I had this beautiful Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton yarn in my stash from when I was pregnant and went on a pink yarn buying binge (so long, in fact, that sadly this beauty of a yarn has been discontinued!) and I knew all along I wanted to make some kind of top for the girl out of it.
I don't remember what reminded me of Diamond Brocade, but it's a pattern that I love and turned out to be the perfect thing. It adds texture and interest without adding a lot of difficulty, and the pattern actually shows up pretty nicely in this loosely wound 6-ply yarn.
The only slightly tricky bit of this boxy top is maintaining the pattern when you decrease for the arm holes and neck line. If you're comfortable with reading your knitting, however, by the time you get to the shaping you'll be completely comfortable with the pattern and will be able to follow along on the remaining stitches to make the diamonds line up properly.
Speaking of lining up properly, I also used selvedge stitches on this piece, which I did by slipping the first stitch of each row and working the last stitch in Stockinette. This makes seaming a bit easier and will make the edges where the pieces come together look better, but it's optional. If you don't want to do it, cast on two fewer stitches than I call for.
The sizing is basically for toddlers -- one year to five or so -- but you could make it larger or smaller by removing repeats. The stitch pattern is a multiple of 8 plus 1, which means each time you add or subtract a repeat you gain or lose almost 1.5 inches in width on each side of the garment.
- all three sizes require 2 balls of Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton Naturally Dyed DK; since that yarn has been discontinued, you can substitute any nice lightweight cotton yarn of your choosing -- you'll need about 180 (205, 235) yards
- one pair each size 2 US (2.75 mm) and 4 US (3.5 mm) knitting needles
- tape measure, scissors, yarn needle
- size 4/E (3.5 mm) crochet hook
22 stitches and and 32 rows per 4 inches in Diamond Brocade Pattern (see below) or 5.5 stitches 8 rows per inch.
To fit a one-year-old, two- to three-year-old, four- to five-year-old. Actual chest measurements are 18.5 (21.5, 24.5) inches; length is about 11 (12, 13) inches.
Diamond Brocade Stitch:
Works on multiples of 8 plus 1 stitches.
Row 2: Purl 3, *knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 5. Repeat from * across, with the last repeat ending purl 3.
Row 3: Knit 2, *purl 1, knit 3. Repeat from * across, with last repeat ending knit 2.
Row 4: Purl 1, *knit 1, purl 5, knit 1, purl 1. Repeat from * across.
Row 5: *Purl 1, knit 7. Repeat from * across, end purl 1.
Row 6: Repeat row 4.
Row 7: Repeat row 3.
Row 8: Repeat row 2.
Repeat these 8 rows for pattern.
Knit the Back:
- With size 2 needle, cast on 51 (59, 67) stitches. For selvedge in ribbing, slip the first stitch of each row and work the last stitch as presented. Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 1 inch.
- Switch to size 4 needles and Diamond Brocade Pattern (see above), slipping the first stitch in each row and working the last in Stockinette for selvedge. Continue in pattern for 5 (6, 7) inches.
- Bind off 4 stitches at the beginning of the next 4 rows, keeping remaining stitches in pattern. At the end of this section you will have 35 (43, 51) stitches remaining.
- Continue in pattern without further decreasing until piece measures 10.5 (11.5, 12.5) inches.
- Bind off 4 (6, 6) stitches at the beginning of the next 4 rows. 19 (19, 27) stitches remain.
- Bind off remaining stitches.