Lopapeysas, the traditional Scandinavian pullovers, have been all the rage over the Internet this past couple of years. They are yoke sweaters, knitted from the bottom up in three cylinders: a large one for the body and two thinner ones for the sleeves. When the knitter reaches armhole level, the three tubes are reunited into one large cylinder, and this is where the fun really begins as this huge amount of stitches lends itself especially well to pretty designs executed by stranding contrasting colors round after round.
(Photo borrowed from the blog Iceland24).
In between designs, there are plain, non-patterned rounds in which the knitter radically decreases the circumference of the cylinder in order to shape the bust and shoulder line all the way to the base of the neck. I first read about this type of sweater in Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitting Without Tears" and I got to practice the technique on a couple of sweaters, although I skipped the pretty patterns and replaced them with simple stripes in contrast colors.
Typically lopapeysas are knitted with Icelandic wool which is at once very lightweight and substantial, and by and large unwearable here in California (outside of ski resorts, that is), which is why my yoke sweaters were all destined to Afghanistan, where I hope they went on to keep someone warm.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a nice challenge to knit an actual lopapeysa, with patterning and all, only in doll size. So I did.
I followed a pattern designed by a fellow Sasha doll lover, up to the yoke where I ended up improvising some colorwork on the needles. The pattern actually calls for raglan-style decreases done every other round right before and after shoulder markers instead, but it was a fun, quick experiment, and one that I plan to repeat some day. It would be fun to strand bits of very special yarn like angora on the yoke and wrists. Next time.