well beyond her first birthday. The keyhole will, I hope, keep her comfortable in the warm weather.
I’m also extremely pleased with how the leaf pattern and scalloped edging turned out. Many other versions of the dress have blocked the edging aggressively to better show off the lacy scalloping, but I actually prefer the ruffled look, so I left it alone.
Now, I don’t want to get too cocky, but I fee pretty confident that I’ve done good here. Not only does this dress fix a lot of the fit issues I’ve had with Khloe’s knits in the past, it seems possible that she might be able to wear this right up to her second birthday. Most of all, I hope she loves it, and one day, when she’s older still, I hope that she’ll look back at this dress and know just how much I love her.
Pattern: Sproutlette Dress by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Sock Yarn in Peapod
Modifications: Wet blocked flat without pinning the edging