I’m glad the early mornings are becoming lighter, otherwise I (or rather, Tom) wouldn’t have been able to take these speedily snapped shots of my new sweater. Spring is definitely on its way . . .


Did I mention that, undoubted tweeness notwithstanding, I heart this sweater? I love the velvety braf yarn (particularly the semi-solid pale blue colourway I used for the corrugated rib). I love the ridiculous dancing doll figures (a modified version of a chart in the 1950 edition of my trusty Odham’s Encyclopedia of Knitting). I love the icord edging (O the wonder of producing that edge from those three knit stitches!). I love the light feel of the sweater (the yardage of bowmont braf is pretty amazing — even with the doubled-layers of the stranding and corrugated rib, this sweater weighs just 160 grams); I love the colourwork (wot fun it is) and, well, you probably know already that I love anything with a yoke. . .


In fact, the only shortcoming of this sweater (for me at least) is that there are a couple of places where my blue weaves show slightly through the cream fabric on the front. The legs of the dolls are 11 stitches apart — too far to carry the yarn — but if I knit the yoke again, I think I may manage to avoid this by alternating the spots where I place the weaves, rather than stacking them up (silly me). Still, I am really pleased with the general structure of the yoke, and with the effect of the colourwork overall.


The basic design of the yoke is a bit like the owl sweater, in that there are no decreases until 4 inches have been worked. But the back of the neck (which you can see here) is more structured and shaped than the owls, using a gazillion short rows, which I have hopefully calculated correctly. There is also some gentle waist shaping, but no bust darts. I am going to wear this lots this Spring! Now I just have to write up the pattern. . . .

Pattern: Paper Dolls (by me)
Yarn: Bowmont braf 4 ply in natural, indigo, and ‘ocean mist’
Needles: 3mm circ
Ravelled here

Oh, and here’s some obligatory throwing of shapes. . . .


EDIT! Pattern is now available here

84 thoughts on “paper dolls

  1. *wistful sigh* I am so in awe of your knitting skills. That yoke is absolutely gorgeous, and not annoyingly twee at all (I think because the colors are nice and solid). I would love love love a sweater like that.


  2. About the stranding of yarns…. when I used to do a lot of “fairisle” on a knitting machine I used to use a crochet hook to chain up a batch of floats on the back of the work and then tie the chain in with main colour , or hitch it to a convenient place in the pattern. I thik I’ll try it on this bee-ootiful sweater.


  3. Kate just come back from Islay and seen your paper doll sweater. Absolutely love it. Keep up the good work with your designing.


  4. Yeah, it’s true that the weaves are rather visible in some of the photos (is it an angle thing?), but I honestly thought it was a cute design feature before you mentioned it! I haven’t done much with color work in my own knitting, but to this untrained eye, it looks decorative.

    Love the sweater, and I’m glad to hear you’re writing up a pattern. I haven’t had time to try your “Owls” yet, but now I WANT THIS ONE TOO!!! :-D


  5. Wow – that sweater is incredible. I am speechless. Now I have to finish owls so I can make it next! I love love love your sweaters. Thank you for the inspiration!


  6. Kate, I just love this design! I think this will have to be pattern # 2 of yours that I will make. I love the corrugated rib! So cute and perfect for spring. Looking forward to the pattern and I hope you charge for this one, I want to support your efforts!


  7. Another wonderful sweater! A lovely storybook quality to it. I really love the corrugated rib…

    On another note, I love the look of that skirt as well – full but not bulky. (Assuming you made it, if it’s from a pattern I’d love to know which)


  8. Fabulous!!
    When I was little I had a red sleeveless knit vest with a man and a woman on the front, just like your ladies. One of those childhood items of clothing I yearn for in a grown-up size. Can’t wait for your pattern.


  9. You are probably my favorite sweater designer. This sweater is beautiful! If only I had the courage to actually knit a sweater, lol. 2010 will be my year to try that. And I think your owl sweater will be my first. I do hope you write a pattern for this one as well!


  10. Cool sweater Kate. The yoke/shortshort sleave combo is really neat.

    Back to “dolls” and “sinister” – I think I get what you mean; would the “sinister” aspect be diminished if facial features (eyes+mouth particularly) were not included?

    Thanks so much for “needled” : )



  11. Oh I simply loved the Owls sweater, I am about 10 rows from finishing, and I simply cannot wait for this pattern! This blog is the only one I read and I recommend it to everyone I know.


  12. That is the most awesome sweater design I have seen in a long time. I would totally make one of those if you offer the pattern up for sale. In fact, my daughter would also love it! Great job!


  13. you really are one clever lady. How the hell does one ever get this good at knitting? I’d love to make this for my daughters, so will certainly be buying this when you’ve worked up the pattern, but really is there any hope that I’ll manage it? What would you recommend as a good starter pattern for someone who has never done any colour work beyond stripes for a pair of very basic wrist warmers? A question for ravelry probably, but if you, or any other readers here, do have a suggestion I’d be pleased to know.


  14. It is a really beautiful sweater, I love it! I actually also like the way the weaves show through the white, because it seems more like a design feature than a mistake!
    btw: still LOOOOVE the Owls, am on my 2nd now ;)


  15. Your sweater is so cute and girly I can’t stand it!
    :-) It looks like the perfect Spring sweater too. I’ll look forward to the pattern release.


  16. i don’t think it’s twee at all. the multiples are always witty and craftly and humans in the fabric of a garment is big mojo, i think. i liked the other examples you illustrated in your previous post, and i like this, and the lovely little snowflake figures underneath the army of grrls as well.


  17. I have also had trouble weaving in over long floats. Actually, my solution has been to not weave at all. I just take a bit of extra time to be sure the float is the right length, even if it is very long.

    Of course, I feel that I should revisit this in my own knitting, and find a better way. I’ve been too lazy to learn how to do it right, if there even is a right way. I think your plan to not stack them is a great idea.

    Here’s the other thing, if you had not mentioned the weaving issue, I wouldn’t have noticed the peeking spots. But I know that’s not the point.

    Lastly: Great sweater!


  18. So cute! I’ve been planning for a sweater of a similar construction for a while now (short-sleeved, stranded yoke) and I’ve been thinking about ways around the decreasing problem and the back of the neck problem. It’s great to see one similar version out there for me to add to my thinking banks!


  19. I am never quite sure about the value of adding to a long list of ‘well done’ comments on a blog, but I love this top so much that I just have to say so! Even if i don’t have time to knit it at the moment, I’ll be buying the pattern just so i can get it out and drool from time to time. It is a sad fact (from a knitterly point of view) that my work is much busier in autumn and winter than in summer, but this one looks like it could be made over the summer without my collapsing into a sweaty heap – and there’d still be time to wear it before the really cold weather sets in again.


  20. Is the throwing of shapes when modelling a new sweater *actually* obligatory? ‘cos at the moment the only shape I can throw involves a grimace and my hand pressed to my lower back. Hopefully the physio will have sorted me out by the time I’ve finished my next sweater!


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