Friday, October 12, 2012

free pattern friday :: apiary jumper

This little sweater dress is all about the yarn. Choose a variegated yarn in bold colors with medium-to-long color changes – the stitch patterns in this dress will really show them off. And choose superwash if this garment is going to be a gift! The jumper is designed to be worn over a top and pants or leggings. The straps are adjustable, so your child can get 2 years of wear out of this sweet three-season tunic.
Yarn suggestions: Malabrigo Ríos, Brooks Farm Solana, Creatively Dyed Yarn Woodbrook, or Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted. The dress shown was knit in Malabrigo Ríos in color #103, Archangel.

sizes: 12-18 mos (2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years)

12-18 mos size: chest circumference: 20 inches.  overall length: 16 inches.
2-3 years size: chest circumference: 24 inches. overall length: 18 inches.
4-5 years size: chest circumference: 26 inches. overall length: 19.5 inches.
6-7 years size: chest circumference: 28 inches. overall length: 21 inches.

Malabrigo Ríos, 2 (2, 3, 3) skeins
Size 8 (US) circular needle, 24 inches
Size 6 (US) circular needle, any length
2 buttons, about 1-1/8 to 1-3/8 inches / 28 to 34mm
Tapestry needle
Sewing needle
Sewing thread to match

gauge:  20 stitches / 4 inches on size 6 needles in stockinette stitch

slipped honeycomb stitch
work over an odd number of stitches
R1 (RS): Knit
R2 (WS): K1, *Slip 1 with yarn in back, K1. Repeat from * to end.
R3: Knit
R4: K1, *K1, Slip 1 with yarn in back. Repeat from * to end.

You will begin this dress at the lower edge and knit in the round on circular needles.
Note to the purl-averse: The first 14 rounds are based on garter stitch, so if you’re one of those people who can’t stand purling, knit the first 14 rounds flat and sew them up later.

Using larger needles, cast on 125 (151, 163, 175) stitches, place a stitch marker, and join to knit in the round. Knit the first 6 rounds in garter stitch (alternating knit and purl rounds).
Round 7: K1. Knit, wrapping three times for each stitch, to end.
Round 8: Purl, dropping all the extra wraps.
Knit 6 more rounds in garter stitch.
Change to stockinette stitch. Continue knitting in the round until dress measures 9 (10, 10, 11) inches from cast-on edge.

Decrease for bodice:
Change to smaller needles. *Knit 7, work a centered double decrease. Repeat from * to end. As you come to the last 5 (2, 3, 5) stitches, K2tog, K to end. 100 (120, 130, 140) st remain.

Centered double decrease:
Slip 2 stitches together knitwise. K1. Pass the slipped stitches over the knit stitch. 2 stitches decreased.

You will now divide the front and the back of the dress, and knit each side of the bodice flat in Slipped Honeycomb stitch. Just hold the back half of the dress on scrap yarn while you work the front.

R1: K 51 (61, 65, 71) place the remaining 49 (59, 65, 69) stitches on scrap yarn to hold. Turn, work row 2 of Slipped Honeycomb stitch.
Continue knitting this section in the stitch pattern for 2 (2, 3.5, 3.5) inches.

Make armholes

Note: Through the rest of the bodice and the straps, you will begin every row with a slipped stitch, with the yarn held in front (WYIF). This creates a very tidy, even edge for any garter stitch-based stitch pattern and eliminates the need for a border to be picked up & knit or sewn on later.

Note also: Throughout the remainder of the bodice, you will continue to work the honeycomb stitch pattern as established. Because of decreases at many row ends, you will sometimes need to work row 2 instead of row 4 of the honeycomb stitch, or vice-versa. The important thing is to keep the slipped stitches staggered as established when you began working the pattern – this is easy to follow with your eye.

Decrease row (RS): Slip 1 WYIF, SSK, SSK, K to the last 5 stitches. K2tog, K2tog, K1 (4 st decreased).
Next row (WS): Slip 1 WYIF, K to end (maintaining pattern).

Repeat the last two rows 2 (4, 4, 5) more times, until 37 (41, 45, 47) stitches remain on the needles.

Sizes 12-18 mos, 4-5 years:
Next RS row: Slip 1 WYIF, SSK, K to last 3 stitches. K2tog, K1. (2 st decreased)

35, (41, 43, 47) st remain.

Continue working in patt until the bodice section measures 3.5 (3.5, 5, 5) inches.

Work neckline:
* *You will still slip the first stitch of every row (RS and WS) with yarn held in front!**
Next RS row: K16, BO 3 (9, 11, 15), K16.

Right front:
Keeping the first section on a holder, work the second section of 16 stitches, maintaining the honeycomb stitch pattern and the first stitch slipped every row.
WS: Knit in patt to end of row (neckline).
RS: Slip 1 WYIF, SSK, SSK, patt to end. (2 st dec).
WS: Turn, patt to end of row (neckline).
Repeat these last 2 rows til 10 stitches remain.
Next RS row: Slip 1 WYIF, SSK, patt to end. 9 stitches remain.
Continue working these 9 st in honeycomb stitch pattern for 3 more rows.
Next RS row, work buttonhole: K3, BO 3, K3.
Turn, patt 3, cast on 3 st using backwards loop cast on, patt 3.
Work 2 more rows in patt.
RS: Bind off all stitches as follows: Slip 1 WYIF, SSK, BO all stitches to last 3, K2tog, BO.

Left front:
Join yarn to held stitches at the neckline to work the left side.
WS: Knit in patt to end of row.
RS: Slip 1 WYIF, patt to last 5 stitches, K2tog, K2tog, K1.
You will work the left front just as you did for the right, but working your neckline-edge decreases as K2tog’s (as instructed for previous 2 rows).
Work buttonhole and bind off as you did for the right front.

Join yarn and work the back as you did for the front, right up through the armholes. Work the armhole decreases until 35, (41, 43, 47) st remain.

When the back bodice measures 4.5 (4.5, 6, 6) inches, work the back neckline exactly as you did the front.
However, once 9 stitches remain on each side, do not work a buttonhole.
Instead, work these 9 st in patt until each shoulder strap measures 3.5 (4, 4.5, 5) inches from the point where you separated out the two sides. Bind off on the RS, using decreases to shape the ends just as you did on the front side.

Sew up the sides below the armhole.
Weave in all ends.

Button placement:
Wash and block the garment before sewing on buttons. Try the dress on the intended recipient if you possibly can, using safety pins to mark where you want the buttons to go. If you can’t try it on the child first, the default setting is to sew on the buttons such that the finished armholes measure about 5 (6, 6, 6.5) inches. Stretch the straps gently as you measure, since these straps will stretch a bit lengthwise during wear.

If the dress is to be given as a gift, wind a generous length of sewing yarn around a small card and present it with the dress, so that the buttons may be moved down the strap as the child grows (you may wish to offer to provide this service to the recipient’s parent, since many people today are unfamiliar with domestic arts like button-sewing).


  1. This is so terribly cute! I'm going to have to find a girl to make this for - or figure out how to size it up for my bigger girls.

  2. This looks lovely. I cant wait to get started on it for my 2 yr old granddaughter.
    Thank you x

  3. this is lovely! now i wish i had more variagated yarns in my stash. :)

  4. I absolutely love this little jumper. I plan to start it in the morning.

  5. Thanks for your generosity to make this available as a free pattern!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.