This is a project that I've been meaning to tackle for months, ever since I saw the little sheep on the hem. It's from the Debbie Bliss "Baby Knits" book and I knew that I had to make it for Nina, my Skipton family's little girl.
I changed the main colour from the sack-cloth brown in the book to a more pastural green to emulate the Yorkshire Dales. It's meant to be a smock-style dress (no fitting or shaping for a waist), which works well with the "smocking" of the yoke, I think.
Attaching the collar was tricky, as I'm not an experienced seamstress and really resent the entire making-up process. (There are two jumpers still in pieces, awaiting my attention.)
I've always enjoyed cabling and I think the smocking came out really well.
I've never done any fair isle or intarsia work so the sheep were the most challenging aspect of this project and I decided, after the fair isle came out looking a bit tight, that I'd try both techniques. Above, are the fair isle sheep I did on the back of the skirt. The green between the sheep is buckling a bit and the material is obviously heavier with the black & white strands twisted in behind. Below, are the intarsia-style sheep. I'm calling them intarsia-style because I actually fair-isled the black behind the white in each sheep rather than create a new bobbin for the three or four stitches that make up the tail and ran the green through behind each of the sheep (which peeks out every once in a while). I think this was the better way to go as the green remained the same thickness and texture as the rest of the skirt, which is voluminous to say the least. The down-side being that there were all these bits of black and white to sew in at the end.
I wasn't sure how the little white hem was going to turn out as I don't think I'd ever done anything like it before but once I got my head around the instructions and my fingers adjusted to the pick-up stitches, it went fairly smoothly and really finishes off the look of the dress. I need my friends to have more girl babies so that I can try something like this again! But not for a while, please.
I'm hoping for a picture of Nina wearing the dress but until then, my loyal readers can put the two together by checking out this jaunty little picture of her from my main blog.