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This time of year at some, usually triggered by my income tax deadline’s approach, I start to archive the past year’s documents and photos.  Somehow in the midst of clicking and dragging all those folders around to tidy my virtual file cabinet, I wander off and take a peak at past years’ pictures and memories.  Now that Lil One is no longer a “baby” but a “big girl” (by her own definition), it made me smile to look back at her baby pics and remember the pre-talking, pre-walking times.  I really didn’t realize how good I had it then – plunk and plug and we’re good!  Of course I swell with Mommy pride when I see how much she’s grown, and how quickly she’s learning new things.  That’s why I take so many pictures  – nearly every day there’s something new!

All this reminiscing did bring me around to thinking about how hand-made knits for babies are wonderful, but sometimes outgrown very quickly.  Already there’s a growing box of “heirloom knits” for the things she’s outgrown.  I know as a knitter one of the things you hope for is that things will be worn, and worn a lot!  After all, that’s the biggest compliment we can get.  Well, I just wanted to pass on one little discovery I made along the way, knitting for Lil One.  Apparently one of the knits that can really grow with a little one is the sleeveless dress.  Back in 2010 I made the Plymouth Yarn Toddler Dress, by JoAnne Turcotte, for Lil One’s Easter Dress when she wasn’t even a year old.  I found these pictures in the archive from this time in February two years ago.

Later I modified it to have a little built-in “faux camisole” so she could wear it modestly all summer with nothing underneath.  Then in the fall, it layered up perfectly with t-necks and jeans for a trendy little look.  On through the winter and into the next spring she continued to pick it out and wear it over tees and tights, and just never seemed to grow tired of it.  It’s had everything from pink frosting to marinara spilled on it, and came clean again each time.  The Berroco Touche has really performed well, I must say.  Then, just as I was thinking it might be time to move on, she pulled it out again just last week, almost exactly two years after those first pictures were taken, and paired it with a purple long sleeve tee and her favorite purple princess shoes – her new “big girl” style.

So, I can only conclude, that the sleeveless dress might be one of the most forgiving things to make if your goal is to stretch the wearability window for a little girl.  I guess it’s because you can make it a little long and loose to begin with, and as they grow there aren’t any sleeves to be too short, and apparently they just don’t expand around like they grow upward.  Pretty cool.  If she keeps wanting to wear it I might have to crochet an extension on the skirt and take out the camisole so she can keep wearing it!  So, my fellow knitter-Moms, what knitting nuggets have you found that were both durable and stretched well over the years?

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