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Knit 2 Together: Albatross

by Alicia Plummer & Melissa Schaschwary

Photo
» photos: S Clark & M Schaschwary
Intermediate

This sweet dress is a collaboration between two friends who live miles apart but came together through love of knitting for their little girls. Although their personal styles differ, they both appreciate clean, classic lines that embrace the romance of times past. Made with cotton and other washable materials, this dress is perfect for combing the beaches of the East Coast, relaxing on the tranquil waters of the Great Lakes, or exploring any of your child's favorite hangouts.
Like many mothers, we have often looked at the clothing we buy our children and said "I wish they made that in my size!" Sometimes, it's also nice to have an outfit that coordinates with your child's for special events like parties and family photo shoots. Melissa and I designed the adult version of Albatross for that very reason: we love the little version so much, we had to have one for ourselves! This version, knit up in Blue Sky Alpacas Melange, adds the perfect touch of luxe to this fun pullover!


 


Sizes

Child: 12 months [18 months, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-7 years]
Adult: Women's Extra Small [Small, Medium, Large]

Finished Measurements

Child's version:
Chest: 18[19¼, 20¾, 22¼, 25] inches
Length: 12½[13½, 17¼, 19½, 22] inches
Adult version:
Chest: 29½[33¼, 36, 40] inches
Length: 20[22, 23¼, 24½] inches

Materials

Child's version:

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy [41% Cotton 34% Hemp 25% Rayon; 153 yards / 140 meters per 50 gram / 1.76 ounce ball];

#04 White Beach; 2[2, 3, 4, 6] balls or #011 Navy; 2[2, 3, 4, 6] balls

Adult version:

Blue Sky Alpacas™ Melange [100% alpaca; 110 yards / 101 meters per 50 gram / 1.76 ounce hank];

#818 Blue Earth; 6[6, 7, 8] hanks

Recommended needle sizes

Child's version:
US #5 (3.75 mm) 16 and 24 inch circular needle
US #5 (3.75 mm) double pointed needles (set of 4)
US #6 (4 mm) 16 and 24 inch circular needle

Adult version:
US #7 (4.5 mm) 24 inch circular needle
US #6 (4 mm) 24 inch circular needle
US #6 (4 mm) double pointed needles (set of 4)

Notions

Child's version:
Yarn needle
Stitch markers - 5 (one unique marker for end of rnd)
1 inch wide grosgrain ribbon -3 yards
½ yard of cotton fabric

Adult version:
Yarn needle
Stitch markers – 4
⅕ yard of fabric for flowers
Scrap yarn (CC) for dashed line – 4 yards
Sewing needle
Coordinating thread for seaming flower

Gauge

Child's version: 22 sts and 28 rnds = 4 inches in St st
Adult version: 20 sts and 28 rnds = 4 inches in St st
Gauge is critical for this design.

Pattern Notes

Child's version: While the measurements may seem on the smaller side, cotton fibers tend to stretch horizontally rather than vertically, especially when wet. This has been taken into account in the measurements. This pullover dress is worked from the top down, seamlessly. Stitches are picked up for the sleeves & neck, bound off in a stretchy manner for freedom of movement. A pleated cotton skirt with coordinating grosgrain ribbon is then machine sewn to the edge of the garment for an adorable, wear-anywhere dress.
Adult version: Albatross for adults is a modified raglan pullover worked top-down with an elegant scoop neck. It has a long, straight drop waist to flatter a variety of figures. The scoop neck is finished with a simple applied i-cord bind off. The sleeves and bottom of the sweater have a small amount of ribbing to create a fresh, clean finish and remain true to the classic feel of the garment. A small, modern flower embellishment is then hand-seamed to the bottom hip. Please pay close attention when working the neckline.

Skills Required

knitting in the round, basic increases, machine seaming, hand sewing

 

Instructions – Child's version

Set up row for raglan neck shaping. You will be casting on your stitches and placing markers in between them.
Row 1 (Set up row - RS): With smaller size 16 inch circular needle and beginning at left front, cast on 2 sts, pm, cast on 7[7, 7, 8, 8] sts (sleeve), pm, cast on 20[21, 22, 23, 24] sts (back), pm, cast on 7[7, 7, 8, 8] sts (sleeve), pm, cast on 2 sts (right front): 38[39, 40, 43, 44] sts.
Row 2: Purl across, slipping markers as you come to them.
Begin working stockinette stitch flat. 
Row 3: Kfb, *knit to one st before marker, kfb, sm, kfb; repeat from * 3 times more, knit to last st, kfb: 48[49, 50 53, 54] sts total.
Row 4: Purl across, slipping markers as you come to them.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4, 3[4, 3, 4, 5] times more: 78[89, 80, 93, 104] sts.
Next Row: *Knit to one st before marker, kfb, sm, kfb; repeat from * 3 times more, knit to last st, cast on 8[9, 10, 12, 12] sts: 94[106, 98, 112, 124] sts. 
Pm to indicate beginning of round and then join for working in the round.
Rnd 1: Knit around, slipping markers as you come to them.
Rnd 2 (Increase rnd): *Knit to one st before marker, kfb, sm, kfb; repeat from * 3 times more, knit to end: 102[114, 106, 120, 132] sts.
Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until you have 48[49, 54, 57, 62] sts between the second and third markers (back sts), ending on an increase rnd: 166[170, 186, 201, 220] sts.
Switch to 24 inch needles once your sts become too crowded.
At this point, you can check the fit of your sweater, after following the directions below for dividing for sleeves you can see how the sweater fits around your child’s arms and back.  You can add or subtract the back stitches noted above to achieve the best fit.

Divide for Sleeves
Knit to first marker, remove marker, place next 35[35, 39, 42, 46] sts on a piece of scrap yarn, remove second marker, using backwards loop method cast on 2[3, 3, 4, 5] sts to right hand needle, knit to third marker, remove marker and place next 35[35, 39, 42, 46] sts on second piece of scrap yarn, remove final marker and using backwards loop method, cast on 2[3, 3, 4, 5] sts, knit to end: 100[106, 114, 123, 138] sts.

Body

Work in St st until piece measures 7[8, 11, 13, 15] inches from underarm.
Next Rnd: Knit around decreasing 0[2, 2, 3, 2] sts evenly spaced: 100[104, 112, 120, 136] sts. If you adjusted for your child's fit, be sure this number is divisible by 4.
Work 1 inch in k2, p2 ribbing. This ribbing will keep the end of your garment flat and ready for seaming. (Design note: these lengths are average. You may want to measure your child from underarm to the bottom of the crotch for an exact fit.)
Bind off all sts in ribbing. 

Sleeve
With RS facing, transfer live stitches (on scrap yarn) from left sleeve evenly onto 2 dpns (or may use magic loop method).  Using third dpn, pick up 2[3, 3, 4, 5] sts across underarm.  Arrange your sts so that the beginning of your round starts under the arm.
Pm to indicate beginning of round and then join for working in the round.
Purl 2 rnds,
Bind off all sts loosely purlwise.

Neck Edging
With RS facing, using larger size 16 inch circular needle and beginning at back right raglan increase line, pick up and knit one st in each cast on st across back and top of left sleeve, pick up 2 sts in every 3 rows across neck shaping, pick up one st in each st across cast on sts of front neck, pick up 2 sts in every 3 rows across right neck shaping, pick up one st in each st across top of right sleeve.
Pm to indicate beginning of round and then join for working in the round.
Knit 6 rnds.
Bind off using Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Alternately, you can use the lacey bind off.
Jenny Staiman’s Bind-off
Lacey Bind-off
Weave in ends.

Skirt
Prior to sewing, prep your fabric by washing and ironing it.
Cut a 5 inch strip the length of the fabric. (Sizes 4-5 and 6-7 years, do this twice as the waist is larger than the finished pleated portion from one length of fabric). Sew the two strips together so that you have one very long 5 inch strip of fabric.

To hem: Iron and fold the hem line in about ½ an inch under on the wrong side of fabric. Pin and seam using the middle seam length on your machine at regular tension with coordinating thread.

To pleat: Lay your fabric out widthwise (you should have a very long strip of fabric that is now 4½ inches tall after hemming and runs about the span of your arm or longer).
Place a transparent rotary ruler on the right hand edge of your fabric so that it covers 3 inches of fabric running the entire height of the fabric. Fold the fabric from the left over the top of the ruler ½ inch in. Hold down with left hand and remove rotary ruler with right hand. Iron. Pin the top and bottom edge of your first pleat. (Repeat this series for the entire length of the fabric). With the tension setting much lower and a wide basting stitch, run this loose stitch across the top (unhemmed edge) of your pinned, pleated fabric to help it keep shape and make it more workable. You can remove the top pleat pins after you’ve done this.

Now, fold your skirt in half to find your waist measurement. Cut skirt to correct width and seam the two ends together to close the skirt.  Note: You will want your skirt portion to be about 5 inches wider than your child’s chest measurement to ensure the garment will be easily slipped over the head.

Due to the stretchy nature of the cotton blend, you can steam the bottom of your sweater to match the width of the skirt portion you’ve cut. It may look odd and misshapen at first, but pin the skirt to the bottom edge of your sweater. Seam the skirt to the sweater using the middle stitch again and a normal tension. You’re almost done!

Now take a safety pin and pin one end of your ribbon where you want the bow to be. Using a looser tension, seam the bottom of the ribbon to the garment, guiding ribbon slowly into place with your hands. Going in the opposite direction, repeat for the top of the ribbon.

This garment should be fully machine washable and ready for some breezy days at the ocean!

Instructions – Adult version

You will be working flat.
Cast on 52[62, 70, 78] sts.
Row 1: P1, pm, p10[12, 12, 14], pm, p30[36, 44, 48], pm, p10[12, 12, 14] pm, p1.
Row 2 (Raglan Increase row): Kfb, sm, *k1, m1l, knit to one st before marker, m1r, k1, sm; repeat from * 2 times more, kfb: 60[70, 78, 86] sts.
Row 3: P1, pfb, purl across to last 3 sts, pfb, p2: 62[72, 80, 88] sts.
Row 4: * Knit to one st before marker, m1r, sm, k1, m1l; repeat from * 3 times more, knit to end: 70[80, 88, 96] sts.
Row 5: Purl across, slipping markers as you come to them.
Row 6: K2, kfb, * knit to one st before marker, m1r, sm, k1, m1l; repeat from * 3 times more, knit to last 3 sts, kfb, k2: 80[90, 98, 106] sts.
Row 7: Purl across, slipping markers as you come to them.
Row 8: * Knit to one st before marker, m1r, sm, k1, m1l; repeat from * 3 times more, knit to end: 88[98, 106, 114] sts.
Rows 9- 38[40, 46, 50]: Repeat Rows 3-8, 5[5, 6, 7] times, then repeat Rows 3 and 4, 0[1, 1, 0] times more: 228[248, 284, 310] sts.

Divide for Sleeves
Continue working neckline increases ONLY at established intervals.
Next Row (WS): Removing markers, work to first marker, place next 48[52, 58, 64] sts on scrap yarn, using backwards loop method cast on 3[5, 6, 8] sts, purl across back sts, place next 48[52, 58, 64] sts on scrap yarn, using backwards loop method cast on 3[5, 6, 8] sts using backwards loop method, purl to end: 140[154, 180, 200] sts.
Continue working flat in St st, increasing at neckline only, 4[6, 3, 3] times more: 148[166, 186, 206] sts.

Body

Pm to indicate beginning of round and then join for working in the round.
Work in St st until Body measures 14[15, 15½, 16] inches from underarm.
With larger size circular needle, work 2 inches in k1, p1 ribbing.
Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off.

Finishing
Pick up and knit one st in each cast on st across back and top of left sleeve, pick up 2 sts in every 3 rows across neck shaping, pick up one st in each st across cast on sts of front neck, pick up 2 sts in every 3 rows across right neck shaping, pick up one st in each st across top of right sleeve.

With larger size circular needle, and beginning at back right raglan increase line, pick up and knit one st in each cast on st across back and top of left sleeve, pick up 3 sts in every 4 rows across both sides of neck shaping, pick up one st in each st across top of right sleeve. Using backwards loop method, cast on 3 sts.
Work applied i-cord bind off as follows: K2, ssk, slip 3 sts just worked back to left needle; repeat from * until 3 sts remain. Bind off last 3 sts and seam end of bind off to beginning end.
Applied I-Cord Bind Off

Sleeve
With RS facing, transfer live stitches (on scrap yarn) from left sleeve evenly onto 2 dpns (or may use magic loop method).  Using third dpn, pick up 3[5, 6, 8] sts across underarm.  Arrange your sts so that the beginning of your round starts under the arm: 51[57, 64, 72] sts.
Work 4[5, 5, 6] rnds in St st.
Work 1 inch in k1, p1 ribbing.
Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off. 
Repeat for right sleeve.
Weave in all ends.

With 4 yards of CC and a darning needle, weave a dashed line directly above the beginning of the bottom ribbing, working over and under every 2 sts. Secure yarn.

Flower (make 3 -4)

For your largest flower, begin by cutting out a flower shape that is approximately 5 inches in diameter.
Next, getting progressively smaller, cut 3-4 more flower shapes (your preference).

Take your smallest flower and pinch it between your fingers so that you have 3-4 folds. With sewing needle and matching thread and working from wrong side, work several sts through the fabric making sure to catch the base of each petal.
Now, take the next largest flower shape and using the same motion, pinch between your fingers. Place your smaller, already sewn, shape in the center of the larger flower shape and stitch together, again making sure to catch all of the folds.
Repeat with remaining fabric pieces securing each piece to the previous layer(s). Secure ends and attach to sweater along dashed line of CC.

Child Schematic

 

Detail

 

Adult Schematic

 

Detail

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Designer Photo

Alicia is a freelance designer and stay at home mom with two little girls and a wonderful husband. She is hopelessly messy and loves to laugh. You can find her on Ravelry as AliciaPlum.
Melissa lives in a small town in Wisconsin with her husband, two bouncy girls, and her Rat
Terrier, Puck. When she's not knitting, she loves painting, spinning yarn, and running around outside with her family.

Pattern © 2012 Alicia Plummer & Melissa Schaschwary. Contact 

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