Keeping faithful to the original style

Dear Diary,

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.


  1. Your knitting goes from strength to strength and the colours divine. I'm sure a beret pattern won't be too difficult to find or adapt to fit. Pinterest is a great tool to find inspiration, you certainly found a beautiful example of a Kruse boy on there with what appears to be authentic knitwear. Happy knitting!

  2. Loving these jackets Jesse, all the colours are great suit Hans brilliantly. I too find the Merino, Possom and Alpaca mix really lovely to knit with. It is interesting to see the different effect the number of buttons have on them. Not sure which one I like best, I think they all suit a different purpose and seen and Hans looks very handsome on them.

  3. That's a great look for Hans. All the colors are lovely, but I think I like the plum best.

  4. Hans is a very well dressed boy and can choose from a wide range of cardigans! I like the V-neck shape, I should give it a try... They are all gorgeous, but my favourite is the blue one.

  5. You've certainly been very busy with your knitting. I love all the cardigans you've knitted for Hans, but I like the celery green one button style best. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your knitting :)

  6. I agree that they are all wonderful but my favourite are the Chartreuse, a great colour and love those buttons and I love how it sits.
    And the plum because again a great colour and he does suit him so well.
    I love how just by using different wool or colours or number of buttons the same pattern can look so different.
    Hans must be very proud of his clever dad making him such smart jackets

  7. I'm impressed that you've got buttons that match so perfectly! Where do you find them? John

  8. Hans is quite right, the beret is next. Those jackets look like they don't take long to knit either, which is always a bonus. Very smart. I like the plum coloured one particularly.


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