I have a previously published pattern that needs reworked. I have another one that I want to expand. I have several samples I need to knit for both of them, as well as for a third pattern. I have two designs I’m working on with an external deadline. I have a handful of design calls I want to submit to in the next few months. And I need to do the planning for the design I’ve decided I want to completely work up and knit during the Ravelympics.
So, why was I working on this?
Because when my 4-year-old comes to me, clutching her stuffed bunny–her constant companion from when she was only a few months old; her playmate during the day and sleeping buddy at night; her best friend and confidante–and says, “Mommy…Bunny wanted me to ask you if you could knit her a sweater,” my priorities shift.
And besides, I thought to myself, this couldn’t be that hard or take that long. Bunny’s pretty small, and it was just a sweater…right? Well, until Lexie came back. “Mommy…Bunny wants her sweater to be a dress.” Oh, ok. I’ll have to knit a bit longer, but not much. “Bunny wants it to be a coat dress, Mommy.” Well, that’s not much of a change, really; I’ll add buttons and buttonholes. Then Lexie looked out the window to see more of the typical Pacific Northwest rain. “Mommy, Bunny wants you to knit her a raincoat. With a hood.”
You may be surprised to learn this, but I was unable to find a sweater-dress-raincoat-hoodie pattern for an 8″ tall stuffed bunny. That meant writing my own. As I started to work it up, it occurred to me that this would be a handy thing to have for the next of Lexie’s dolls that suddenly felt a need for handknits…and none of them are the same size. So I wrote it up to make it easy to customize for dolls of any size and yarn knit to any gauge, and with all of the modifications indicated. Since I already had it done, I figured I might as well offer it up to the next knitting parent/aunt/uncle/grandparent/friend who knows a child with a lifelong companion in need of extra warmth.
Bunny’s Sweater Dress Raincoat Hoodie
The measurements section tells you what measurements you will need for this pattern; the calculations section walks you through the math you need to do with those measurements to get the numbers to insert into the pattern. It’s easy, I promise! In parenthesis are the numbers I used for Lexie’s Bunny; those numbers are for illustrative purposes only, so you can see which numbers end up where (unless your child’s stuffed animal is the exact same size, then just use those numbers).
This pattern does not give a specific yarn, yarn weight, or needle size, because it can be customized to any of those. Pick the yarn and needle of your choice, and determine your gauge; all calculations will be based on that gauge.
Gauge (G): _____ (19) sts / 4” (_____ (4.75) sts / 1”)
Neck measurement (NM): _____ (6)” + 1” for overlap = _____ (7)”
Chest measurement (CM): _____ (10)” + 1” for overlap = _____ (11)”
Waist length (WL): _____ (4)”
Total length (TL): _____ (6)”
Head circumference (HC): _____ (10)”
Neck cast-on sts (NCOS): NM * G = _____ (7) * _____ (4.75) = _____ (33.25) –> round up to nearest even number –> _____ (34)
Chest sts calc (CSC): CM * G = _____ (11) * _____ (4.75) = _____ (52.25) –> round up to nearest even number –> _____ (54)
Inc sts (IS) = CSC – NCOS = _____ (54) – _____ (34) = _____ (20) –> round up to nearest # divisible by 8 –> _____ (24)
Chest sts actual (CSA): NCOS + IS = _____ (34) + _____ (24) = _____ (58)
# of raglan inc = IS / 4 = _____ (24) / 4 = _____ (6)
Raglan marker placement
Back sts (BS): NCOS * .33 = _____ (34) *.33 = _____ (11.22) –> round up to nearest whole number –> _____ (12)
Sleeve sts (SS): BS * .25 = _____ (12) * .25 –> _____ (3) –> round up to nearest whole number –> _____ (3)
Front sts (FS): NCOS – (BS + (SS * 2)) = _____ (34) – (_____ (12) + (_____ (3) * 2) = _____ (16)
Note: FS must be even and greater than BS. If not, adjust FS and BS accordingly.
Cast on NCOS _____ (34) sts.
Row 1: K_____ (1/2 FS), pm, k_____ (SS), pm, k_____ (BS), pm, k_____ (SS), pm, k to end.
Row 2: K2, yo, K2tog, p to last 4 sts, slipping markers as you come to them, k2tog, yo, k2. (This gives you a buttonhole; if not desired, leave it out.)
Row 3: *K to 1 st before marker, kf&b, sm, kf&b, rep from * to last section, k to end (_____ (NCOS+8) sts).
Row 4: K4, p to last 4 sts slipping markers as you come to them, k4.
Rep rows 3 & 4 as needed until you have _____ (CSA) sts total on front and back. Do not count the sleeve sts in this total.
Row 5: K_____ (sts before 1st marker), remove marker, place _____ (sleeve sts) sts on waste yarn, remove marker, c/o _____ (SS) sts, k_____ (back sts), remove marker, place _____ (sleeve sts) sts on waste yarn, remove marker, c/o_____ (SS) sts, k to end (_____ (CSA) sts).
Row 6: K2, yo, K2tog, p to last 4 sts, k2tog, yo, k2. (Optional buttonhole)
Work in stockinette stitch, keeping the 4 sts on either end in garter stitch, until sweater measures desired length from the cast on edge, ending with a WS row (if not adding optional skirt, end with a RS row). If adding buttonholes, space them out the same distance apart as the first two holes.
If a skirt is not desired, work 4 rows in garter stitch starting with a knit row, bind off loosely and skip to sleeve instructions.
Subtract 8 from CSA. Divide the result by 3. Take the remainder, divide it in half, and add that number to 4. This will be the number of stitches before and after the increases (A). If your remainder is an odd number, put that extra stitch on either side; it won’t be noticeable.
K_____ (A), m1, *k3, m1, rep from * to last 6 sts, knit to end.
Work in stockinette stitch, keeping the 4 sts on either end in garter stitch, until sweater measures desired length from the cast on edge, ending with a RS row.
Work 4 rows in garter stitch, starting with a knit row. Bind off loosely.
Place sleeve sts on the needles. Starting in the middle of the underarm c/o sts, pick up and knit 2 sts, k_____ (sleeve stitches), pick up and knit 2 final stitches from the underarm.
Work in stockinette stitch until sleeve measures desired length. If sleeve is wide enough that curling may occur, finish with 4 rows of garter stitch. Bind off loosely.
With RS facing, starting from the right, pick up and knit a stitch in each stitch along the c/o edge.
Row 1: K4, purl to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 2: K4, kf&b to last 4 sts, k4. (Note: this rate of increase yields a very oversized, floppy hood. If desired, increase fewer stitches. You can also increase more gradually and then decrease at the same rate towards the top for more shaping, if desired.)
Row 3: Rep Row 1.
Work even in stockinette stitch, starting with a knit row, keeping the 4 sts on either end in garter stitch, until hood is long enough to fold comfortably over head.
End with a knit row.
Place half the stitches on one needle and half on the other and hold with wrong sides together. Kitchner the top of the hood closed (alternately, use a 3 needle bind off).
Weave in all ends and sew buttons opposite of buttonholes.
And the result?