For once this will be a knitting blog. Doesn't happen very much but I needed a place to write about this dress. Anyways here it goes,
Marit has been watching Totoro over and over again and I have to admit I am a fan too. She loves the Tororo's and she has been singing the song all day long as well. So on saterday evening I got an idea. I had some Blue Sky Alpaca's dyed cotton in my stash since about a year ago and I always wanted to use that for a dress for her. The main problem: no dress that I really like. Well that's not really true, I like "Oh Jan" by Wendy Bernard but i had already knitted one for big sister and I didn't want to do it again. So the yarn stayed in my stash and nothing happened. Until Saterday when I had an idea: a Totoro dress!
The main idea is a quite simple dress with pockets adorned with small Totoro intarsia knitted motifs. The main shape of the dress is inspired by a denim dress of the Gap that Saskia got five years ago. Marit is wearing it now and it is a quite a nicely shaped dress. It has a rather full shirt with a straight body and it is rounded at the hem for a nice drape. It has buttons at the front along the whole dress but i didn't want to copy that. Instead I thought a small opening at the back with two buttons was nicer. So that's what I based my design on. Just above the border which is knitted in seed stitch I have added some small rows to give the hem the same rounded form. The contrast band and all the borders are knitted in seed-stitch and the pockets have small seed stitch borders too. I will try to give the pattern directions below as well as I can and since big sister wants a Tororo dress too I will try to make a big version too but that is in the future... The pattern is written not very neatly and I will try to make it better in the coming weeks but this is the fast and dirt version...
Yarn: Blue Skye Alpaca's dyed cotton 3 skeins Tomato (619) (MC), 1 skein Shell (606)(CC)
Needles: 1 pair 4.5 mm straight needles, 1 40 cm 4 mm round needle
2 small buttons
Seed stitch: row1 k1,p1,k1,p1 etc end with p1, row 2: p1,k1,p1, etc finish with k1.
BackCast on 92 in CC on 4.5 mm straight needles. Place a marker after 46 stitches. Knit 8 rows in seed stitch. Switch to MC and work in stockinette (knit on right side, purl wrong side). Knit to 25 stitches after the marker (71 stitches total) yarn forward as if to purl, slip the next stitch, yarn back as if to knit, turn the knitting, slip the 1st stitch on the left hand needle (the one you are wrapping) purl to 20 stitches beyond the marker and yarn back as if to knit, slip the next stitch, yarn forward as if to purl, turn the work. Slip the first wrapped stitch and then knit to the wrapped stitch and knit the slipped stitch and the yarn wrapped around it together to m ake one stitch. Knit 9 more stitches and wrap next stitch as described before. Purl back to wrapped stitchand purl the wrapped stitch and the yarn wrapped around. Purl 9 stitches more and wrap next stitch. Knit to the next wrap stitch and knit together, knit 4 more and wrap next stitch. Purl back to wrapped stitch, knit together and purl 4 stitches and wrap next stitch. Knit to the next wrap stitch and knit together, knit 1 more and wrap next stitch. Purl back to wrapped stitch, knit together and purl 1 stitches and wrap next stitch. (In total 4 short rows at 25, 35, 37 and 39 at either side of the marker). Turn and knit to wrapped stitch, knit wrap and stitch together and conitinue to the end. Next row purl to wrapped stitch, purl wrap and stitch together
and purl to the end of the row. Work in Stockinette for 31 cm during which 20 decreases at either side have to be made as following K2, k2tog continue knit until 4 stitches remain SSK k2, purl next row. The decreases have to be distributed evenly over the 31cm, approximately alternating every 2nd and 4th row. After last pair of decreases (now 52 stitches on the needle) ending after the purl row work 2 more rows.
Change to CC knit 1 row. Continue in seed-stitch for 7 more rows. Change to MC, knit in stockinette straight for 6 cm
Armholes: In next two rows cast of 5 stitches at beginning of the row (42 stitches), decrease 1 stitch at either side for next 3 rows. Purl 1 row. Decrease 1 stitch at either side in next row (total 34 stitches). Work 3 more rows ******
Next row knit 18 stitches, turn work and leave rest scarp yarn. Knit first 4 stitches of next row in seed stitch (this is in the middle of the back) and continue the other 14 stitches in stockinette. After 3.5 cm make a buttonhole in the middle by, work 2 stitches in pattern , yarnover, work rest stitches in pattern.Continue until distance from beginning armhole is 15 cm end with a right row. Cast off 6 stitches from the middle, continue. Next row: knit to the end. Next row: castoff 7 stitches. Next row cast of remaining 6 stitches. For the remaining stitches, cast on 4 stitches at the middle and continue with same shapings as the first part.
Work as back until ****** Continue straight until 12 rows less then when final stitches were cast of for the back. Knit 14 stitches, turn, purl back. In the next rows cast off on alternating rows 4, 2,1 and 1 stitches from the center, 6 stitches remaining on the needle. Work 3 rows ending with a wrong side row. Cast of remaining 6 stitches. Work other half in reverse. Put the 6 stitches in the middle on a safety needle ( will be used for neck border).2 x Pockets: Use drawing as a guide. Cast on 26 sts, knit 2 rows at bottom & top and 2 stitches at either side in seed stitch, rest in stockinette following the small scheme. Place pockets on front piece and attach by sewing.
Putting together: Darn and neaten all pieces of yarn. Seam shoulders together as well sides (I use mattress stitch for the neatest result). Pick up and knit 55 stitches with 4 mm round needle for each arm. work 3 rows in seed stitch, cast of in knit. start at left side of the back pick up and knit 14 stitches at the back, 11 at the front side, 6 from the middle (where left on the safety needle), 11 at the other side of the front and 14 from the back (56 in total). Work 4 rows in seed stitch. Make button hole at the buttonhole side. Cast of in knit. Darn and neaten last peices of yarn. Sew button strip in place. Sew on two buttons.
Maybe one day I will write it out as a proper pattern.....