Balletomane by Stella Lange


Vintage Purls lace
Lace ?
27 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches
in Garter stitch
US 3 - 3.25 mm
0.6 mm
3.25 mm (D)
1969 - 2953 yards (1800 - 2700 m)
age 4 to age 16
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for NZ$6.00 NZD buy it now

Balletomane is a lightweight, fitted ballet style-wrap, with a beaded yoke, and optional long sheer sleeves finished with beaded cuffs. It is equally beautiful knit without the beads or as a sleeveless wrap. Because this garment is knit in one section with no seams, you can try it on as you knit it to get the perfect fit. The body of the wrap is knit using two strands of hand dyed lace weight yarn, the sleeves are knit with one strand so are slightly sheer.

Balletomane bal·let·o·mane. Italian for an ardent admirer of the ballet.
A huge thank you to Stephanie who suggested such a wonderful name.

I recently became a ‘beginner Ballet-mum’ and went looking for a pattern for a ballet wrap that was seamless and at the same time interesting to knit. I couldn’t find one, my solution was to design and make a fitted totally seamless ballet wrap worked with beads. Inspired by the knitting of Elizabeth Zimmerman, Balletomane is as close to knitting in the round as I can make a ballet wrap. Don’t knit Balletomane just for ballet class, its perfect for cooler days, and looks great with a dress or T-shirt

Easy little knitters tricks are used to give this wrap a polished finish, a slipstitch mock-i-cord edge neatly rounds the edges as you knit, a Russian graft borrowed from lace knitters joins the vertically knit cuff simply and elegantly, and cast-off i-cord neatens and strengthens the tie and the tie slot edges.

This is not a complex knit; the shaping has a rhythm that is far simpler to knit than explain. You need to be able to knit, k2tog, ssk, short row with wrap and turns (but not pick them up), slipstitches with yarn forward. There are links to tutorials demonstrating beading, picking up stitches, and Russian grafting with a crochet hook.
I have provided instructions to knit this wrap for dancers aged 4 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 years old. The finished wrap shown here is knit as a size 8, to fit a child 10” across the back.
The best fit will be achieved if you knit the size that corresponds to the wearer’s body across back measurement; every one differs in their build and growth. As most parents will know a child’s age can be a very poor predictor of their size. The ages are here as a guide for those who are unable to measure the intended wearer.

Note: for the best fit use body across back to determine which size to make.
Across back is measured across the back from where the arm joins the body to where the other arm joins the body. The wrap is designed to be a close fit with one inch of negative ease across the back. Garter stitch is incredibly stretchy … so the sizing is forgiving, as is the wrap tie design, despite the negative ease, the build of the body, or the age. I have allowed between half an inch and one inch of ease in the sleeve length to allow for growth.

Body across back width in inches: 8 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 12, 12.5 inches
Body across back width in Centimeters: 20.5 23, 25.5, 28, 30.5, 32 cm

Arm length (underarm to wrist) in inches
10.5 11.5, 12.5, 13.5, 15, 16, 16.5 inches
Arm length (underarm to wrist) in centimeters:
26.5 29, 32, 34.5, 38, 40.5, 42 cm
Finished measurements
Finished Garment Across Back width:
78, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5 inches (note negative ease of 1”)
Back Length: 7.8, 9.5, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12.0 inches
Finished sleeve length (from underarm) with ease
1112, 13.5, 14.5, 16, 17, 17.5 note ease for sleeve is 0.5-1” depending on size knitted.

Written for Vintage Purls Lace - Merino; 994 yards/909m per 100g skein
2 2, 2, 2, 3, 3 skeins
Suitable for any lace-weight or fingering yarn that knits up to the same gauge.

One 32-inch (or longer) US #3 /3.25 mm circular needle (or size to work gauge)
One US#4/3.5 mm circular needle for cast on (if required to work cast on loosely)

Notions required

3 stitch markers,
Smooth yarn/thread for provisional cast on,
Sewing needle weaving in yarn ends,
Crochet hook to match size of knitting needle used, to Russian graft cuffs,
Size 8|0 seed beads – entirely optional.
Approx 660780, 880, 980, 1120, 1240, 1400
Total number of beads required 33, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4 strings (I used strings with approx 320 beads per hank).
Small fine crochet hook to hook stitch through beads, (or you can thread beads onto one or both plies of lace weight yarn before you start knitting),

The ballet wrap is seamless, starting from a provisional cast on at center back and working out towards the center front ties. There are many photos in the pattern that show the shape as the wrap is knit, use these for reference (one on beading a stitch is here for reference as to the detail).

After the back is worked, the section of the body that wraps under the arm is worked, and then the shoulder section worked separately before all the stitches are again worked together. The body of the wrap is knit flat in garter stitch with decreases shaping the front to fit the body and ending in a long wrap tie. The sleeves are picked up around the armscye and knit down to wards the cuffs. The sleeves are knit in the round in stocking stitch. A garter stitch cuff is then knit and attached to the end of the sleeve. Beads can be added to the shoulder yoke stitches and front of the wrap for a little sparkle, … extend the beads down into the tie if you want.

The finishes are knit in to the wrap as it is worked; the waist and neck edges are finished with a mock i-cord made by slipping the last 3 stitches with the yarn held to forward (the side closest to the knitter). The same mock i-cord edge is used to finish the sleeve hem, and the edges of the wrap tie. The ends of the ties are completed with a i-cord cast off. The only real finishing needed is to graft 3 stitches to 3 stitches, weave in the yarn ends and block.

New pdf with corrections/errata identified by lovely knitters uploaded July 2016.