Knitted Overalls

1:13 PM

This is one of my favorite knitting books. Written and created by Janelle Hoverson, owner of my favorite knitting shop, Purl, and its blog,

These knitted drawstring pants are in that book.  The pants, knitted with Rowan's Denim yarn, captured my heart and I decided months ago this was my next big project. My plan was to make them for Dorien in their largest size (12-18 months). However, it took me awhile. I began to worry that Dorien might not fit in them when I finished. So I lengthened the legs a bit. 

Then, one day, I remembered this other pattern (also found on Purl's blog) that I had always thought was precious, but probably required more time than I wanted to put into it.  Little did I know.

When I finished the legs and was beginning the waistband, I realized I was at a crossroads. I could continue on and finish the drawstring pants OR take it a step further and turn them into these super precious overalls. 

Going further presented some complications. For starters, the overall pattern was using a different type of yarn (6 stitches to an inch) whereas the yarn I was using was 5 stitches to an inch. Also, I had 21 fewer stitches on my needles, so I needed to adjust for that. This meant all the instructions given in the pattern would need to be adjusted for my yarn. Sounds simple enough, right?

With my compulsive need to solve problems, particularly of the mathematical variety, I chose the more complicated route - the overalls! Thus began my days long descent into knitting mania (or insanity, some might say). I began sketching diagrams to illustrate the pattern differences and figure out exactly what changes I needed to make to turn my pants into overalls. I needed to visualize where I was going with this and numerically plot it out.

So I drew a circular grid of how each row (knit on circular needles) would look, sort of spiraling to my end point. One sketch was the original version. Then, I modified it for my purposes. 

While working on this, I would literally shut out all other thought. It was probably pretty comical. Kyle called it my "Beautiful Mind" phase. He kept waiting for me to start talking to an invisible friend. 

But figure it out, I did. And here is what my pants looked like before I turned them truly into overalls. I used the exact Rowan denim yard recommended in the book. And it left my fingers blue every time I knitted. Needless to say, you wash these before you put them on your toddler!  

Here is the seed stitch cuff on the pants. The long strings all get woven in at the end. At one point, there were so many long strings hanging that I felt like a puppeteer! 


And finally, after utter devotion to the task and a truly, almost obsessive level of focus, they are finished! And, more importantly, they work and they fit and I am very happy with them!

I probably could have gone a little longer with the straps, but they're fine. And I used two vintage buttons I had to finish them off.

The legs are a little long, which is perfect. I'll roll them up a little.

I am so proud of them! Dorien looks awesome in them and they look super comfy!

See the extra length? Since my babies tend to grow up, but level out on weight, I think we'll be wearing these for quite some time. The original sizing was for 18 months to 30 months. And since I extended the length on the legs, we may get more than that. We'll see.

The denim yarn also works like denim - it gets softer with each washing and doesn't shrink. 

He was very cozy in them. And cozy to hug! 

Just chilling.

Still snapping pics? 

Good for squatting in...

And dancing...

And chewing toys.

And they give plenty of flexibility for reaching up to the piano. 

I love them, simple as that. 

On to the next project!

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  1. They are so cute. I am super impressed with your dedication to the numbers side of it. That is what intimidates me about knitting - all that counting. Way to go!