I loved my freckles when I was a kid.
They’re still there on my arms, but when I was younger, I had a swath of them across my nose and cheeks. You had to look closely to see them in the winter, but they popped right out under the summer sun. I miss them now that they’re gone, but was delighted to look at Jeffrey one day and see that they lived on.
While Jeffrey’s freckles weren’t the inspiration for my latest pattern, they did give me half of the pattern name – the lines of colored dots across the yoke reminded me of the strip of freckles across Jeffrey’s nose.
Those bright spots of color also appear in ruffled splashes at hem and sleeves. This element was directly inspired by one of my children – this time by Lexie, who would be my model. She’s both a dirt-grubbing, sword-carrying tomboy and the girliest girl with a love of embellishment I’ve ever known, and ruffles were perfect for her.
Put them together, and you get Freckles & Ruffles:
The original inspiration for this design was a single skein of variegated yarn that I’d fallen in love with and just had to design with. There was only one skein of that colorway available, so I knew I’d have to combine it with something else, and found a couple skeins of semi-solid to go with the variegated. Then I started playing with stitch patterns and it occurred to me that a pattern like this would be the perfect one for someone who loves the colors in variegated yarns but not enough to make a whole item with one, or for the knitter who has single skeins of colorful yarn and no idea what to do with them.
Originally, the pattern was going to be published by a yarn company, but there were publication issues and the rights were returned to me. Unfortunately, that meant I didn’t have a working sample for photography – which is when Sarah of Oh!Loops offered yarn support. I’ll be honest, I was a little giddy at my first unsolicited offer of yarn support, more so when I started going through their store to find the perfect colorways. I selected some of their 2-ply Merino High Twist Sock in a purple semi-solid and a yellow/green/blue variegated called Junebug.
I already had a different design on the needles when I got the rights back to this one; as soon as I finished that one, I began knitting away with my new yarn. About a week and a half later, I was done.
The shirt is knit top down, starting with a circular yoke. Bands of colorwork (which are not nearly as involved as they might look, as they’re done with slipped stitches and increases) alternate with plain rows down to the body, where a colorwork “belt” gives the impression of an empire waist. A colorful flirty ruffle is added at the end, which is echoed on each sleeve with ruffles shaped using short rows. Best of all, once you’ve bound off the last stitch and woven in the last end, all you need to do is block – it’s seamless. There are schematics and additional pictures included at the end of the pattern, so you can choose whether to print them or not.
Photos taken at Anna Smith Children’s Park in Bremerton, WA.