Art of Swatching – Winter Warmth

Art of Swatching – Winter Warmth was inspired by the cold weather outside, venturing out for walks wrapped up in scarves, mittens and cosy coats. Snug indoors in woolly sweaters, sipping hot chocolate and sitting by cosy open fires toasting our toes…

The central colour theme for Winter Warmth was the image of witch hazel in its full autumn glory. This was inspirational because there was such an amazing range of colours from reds, plum, greens, golds, russet and brown. I loved swatching with these colours in my ideas book and ended up with 4 pages of swatches and ideas for the Winter Warmth collection. The Evergreen Collection also evolved from this set of ideas pages. These colours are a pleasure to work with.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

One of the pleasures of creating Winter Warmth was collecting the beautiful selection of wool, silk, tweed and bamboo yarns and the gorgeous cotton fabrics and corduroys.

The wonderful tunic sweater is knit using a richly coloured Noro Sock Yarn. The Autumnal colours of rusty orange, gold, green and rich deep reds were wonderful to work with. The neck of the tunic was fastened with a pretty silver clasp. This was teamed with a dark red needlecord for the trousers. I added a gold wool for knitting her bag and socks. This outfit showcased the inspirational colours drawn from the rich tones in the hazel leaves.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection
L to R: Matthew, Annett, Anna, Kathleen, Rowena, Katie, Pip, Sasha, Pippa. At front: Green Eyed Sasha Baby.

I created a few new styles of knitwear for the Sasha dolls when I was working on Winter Warmth. These included the cute alpaca sweater dress with the pocket on the front worn with leggings, the modern ear flap haps, a white gansey and a cosy long sleeved bolero cardigan.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

Annett was wearing a dark red tweedy ear flap hat with plaited ties. I loved the textural quality of the yarn used to knit the hat set against the silky smoothness of the alpaca yarn I chose for knitting the sweater dress. The gorgeous richly coloured polo neck alpaca sweater dress with long sleeves and a pocket on the front is very cute. Loved the shades of red, gold, green and brown. I picked out the chocolate brown for her leggings and finished with brown Ugg boots.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

As Christmas approaches, I am putting up my Christmas tree. I loved the traditional Christmas room featured on the old Christmas Card. Dark green holly with shiny red berries, little bunches of mistletoe hanging from the door frame, contrast colours of Golden Heart ivy draping the door, the last of the autumn leaves clinging to the Japanese Acers and Witch Hazels.

The warm brown cashmere yarn used for Matthew’s hat and scarf is wonderfully soft to touch. I used the sweater yarn for the stripes in the hat. I love stripes. His sweater was knit using a lovely ombre sock yarn in many shades of russet and warm brown drifting into each other. The needlecord straight leg trousers worked wonderfully with the colours in the sweater and hat.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

Kathleen wore a fabulous outfit. The dark green needlecord trousers set off the fair isle sweater perfectly. I used two multi toned contrasting sock yarns to knit the fair isle sweater. I used the pale coloured sock yarn for knitting the socks. The darker sock yarn was used for knitting her moss stitch scarf and hat. Love this style of hat the icord loops are so cute.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

Pip wore a beautiful richly patterned smocked cotton dress. The long sleeved bolero is hand knit using a fine 4ply dark red tweedy wool. I used a pretty peach lace weight Shetland wool for knitting her ankle socks. It toned nicely with the peach background colour of her dress. I knit icord hair ties using the same Shetland wool.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

Love the colours in these two beautiful outfits. These colours work equally well with Katie’s lovely blonde hair and the brunette baby. Katie’s fair isle polo neck sweater is knitted using a ginger coloured 4ply wool and the lovely variegated green sock yarn. Her socks are knit using lace weight cream Shetland wool. The sweater is very cute worn over the sleeveless cotton dress. Lime green icord hair ties for her plaits.

I chose to use the ginger and lime green 4ply wool for the baby cardigan and earflap hat. The hat is very cute, with the icord ties and gathered at the top with a ginger icord. I used the ginger wool for the cardigan’s main colour with a lime accent stripe. It buttons at the front with 6 ginger coloured buttons. Baby also wore a sleeveless cotton dress. I knit lime green bootees fastened at the top with ginger icord ties. These were very cute outfits that I so enjoyed knitting at the time.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

This was one of my favourite sweaters. I loved choosing the colours for the sweater. Rowena’s beautiful striped sweater was knit in random stripes in a wide range of shades of red, from pinks, rusts, reds, corals, purples and browns. Sumptuous colour combination. I used the deep plum 4ply wool used in the sweater to knit the moebius cowl, hat and bag. These were very cute on Rowena with her lovely auburn hair. Initially, I visualised this outfit with lighter coloured trousers but I decided when I was making the outfit that the darker red needlecord was much more elegant. I used the ginger 4ply for knitting her socks.

Winter Warmth Sasha Collection

I was working on the beautiful Winter Warmth collection in the late Autumn and it has been a pleasure to work on. I loved working with the lovely warm colours through the chill of the winter while it was icy and snowy outside.

This lead to the icy coloured white lace weight Shetland wool gansey. This was a very pretty sweater when it was finished. I teamed it with a warm wooled red tartan skirt. Her hat was knit using 4ply red wool, the edge and scarf are knitted in moss stitch. Fell in love with the cute little red shoes with cat faces. Adorable outfit.

 

Art of Swatching – Autumn Landscape

In the Art of Swatching I thought it would be great to share some of the knitting that I used to do for Sasha dolls on Sasha Doll Style. I am starting with the Autumn Landscape Collection that was completed a few years ago.

The colours of Autumn were the inspiration for the Autumn Landscape Collection that I designed for Sasha some years ago. I love to walk on the Cavehill in the early morning with the shadowy shapes of the trees still shrouded in mist.

The autumnal colours , deep russets, taupe, shades of green and brown, natural and sparkling frost glow against the blues and stormy greys of the Autumn sky.

“Autumn time, thy scenes and shades, Are pleasing to the tasteful eye.” Autumn by John Clare

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

I had great pleasure gathering the materials and wools for the Autumn Landscape Collection. The colours were a joy to work with. I start with samples and snippets of fabric laid out then I move the yarns and fine shetland wool around until I create the nicest combination of colour and pattern. Once I’ve decided I start knitting small swatches. These are only a couple of inches (5-6 cm wide) as I am designing for the 16″ tall Sasha Doll.

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection
L to R: Amelia, Poppy, Rowena, Raven, Sophie, Matthew, Emilie, Ruth and Anna. At Front: John, Esther & Sally.

Amelia on the Left, is wearing a cute outfit hand knit using 2 different sock yarns. I loved the combination of the smudgy looking sock yarns with the tie dyed rusty toned needlecord trousers. She is wearing hand knit lace weight shetland wool socks and beautiful brown leather Boneka laced shoes. I liked how the striped sweater contrasted with the randomness of the patterning on the trousers.

Sock yarns are wonderful for knitting sweaters for Sasha dolls. The self patterning yarn is very effective.

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

Ruth is wearing a fair isle sweater hand knit using lace weight Shetland wool. The colours are beautiful, a combination of the natural shetland sheep shades of wool with the addition of blue and green. An exquisite sweater. Her socks are knit using lace weight Shetland wool in the light grey colour with an accent of dark brown. She is wearing cute Dollfie t-bar sandals just like the ones that I used to wear as a small girl.

Her hat and scarf have a garter stitch and cable pattern and are knit using lace weight Shetland wool. I saw a similar style of scarf when I was window shopping in Belfast and liked the idea of one strong cable running along the centre of the scarf. The hat has the same cabled pattern with a garter stitch edge. I used all the colours in the sweater to make the tiny pompom.

This is one of my favourite outfits that I have made for Sasha Doll over the years and one of the few that I have kept for my own dolls.

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

I love this cardigan. I used a pretty peach lace weight Shetland wool to knit this cardigan. Love the matching buttons. I knit it to be slightly shorter than the blouse which is made from a dainty rose floral cotton fabric. Her socks are hand knit using the same wool as her cardigan and look really cute with the tan leather Boneka sandals.

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

John my handsome early baby Gregor is wearing one of the new designs that were created for this collection.

I used two sock yarns for this sweet little outfit. The same smudgy sock yarn used for the hooded coat that Rowena is wearing below and a lovely natural toned wool. They were used to great effect to knit the striped hat and footed trousers.

His aran sweater is cabled on the front and sleeves. He has a beautiful cuddly Steiff polar bear which coordinates perfectly with his outfit. The outfit is finished with a cute little ribbed scarf.

Autumn-Landscape-Collage-3a

The hooded jacket was a work in progress for a while. I was delighted with how it turned out knit using the lovely smudgy sock yarn. It had ragland shaping for the sleeves and pockets.

I wanted the fair isle top underneath to be fine and light and to pick up the colours in the coat without being the same. The denim blue works as a beautiful contrast to the oatmeal background. I used lace weight Shetland wool to knit the fair isle top.

Her socks are oatmeal lace weight Shetland wool and are teamed with tan Boneka leather sandals.

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

Sally my early brunette Sasha baby has lovely olive green eyes and a cute long fringe. She is wearing a lovely striped baby grow which fastens at the front with snap fasteners. It is knit using a pretty Panda silk sock yarn contrasted with a dark brown tweed sock yarn which has the same colour of flecks running through it as are in the Panda sock yarn. She is hugging her lovely little toy dog.

For a long time I have intended to find the time to create a pattern for a baby hat with ear flaps. It really is too cute on her. It was knit using the panda silk sock yarn and edged using the tweedy yarn. I also added a little dark brown pompom. It ties under her chin with I-cord ties.

Sasha Autumn Landscape Collection

Sophie is wearing a lovely warm outfit for the cool Autumn days. She is wearing a hat, sweater and bag all made using the same self striping sock yarn, although the stripes are not knit as they would have come on the ball. I changed them to suit the style of the outfit which allowed me to use the wool in a fair isle pattern on the bag. I love the broad stripes of colour.

“The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” John Muir

Design Process of a Sasha Outfit Collection

My creative process is the same for most of the projects that I choose to work on to a greater or lesser degree.

For example, I  decided to revisit the creative process used in designing my Amethyst Dreams Collection for Sasha Doll Style (made in 2010). I wanted to show my design process from my initial inspiration to the completed collection.

Amethyst-Process-1web [Read more…]

Inspired by Sasha in Motion

At the moment, I am going through all of my photographs of the Sasha Outfits that I have made, and I came across some fun ones that were taken when I had finished making the Lilac Collection.

Sasha in Motion

The tiny Sasha in Motion (approx dimentions 7.5cm/3″ x 10.5cm/4″) has been one of the most influential, of the Sasha Doll Booklets, on my own Sasha photography and collecting. I find the photographs in this booklet to be very inspiring.  [Read more…]

Sasha Doll Style is Transforming

My goal with transforming the Sasha Doll Style website is to create an interesting, informative, inspirational Sasha site, that I hope you will enjoy visiting and will bring me back the pleasure that I used to have with my beautiful Sasha Collection.

After a lot of thought, I have decided that I want to find the fun, pleasure and excitement that I used to have when I first started collecting the Sasha Dolls and joined Sasha Mart and Sasha-L. To enable this I have moved Sasha Doll Style to a WordPress website which will give me much more flexibility.

I’ll be writing blog posts about my inspiration behind the Sasha doll collections and how I plan and make the sets for the stories and other Sasha related things that pique my interest.

Gregors garden 9

I’m recreating the Sasha Stories and there will be a couple of new ones, as my 8 year old niece recently pointed out to me, they have said coming soon for rather a long time now. So now, I am actually writing them! [Read more…]