Friday, April 17, 2015

Where I knit

This morning was the perfect morning to take my coffee and knitting outside.  We have a wonderful south-facing porch, and in the last week I've mangaged to fill most of my containers with flowers.  To top it off, we have a Korean Spice Vibernum next to the porch on the west side were the prevailing breezes blow, and it smells heavenly :-)

We often have a bold little visitor, who likes to bury his peanuts in my flowers, much to my displeasure.  Even though I chase him with a squirt bottle when I see him, he still comes back.

I just finished making a wee fairy for my sister's birthday:

Right now she (the fairy, not my sister!) is living in my fairy garden, but soon, very soon, she will have one of her own.

Next knitting project is Chrystal, a Mary Jane's Tearoom pattern.  I've loved these dolls for a long time, and this pattern is worked in the round.  So far, one leg is finished.

I hope you fill your day with what you love to do!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Swatching...Designing...Knitting


Swatching is one of those things, like sweeping behind the couch, that we know we should do, but don't.  However, if you want to create a design in knit or crochet, it really helps to know such things as:  how many stitches around the waistline of my doll?  the neckline?  around the arms?

So, swatching to the rescue!  I wanted to create some knit designs with finer yarn and needles.  I chose a yarn: Knit Picks Palette, an affordable wool fingering weight yarn, and three different needle sizes:  2.0mm, 2.50mm, and 3.0mm.  Above are the three swatches I worked, 20 sts wide by 24 rows long.  With 2.0mm needles my working gauge was 10 sts= 1 inch in stockinette.  With 2.50mm needles, the gauge was 9 sts = 1 inch in stockinette, and with the 3.0mm needles, 8 sts= 1 inch in stockinette.  This was knitting comfortably for me, as I would knit for clothing.  If I were making a doll, I would knit much tighter.

Having determined gauge for this yarn and these three needles, designing an outfit becomes much easier.  I know my doll has a waistline/chest measurement  of 4 3/4 inches, so this would be 48 sts with 2.00mm needles and fingering weight yarn; 43 sts with 2.5mm needles, and 38 sts with 3.0mm needles.  Dolls don't need the 'ease' that we build into human clothing, so these values will be close to what will work when you design an outfit. 

I wanted to make Kismet a camisole (it turned into a tunic) from a lace pattern from the book 150 Knitted Trims, by Lesley Stanfield.  I wanted this to be close fitting, so I knitted a piece of lace that was five inches long in the dimension that would fit around her waist, using the 2.5mm needles.

This lace was worked from side to side.  To turn it into a tunic, I bound off at the end of five pattern repeats, but did not cut the yarn.  Turning the lace so I worked back across the rows, I placed a pin every one inch across.  This would be the top of the tunic.  I picked up nine stitches between each pin, giving me 45 sts across the top, which is very close to my 43 sts around Kismet's waist.

Since this lace is worked on a background of garter stitches, I knit across the top nine stitches, bound off five stitches, knitted 17 stitches, bound of five stiches, then knitted the last nine stitches. This creates the places where the armholes are (the bound off stitches).  The next row is knit, casting on 12 sts when you come to the bound off stitches.  So, the armholes are 17 sts around, or about two inches in circumference.  A couple more rows of knitting, with some decreases to fit the neckline, and the lace is now a tunic!

I added a ruffle to the bottom, along with a picot bindoff which is also in the Stanfield book.  And here is the finished product!


Details:  from the Stanfield book,  I used lace #123 Garter Stitch Diamonds for the tunic panel, and #8 Picot Bindoff for the bottom ruffle edge.

Kismet is very happy with her tunic :-)


I posted those instructions to show that any bit of knitted lace can be made into doll clothing.  Here are some specific instructions for knitted tops made from lace from the Stanfield book, for both 8.5 inch and 7 inch Simply Amis.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Rememberances


A year ago yesterday, my Mother died.  I was going to say, "we lost my Mother," but on reflection, we did not lose her.  She is present in my life every day.  I think of her with love and gratitude; have silent dialogues with her; show her what I am currently making, and know that she is present, just unseen.

Mother is with us for the rest of our lives. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Works In Progress

Works in progress include a Knit-Along on Ravelry with We Make Dolls; Meggie is the large doll with all the hair :-)  While waiting for clues, I worked up two more Ami's, Kismet and Kalliope.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simple Knit and Crochet for Simply Amis

Violette and Mignonette have some new clothing patterns to share with you!  A pattern for a simple top-down knit sweater can also be a dress, a turtleneck, a smock, or a nightgown; and overalls can also be a bibbed dress.



And Mignonette has a couple of wardrobe items of her own...


All of these patterns are knit or crocheted with fingering weight yarn; I used some stash sock yarns, Brown Sheep Naturespun fingering, and Knit Picks Palette.  The knits were done with size 3 (3.25mm) needles, and the crochet with size D hook.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Simply Amis

 Mignonette, 7 inches tall; Violette, 8.5 inches tall

Back to my first love, crochet dolls!  Did you know, ami is not only short for amigurumi, but is also French for friend;  Migonette and Violette are simply amis and simply friends :-)

The pattern for these two dolls borrows from crochet dolls I've made in the past.  I love the move-able head on a neck stub joint, and the swing legs that attach to the body as you are crocheting, instead of being sewn on later.

I was also inspired by the amazing crochet dolls that you can find on Pinterest.  If ever you find yourself in a creative slump, look at what the world is creating by searching Pinterest.  Lots and lots of visual inspiration.

This doll has simple limbs, and a simple face.  The pattern includes many construction images to help you.

Simply Amis

Crochet works up so fast!  It is almost instant gratification, and these dolls really are simple.  And sweet.  And friends :-)


Coming soon, some clothing!  In the mean time, enjoy the crochet :-)

***Update 8:00pm***

A small wardrobe for Violette is now available.  Her trousseau is crocheted of Knit Picks Palette (a fingering weight wool yarn)  with a D hook

Violette's Dress, Pantaloon, Camisole and Cloche

Violette's Trouseau

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tansy Mae's Wardrobe


Tansy Mae wants to share her wardrobe patterns with you :-)  One for  simple knit capri pants, that can be made into trousers, bloomers, or shorts.  The other is a collection of simple top-down knits to make a smock top, T-shirt, and a lacey nightgown.

Except for a bit of a back opening on straight needles, all of these are knit in the
round on size 4 dpn's.  For some reason, using fingering weight to sport-weight yarn, my gauge was 6 stitches to the inch.  These are simple, loose fitting items, so a slight variation in gauge will probably not be a problem. 

These knits are sized for a 10 to 12 inch Waldorf doll.

Waldorf Capri Pants

Waldorf Smock/Tshirt/Nightgown

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tansy Mae

Tansy Mae is another Waldorf doll with a knit body, knit in the round on dpn's.  Her T-shirt and tunic are knit from the same basic pattern, from the neck down.  This pattern is easily adaptable for shirts, dresses, tunics, and nightgowns.  Currently I'm working on a nightgown with eyelets in the skirt.  When I get all the instructions written up, the pattern will be freely available here. 

I like the idea of working top down and seamlessly.  Thanks to Ravelry for introducing me to this technique :-)

I used fingering weight yarn for the T-shirt, and sport for the tunic and capri's.  For some reason, both worked up to the same gauge with size 4 dpn's, about six sts to the inch.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weir Craft's Waldorf Doll Kit

 Weir Craft Doll Kit cover image

Since starting to make Waldorf dolls with knitted bodies, I've been wanting to try this kit, which is offered by Weir Crafts.  They sell all kinds of Waldorf dollmaking supplies, plus lovely wool felts, roving, and batting.

So, I bought the kit and made up a doll!

The kit has everything you need to make a 12" to 13" doll; Alice Blue turned out to be about 13" tall.  If you have never made a Waldorf doll before, and like to knit, this is a great place to start.  All the supplies needed to make a simplified Waldorf head are included in the kit, and I really liked the way it turned out.

The yarn for the body is a dk/sportweight yarn.  I little thinner than I like to use, but it knitted up very nice and soft; it is a lovely quality wool yarn.  I would also have liked a bit more mohair yarn for hair;  I added some from my stash to give her a fuller head of hair.

I put together a picture tutorial of making this doll, which is available on my flickr photoshare site:  Weir Kit Waldorf Doll Tutorial.

If you are interested in this kit, here is a direct link to it:  Waldorf Doll Knit Kit
The kit is customizable for doll skin color, hair color, and body yarn color.

Happy Dollmaking!