Saturday, July 12, 2008

a duet

because two are always better than one.

I finished the second Miniature Cowichan Cardigan today, resulting in two very happy daughters with two very sweet looking dolls.

Laurel's doll, Nellie, is wearing the blue cardigan. Annika's doll, who she named Nicki, is wearing the magenta cardigan. Although Laurel has another American Girl doll, Samantha, she has said that just one cardigan is enough. Visions of themed cardigans are dancing in my head: cardigans in school colors, cardigans in holiday colors, cardigans without collars, cardigans with matching shells.

This pattern was featured in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007 issue. I had queued the pattern over on Ravelry way back in November or December, but never really had any intention of casting on right then. When I was finally prepared to start the projects, I went back to the issue and realized that the pattern was never included in the magazine; one had to go online and download the PDF. I set out to locate it, only to find it had been removed from the site! (growl)

"web exclusive" it says there in the blue circle.
wish i had seen that earlier.

Kerstin had knit one for Olivia's American Girl, so I asked Kerstin if she still had the PDF. Thankfully, she did, and promptly e-mailed it to me. (Many others thought they had access to the PDF and tried their darnedest to no avail -- thanks to them as well.)

Both sweaters are knit in Cascade 220. The magenta was knit on size 3 needles, as suggested by the pattern. I had swatched for this first sweater, but apparently the swatch wasn't really large enough (is 4"x4" the proper size for a swatch?) and my gauge was off. While the cardigan still fit Annika's doll, the fabric created was very dense. When I cast on for Laurel's blue cardigan, I decided to use a size 4 needle. Typically, I always have to go up a size in needle anyway, so I didn't bother with a swatch. In the end, the gauge was correct with the blue cardigan knit in the size 4 needle (6.5 sts/1"), but I like the fit of the magenta cardigan on the size 3 better. Both the collar and the sleeves seem to fit the doll better.

The pattern in of itself is a very fun knit, and I think should be required knitting prior to first attempts at "people sweaters". Although maybe not written for a true beginner, the pattern, if carefully read and executed, could be knit by an early knitter. I liked this particular sleeve/body construction: the sleeves were knit in the round separately, then knit onto the body at the armhole, then decreased raglan style as the cardigan continued on up. At the finish, six armhole stitches and six bottom sleeve stitches were kitchenered together.

hello raglan decrease!

Since these are now off the WIP list and on the FO list, I can resume my sock-knitting. First I'll finish the Mint Mocha Latté socks, which are about 75% complete. Maybe by then, I'll have received the extra Bobbing for Apples Alpaca/BFL I needed, and I'll finish up the Snickets. Sarah has told me that the new yarn is a few shades darker than what I had, but you know what? I just don't care. That will be part of the story those socks will tell.


Anonymous said...

I plan to knit another for my niece. Somehow, can't get too excited about knitting a sweater (as mini as it is) right now. Thankfully, her birthday isn't until October. I agree with you -- it's a well-written pattern that even a fairly beginner knitter could knit without hassle. The "girls" look cute together. (Are you planning to see The Movie this summer?)

peaknits said...

What sweet little cardis! Bummer about that wed exclusive - doh! Can't wait to see some socks!

a friend to knit with said...

oh! libby has samantha, too.
sweet of laurel to let her two dolls share. (watch out annika) :)
they are darling. i really should make libby's doll one.

kim said...

They look adorable! I hate when they take free patterns down. And seems to me that if you have the magazine, you should have access to the pattern automatically. But, hey, that's just me...

Alison Boon said...

They both look so sweet. I loved knitting for my little girls dollies. Small and quick but you get to do some fancy stuff too.

Hilary said...

Oh my gosh, those sweaters are so adorable. I think I said this on your Ravelry project page, too, but I really want to make one of these for my Kirsten doll from 1989 now!

Also glad to hear that you got the yarn to finish your Snickets!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Those are fantastic sweaters. When I was a small girl my mother made many things for my "babies" and it has been great passing it down to my kids.

Jen said...

Thanks for posting about the construction of this sweater! I was trying to figure out how to connect the sleeves and the body. I think I'll make the sleeves first then connect them to the body as I work.

You're right, this is a great first attempt at a sweater! Once this is done I think it's on to people-sized clothes!