Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ember Agaricglow


She brings hallucinations. She lives where fireflies mate and breed. She can only be seen in the light of a full moon. She wears dresses that glow with fiery colours and has russet-coloured wings like a brightly coloured butterfly. 

Ember Agaricglow

In Forest glades
Where fireflies dance
Beneath the moon
On leaf and branch

There dwells a maid
Of midnight fair;
Pale is her skin,
Dark is her hair.

Ember eyes,
A heart of flame;
A vision in moonlight;
Speak not her name!

Or weave she will
A web of deep
Entangled dreams
to haunt your sleep.

Hallucinations
She'll bring to thee;
A fairy charm
Which has no key.

 My completed fairy for the Ravelry Fairy KAL.  This has been so much fun, I've already got another fairy in the works:  Hazel Catdancer!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fairy Knit-Along

I joined a Fairy Knit-along (Fairy KAL) on Ravely that has been awesome good fun!  It is being sponsored on four groups:

Fiona McDonald's Fans

We Make Dolls

How do you make dolls

Fiber Fairies

The rules are simple:  create a Fairy name and description using this online Fairy Name Generator, then make a fairy to match.  You can use any pattern you like, and combine knit, crochet, felting and sewing techniques.  The fairy needs to be completed in order to join a Fairy Meet-up on Halloween.

I am using the Grace Notes pattern, and my Fairy is described as follows:


Ember Agaricglow

She brings hallucinations. She lives where fireflies mate and breed. She can only be seen in the light of a full moon. She wears dresses that glow with fiery colours and has russet-coloured wings like a brightly coloured butterfly. 

As she has taken shape in my mind, she has pale ivory skin with hair the color of midnight.  Nightshade tatoos are embroidered on her body, and her eyes are the color of embers.


I wanted realistic looking butterfly wings for her, so I modified a couple of my crochet butterfly patterns: the Swallowtail and the Milkweed butterflies, then decided to add to this a pattern for Luna Moth wings as well.  


She still needs hair, and her fairy finery.  Coming soon :-)


Friday, July 11, 2014

Victoria Grace

The latest Grace Note is Victoria Grace.  She is knit in Knit Picks Oyster Heather yarn, with a combination of boucle and straight mohair yarns, plus a shimmery strand of golden lace weight mohair.  She has blue eyes and a very sweet dispostion.

She is wearing Victorian lace underwear, and a robe knit from lace weight mohair yarn.  I have to confess, the robe was a royal pain to knit!  This cobweb-fine yarn kept wanting to slide off my needles, especially working the sleeves in dpns.  I do not have specific instructions for it; in general, knit a lace panel for the bottom edge, long enough to allow you to pick up 80 stitches without puckering the knitting.  Then, work the body with raglan decreases to the underarms (48 sts on the needle).  Knit 10, bind off four, knit 20, bind off 4, knit 10.   Finish the robe like the raglan sweater pattern, working the sleeves on dpn's beginning with 20 sts in K2P2 ribbing, then increase to 24 sts for the length of the sleeve.  Bind off four and knit 20, then join to the body.  Raglan decrease down to 40 sts and work two rows of garter stitch.  I used size 2 and 4 needles, if you use a sportweight yarn you might want to use size 2 and 3 needles (the smaller needle for ribbing only).

I'm not too proud of the quality of the knitting, but it does have a lovely drape :-)

The underwear, however, was quite simple and made up equally well with worsted cotton yarn or sportweight cotton yarn.

Victorian Undies

On the left, worsted cotton yarn; on the right, sportweight cotton yarn.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Amilia Thistledown

Amilia Thistledown, a golden skinned elven child with a talent for spinning thistledown into gossamer yarn, to knit lighter than air fairy shawls :-)

She is a Grace Notes doll, with elf ears.  Her hair is fun fur, which is a fun and easy way to make a doll wig.  She has dangly glass earrings, and her dress is basically the nightgown pattern with a different lace edging.  Her shawl is pretty close to thistledown; knit from lace weight silk/mohair yarn.

We took pictures in Garfield Park and around the conservatory.  So many pretty purple flowers!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Capriccio Cottage

Where do Grace Notes live?  In Capriccio Cottage!

I love making dollhouses; the simpler the better.  After being inspired by the dollhouse in "Knit and Crochet Garden,' by Arne & Carlos, Capriccio Cottage came into being.

The book and the dollhouse :-)

Capriccio Cottage began with two wooden crates and a handful of scrapbooking papers purchased at Michaels.   You could stain or paint the crates; I applied three coats of polyurathane varnish to the wood.





I took along one of the dolls just to make sure the crate would be the right size for a dollhouse.  The dolls are nine inches tall; makes the rooms a bit cozy, but it works.  It would work just as well for 16cm to 26cm BJD's :-)






Scrapbooking papers come in a wonderful array of colors and patterns, and are remarkably inexpensive.  I even found some great papers for flooring!

I cut cardboard for the floor and the back wall, leaving the sides unpapered.  Check the fit; it works best to cut the cardboard 1/4 inch smaller than the crate dimensions.



After the fit check, apply glue to the cardboard.  I squirt it on from the bottle, then use an old paint brush to smooth the glue out.  As you can see, it doesn't need to cover the cardboard completely.

Lay the glued side of the cardboard down on the scrapbook paper and smooth down, then fold the edges of the scrapbook paper up over the back edge of the cardboard and glue this down as well.




 
Your covered cardboard should look like this, with neat edges and a smooth surface.

Let the glue dry, then insert into the floor and wall into the crate.





Your dollhouse is now ready for the interior decorator!  






I made a couple of peg racks from scrap wood, spools, buttons and scrap paper.  Instead of glueing the racks to the side walls, I nailed them on.  It makes a nice place for the girls to hang their clothes.











Its nice to have plants in the house, and tiny cactus seemed to be just the right thing; they won't require much water, and they were the perfect size :-)

Here, the plant stand is a Willow ware candleholder, the rug from a Gail Wilson kit, and the chair and bench made from clothespins and popscicle sticks.






There is a picture tutorial for making Capriccio Cottage on my ipernity site; here is the link:


And finally, another Grace Note to move into Capriccio Cottage :-)

Ruby Grace, green-eyed with red mohair French braids

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wonderful yarns to make dolls with :-)

I am always looking for luscious yarns to make dolls with, and I have three to share with you.  The first is Berroco Vintage worsted yarn, which is a wool/acrylic/nylon blend.  It has a lovely feel to it; soft and cool with a wool hand.


Three great colors for making doll bodies:  Chana Dal, Fondant, and Mochi (they also have a darker brown yarn, Mocha).  The yarns are available from Fabric.com and are reasonably priced at $6.98 for a 3.5 oz hank.  Don't let the fact that the yarn comes in a hank disuade you from buying; to wind a hank into a ball of yarn, just take your kitchen chair, turn it upside down, and drap the hank around two legs.  It takes me about 15 minutes to wind 3.5 oz of yarn into a ball.


Patons Classic Wool is a 100% wool yarn.  It is NOT a superwash wool, so don't put your finished doll in the laundry, unless you want to felt her!   This yarn has a lovely wool feel to it while knitting, and makes up a lovely doll:  Ebony Grace was knit with this yarn.  It is also available from Fabric.com, for $5.48 for a 3.5 oz skein.  The colors above are Sesame and Winter White.  Also available is a darker brown, Chestnut.

And Knit Picks offers a 100% wool yarn:  Wool of the Andes.  This is also NOT a superwash yarn, so do not put the doll in the laundry!  There are so many lovely colors to choose from; this selection looked the best on my computer monitor :-)  From the left are Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Almond, Oyster Heather, Cloud, and Creme Brulee.  I've just started a doll with the Creme Brulee.   These yarns are available from knitpicks.com for $2.69 for a 1.75oz skein.  Right now I think they are on sale.

And a quick peak into my mess of a workroom.  I see so many lovely pictures of to-die-for creative spaces and studios.  Mine is a study in chaos, with yarn in plastic tubes, or the boxes it arrived in!  Never enough room on the work table, which doubles as a photo shop.  And dolls and fabric and lovely boxes from Michaels on most of the other surfaces :-)

Welcome to my mess!


Monday, June 16, 2014

A Christmas dress in June

This dress started life as a sleeveless summer dress, but somehow the pattern stitching and colors changed this to a Christmas dress :-)  Of course, change the colors and work a different pattern, and it can be any dress you like.

Grace Notes Red Dress

The pattern stitch came from the book "Alice Starmores's Book of Fair Isle Knitting,' which has an incredible number of pattern stitches that can be adapted for doll clothing.  This book is well worth purchasing, or borrowing from your local library.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

...and just a couple more patterns.

A couple of more patterns for the Grace Notes; a raglan sleeved cardigan sweater, tee-shirt, and shorts:

Tee Shirt and Shorts

Raglan-sleeve Cardigan

The shorts can be made longer for pants, and the tee shirt would make a great dress bodice.  Sweaters are always nice too :-)  All of these are knit with light worsted yarn and size 3 needles, mostly in the round except the cardigan (the sleeves are knit in the round, then joined into the body).

Happy knitting!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dressing Up

I have been working on a wardrobe for the Grace Note dolls; they are such a nice size to knit for...not too big, but not too small :-)  Ebony Grace is showing off her sundress and shrug, the pattern is here and on the left sidebar of the blog:

Sundress and Shrug

She also has a tank top and undies; the tank top can be worn with shorts as well (coming up soon)

The pattern is here:

Tank Top and Undies

And every girl needs a sweet nightgown.

The pattern is here:

Nightgown

This should be a good start for your doll's wardrobe.  Enjoy!