I mentioned in my last post that I would explain my design process for the patterns I’d shown you. I think it could get pretty tedious if I go through every single one so instead, I decided to pick a few out of the bunch and today I’ll start with Kelsey.
I had wanted to use the lace from Kelsey for a long time. I had this style of top pictured in my head but it was an adult top with puff ball sleeves. When I started to sketch I realised that I liked the pinafore idea much more and sized down to suit a child instead.
Bearing in mind that I cannot draw for toffee, here is my sketch of Kelsey!
I told you I can’t draw!
With this sketch in mind I knitted the tiniest sample known to man. I think a newborn would have had problems getting into it;
I was happy with the result of the tiny dress so I decided to go for it and submit my first garment. At this point I had no real idea how to work out the different sizes, the yardage, or if I was ever going to actually pull this off. I had knitted plenty of hats for Let’s Knit but this was a totally different ball game for me.
I made my submission sheet and called the pinafore “Kelsey” after my cousins brand new little girl*
Once I clicked the send button on my email to the editor of Let’s Knit I started to panic. Really panic.
I immediately started to work out the calculations for the pattern. writing down all the sizes I needed, the yardage needed and pretty much the pattern itself. I had no idea if it would be accepted for the magazine but I was so frightened I set up a test knit and put the pattern through testing without knowing if I needed it or not. I was pretty much a bunny in the headlights thinking numerous amounts of swear words on an hourly basis and wondering why the hell I had just done this to myself.
My partner, Terry, would sit and listen to me ranting, and then calmly say, “But you want to do garments and this is all a learning curve. You’ll be fine.” I felt like I was up shit creek without a paddle.
When the submission got accepted by Let’s Knit I was pretty close to meltdown but the test seemed to be going ok with a couple of minor glitches like the maths being wrong on the increase rounds for the skirt section, and numerous typos and things written backwards or missed out altogether. Minor…
I had some pretty amazing testers on this dress and they stuck with me and held my hand through the tough bits. I couldn’t have got through that month without them!
Once testing was complete, and I had tweaked a couple of things I didn’t like about the original pattern, I knitted my sample, blocked it and happily parcelled it up for Let’s Knit.
And there she is! After a shed load of stress (most of which I didn’t learn from since I did it all over again with Carmen, which I’ll talk about later) Kelsey was done. I was over the moon with the result and it looked exactly like the picture in my head.
This dress is a really easy, relaxing knit. A pretty pinafore dress that’s practical for summer and winter. Worn over jeans or shorts, it is extremely versatile and easy to wear. It is knitted in the round from the top down with an easy lace skirt and garter stitch edging.
From Issue 69 of Let’s Knit, it is currently the most popular design from that issue on Ravelry (at time of writing this) which makes all the stress, sleepless nights and bald patches, from ripping my hair out, worth it.
It is also free to download from Let’s Knit! Here (you need to subscribe) and is one of my personal favourites of my patterns to date. Let’s just say I got there in the end!
* Why the name Kelsey?
My aunty Gill always wanted a little girl. She tried over and over for her own daughter and after 4 boys, she gave up. Three of her boys have children of their own now. All of them are boys. Then around 7 years ago, Gill’s youngest son, Lee, and his wife became pregnant with a girl. Everyone was overjoyed, but no-one more than Gill. But as the birth grew nearer, things went wrong and Demi was born sleeping.
Last year Lee’s wife became pregnant again and found out it was a girl. The whole family were on tenterhooks waiting for the baby. Then in January 2013 Kelsie was born. It felt right that I name this first garment after her. Although I spelt her name wrong! Ha! Never mind, the thought was there!