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The Trouble With Stripes

Dear Ann,
There I was, streaking and striping along on Miss Bea’s Jumping Dress, in placid and almost meditative fashion, when I got to the teeny-tiny shoulders and said to myself, ‘Holmfirth, We Have a Problem’. Take a look:
See what I mean? There is a profusion of ends hanging off those bitty little armholes, and insufficient acreage to neatly tuck them. Nary a seam! I will have to weave them in along the back and hope they will not distort the fabric. If I were doing it again (and I might be–it is easy and fast, I have been blessed with plenty of DK Cotton in stock, and this is the type of item baby girls really do wear as they go about their daily baby girl duties), I think I would make the bodice a solid color for that Carnaby Street/Twiggie/Hey There Georgie Girl mini-dress look. I would also knit the thing in the round up to the armholes, as our clever friend Rowanette Jill has done. (Jill, you could save the rest of us a lot of trouble if you would freely blog forth about such matters.)
The next time you see Jumping Dress, it will be sporting an adorable two-year-old recipient. I’m shopping for tights and a t-neck today (my favorite part of any knitting project: accessorizing).
Anyway, this project is doing the trick of restoring my knitting self-esteem (‘I’m smart enough, I’m dexterous enough, and gosh darnit, people like me!!’) and giving me the strength to face my demons (my demons being braided cables and fuzz ruffles).
Happy Monday! Love, Kay




  1. kay! baby rosies jumper looks great! do you think the “live bind off method might help with some of the ends? just a thought, but in the absence of enough coffe today, maybe not the best one!!

  2. What the ? I don’t even know what the live bind off method is. I think I only learned the dead bind off method. It’s too late for Baby R’s jumper but perhaps I will look it up for the next one. Thanks, xox Kay

  3. cute cute cute! Almost makes me wish my honkin’ Hook’n’Needle order had included some DK cotton, but I was still to scared to order Rowan at only 40% off. Almost sprung for a Plaid poncho, but downgraded to Lamb’s Pride Bulky at the last. Not a Rowanette, yet, but golly, my girl needs that jumper too!

  4. That’s too, with two Os. Forgot to preview! When was Rosie two?

  5. I see fringe. Let it dangle out there. If you had sleeves to sew on, you KNOW where I’d put all those ends: in the seams!
    I think this is a very cute piece of knitting. Right on.
    Maybe we could hire Jill to be our Executive Correspondent, Knitting Efficiency. Lord knows I could use her help.

  6. Kay,sweatheart,there is a solution !
    Get circular needles.Rip out little straps & knit again.Keep yarn running up one side.If you need to change colour at the other side simply slip sts to other end & knit [or purl] them again.So…if you just knit 1 row in blue & need to work a yelow/green stripe,don’t turn work & purl,simply slip sts to other end of circular needle,pick up next colour and knit next row.
    This all makes perfect sense when you actually do it ! Really !
    I would also neaten the neck & armhole edges with applied 3 st i-cord.
    It’ll be so pretty and sweet.

  7. Emma–OK–You’re on. I actually did this technique for another striped project, and plumb forgot about it when it came to working these little armholes. This will save the day and not take too much extra time (I’m working on a deadline of sew-up tomorrow night and am already bagging the wet-block because I don’t have the endless time DK Cotton takes to dry flat–but in the time it would take me to weave in all these ends I could just reknit from the armholes up–woo-hoo!!). As for the i-cord: Does ‘applied’ mean I sew it on, or I knit it on by picking up stitches into the i-cord as I go? Thank you Emma! I’ve already sewn in a lot of the ends along the side seams, and they do stretch it out a bit. I’m half way up the front and I am going to do the circular method the rest of the way. Why the heck not? Live and learn. Gratefully yours, Kay
    P.S. The moral of this story is, even the simplest boneheaded pattern can be improved with subtle tricks and tips.

  8. Applied i-cord :
    pick up loops as you would if knitting a neckband.Knit i-cord ,but with knit last st tog. with edge loop.You may have to experiment with pick up ratio.2 for every 3 rows is a good starting point.
    Wish you were here.It would take seconds to show more clearly what I mean.

  9. kay i feel your pain. you should see the inside of the striped tank i made last year. ends woven in in any way humanly possible. quite a shocking sight.

  10. Carolyn, I know! When you hang around Emma, Sissel, and Becky, and start grooving on their orderly vibe, a person can start feeling self-conscious about the way the inside of her knitting looks! I can definitely sympathize. But it does elevate one’s craft I find!
    Emma–I have done that picking up stitches into i-cord thing before,to do the ties on a triangular headscarf. It is a nifty trick. Not that I wouldn’t like you to supervise! For example, I would have picked up every stitch; now, I see that that would be Wrong. 2 for 3! That’s the ticket! Thanks, I can’t wait to show you the re-done, non-lumpy-with-sewn-in-bits shoulders.
    xox Kay

  11. Oh Kay, I feel for you. I feel remiss because I didn’t tell you to do it without the stripes up top. I just finished it for an auction at my son’s daycare and i spent 3 hours weaving in ends, that is, the ends that I hadn’t knitted in while I was doing it in the round.
    I love the little dress though, so i think that next time i make it i’ll do it with some funky self striping yarn!!!

  12. Morgan, I have now completed both pieces of the Jumping Dress(with, ahem, MODIFICATIONS–please check this space in a day or 2 to inspect the modifications), and sewn in the miserable ends during the Yankees vs. Marlins extra innings last night. The thing has been misted and spritzed and steamed by Rowenta and is ‘setting’, much like a bowl of Jello, until tomorrow morning when I sew those blessedly few, and blessedly rows-to-rows and stitches-to-stitches, seams.
    I really like this little dress. It strikes me as Just The Thing. Of course, I’m back from my visit with Rosie, I have the dress, and she doesn’t. But Rosie, being 2, is not as uptight about knitting deadlines as I am. I am probably going to do this thing again, now that I have worked out some of the bugs. It seems to me that it is endlessly amenable to tweaking with intarsia or fairisle bits, etc., and accessorizing with tees from Old Navy and the Gap. The perfect baby girl prezzie. No one will turn up their nose at it. Thanks Emma and Jill for your tips. Love, Kay


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