I bought this little summer tunic pattern a few months ago after I saw a sample made up in the local yarn store. The pattern is from the Sirdar Snuggly Bamboo DK range and the sizes are from birth to 7 years, making the pattern very versatile.
I had bought 3 balls of Freedom Sincere Organic DK cotton on sale a few months ago in this pretty earthy blue so I thought I would use this for the tunic, (just to prove to my husband that I do indeed use my stash). This tunic takes 3 balls of Snuggly Baby Bamboo for the 6 to 12 months size and the Freedom Sincere has a slightly higher meterage per ball, so I was confident I would have enough. In fact I had plenty. I used just over 2 balls. A really good little stash buster pattern.
I find Ravelry an amazing website for reading what others have to say about a pattern that I am about to knit. My daughter mentioned that this pattern looked as though it had quite a small neck and her baby hates anything tight pulled over her head (like all babies). So I went onto Ravelry to read what others had said about this pattern and many people had mentioned that the neckband was too tight and they had to undo the cast off and redo it, or put buttons on the shoulder. Most people had said that they had cast off with the larger needle instead of the smaller one, so that is what I did. I used the 3.25mm needle to do the neckband and then changed to 4mm to cast off. It fitted over her head perfectly without tears or tantrums.
A strange thing when knitting this little tunic, the ribbed bottom is done in 3.25mm needles and then you change to 4mm for the beginning of the stocking stitch as normal, but when you do the first row of lace at the bottom, you change back to 3.25mm and then back to 4mm for the stocking stitch again. It did make for nice neat lacy holes at the bottom of the tunic but then the lace on the top was knitted in 4mm needles which made the lace holes quite big. But that is perfectly fine. A plain onesie or singlet under the tunic looks really pretty. I notice the baby on the cover of the Sirdar pattern is also wearing a plain white single under the tunic.
One more strange thing about this pattern (more of an annoyance actually) is the way the pattern is written (or not written) after the armhole cast off. My friend who borrowed this pattern to knit for her 5 year old niece, found it a bit difficult to follow the lace pattern after the armhole cast off. Other people on Ravelry had also commented on this but I thought it may be because my friend (and perhaps the others who commented about this on Ravelry) was an inexperienced knitter. But when I got to the armhole, I found it quite difficult to work out where to make the holes for the lace also. The pattern needs to be written out after the armhole cast off to make it easier to follow. I did work it out eventually but not before frogging half a row a number of times before I got it right.
After reading all of the above, I may not make this pattern again. But then again it is so pretty, I probably will.
UPDATED October 2014
Baby is still wearing this at 16 months.
Pattern book – Sirdar 1830 leaflet
Pattern – Tunic
Yarn – Freedom Sincere Organic Cotton
Link to Ravelry project here