Iris’ birthday dress

Iris dress 1This dress was made for my cousin’s daughter’s (would that make her my second cousin?) third birthday, and it fit beautifully. However, I’d have to say that it took me longer than probably just about any other project I’ve knit, at least recently, because the entire dress is made from sock yarn. The skirt portion is 16” long, and it took over an hour to knit one inch, so you can see that there’s at least 20 hours of work in the skirt alone! I do love how it turned out though, and how nice it looks on Iris.

Iris dress 2

The pattern is Charlotte Dress and I picked it to highlight one of my impulse buys at this year’s Sock Summit – two skeins of Little Red Bicycle Tandem Sock yarn in color Tobias. This is a great little independent yarn producer, and the sock yarn is 80% superwash merino wool and 20% nylon, 400 yards per skein of fingering weight yarn.

Iris dress 3

I thought I’d have enough for the entire dress, but ran out right when I started the bodice, so I switched to a matching sock yarn in my stash – Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn in color 5630 (similarly comprised of 75% merino superwash and 25% nylon). Because it was just a little smaller gauge yarn, I found that it knit up too skinny, and I didn’t want to switch needle size because I worried that the sizing wouldn’t come out correctly. Instead, I doubled the yarn, which made for a little thicker, more tightly knit bodice. I think it worked out really well though, because the tighter knit worked well with the smocking and made the bodice fit better.

Iris dress 4

I used the recommended US 3 needles and knit the size 3T, which fit Iris – newly turned three – nicely, with room to grow. If you can stand endless – and I mean ENDLESS – stockinette stitching with sock yarn – this dress makes knitting socks look like a breeze! – then I definitely recommend this pattern.

Iris dress 5

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