Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawlย is on through Sunday, September 25.

Pool Party

Dear Ann,
Hey, I’m back. Pretty soon I’ll be on your doorstep for a few days of cussin’/swearin’/bitchin’/moanin’/fussin’/fightin’/ drinkin’/laughin’. By which I mean “working on the book galleys”. (Aw, just kidding, folks, except about the Amstels and laffs.)
But before I leave home again, I wanted to show you a baby dress bodice I knitted up the night before I left for England and France. This was what we call Anxiety Knitting. Knitting you do when you’re supposed to be doing something else (hey–isn’t that what most knitting is?), like packing up all your stuff and all your kids’ stuff for a 2 week trip, finding your e-ticket confirmation and the phone numbers of people you will be staying with, etc.
I like to make my Anxiety Knitting count for something, so generally I try to (a) cast on something new and (b) finish it before daylight. This does not relieve anxiety, mind you. But it makes last-minute packing all the more exciting and may help you sleep on the plane. If you manage not to miss the plane.
Little Mixed-Media Dress
As is so often the case, good ideas start with Cristina. Cristina was remembering a dress I had made for Carrie a few years ago. It was an ornate and old-timey number with a knitted lace bodice and a gathered fabric skirt. Cristina wanted to make a fun and funky knit t-shirt or bodice, to go with some Munki Munki fabric she had. She wanted to make 2 dresses, in fact, for 1-year-old twin girls. Aww! I had to get in on that project! I know a couple of cute toddler girls, too, ya know! I have acquired some Munki Munki myself (Pool Party, pictured above). Lack of a sewing machine has not stopped me before.
The idea was to come up with something that could be knit up in an evening or two (or the night before a trip). I wanted to keep the one-piece construction of the pattern I had used in 2002. (One-piece, but knit flat–love that!). It needed some kind of flounce on the bottom, so that the fabric skirt could be neatly attached underneath. Here it is, all finished in one night, except for edging and buttonholes, and of course the attaching of the Munki Munki skirt (a mere technicality). This is a size 18 mos-2 years, I think, and it took less than 2 1/2 balls of Rowan Handknit Cotton.
The front. Don’t worry, I will fix the wobbly neck shaping by working a single-crochet edging. I made it long enough that it will work as a little top if the attached skirt is not desired. (Imagine how cute with Munki Munki capris, and a baby belly under the ruffle!)
The back. The buttonholes will be 2-chain loops in the single-crochet edging. Super easy. Even I can do it.
This picture shows the construction. Those armholes are, essentially, vertical buttonholes. (I know. Like the man with the hammer, I think everything is a buttonhole. But it IS!) You will also note that the front is a bit shorter than the backs, because somebody forgot to count her rows (so sue me; I’ll do better next time, I promise, and in any event it works and looks fine).
Cristina’s versions (yes, she already made 2) are different and so fun. Both of hers are knit in the round. One has straps. Munki Munki’s ‘sushi’ fabric is involved. I’d show you, but Cristina forbade me to post pictures of her baby boy modelling them, in case Some Day Far In The Future, Elio is going through our archives and comes across a cross-dressing picture of himself. I’ll say this: the boy looks adorable in a strappy sundress. I’m hoping we’ll get some fantastic twins-in-dresses shots. Bring on the Summer Babies in Handknits!
A deluge of words and pictures from my trip, coming soon.
Love, Kay




  1. Cute, cute, cute! Love that edging and I agree…the top would look darling with little MunkiMunki capris.

  2. Kayyyyyyyyyyyyy! Welcome back! Hope some NYers will get to see you too sometime soon.

  3. This is just adorable! And so so perfect with that munki munki (which is perhaps my favorite print of theirs–love it!!). So sweet–nice work, for anxiety knitting!

  4. Kay! Welcome home! What are you doing tomorrow day/night or Friday day/night? Vicki’s (Knitorious) in town and we’re planning a yarn crawl. Please come! Even for five minutes!
    I know you’re probably crazy, but come anyway!

  5. Love love love it! That fabric is SO cute!!

  6. How darling! I love the ruffle and the length!

  7. Oh, how adorable! The ruffle is precious… I have a little neice who may just *need* a dress like this!

  8. So cute! I love the idea of it as a top with Munki Munki capris. Good luck with the book ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Well I just love it and I can’t wait to see Cristina’s – wouldn’t a Jane Austen version look great for older taller girls? with matching bolero – and where’s your denim version? Have one and half sleeves to go on Emma’s gansey. Annhb.

  10. Leuk, Mignon, Lindo, Nett… That top is cute in any language!!

  11. Is there a pattern for this somewhere or is this adorable creation your design? Also how much fabric does it take and what yarn are you using? My DD is almost 3 and is totally into dresses right now (she won’t wear anything else in fact). She would LOVE something like this.

  12. Very cute! I love the coordinating fabric, too.

  13. Whoa! Paradigm shift. Munki Minki makes FABRIC? I need to clear off the cutting table.
    Welcome home, and happy solstice!

  14. That top is soooo adorable! Another thing that is adorable is the buttonhole bag I finished today. Come and see!

  15. I used to make nightdresses in a similar fashion – a cotton crocheted yoke with wide shoulder straps, and fabric attached to it. Used to be Libertys Tana Lawn, when I could get remnants in the sale….. Hadn’t thought of your idea for children – fascinating….

  16. Fabby fabby top! I think I might copy you in a 6 month size… just the thing for using some of those juicy coloured balls of Handknit cotton I seem to have gathered!

  17. Jill, what a great idea to make nightdresses! I’m going to try that! Annhb

  18. As a renewed knitter after several years I am amazed at knitting something without a pattern but am determined to get there. I love the top you made – years ago. again without a pattern???

  19. I’ve been inspired to use some of my fabric stash and to create something with that discontinued Cotton Ease I found! Double the pleasure!

  20. Kay, that top is adorable! I know just the little girl who needs one. I second the request for info on the pattern. Is it your own? If not could you point me in the right direction? Of course, now I’ll also have to go find the Munki Munki fabric and make it my own…:)


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