Dottie the Body

Amidst all my anticipatory vacation daydreams of romantic redwood strolls with my sweet guy (and a long overdue funnel cake), I've been a busy bee getting the always important groundwork laid for a few patterns I'll be soon publishing...there are a couple on deck. Patterns for both Buttercup and Damsel will be available to you soon. I've completed yet another of each in my favorite of colors (I've yet to photograph these 2)...these made from Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Fired Brick. Adore this color! Just be sure not to use bamboos with this one or they'll be stained pink. Lesson learned, that was careless on my part. Forgive my temporary blogging to day life sometimes put things on hold. Then there's the old "to do list" that somehow manages to grow in length just when you start to think it's dwindling down. Haha! Ahhh, such as life. When it rains it pours...a little puddle jumping is all.

Anyhoo, after much research and inquiry, I caved in and decided to get myself a body double to aid in my knitting ventures....Dottie the body! =) She's fabulous! It gives me a different perspective and many more options in designing. It'll be nice not having my picture taken as often either (not my favorite thing). This is an extremely beneficial tool for me to finally bring my sweater creations to life. For me a dress form is an essential considering the many important measurements of a well-fitting wearable piece. It's much easier than measuring yourself. The drape of knitted fabric plays a crucial part in factoring an authentic gauge in garments...something that if overlooked can result in complete disaster, not to mention the heartache. I see all too often people agonizing over miscalculated gauge, which made me reminiscent of a Knitty Gritty (Why did it end!? It was such a great show!) episode with the ever so clever Lily Chin discussing the importance of checking gauge from an upright position, rather than flat when making articles of clothing. It was one of those "aha" moments for me back in the day. Simple logic goes a long way! Another handy tip I've grown to love is taking the time to launder your swatch. This will save you a pretty penny on a tissue supply. ;) Remember, your washing machine isn't your enemy...but without a quick swatch & wash, can shrink and even stretch turning your beloved adult sweater into a baby tee or a misshapen pullover your husband could wear. Swatch & wash!!!! It's well worth the extra investment of time. It makes for great mindless TV knitting that you'll thank yourself for later. 

I must say, I was rather intrigued and excited by the idea of making a duct tape twin, but found "Dottie" for a steal and with such precise measurements, I simply couldn't say no. I've also read that the duct tape darlings are likely to collapse in extreme heat rendering them useless. Life here in SoCal gets mighty toasty, so for that reason I decided not to waste the money or the effort. Plaster wasn't even an option for me...there's no question claustrophobia would kick in -not a chance I'd touch that one. Believe it or not, I was oddly disappointed to hear of the durability, or I should say lack there of with the duckies. Did I really want to be bound in a cocoon of tape, immovable and gasping for breath? Meh, not so much...though an exact duplicate would've been ideal. I thought this was such a brilliant idea, (being such a sucker for homemade) that especially if designing solely for yourself is unmatchable. It is a brutal hunt finding a good personal fit in a dress form. I say that being one of the luckier ones with similar measurements to manufactured forms (not exact, but close enough). Even for me it was a helluva search for the right one. I see the dilemma so many seem to face. We women come in more than a handful of shapes and sizes, like snowflakes...oh, I had to! Hehe! =) I've gotta say, the lack of variety in terms of size was a little surprising to say the least. There was always something off - be it the waist, hip, bust or adjustability. Being without limbs can also be tricky when you want to display the stitch detail of a sleeve. Some of my sweaters designs have similar layouts featuring the central or main panel being carried over to the sleeves for a continuous feel. So here's a quick no cost fix I threw together that works just fine for photographing them. Without emptying your piggy bank, (limbs are pricey), I measured the circumference of my upper arms and cut some cardboard to size, stuffed with some fiber fill, newspaper or plastic bags, etc...something light in weight-it doesn't really matter what, whatever's handy. They're not perfect or permanent, but it's a no cost solution to frugal display tricks. Here's some pics of Vertigo as an example of with and without. 

I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend the money on a fancy fiber than plastic appendages. The perfect torso is plenty for me! So after a successful search for a tailoring twin, I've another itch for sweater making that's about to get a good, thorough scratch thanks to Dottie. I smell a honeycomb! Now to replace my crappola printer, cut down my list to a reasonable size and get uploading!