Matryoshka Japonais by Kathleen Dames

Matryoshka Japonais

June 2009
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
18 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette
US 4 - 3.5 mm
200 yards (183 m)
One size
This pattern is available for $6.00 USD
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Who wouldn’t love their own set of soft, woolly, knitted dolls? My daughters can’t keep away from these three. They are based on the traditional Russian nesting dolls known as Matryoshka, which were in turn inspired by a set of Japanese dolls representing the Seven Gods of Fortune. The blue and white colorwork was inspired by Japanese indigo resist-dyed fabrics.

These dolls are a wonderful way to try intarsia and stranded colorwork techniques on a small scale. If that is too much, the dolls could also be worked plain with their faces added afterwards using duplicate stitch and their skirts embellished with embroidery.

This pattern is for all three dolls and includes five charts.

Size/Finished Measurements
Mother: 9” high, 16.“ around
Daughter: 6” high, 11” around
Baby: 3.” high, 6.“ around

Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted (100% merino wool; 210 yards per 100 gram skein); one skein each color:
MC Buscando Azul (blue)
CC1 Natural (white)
CC2 Shocking Pink (pink)
CC3 Paris Night (black)
US8/5mm set of DPNs
Stitch markers, tapestry needle, polyester stuffing

18 sts x 24 rows = 4” high x 4” widein stockinette stitch
Gauge is relative for these dolls, so use the needle that gives you a stockinette fabric you like, and remember that these dolls will be stuffed, so better to err on the side of a tighter fabric so the stuffing doesn’t show through.

Skills needed:
Casting on
Knitting in the round
Reading charts
Stranded colorwork
Intarsia colorwork