Keeping faithful to the original style
Jesse: I have had the intention of keeping Hans' clothing more traditional and in keeping with the original outfits produced by Kathe Kruse. I search the internet regularly, mostly Pinterest, to look for photos of original dolls. Not long ago, I found this photo:
Kathe Kruse made the dolls' clothing both in her factory and out-sourced it to the cottage industry. For this reason, there are wide variations in the original clothing but the high quality of the fabrics and their manufacture is consistent. It is impossible to be 100% certain that this outfit is all original but given its overall look and feel, I would say it is.
Then, I happened on a pattern on Etsy for a very similar jacket, except it is done in a plain knit. Naturally, I had to knit it for Hans' wardrobe.
The pattern is easy to follow and the garment makes up quickly. It is actually a combination of stockinette stitch plus garter stitch. The collar is made with short-row shaping. I don't like a seam along the back of the neck so I do a provisional cast-on, providing live stitches when I begin the collar. this is the only change I made to the actual knitting pattern.
However, I did notice that the number of buttons change the look of the garment pretty dramatically. I have listed the jackets in order of the number of buttons.
1 Button - Celery Green
|The last of the roses for this year.|
The knitting wool used for this is a Merino, hand-spun and dyed with natural products. It was a pleasure to work with. The colour has an old-fashioned look to it.
2 Button - Chartreuse
|These are beautiful buttons.|
This is a Merino + Possum yarn. I've knitted 6 garments with this same brand of wool; 5 of them came out at gauge at 3.25 mm needles; this one did not, requiring 3.75 mm. Sometimes, as knitters know, colour can effect the knitting gauge.
3 Button - Red
|My own version of the original.|
My initial plan was to knit a red version to match up with the original cardigan in the photo. This is a Merino + Alpaca + Possum + Nylon blend. Frighteningly, when I washed it, the water turned blood red! I was able to sort it; I think it was not rinsed prior to skeining at the factory.
3 Button - Plum
|Beautiful plum colour.|
After red, I wanted this jacket in a plum colour. I couldn't find the satisfactory shade until I'd knitted all the others. This is 80% Alpaca + 20% Merino. Very soft and a beautiful shade of colour.
4 Button - Blue
|Blue matches my eyes.|
Another Merino + Possum wool yarn (the same brand as the chartreuse above). I like the shade of blue.
Hans: I need some berets like in the photo. We just need a pattern which will fit me.