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.surf & turf.brisa.twins. eyelet . white trash . easybreezy
..lacecap.vintage . broadripple . jane . childHood
.daisy .tasha .aline.puppers . fairway.sigma.cleo

Who is going to be the hottest baby on the beach this summer? Whoever gets a handknit leopard print bikini! Picture it -- a sweet little halter top, big ruffle, complete with leopard spots [duplicate stitched on after the piece has been knit], comfy ruffled pants, all knit out of a soft cotton elastic blend.

Not up for the PhD version? Pare it down to one color [maybe two] and eliminate the spots and the ruffles-you've still got a dazzling look for your baby girl. Or take away the top and the ruffles-voila- a pair of swim trunks for your little boy-man.

model: Kennedy Jane photo: Cindy Redmond

SIZE

M(12-18 mos)[L(24-30 mos)]
[there's a limit as to how long children will let you dress them to entertain the neighbors]

 
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Chest: 20[22]inches
Waist: 18[20] inches
Hip: 20[20] inches (Both sizes have the same hip size in the pants; the smaller size will accommodate a diaper)

 

MATERIALS

[MC] Cascade Fixation [98.3% Cotton, 1.7% Elastane;186 yds [stretched]/100 yds. [relaxed] per 50 g skein]; color: 7360 [taupe] 1[1] skein
[CC] Cascade Fixation; color:9966 [taupe/black/gold mix] 1[1] skein
Note: the larger size took exactly one ball of each color. You might want to add another ball of each to your shopping list to be on the safe side - and make a pair of socks from the leftovers!

1 set US #6/4 mm double-point needles [you will only be using 2 needles for the I-cord so you can cheat a bit and use anywhere from U.S.#3/3.25mm to U.S.#7/4.5 mm needles]
1 set US #3/ 3.25 mm straight needles
1 set US #7/ 4 mm straight needles
4 safety pins
darning needle
1 spare knitting needle [to hold ruffles before they are applied]
elastic thread [optional, but recommended if you plan to use the suit in water]

 

GAUGE

20 sts/36 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch, using 4mm needles

 
DIRECTIONS

Halter top
Starting at the bottom edge, using CC and #6 needles, CO 225
[240]stitches. Starting with WS facing, k 2 rows. Purling the next row, continue in St st for 5 more rows, ending with WS row.
Row 8: [RS] *Sl 1, k2tog, PSSO*, repeat to end of row -- 75[80] sts on needle.
Row 9: Smaller size:[WS] *K1,k2tog* repeat to end of row -- 50 sts on needle.
Larger size: [WS] *K1, k2tog* repeat to last 2 sts, k2 -- 60 sts on needle.
Row 10: [RS] Purl.
Row 11: [WS] Change to MC and k across row. At this point, you may change to the smaller needle and knit a few rows in MC, then change back to the larger needle. This works best if you have a smaller baby in mind, as it will “hug” the chest a little better. For the average to larger baby, continue with the #6 needles.
Row 12: [RS] Knit.
Row 13: [WS] Purl.
Continue in St st until top measures 1.5[2.25] inches [or desired length], ending with a purl row.


Begin underarm decreases
First row: K2, ssk, continue to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2.
Next row: Purl.
Continue, repeating these 2 rows until there are 22[26] sts left on the needle [ending with purl row].
Next row: K2. ssk, k3[5], k2tog, k2. TURN WORK and continue on this side only. You will rejoin the yarn for the second side. 9[11] st on side.
Next row and every alternate row: Purl.
Next row: K2, ssk, k1, k2tog, k2.
Continue decreasing in the established manner until 7 st. remain on Side A, ending with a purl row
Next row: K2, sl 1, k2tog, PSSO, k2 -- 4 sts on needle.
Place these 4 st. on a safety pin. These sts will be the start of the i-cord strap.
Complete second side, reversing shaping, using MC as established.


I-cord straps
With RS facing, using MC, place the 4 sts from the first side on a double-pointed needle. Knit. Slide the work to the end of needle. DO NOT TURN. Bring yarn around back, give it a little tug, k 4 sts again. Continue until strap is 7[8] inches, or desired length. Repeat with second side.


Side Ties
With RS of work facing, using MC, pick up 10 stitches along the left side of top between the ruffle and the start of the decreases. Do not use the entire straight section, just the inch or so above the ruffle.
Row 1: Purl to last 2 sts, slip these sts as if to purl, with yarn in front.[Work these 2 sts on the next row as 2 separate sts].
Row 2: Knit to last 2 sts, slip last 2 sts with yarn in back. The slipped stitches give a rolled edge to the piece.
Continue these 2 rows until tie is 3.5 [4.5] inches, or desired length, ending with purl row.
To taper end: SSK, k to last 2 sts, k2tog.
Next row: Purl.
Repeat these 2 rows until 4 sts remain.
Finish with I-cord tie, as per "I-cord Straps".
Repeat with other side of top.


Bottoms
These are knit from the back to the front in one piece, and then stitched up the sides. The ruffles are added as you knit [no sewing!], but I have included instructions on how to make them separately and then sew them on later, if desired.
Ruffles: [Make 2] These are the same for both sizes.
With#6 needle and CC, CO 186 sts.
Row 1: [RS] purl.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: Knit.
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: *Sl 1, k2tog, PSSO* Repeat to end [62 sts].
Place stitches on spare needle.
[If you would prefer to sew the ruffles on later, instead of placing sts on spare needle, purl one more row, and then BO all sts.]


Pants
With CC and #3 needles, CO 48[54] sts. Work in K1, P1 rib for 6 rows, ending with WS row.
Next row: Change to #6 needles and MC. K across row, increasing 14[8] sts evenly -- 62[62]sts. From this point to the front waistband, the pants are the same in both sizes.
Continue in St st for another 2 rows. On row 4, hold the ruffle and the pants with right sides facing. Purl together 1 st from the ruffle needle with 1 st from the pants needle -- [62 st]. The purl sts will be under the ruffle, and hold the ruffle up a bit [very cute!]
Work in St st for another 15 rows, ending with a purl row. Repeat the attachment of the ruffle with ruffle no. 2.
Note --if you want to sew the ruffles on, purl the attachment row, instead of attaching the ruffle. When the garment is finished, sew the ruffles on top of the purl row.
Continue in St st until piece measures 3.5 inches from the start of the MC [not top of waistband], ending with a purl row.
Next row: BO 17 sts, k to end of row.
Next row: BO 17 sts, p to end of row.
Next row: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog.
Next row and alternate rows: Purl.
Continue these 2 rows until there are 18 sts on needle.
Continue in established St st for 2 inches, ending with purl row.
Next row: Inc 1 st on either end of needle [20 sts].
Next row and alternate rows: Purl
Continue increasing in this way until there are 28 st. on needle.
Next row: CO 17 sts at beginning of row, and another 17 sts at end of row [62 sts].
Work in St st until front is the same length as back, less one row, ending on purl row.
Next row: K, increasing 14[8] sts evenly across needle.
Change to CC and smaller needles. Work k1,p1 rib for 6 rows and BO in rib.


Leg bands
With smaller needles and CC, pick up and k 17 sts along back of right leg, 18 sts along crotch, 17 sts along front of right leg [52 st.].
Work in k1,p1 rib for 4 rows.
If you would like ruffles on outer leg, place first and last 17 sts and BO center 18 sts in rib. If you do not want ruffles, simply bind off all stitches in rib.
Repeat for left leg.
Sew side seams together.

If making ruffles, place all 34 st. from right leg onto larger needle.
Knit in front and back of each st [68 sts].
Continue in St st for 3 rows, ending with purl row.
Purl one more row.
BO all.
Repeat with other leg ruffle.
When sewing the ends in, catch the ends of the ruffles to the leg bands-they will look softer and more rounded, rather than squared off.


FINISHING

Use duplicate stitching [aka Swiss darning] to create spots. Choose sections from the contrast yarn that are mainly gold for the center of the spots, then add a few black stitches along the edges of the spots.
The spots should be larger near the center, tapering off in size as you get closer to the sides. For those of you who would prefer a guide, I have included a graph of the spots. If desired, for the ruffle on the top, stitch a little stitch or two into the ends of the ruffle and attach them to the main body of the halter top. It makes the ruffle more rounded at the edges.

Graph for the spots - use it as a guide, as there is lots of room for freehand.

     

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X : gold
@: black

 

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Deb is an elementary school teacher with a husband, a five-year-old daughter and a passion for knitting.

She designs and knits clothes for her family and friends and has even been known to knit slipcovers for chairs. She is also an adult survivor of being dressed to entertain the neighbours. But she's over that now. Almost.