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Knitting for Sasha

Apr 10, 2013

    
These two unsteady beginners are wearing the Norwegian Pullover, left, and the Swedish Bohus Pullover, right. (Photograph courtesy of the authors of Sasha Dolls: Clothing and Patterns)
When I was a little girl, I lived in Pullman, Washington. It was a quintessential college town-it still is-with a Main Street lined with little shops, a five and dime called Fonk's, a one-story J.C. Penney, and a wonderful toy store.

The back of the store was filled with dolls, which I loved, and my favorites were the Sasha dolls.

If you're not familiar with Sasha dolls, they're beautifully produced dolls of various ethnicities, developed by Sasha Morganthaler in Switzerland. Sasha started her doll adventure in the 20s, making them for her children. She progressed to making them for resale, but she was dismayed about how expensive they were. She searched for a way to mass-produce her dolls at an affordable price, and she finally connected with a factory and was able to produce dolls for people of all economic levels to afford.

The Sasha dolls in my Pullman toy store were so beautiful, and I wanted one. A lot. Santa heard my plea and I finally got one for Christmas; I was the happiest little girl. I also got some clothes to go with my Sasha, and some accessories, too. Bliss!

I ended up with a couple of Sashas, which I played with as they were meant to be played with. They went to parties, played in the garden, watched TV with me, and they even went to school. My mom helped me make clothes for them, and we sewed up many an outfit. Such fun.


My Sasha baby doll. I love her.


    

My old Sasha dolls are packed up safely in my hope chest, but a few years ago I got a baby Sasha, who sits on my dresser and greets me each morning. She's just precious, don't you think?

What does this have to do with knitting, you might be asking. Well, the new issue of PieceWork's Knitting Traditions has an article about Sasha doll clothing. Sasha Dolls: Clothing and Patterns by Ann Louise Chandler and Susanna E. Lewis with Anne Votaw, is a study of Sasha Morgenthaler's clothing styles for her dolls.

The authors have gathered sixty sewing patterns, eighty knitting patterns, and thirty embroidery and smocking patterns for Shasha doll clothes. There are patterns for clothes for my Sasha baby, too!

I can't wait to get out my knitting needles and make some doll clothes; it sounds like such fun!

I was thrilled when I saw the article—I have to get that book. Knitting Traditions always provides these types of gems. I love it. Get your copy of Knitting Traditions today!

Cheers,

P.S. Do you have a Sasha doll? Tell us about it in the comments!


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Knitting Traditions Spring 2013 brings 25 historical knitting patterns with inspiring and informative companion stories. Patterns include knitted sweaters, Orenburg lace, knitting for babies, accessories, and more.

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Comments

on Apr 13, 2013 4:14 PM

Each of my 3 children had a big Sasha doll!  Brunette & blonde girls and a brunette boy....and one brunetter baby sasha.  McCalls had patterns and I made many, many outfits for these dolls.  What a delight to run into this article and know that others loved them as much as we did!  Now I can start knitting for them~

LindaD wrote
on Apr 13, 2013 1:38 AM

I was wondering if the Sasha knitting  patterns would fit another doll- perhaps the American Girl? Does anyone have Sasha doll measurements? It is very fun to knit for dolls. They are always so apprecaitive and love the color.  thanks, Linda

on Apr 11, 2013 11:44 AM

I have a Sasha doll and a Gregor doll.  My Grammi gave me the Sasha when I was 4; when I was 9 or 10 my mother found the Gregor doll for trading stamps at the store where she was getting a basinette for my baby sister.  I loved them dearly.  Some years ago my mother got them out of storage and had them restrung and sent them to us for my daughter.  She's outgrown playing with them now, so when I was reminded of them by this post I had her get them out and set them together on my dresser.  I wish I could get that book of patterns for clothing for them, but my it tends to be expensive.  I also wish they were still being made!

AngelaK@19 wrote
on Apr 11, 2013 10:42 AM

I never had a Sasha doll but this article made me remember all the Barbie clothes that my Grandmother knit for me years ago. They now belong to my daughter.

Patr Kitchen wrote
on Apr 11, 2013 5:14 AM

I love Sasha dolls, I have a boy,, girl and baby.  At the moment they are packed away, but I have some clothes on the go for the girl doll - a long evening dress with pearls at the neckline.

Rachell@29 wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 8:37 PM

I loved my two Sasha dolls growing up. My mom wasn't much of a knitter, but she did sew all their clothes. I'm sad to hear they're not being made anymore. I think Sasha is way cuter than those American Girl dolls :/

CharlaM wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 7:01 PM

What a nice surprise to see Sasha Dolls featured on knitting daily! I'm a Sasha collector; a member of two Sasha discussion groups on Yahoo and one on Facebook, as well as a co-moderator on the Sasha Friends Ravelry group. Sasha dolls are so well proportioned, knitting, crocheting, and sewing for them is pure pleasure! I invite all those who are interested in learning more about these wonderful dolls to join the Sasha community on any or all of these groups.

luckyk333 wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 5:25 PM

Loved the article on Sasha dolls.  I have two, a boy and a girl.  They have been in my cedar chest for many years.  I had not thought of knitting or sewing for them and since I do not have grandbabies to knit for, my Sasha dolls will fill the need.  I can hardly wait.

Lucia "Lucky" Kelly

LauraT@32 wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 3:04 PM

What a treat to see my beloved Sasha dolls celebrated in today's Knitting Daily! Sasha dolls are especially fun to knit for because their proportions are more realistic than those of most dolls. The book "Sasha Dolls: Clothing and Patterns" is a favorite of mine. We also have a very creative Sasha group on Ravelry, which I invite all of you talented doll knitters and crocheters to join. Find us here: www.ravelry.com/.../sasha-friends and show off your creations!

gumbiecat wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 1:34 PM

Unfortunately, I didn't own a Sasha doll, but I did receive my Knitting Traditions magazine yesterday.  Lots of interesting patterns and reading!  Judy in SE WI

AngelaH@22 wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 11:46 AM

What a surprise to see Sasha dolls mentioned in my Knitting Daily email. I too am a member of the Sasha related Yahoo groups, and the Facebook group, and have a lovely collection of the various Sasha dolls (boys, girls, babies). There is a large community of us worldwide who treasure our Sashas, and many of us engaged in both knitting and sewing Sasha clothes. But a warning - don't dip your toe in the Sasha pool without being prepared to get pulled under! They are totally addictive.

on Apr 10, 2013 10:12 AM

No I don't have a Sasha and I wish I had one.  I do remember as a little girl going to a beautiful shop in Toronto that was all dolls In the "Colonade" shopping centre on Bloor St.  I believe it was called the Doll Haven of Elsa Harvey.  The proprietor sat in the shop hand making beautiful hand knitted and crocheted items for various dolls from tiny to big and I am sure that there were Sasha's among them.  That adorable face is very familiar.  Your readers may wish to look at the hand made Waldorf School/kindergarten dolls.  They have a more simple version of that face. The heads are made from wool roving wound very tightly and then sculpted with thread tied around the eye lines and covered with cotton jersey fabric. A wig is added made from yarn.  Wendy Leigh-Bell, Hamilton, Ontario.

Libbybo wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 9:32 AM

OMG!!!! I had a Sasha doll, she was my mom's and was given to her when she was a little girl in either Michigan or New York, both places she grew up in. Someone stole her from me and I could never remember her correct name. I remember all her details, she was a beautiful color, with red hair and she had a cute black/dark grey denim jumper and a white undershirt.  Now I can go searching for her!   Being from small town Texas I was the only one with a 'colored' doll, as it was often put.   I loved her and was sad when she disappeared.  Thanks for this posting!!!!!!!!

on Apr 10, 2013 9:22 AM

I am a Brit, living in Singapore, and what a lovely surprise to see the Sasha doll!  I never had one as they were very expensive in the UK but my friend did.  How I wanted one...  Seeing the dolls on my e-mail took me right back to the early 1970s.  What joy...

on Apr 10, 2013 9:22 AM

I am a Brit, living in Singapore, and what a lovely surprise to see the Sasha doll!  I never had one as they were very expensive in the UK but my friend did.  How I wanted one...  Seeing the dolls on my e-mail took me right back to the early 1970s.  What joy...

on Apr 10, 2013 9:07 AM

I'm not familiar with the Sasha dolls.....but the sweaters are darling. They look like a great way to learn about stranded knitting without the time and $$ commitment of an adult-sized sweater.

JennieJ wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 9:05 AM

When I was a kid in the 70s I went absolutely mental for Sasha dolls.  I have two, the blonde girl and the dark baby.  Even as a rather reckless, hyper-active child, I knew enough not to take really good care of them.  They remain in my childhood bedroom in small-town Ontario and I say hello every time I visit. I really hope my daughters will love them too.  And I'm going to JUMP on this opportunity to get knitting patterns for Sasha doll clothing. Hurray!!

Jennie

crosnest wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 9:04 AM

I was thrilled when I saw the Sasha Dolls appear in your post this morning. My home is filled with Sasha Dolls and photos of several appear in the new book "Sasha Dolls: Clothing and Patterns". I published the international newsletter "Friends of Sasha" for 17 years and in 1999 wrote the book "Sasha Dolls Through the Years" so I thank you for sharing your love of these wonderful dolls with your readers. Piecework magazine has been a staple in my home for years and I look forward to ordering "Knitting Traditions".

I'm sure that you will hear from many Sashaphiles, from around the world, as we share your news with others.

Nanette3 wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 8:58 AM

Hello,

Like you, I have some Sasha dolls. The baby like you and another for my daughter Marie. We give her this doll at the birth of his brother Fran├žois.I have also a big girl with blond hair and a boy with black hair.  They are carefully protected in their box because these dolls are so beautiful and I like it very much.

Thank you for your article. Have a good day.

GillianB@4 wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 7:37 AM

I was so delighted to see this in my email today - I have the book and it is wonderful! There are lots of lovely photographs and you have reminded me that I must get it out and do some knitting from it. There are some errata but corrections can be downloaded from Susanna Lewis's site at www.sashadoll.com.

I also have 19 Sasha dolls, six of which I have had since childhood. They are beaufiful dolls to knit for and lovely to enjoy generally. I am a member of the Collectors' group Sasha Mart on Yahoo.