Bower Birds by Machine - A Yoked Dress for Girls by The Fabulous E
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Bower Birds by Machine - A Yoked Dress for Girls

Machine Knitting
December 2013
DK (11 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette St
820 - 984 yards (750 - 900 m)
Child size 6
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

This is a machine knitted version of the pretty round-yoke dress Bower Birds, by Robynn Weldon. With her permission, I have translated the pattern to be knit on a simple single bed chunky or bulky machine. The cleverness of the pattern remains hers and any faults are my own.

The machine I used was a Bond Incredible Sweater Machine (the Ultimate Sweater Machine is another version), a single-bed 8mm gauge machine with 100 needles and no patterning capabilities.

You need five colours of yarn: 500 metres of the main colour and 100 metres each of four contrast colours, two light and two dark or bright. You also need a pretty ribbon for the neck; I used 3/8” double-sided satin.

The dress features a patterned circular yoke and an eyelet neckline threaded with a pretty ribbon. Sleeves and bottom are finished with a picot hem with a contrast facing. The bottom hem also features a fair isle band, and the whole is finished with a pretty kangaroo pocket with a folkloric bird motif.

I would rank this as an intermediate project, since the fair isle yoke is challenging and there are a fair number of skills involved: stranded colourwork, evenly spaced decreases, short rows, eyelets/picots, rehanging from an open cast on and faced hems. You also need good seaming skills to make the fair isle yoke seem knitted as one. But it is very rewarding!

I made this translation available because there are comparatively few machine-knitting patterns for round yoke garments.

I translated only size 6, but by comparing my translation to the original you should be able to work out the stitch counts for the other sizes (don’t forget that I used a stitch at each edge for seaming).

Please get in touch with errata etc as I will correct these if I know about them!