You come to me on a summer breeze

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Pattern: Yolanda by Sabine Riefler
Yarn: Southwest Trading Company Twize (100% bamboo, discontinued), colorway Twen
Needles: U.S. 3 nickel Options 36″ fixed circulars (magic loop style)

You may have noticed that I love to dress my daughter. And the summer is my favorite time to dress her. Light, active, moving, free — what she wears as she runs and jumps and dances is what inspires me.

Two years ago I envisioned her in a sleeveless tunic. I searched for a long time before I found this one. She wore it for two summers. I washed it over and over. But now it’s too small. It’s time to dress her for the next couple of summers.

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Just like last time, I had yarn already selected from my stash that I wanted to use — some of the oldest yarn in my stash, something that had struggled to find a home. But this time a pattern connected with me right away. The lace tunic from Petite Purls, one of my favorite online pattern sources, had everything I was looking for. It looked and felt like the girl I wanted to watch bursting with energy all summer long.

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As so often happens when you have separately, and for different reasons, settled on yarn and pattern, some adjusting was necessary. My yarn knit to a larger gauge. So I figure out the circumference of the tunic’s bottom lace section in the proper size at the specified gauge, then took the gauge of my swatch and calculated which cast-on number in the pattern would give me that circumference. Off I went, and beautiful it was, too.

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But when I proceededly blithely on to the bodice, in a different (non-lace, textured) stitch pattern, continuing to use the numbers from the size for which I had cast on while using the measurements of the size to which I was actually knitting, things went wrong. I finished the front and went on to the back, but the neckline gnawed at me; it seemed way too small, and a couple of the Ravelry projects for the pattern had mentioned a too-small head opening. When I finished the back, the conclusion was inescapable. I couldn’t use the shaping from the smallest size. So I remeasured my gauge in the actual bodice stitch pattern, devised a way to get from my lace-section stitch numbers to the numbers for the larger size, and redid it. Ahhhhh … perfect.

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Why do I love dressing my daughter so much? Because of how much she loves being dressed. A more appreciative customer for one’s handknits cannot be imagined. She exclaims over the silky textures, she reports on its performance in the summer heat, she shows it off proudly to everyone who asks if her mother made it. Most of all, she looks beautiful in it. Like she looks beautiful in everything. Like how beautiful she always is.

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