Friday, December 12, 2014

Cassidy and Noah

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving, and that your Christmas preparations are more joy than work :-)  I came down with a bug a few days after Thanksgiving, and it is only now beginning to loosen its grip on my health.   And of course, I ended up sharing it with my husband :-(  Thankfully, both of us are on the mend.

Something better to share is Cassidy, a doll I worked on, slowly, once I started feeling better.  She is based on Deena Thomson-Menards Lottie doll pattern, which is freely available on Ravelry.  Those wonderful hands are from a tutorial available on her Ravelry group We Make Dolls.   I modified the feet so they would feet those darling baby booties that Cassidy is wearing, which is also a free pattern on Ravelry: sneaker booties on Ravelry.

Foot Pattern alteration for Lottie Doll

Romper Pattern for Lottie Doll

Cassidy's puppy, Noah, is from a crochet pattern offered here a few years ago.  You can find it by scrolling down the left sidebar.  Look for the picture of the kitties and 'Links to my Animal Patterns'  :-)

Happy Holy Day season to all of you!!  Stay well.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Goodbye, sweet Charlie

Sweet companion in our lives from September 9, 2001 to November 20, 2014.  How hard it is to say goodbye.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dolls and their clothes :-)

I've been working on two dolls from Deena Thomson-Menards Lottie pattern, one for a Knit Along, and the other while waiting for the next pattern in the Knit Along to be revealed :-) 

Rachael Bleu is a slightly smaller version of Deena's doll, about 19 inches tall.  She's close to American Girl size, which is a nice size to knit for.  I made her a blue tunic sweater from a free pattern on Ravely, which you can find here.

I also worked up a raglan sleeve pattern and a jumper dress for Rachael, both very simple knits:

Little Lottie Raglan Sweater

Little Lottie Jumper Dress

Hope your hooks and needles are humming with Christmas gifts :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Making Eyes for Rachael

Back to knitting dolls!  I've been smitten by a free doll pattern on Ravelry, by the very talented Deena Thomson-Menard.  The doll pattern is Lottie, and as mentioned, is freely available on Ravelry.  I started a KAL at We Make Dolls, but wanted to try out some tweaks to the pattern, so started a second doll, which is Rachael.

One of the things I was thinking about was eyes, and how to make them myself.  I had several packages of covered button forms, and made up two pair of eyes using them.  I like the way they turned out, and created a tutorial:

Covered Button Eyes

Mine were made with 7/8 inch buttons, but you can use any size you want.  All you'll neeed are the button forms, some scraps of white cotton fabric, acylic paints in white, black and iris color, and gloss or satin acrylic varnish.   These eyes would work for any doll or animal, in cloth, crochet, or knit.

As for Rachael, I used size 4 dpn's to knit her body, instead of the 7's called for in the pattern.  The yarn is Caron Simply Soft, which I do not like for crochet, but it knits wonderfully.  I wanted a smaller doll than the original, so I took out eight rows from the body, and will take eight rows out of her legs and arms (I think).

Enjoy your dollmaking day!

Rachael waiting for arms and legs :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Well-Dressed Demon :-)

I had to give Angelique a few more Demon touches, including a knit dress with a skull motif around the border, and a neckchain of demon trinkets :-)

The neckchain idea came from this blog:
I used a skull pattern from the Lionbrand site, and an Irish rose of my own, but the idea was all hers.

Here is the pattern for Angelique's Demondress

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Angelique Morelle Demonchilde


Demonchilde born of Flame
Perilous to speak thy name!
Earning credits to enter Hell
On Demonwings dark and fell.

Do you have an Angel near
To pray for thee; to shed a tear?
Do you have a soul to save
From the bleak undying Grave?

Demonchilde, come to Me!
And tell me if its Hell you see
Or Heaven on that distant shore
Of deathless dreams forevermore.

Just in time for  Halloween, some Demon Details that you can add to your handmade doll.  I started with Isabelle Kessedjian's My Crochet Doll, and added horns, wings, and a few facial touches.  Voila!  A Demonchilde!

Check out these Demon Details for yourself :-)

I plan to knit her a black jumper festooned with skulls along the bottom, but I didn't want to wait that long to share her!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bernadette and Emelie

Two new girls to join my family of My Crochet Dolls by Isabelle Kessedjian.  Bernadette, on the left, loves mathematics and music.  To her, trigonometry is beautiful in its symmetry, and Baroque music as precise and complex as calculus.  Her plans are to be the commander of the first human-crewed Mars mission!

Emelie, on the right, is quite shy.  Social discourse leaves her breathless and anxious, but she has a magical way with animals.  She calms them as they calm her.  Her dream is to have a small farm and run an animal rescue there.

As unlikely as it seems, these two are best of friends.  Emelie listens with fierce affection to Bernadette's dream of escaping gravity, and Bernadette helps with affectionate care the many strays that Emelie nurses.

Emelie's nightgown, and Bernadette's knit school outfit, are both freely available.  Bernadette's book bag is from Isabelle's book My Crochet Doll.

I'm sure we will be hearing more from these friends :-)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dollmaking Details

I love making dolls, and I love sharing what I've learned over many years of dollmaking.  There have  been many generous dollmakers that have shared their special techniques and tips on making exceptional dolls:  Judi Ward, Gail Wilson, Fiona McDonald, and many others.

Many techniques used in cloth doll making work quite well with crochet and knit.  The jointed head technique used on my crochet dolls I learned from Judi Ward making her cloth Bleuette, which in turn inspired my crochet Bleuette.  Using a crochet wig cap to make wigs for dolls came from the Waldorf dollmaking community.   Painting eyes on felt for crochet and knit dolls from Fiona McDonald.

To knit or to crochet?  Both are wonderful dollmaking mediums.  A knitted doll is generally softer, cuddlier, and more rag-doll like than crochet.  Crochet produces a stiffer, more rigid fabric that holds it shape on its own better than knit.  Crochet stitches are more visible than knit stitches; crochet works up much faster (for me!) than knit.  I love them both, and love their differences.  After knitting dolls for almost a year, I'm back to crochet.  If you both knit and crochet, they will keep each other ever green :-)

 I have some tutorials and a pattern to share today.  First is a basic camisole to fit Isabelle Kessedjian's My Crochet Doll.  I use this design for all the dolls I make.  It is simple, easy to fit to the doll, and can be used as a basis for dresses, romper, and t-shirts. 

My Crochet Doll Camisole

 This pattern has options for making rompers or a dress:

I used a different technique for making the hair on these dolls, which is a hybrid of Isabelle's instructions and the wig making I ususually use.  For Simone, on the left, and for the last two dolls I've made, I used a laceweight/fingering weigh yarn to produce hair that is more, well, hairlike :-) This tutorial is in PDF format so you can download it:

Hair making tutorial

And finally, all of these dolls have a roving wrapped armature inside the legs/torso and arms.  Roving is carded and unspun wool available in long lengths or ropes, which make it a great choice to wrap the wire armature with.  It is also a lovely stuffing medium, something I learned from Gail Wilson's cloth dollmaking.  It flows into the doll body very easily, packs well but doesn't distort your stitches.  It warms in your hands, which is an endearing quality in any doll.

Roving wrapped armature tutorial

If you are unfamiliar with roving, here is a site where it can be purchased:

Undyed wool roving from Weir Crafts

These techniques can be used with either crochet or knit, your own or someone else's design.  Mix and match patterns and techniques and make the doll of your dreams :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Procrastination 101

There comes a time when even the most dedicated procrastinator has to do something about the mess!  I was getting perilously close to not being able to reach my work table, as boxes continued to mount in the room.  Soooo.....

After two days of work!  This is about as good as it gets.  The yarn is now out of the shipping boxes and either onto shelves or in plastic containers, and I haven't seen  this much of the workroom floor in months :-)

An added benefit is that not only can I pretty much see where everything is, it is much more relaxing to work back here now.  Of course, I know this won't last for long....