The first step in making this dream come true is to design my own babywear. It just wouldn't feel right to be making money off of somebody elses' creative work (it is perhaps even illegal?). This is why this little kimono and cap, which may look like not much to some, means a lot to me. You see, it is my first original design! I worked it out all by myself. From scratch. I sketched. I swatched. I whipped out the calculator. I winged parts of it. And I learned so many new techniques to make sure that it would live up to everything I would hope annypurls to be: cute, classic, simple, thoughtful, and impecably finished. It's a glimmer of hope about what's possible...someday.
In the process, my husband and I learned to hem. All the edges (sleeves, neck band, and bottom edge) have all been hemmed. Above is a picture of the inside finishing and a close-up of the raglan detail on the front for which I learned a new increase (knitting into the back of the stitch below the next one). Oh, and did I mention the whole thing is seamless? I even learned to weave in ends invisibly for this one (I've been doing it wrong this whole time). I learned how to do a tubular cast-on for the cap (see below) which is wonderfully stretchy and impecable. I learned how to do it from Amelia Raitte's brilliant tutorial.
Perhaps the most terrifying thing I learned (and also the most genius thing I've ever heard of) is Elizabeth Zimmerman's afterthought buttonhole. I didn't know how I would fasten this baby as I was knitting it up and when it was done I got the idea for the toggle button (plus I had just one left over from Julian's paletot jacket so I think it was meant to be) but I had not inserted a button hole anywhere to accomodate it. Elizabeth's technique (from her Knitting Without Tears book - if you don't have it yet, you simply MUST get it!) saved the day.
The idea is to snip the middle stitch of where you want the buttonhole to be (very scary), unravel about 3 loops on the top and 3 on the bottom (I ended up unravelling 4 on each side to accomodate my oversized button), cast them off and weave in the super tiny 'ends'. Above is a photo of the front post-snip and below is a photo of the reverse side with the teeny ends I speak of. Scary, eh? It's like open knit surgery!
I even think I improved on the technique - I just pulled the loops over each other in order all the way around the 'buttonhole' picking up a stitch on either end to finish it off, pull one of the tiny snipped ends through the last loop to secure it and then wove up the teeny tiny ends by inserting the needle in and out before threading it (the ends were about an inch and a half long!). The resulting buttonhole is very sturdy and pretty...definately doesn't look like and afterthought! Neat, eh?
Can you tell I'm proud of this one? Now if only I can remember the pattern ;0) I didn't take any notes while actually knitting the kimono so all I have are rough sketches and tension figures! So my next challenge is to actually write it up. And of course, I'll share it with you when I do.