While looking through a book of patterns, I was struck by a stem and leaf pattern and thought how much fun I would have adding a flower. I was inspired to designed a cute little halter top for some of my favorite girls. It's just perfect for those carefree afternoons of summer, reading at the library or playing in a fountain! Whether having tea in the garden with Bunny or shopping at the mall with Mommy, these ruffly little shorts will be keep little girls cool and fashionable all summer long.
Top: 12[18, 24] months
Shorts: 12[18-24] months
Size Shown in Picture: top: 18m; shorts 18-24m
Chest: 15[16, 17] inches (Top is
designed with 3 inches of negative ease)
Fits Waist: 18 inches
Brown Sheep Company Cotton Fleece [80% pima cotton, 20% wool; 215 yards/195 meters per 100 gram/3.5 ounce skein];
#CW770 Wisteria; 1 skein for all sizes (top)
#CW840 Lime Light; 2 skeins for all sizes (shorts)
US #7/4.5 mm 24 inch circular needle and dpns
4 st markers
scrap of fabric or buttons to embellish (top)
18-20 inches of 1/2 inch wide elastic to fit waist (shorts)
18-20 inches of 1/4 inch wide elastic to fit legs (shorts)
22 sts and 31 rows = 4 inches in St st
Top is worked from the hem to the underarm in rounds, then the front bodice is worked in rows. Top has approximately 3 inches of negative ease.
Knitting in the round, chart reading, i-cord
I-cord - For I-cord, knit
stitches on dpn. * Without turning work, slip sts to opposite end of
needle, pull working yarn to the RH side, and knit across sts; repeat
from * until I-cord is desired length.
Make 1: Insert the right hand needle from back to front, and pick up the bar between needles; place it on the left needle. Knit the back leg of the stitch; one stitch increased.
For best results, read through entire pattern before beginning.
Using long-tail method, cast on 116 [122, 128] sts.
Place marker for beginning of round; join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.
Rnd 1: K27 [29, 31], pm to denote
beginning of chart placement, work first row of Stem Chart (22 sts), pm
to denote end of chart, k9 [10, 11], pm to denote side seam, k58 [61,
Continue working in the round, sm as you come to them, following Stem Chart between markers.
At the same time, decrease one stitch at each side seam every fifth round.
Note: Alternate left-leaning decreases (ssk) with right-leaning decreases (k2tog) every other decrease round so that piece does not skew.
Once the Stem Chart has been completed, remove chart st markers and continue working in St st including decreases as established, until 10 decrease rnds have been worked and piece measures 7 inches from cast on edge, ending with 3 knit rounds after last decrease round: 96 [102, 108] sts.
Note: For a longer top, increase number of rounds between decreases. If you work decreases every sixth round, your top should measure approximately 81/4 inches.
Rnd 1: Knit across front, sm, k7
[7, 8], work Row 1 of Eyelet Chart, * k6 [7, 8], work Rnd 1 of Eyelet
Chart; repeat from * 2 times more, k7 [7, 8].
Rnd 2: Decreasing 1 st at each side seam, knit across front, sm, k7 [7, 8], work Rnd 2 of Eyelet Chart, * k6 [7, 8], work Row 1 of Eyelet Chart; repeat from * 2 times more, k7 [7, 8]: 90 [96, 102] sts.
Rnd 3: Decreasing 1 st at each side seam, knit across front, sm, k7 [7, 8], work Rnd 3 of Eyelet Chart, * k6 [7, 8], work Row 1 of Eyelet Chart; repeat from * 2 times more, k7 [7, 8]: 82 [88, 94] sts.
Back bind-off row: Knit across front, sm, k1, bind off across back until one st remains. This is now the first st. From here on, piece is worked flat; side seam stitch markers can be removed: 50 [53, 56] sts.
Rows 1 and 2: Knit two rows in St
st ending on WS.
Rows 3 and 4: Continuing in St st, bind off 2 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows: 46 [49, 52] sts.
Rows 5-8: Bind off 3 sts at the beginning of each of the next 4 rows: 34 [37, 40] sts.
Row 9 (decrease row): Slip 1, k1, ssk, knit to last four sts, k2tog, k2: 32 [35, 38] sts.
Row 10: Slip 1, purl across.
Rows 11-14: Repeat Rows 9 and 10 two more times.
Rows 15-18: Work even in St st, slipping first st on each row for nice finished edge.
Row 19: Repeat Row 9: 30 [33, 36] sts.
Row 20: Slip 1, purl across.
Rows 21 and 22: Work even in St st, slipping first st on each row for nice finished edge.
Row 23: Repeat Row 9: 28 [31, 34] sts.
Row 24: Slip 1, purl across.
Neck bind-off row: sl1, k3; place these first four sts on waste yarn or st holder; bind off across front to last four sts; k4.
Rows 1-3: Beginning with a
purl row, work in St st.
Row 4: K1, k2tog, k1.
Slip 3 remaining sts to a dpn and make an I-cord long enough to be drawn halfway around child’s neck and tied in the back. Bind off and weave in end.
With WS facing, slip 4 sts from st holder and repeat Making Ties instructions for second side of top.
Weave in ends.
Wash and block.
Flowers: One of the things I enjoy about patterns like this is the opportunity to make it unique. For the flower on your top, consider knitting or crocheting a felted flower, or using a large button. The photographed sample shows a fabric yo-yo (not to be confused with yarn overs!) Always make sure embellishments are very well attached so babies can’t pull them off.
Ties: For the ties around the neck, you could bind off the last 3 sts before the I-cord and attach grosgrain ribbon, or you could knit the I-cord to end in a button loop and attach a cute button to the opposite side.
Stem: For the stem and leaves, stitch around the edges with a contrasting yarn.
To make a fabric yo-yo: Cut a circle of fabric twice as wide as the desired diameter for finished piece. Fold over the edge under (to wrong side) about 1/4 inch and baste it down, basting all the way around the circle. (Hint: bigger stitches will make a smaller hole in the center when done.) Once you have sewn all the way around, pull the thread, drawing all the stitches together so that the outer edge of the circle is pulled into the center, forming a small circle in the middle. Stitch through a couple of folds in the center to keep it in place and discreetly tie a knot and clip thread.
Whether having tea in the garden with Bunny or shopping at the mall with Mommy, these ruffly little shorts will be keep little girls cool and fashionable all summer long. I hope you enjoy making them!
Using long-tail method, cast on 104  sts.
Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist, pm.
Rnd 1: Knit 52 , pm to denote center front, knit around.
Note: End of round marker will serve as center back of piece.
Rnds 2-7: Knit 6 rnds.
Rnd 8 (turning ridge): Purl around.
Rnds 9-14: Knit 6 rnds.
Work around following Sugar Cube Chart until piece measures 2½
inches from turning ridge.
Increase Rnd A: K1, m1, work in est patt to last st, m1, k1: 106 sts.
Note: Work new sts in St st until enough sts have been increased to incorporate them into the patt.
Work in Sugar Cube patt until piece measures 4½ inches from turning ridge.
Work Increase Rnd A: 108 sts.
Work in Sugar Cube patt until piece measures 6 inches from turning ridge.
Work Increase Rnd A: 110 sts.
Work in Sugar Cube patt as est for 3 rnds.
Increase Rnd A: 112 sts.
Work one rnd in Sugar Cube patt as est.
Work Increase Rnd A: 114 sts.
Increase Rnd B: K1, m1, work in est patt to one st before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, work in est patt to last st, m1, k1: 118 sts.
Work Increase Rnd A: 120 sts.
Work Increase Rnd B: 124 sts.
Work Increase Rnd A: 126 sts.
Increase Rnd C: [K1, m1] twice, cont in est patt to two sts before marker, [m1, k1] twice, sm, [k1, m1] twice, cont in est patt to last 2 sts, [m1, k1] twice: 134 sts.
Increase Rnd D: Work in est patt to one st before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, work in est patt around: 136 sts.
Using dpns, work in est patt to marker. Divide these 68
sts as evenly on four dpns, pm to denote beginning of round. Leave
remaining sts on circular needle; set aside for the moment.
Work in est patt until leg measures 11/2 inches or desired length.
Next 4 Rnds: Knit around.
Next Rnd (turning ridge): Purl around.
Next 4 Rnds: Knit around.
Bind off all sts; cut yarn leaving a long tail for sewing.
Divide second leg sts evenly on four needles, pm, join to work
in the round.
Complete same as first leg.
Fold fabric of leg under at turning ridge and whip stitch the
bound-off edge to the inside of the leg, all the way around, leaving a
½ inch space unstitched. Cut ¼ inch elastic into two even lengths.
Fasten safety pin to one end of one piece and thread through leg
casing. Join ends together and make sure this is a comfortable
circumference for child’s leg. Sew elastic ends together securely, cut
off any excess elastic, and finish sewing casing closed.
Repeat for second leg.
Make elastic casing for waist in same manner, using ½ inch elastic.
With dpns and working in turning ridge, pick up one stitch in
every purl bump all the way around leg.
Next Rnd: Kfb in each st around.
Next 2 Rnds: Knit arond.
Bind off all sts in k1, p1 rib for elasticity.
Repeat for second leg.
Weave in ends.
Wash and block per yarn manufacturer’s instructions.
Karen is primarily a stay-at-home mom with three boys. She enjoys all sorts of creative outlets including photography, quilting, sewing, knitting, drawing, and gardening. Karen was introduced to knitting in the fall of 2008 and is enjoying it immensely. You can read more about her crafting on her blog.
Pattern & images © 2010 Karen Juliano. Contact