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My Favorite Things: girls in white dresses

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The lyric in the song "My Favorite Things," featured in the musical The Sound of Music, which refers to girls in white dresses brings to mind thoughts of all things girly. Frills, bows, pastels, and curls all remind us of the girly girl, and today's installment features knitting patterns consistent with the girliest of the girl patterns. Cast on and get in touch with your inner feminine side, or just reinforce why you show it to the world in the first place, while making something small and busting the stress of the holidays.

Girls in white dresses

Ruffled leg warmers: Eileen Casey's pattern for frilly but simple leg warmers, available for free on about.com's knitting page, is a quick and easy knit for that ride on the bus or train. Sized from newborn to ten years old, the pattern can be easily adjusted based on leg circumference and length, making it an ideal pattern for knitting a cute accessory to match the prettiest cold-weather party dress.

Gorgeous shorties: These short shorts feature a drawstring, ruffle leg openings, and the word "gorgeous" across the top of the rear-end in either purl stitch or a contrasting knitted color. Lauren Riker's pattern, available for $5.00 on Ravelry.com, is excellent for either showing off a set of beautiful legs or just secretly feeling sexy under a pair of baggy jeans. While this pattern may require a bit of concentration, the garment itself is small and can be knitted by a newer knitter.

Wisp: This simple yet incredibly versatile accessory piece, first featured in the Summer 2007 issue of Knitty online magazine, uses a mohair yarn to create the most feminine scarf out there. The scarf has buttons but no definitive buttonholes, so the scarf will hold its place on your head or neck wherever you instruct it to do so. The pattern is free and can be memorized after only one pattern repeat. The finished project, after blocking, is a soft and light scarf reserved only for the ultra-feminine woman.

My Whole Heart: This pattern, posted on the Halifax Charity Knitters website, is a set of instructions for arguably one of the most girly symbols of all time. Available for free, the pattern is knit from the tip to the lobes, and then stuffed with poly-fil just before seaming up. The heart, as it states in the pattern, means different things to different people, so designer Ohla felt no need for assigning a specific meaning to the pattern. People can get whatever they will get emotionally from knitting this palm-sized heart.

One-size-fits-many lace skirt: For garment knitters, this lace skirt is ribbed and knit on size US 10 needles, making the fit generous and the project quick. For only $3.50 on Ravelry, the pattern can be purchased and knit in the round, adjusting the length as necessary. There is also an optional belt and drawstring at the waist, but the subtle lace pattern is actually girly enough without it.

Storm Cloud shawlette: Found as a free pattern on Hannah Breetz's blog, the storm cloud shawlette is the perfect shoulder and neck cover for someone looking for a little bit of frill in a world full of bland. Knit entirely in garter stitch, the pattern is easy enough for a beginner and can be knit several times over in a short amount of time to give as gifts. The finished project will feminize a tee shirt just as much as a button-down Oxford, and it can be made on almost any lighter-weight yarn and in any colorway.

Tomorrow's column, blue satin sashes, will be dedicated to easy and quick knitted accessories. Balancing the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with knitting is a great way to pass the time, and who knows? You may end up with a basket full of gifts to give away by Christmas day.

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