If you are familiar with my knitting patterns, you will know that there’s nothing I love more than bows and back interest, and especially when the two come together! This is a design I have been wanting to create for the longest time, and I’m so excited to have it available now as both a hand knitting and machine knitting pattern, and as a sweater and dress! The hand knitting patterns are called “Peek a Bow” sweater and dress, and the machine knitting patterns are called “Put a Bow on It” sweater and dress.
The beauty of this design is that the middle bow is strategically placed so that it will cover your bra closure, so you can show off your backside while still wearing a bra. The keyholes and bows are added once the sweater is complete so you can ensure they hit the right spot. If you want to show just a smaller peek of your backside, you can alternatively make 1 keyhole (pictured right), which is another version in the pattern that is just as cute, or no keyhole at all. Part of what makes this design so adorable is the puff sleeves, so even without the keyholes it’s the perfect girly sweater!
These patterns call for a worsted weight yarn, and I’ve used a variety of them to show you the possibilities. I always encourage knitters to use their favorite yarn though I’m happy to share mine – as long as you can get the gauge with your yarn (19 sts and 27 rows = 4″ in Stockinette Stitch) you are good to go!
This super fun pink/purple color combo used for the hand knitted sweater is a brand new yarn from Knit Picks. It is called “High Desert” Worsted, and is a 100% American grown and spun wool yarn. I had the honor of being among the first to be able to try it out. I received the Lupine and Dusk colors, and had so much fun knitting with it! It’s surprisingly soft, and has a great bounce to it. And these colors! So girly and fun.
For the pink hand knitted dress, I used Malabrigo Worsted. This yarn is so soft and luxurious, and has the most beautiful variegation of color! I used the Pink Frost color which is a gorgeous dusty pink and a perfect match for this girly design.
For this machine knitted dress, I used Knit Picks Brava Worsted. I love that this yarn is so affordable and easy to care for – you can put it through the washer and dryer without worry, and it looks and feels great for a 100% acrylic yarn. I also love that it comes in so many fun colors, and especially the heathers. For this dress I used Dove Heather with Cobblestone Heather, and also made dresses using Fairy Tale and Wine (for a Christmas Dress!) that you will find on the pattern page!
Lastly, for the machine knit version of the sweater, I used Caron “Latte Cakes” which has become one of my favorite yarns to work with. It is so unbelievably soft and fuzzy, and surprisingly holds up in the wash as well! I’ve had some favorite fuzzy store bought sweaters that sadly only survived one wash so I was skeptical when I first bought this yarn. I threw a swatch in to see what would happen and was delighted to see that it came back exactly the same! I also used this yarn for my favorite Winter hat and it has held up great.
I also made the machine knit sweater with Knit Picks Brava Worsted in Tide Pool with Lion Brand Heartland in Great Smoky Mountain for the bows. This sweater has more of a sporty look which is super fun – the possibilities are endless with mixing and matching yarns and bow colors!
I hope you enjoy these new bow back designs! I had so much fun creating them, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! If you make a bow back dress or sweater, please make sure to share it on Ravelry or tag me on Instagram so I can see, there’s nothing I love more than seeing your creations!
P.S. I also created a video showing you how to make a bow on a knitting machine, and I show you exactly how I create the keyholes and attach the bows to the back of the sweater/dress which you can reference if you’re making the hand knitted versions too. Hope you enjoy!