I recently received back one of the pre-blog items that I had made for my neice, so I thought I'd share it, since I was really proud of it.
When my niece, Allie, was born, I decided it would be my job to handknit the christening gown (as well as a blanket). I was still a fairly new knitter, having picked it up again in the fall of 1993, and the christening was in September 1998. Yes, that was 5 years to learn my craft, but it was also in the pre-internet days. The public library was my primary source of knowledge. I picked a little girls' dress from a library book, and tried to size it down. I still have the very worn photocopy of the pattern, and the only identifying feature is "Folk Knitting" at the top, and the dress was called Shetland Lace Dress. I have another girl's dress pattern from the book, called "Party Dress and Pinafore" and it says "Lacey Patterns" on the top of that page. I've been searching Ravelry, Google, Amazon, and my local library's catalogue, and I can't find it :( In the end, I think it turned out nice, but sadly, I didn't know enough about using "good" yarns and I really wish I had used an heirloom quality yarn.
When my niece turned 4, I decided I needed to handknit her a dress. Not sure why I thought that, perhaps it's cause I was newly pregnant and new that come Christmas I wouldn't be doing much knitting? I knew it had to be blue, and better yarn. I chose Estelle Young Touch DK (I think!). I think the white might have been Patons Grace. The dark blue seems a little looser plied than the sky blue which seems tighter and more textured.
I was still very much a beginner in some regards. Although I paid a lot of attention to details, some things were still beyond my ability. I couldn't get a nice join at the cast on and cast off ends of the bottom lace trim. I didn't even seem to line it up at the side. I remember having a lot of difficulty getting the K2tog, YO to show in the white and to get the dark blue garter ridge to be all dark blue.
There is one button missing. I used buttons from a "romper" I had (shorts joined to a blouse). There was a long line of pearl buttons down the front of the romper. And look at that--the lace at the neck didn't go all the way to the buttons, but one more repeat would have been too many.
I also made a little purse. I couldn't get the bottom to be stiff and flat, the crocheted bottom worked the best, but it wasn't what I had in mind.
I wish I had been blogging back then and had better details. I had been taking photos of my projects, but they're not digital. You think you'll remember those details, but you don't!