Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fiber #34 // Paper Dolls

I don't know if you've ever had this experience. You stumble upon a new crafting blog. You poke around. You admire it. And you think, "holy crap, this person ... dresses kind of like I do!" I like to think of it as "style doppelganger-ing."

There are a truly staggering number of talented men and women who craft. For me, most blogs I follow create styles I absolutely adore but would never venture into for various reason -- they sew from a different era, for a different body type, with different fabrics, to be worn in a different lifestyle, etc. One of the things I love about this community is how you can find a style doppelganger halfway around the world. Not only that, but you can follow along on their adventure as they push the bounds of their style, exploring and growing and shifting subtly over the months. The basic form is always there, but its expressions evolve with time.

For me, one of those bloggers with whom I feel a strong affinity as such is Roo (and is she on a tear or what?). Heh, I'm not sure the feeling is mutual, but she's made a dress out of the same fabric that I went and bought 2+ yards for a similar purpose, she started knitting a stranded sweater around the same time I did ... and I love how we diverge as well, like the fact that I chose the brown Slope Park colorway to her blue, and the difference in motifs we selected for our stranded projects.

Paper Dolls!!! This pattern has been in my queue forever now, and wowza, until I started this baby I never dreamt that I would ever, ever want to knit something on size ONE needles. The needles were so narrow I thought I might break them!

And damnit, I'm wearing this baby to work. I do not care. It's adorable; I'll just pretend it's part of the fair isle craze (wait, the fashion industry did have a fair isle craze this past year, no?). It's my first stranded project, and there are so many great variations out there that I can honestly see knitting it up again with a different yoke motif.

Things I would do differently:

  • I feel like I look like I'm popping out of this sweater because somehow my gauge shrunk and this sweater has a lot more negative ease than I was expecting. I might try knitting one size smaller on needles that are one size larger and hope it comes out to be a slightly looser sweater. We do think that would work, right?

  • My gauge grew on the stranded sections. Either I need to size down a needle when stranding, or I should weave in my floats.

  • The arms, as many others have mentioned, are tight. I would hold additional underarm stitches for grafting, and maybe cast on for arms that are 1 size larger.

  • I have a bit of funny bunching where the body and arms meet. Might need fewer body stitches so that there's no bunching at the join. (Somehow between this and the above bullet point, the math is supposed to work out!)

  • This is around the length that I normally prefer my sweaters and blouses to be, but the proportions of the sweater look off. I'd probably add another inch in length next time.

  • I might do some MC short row shaping on the sleeves before I attach them to the body so that they are less "cap" and more "short sleeve."

All in all, my general feeling about this one is one giant WOOHOO! The finished sweater totally makes up for the dearth of FO's around here for the past, like, 3 months. And come fall it will be Paper Dolls, part 2. But in the meantime, I've got more dresses to scheme.


Antoinette said...

Well, please allow me to second the YOOHOO!!! That is adorable! I'd wear it everywhere, all the time, taking it off only to wash it. You've got some mad knitting skillz, woman.

Ali said...

This is so lovely and so YOU! Despite your ideal changes for next time, I think it looks fabulous and you should wear it to work all the time :)

I think I'm recovered from the travels. Balenciaga (sp?) here we come. Will email. xxxx

poet said...

Such a cute idea - I love this sweater, you should totally wear it to work. Yes, there was a fair isle craze last winter :)

Violet said...

I'm trying to knit a sweater for my other half that has a giant octopus shape on the chest in a contrasting colour. It is my first time trying to knit with two colours, from a chart - and it is driving me bonkers! So I'm very very impressed with your fair isle sweater. It looks like something I'd pay for (and I can be very stingy).

Jodi Wade said...

It's so cute! You look great!
I am so jealous of your knitting talents. How do you knit up so many projects so fast? How do you purl btw? My way is so very slow...

DaneMum said...

I LOVE Paperdolls too - I've been on Rav. for 4(?) years and Paperdolls was first to be put in my queue and first bought patttern on Rav. and YET I haven't made it... I should! It's a great top for the ever changing weather in Denmark

Roobeedoo said...

Why, hello style twin! ;)
I am immensely "tickled" by this waving-across-the-ocean thing we've got going on - and I definitely look forward to seeing your park slope dress in brown!
But this sweater? LOVELY! And you are clearly a more dedicated knitter than me, cos you are finished and I am still plodding along with my cardi. Well done!

jessica said...

Thank you all for the kind comments, everybody!!! This truly is perhaps my favorite handknit to date.

Violet, that octopus sweater sounds FANTASTIC. A bear, but fantastic. i do hope you finish it and show it off!

Jodi, my secret is MUCH time on public transportation! Also, not getting much else done (haha, notice the lack of FO's these last 3 months?) I purl continental style ... I don't know that it's the fastest way to go, but it's gotten me through so many purls that it works out OK. Things definitely get faster the more you do them =).

Roo - yes, but look at your MASSIVE sewing output! I am so envious. Actually, what I am is, I'm tempted to email you my measurements and just have stylish clothes come my way ;-), ha!

Sigrid said...

I love this sweater. I say that about all your sweaters, but I really LOVE this. I have the opposite problem with stranding. My knitting gets tighter, so I just switch needles. Thanks for the knitting notes, if I ever make this I would definitely need more arm room.

Zonnah said...

I love it!!! So cute on you :)