Fall Designs Featuring Animals

This fall I’ve got a number of designs coming out, and several of them are children’s garments featuring animals.  I’ve noticed an uptick in my interest in designing children’s garments (I wonder why? *coughlittleturtlecough*).  There’s two children’s designs I wanted to highlight today.

Raynard Willow YarnsRaynard is a children’s dress featuring sweet little foxes on the front of the body and pockets.  Featuring a folded over hem at the base of the dress and on the pockets, this simple and sweet dress is an idea that came into my mind fully formed.  I blame the proliferation of forest animals featured in baby items lately – foxes just seemed to be everywhere.

The Foxes are worked with duplicate stitch before the dress is assembled, meaning this project is very approachable to beginners looking to stretch their skills.  And with the majority of the pattern worked in the round, this dress fairly flies off the needles!

It was a joy working with Willow Yarn’s Daily Worsted – this blend is washable while still being durable and soft.  And with such a range of colors, you can come up with some adorable color combinations.  Willow even offers the pattern at a kit – which takes the decision making out of the process.

You can purchase and download the pattern here!



lok-window-cat-1 I’m also excited to tell you about my first pattern in Love of Knitting magazine.  This pattern features some animals near and dear to my heart – my cats, Peake and Watson.  I’d originally envisioned this as an adult pattern, but the editor of Love of Knitting, Deborah Gerish, pointed out how perfectly it would work as a children’s sweater.

I think she was correct.

Inspired by the silhouette of Peake and Watson as they sit on the window watching the outdoors and birds, the pattern is titled Window Cat.  The cats are written as intarsia, but could also be added after the fact with duplicate stitch.  I have them on the pattern facing away from the viewer, but with a little ingenuity, you could add eyes and whiskers so that they’re facing out.

The sweater is worked in Classic Elite Yarn’s Liberty Wool, one of my favorite yarns.  Liberty Wool is sturdy and soft and long-wearing.  It’s washable and comes in SO MANY COLORS.  While the solid colors are stunning, I also think it would be fun to make the cats calico – by using one of their variegated yarns in browns and oranges and whites.  I have so many ideas for how to adapt the pattern!

I also love the finishing details on this pattern – the vintage buttons match the sweater perfectly.  They’re not too upscale.  Instead they match the quality of the sweater, casual and much-loved.

I love the brown of the trim, the garter stitch around the yoke, the crochet trim around the neck.  Simply put, I love the way this pattern turned out.

I have to admit, I have some plans for this motif in the future – I’d love to turn it into a matching hat and cowl pattern too!  So many potential options!

Do you have cats?  How would you customize this pattern?


Post Mortem: Larkin

Larkin is the story of the design call that could.  Just like the iconic train saying “I think I can,” Larkin was a design I believed in from the beginning, but one that just had to keep plugging along until it got accepted. Larkin started out as “50’s Flame” – a vintage inspired top for a design call for Three Irish Girls nearly 4 years ago.  It looked like this:

It got rejected.  I also submitted it to Knitpicks, Interweave Knits, and a handful of other design calls.  Each time it would come back, a few months later, unchosen.  Which happens.  I knew the design was a good one, but it just never was quite what the editing team was looking for.
So I’d wait until another design call came along where this pattern would fit, repackage the pattern, and submit again.
Until last year, with Classic Elite.  Over time the design layout had been updated, I’d gotten a new logo and a new company name. The wording had changed (a little) and the name had changed.  It was now called Flaming Mamie, after a great swingy song I used to sing at camp.
Let’s be frank – not much changed.  But this time it was the right time, right place, right design, and CEY picked the design up.
So let’s compare the sketch to the finished product:
Puffed sleeves, flame motif, same neckline, scoop neck and false neckline.  The flames in this yarn are a little squatter and slimmer- I made them slightly smaller to accommodate sizing.  The ribbing along the neckline went away, because I thought the more rustic neck matched the yarn, and I wanted to keep that area a little less busy.  But otherwise?  Not much changed.  The things that made me believe this design was a keeper in the first place remained the things that I love in the finished product.
I love how the sleeves are slightly pleated.  I love how the ribbing runs seamlessly into the pattern.  I love how the design is slightly retro and oh-so feminine.  I love the figure-complimenting look.
I just kept pitching the design until someone saw it’s potential.  Thank-you CEY!
Love the design – like it on Ravelry or Facebook!  Want to know when others come out – sign up for our newsletter!