Sweater Fever! It all started with an American Girl pattern...

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March 14, 2014
I think I've got it.  Sweater fever.  I'm thinking about them constantly!  And it's been over 20 years since I knit my awkward first attempt.  That awkward drop shoulder Alice Strathmore design, which was beautiful on the model but made me look like an underfed linebacker, was the reason I turned my attention to accessory design when I picked up my needles back in 2008.  Itchy, bulky seams were not my thing. 

And then Tressa wanted a new clothing piece for her Journey Girl.  They are the Canadian cousins (so to speak) of the American Girl dollies.  Being the frugal and intrepid mom that I am, (okay, let's lay it out on the table.  I'm just plain cheep, as Tressa will complain.) I decided to stash dive and look on Ravelry for a sweater pattern.  I wanted something that was knit seamlessly (refer to above statement) and very pretty.  And I found it in "Dolly Olearia" by Georgie Hallam.  A.K.A. tikkiknits. 

This little shrug and cardigan is sized to fit Australian Girl and American Girl sized dolls, which are 18" dollies.  Now Journey Girl dolls are 18", but not as husky as the AG dolls.  So, I stashed dived and came up with a pretty Debbie Bliss "baby cashmerino" in a dusty rose colour.  Now this yarn is not a DK weight that the pattern calls for, but a sport weight.  I figured that would be just fine due to the slimmer build of the Journey Girl.  And I was right!  It turned out beautiful.

I did use the stated needle size in the pattern, just to make sure the drape was nice.  The pattern calls for a longtail cast on at the neck, and I used my favourite Ysolda Teague Long-tail variation.  Nice and stretchy but holds it's snappy shape.  Gorgeous!  The increases to make the details of the bodice were fun and it was really neat how the pattern split to make the arms.  I think I will make the cropped version next with a short puffed sleeve.  

One thing I did do was steam block the hem of the sweater.  It had a tendency to curl upwards and you know I just couldn't stand that.  The steam was just the thing, and it hangs great.

And, of course, I couldn't find a pair of pants that coordinated for Tressa's dolly for the photo shoot, so out came the sewing machine.  Sigh.  But a new outfit delighted Tress, and my pocket book because if I bought a Journey Girl outfit in the stores, they are a minimum of $25.00 CND.  This sweater cost $8.95 CND for the yarn, which was in my stash for about 3 years, and the buttons were off a ratty old shirt of my husband's that I've been meaning to junk when he wasn't looking.  The jeans were a thrift store find at $3.50 CND and they had been worn to death.  I have enough material from them to make at least another 2 more pairs of dolly jeans.  Or a tiered ruffled skirt.  So, not bad in price!

See, I told you I was thrifty. 

Now, I've got sweaters on the brain.  I think a few more Journey Girl sweaters will be made so I can try out some techniques I've never done before in minature before I commit to a larger garment.  Tressa is impatient.  She loves cardigans and wants one NOW.  I even started looking on Ravelry for a pattern that would fit her and taste, but the designer in me keeps saying, "that's nice, but what if..." 

Sigh.  I think the drawing board is calling me and poor Tressa will have to wait a while to get that cardigan.  But on the upside, she can help me design it!