I have something pretty special for you today, and if it looks a little familiar then you shouldn't be surprised. This new pattern release is an upsize of the Petite Panache Pattern that was released waaaay back in 2010. The original Petite Panache was an investigation into pleating and texture, it was my entry into the Jimmy Beans Wool design contest and although it did not win the first prize it was well received as a finalist. I have had numerous requests in the past 5 years to create an upsized version as many of the children who had the sweater knit for them originally have outgrown the sizing.
My own middle daughter seconded this sentiment when she came across the original sample during the dreaded clothing season switch over. We were sitting in the spare room pouring over all manner of hand-me-downs being unearthed for her wardrobe and packing away the outgrown items. Using her ESPGA (Extra Sensory Parental Guilt Abilities) she waxed poetic about how much she adored the super soft and warm 100% Alpaca (it was from a BABY mom! a BABY ALPACA!) and recalled all manner of memories featuring said sweater. Whether those memories were totally accurate or just an embroidery of her fondness for the sweater she wore at 18 months the fact was clear that she really loved wearing it and would definitely be up for another. It's worth saying at this point that anytime one of my kids shows interest in receiving a hand-knit item I jump on that train as fast as possible, so not reaaaally any guilt required!
I did not have any of the yarn in my stash, or anything close, and it seemed like if I was going to upsize the pattern I definitely needed to use the same yarn. So I contacted Misti Alpaca who were thrilled to provide some yarn for the upsize. The colorway is Magic Flute and I love it even more than the original color, the flickering jewel tones seem to have a magical life of their own and are perfectly suited to the recipient's fantastical personality.
If you've knit the first Petite Panache you might have noticed that the pattern writing style was... cumbersome. It was a very line by line style of writing that I used to work in and is great for beginners but not so great for more experienced knitters. The upsize is titled Milieu Panache (medium style) and is written in a more clean cut manner, making for a sleek and easy knit.
The cardigan is longer than the average cardigan for two reasons, I feel like kids typically grow upwards when they sprout and I like to have a little extra length to keep the sweater worn for a longer time. Also, this tunic trend has been big for a while and I was thinking that a longer cardigan would fit into the trend (and cover the tunic being worn underneath). If you want a shorter cardigan it is easy to leave off a buttonhole repeat.
And of course, to really complete the whole affair we had to redo photos in the same garden as the original. Norah was more than happy to oblige and as you can see we have a budding actress on our hands!