Friday, March 28, 2014

My Mother: 1934 - 2014

My Mother passed away this week.  She died as she lived, with great courage and grace.  The words of Proverbs 31: 10-31 describe her best:

"Who can find a noble woman? For her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, and her food supplies never diminish.

She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

She seeks wool and linen, and works willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants ship, she brings her merchandise from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and gives food to her household and work to her maids.
She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vinyard.

She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms.

She perceives that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out all night.

She stretches out her hands to the poor; yea, she stretches forth her arms to the needy.

The members of her household are not afraid of the cold; for all of them are clothed with scarlet.
She makes herself a covering of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Her husband is known in the cities, when he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles to the merchants.

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom; and upon her tongue is the law of kindness.

The ways of her household are above reproach, and she does not eat of the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also praises her.  Many daughters have done well, but you have excelled them all.

Comeliness is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who reverences the Lord shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gate."

My Mother is free from pain and fear; we who are left are hurting, but we will heal.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nutmeg Dressed

Nutmeg is now cozily dressed in a raglan sweater and sweet jumper, both adapted from patterns from the Arne & Carlos book "Knitted Dolls."  Instructions on how to adapt the patterns to Fiona's Babes' Little Sister doll are on the left sidebar, under the picture of Babes Little Sister :-)

The sweater is knit in pale blush Berrocco Vintage yarn, and the jumper in Patons Classic Wool black and Berrocco Vintage magenta.  The colors are the same as her striped socks.

This was the first time I had attempted stranded colorwork, and now I'm hooked!  Gathering many books from the library for patterns and inspiration, among them:

Alice Starmore's "Charts for Color Knitting," and "Book of Fair Isle Knitting."
Arne & Carlos "55 Christmas Balls to Knit"
"Teach Yourself Visually Color Knitting."

The last book was not as helpful as I had hoped, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the Alice Starmore books!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Nutmeg is my second doll from Fiona McDonald's free "Babes' Little Sister" pattern.  She is knit from Knit Picks Brava yarn in brindle, which is a wonderful, warm chestnut brown.  Her stripey legs are a combination of Paton's classic wool in black, and Berrocco Vintage in blush and magenta.  Her hair is a combination of two high mohair content yarns, which I really love for hair :-)

The Brava yarn worked up a slightly smaller doll than Bernat Super Value, but knitting is so forgiving that the outfits for Patience will fit Nutmeg.

I love this doll form; it is a simple, child-like body that knits quick and easy.  A bit of a nose bump on the face turns into a delightful button nose with a couple of easy needlesculpting stitches.

If you don't like sewing knitting seams, here is a short picture tutorial for slip stitching the seams with a crochet hook.  I like this method, as it produces a very strong seam with enought give for the knitting, and looks quite neat from the right side.

Slip Stitch Knitting Seams

I'm going to knit Nutmeg a blush pink raglan sweater and black jumper from the Arne&Carlos book...something to go with her stripey legs :-)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sweater and Pants for Patience

Finally something to keep Patience warm, here at the end (I hope!) of winter.  A very simple knit cardigan sweater, and pull on knit pants.  Both are knit flat.  The sleeves of the sweater are knit into the side seams, then seamed from wrist to waist.  The knit pants are knit in one piece, then seamed up the inseam and then the center back seam; they pull on and fit nicely over the bikini panties.

Little Sister Sweater

Little Sister Pants

Both of these pieces are designed to fit Fiona McDonald's 'Babes' Little Sister' pattern, which is freely available on Ravely.  You can find a link to this pattern on the left sidebar of this blog under "Fiona McDonald's Babe's Little Sister.'

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For Valentines Day

Fiona McDonald has created a delightful, free, knit doll pattern called "Babe's Little Sister."  The pattern is available on Ravelry:

Babes Little Sister

I've made my little sister, Patience, some unders, which are also useful as a starting point for other clothing designs.  The patterns are available here:

Little Sister Unders

and I will also put them on the left sidebar under Babe's Little Sister.

She is a bit smaller and more slender than the popular 18 inch American Girl doll.  Here she sits between and AG and a similar doll made by Goetz.

Happy Valentines Day :-)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter 2014

This winter has been relentless and bitter; beloved friends and family with serious illness, and cold and snow with no end in sight.  It has been nearly impossible to muster the positive energy for dollmaking, or making anything at all.  This is the worst of the winter blues.

But today I have finally completed a doll from a free pattern courtesy of Fiona McDonald.  The pattern is available on Ravely, and here is a link:

Babes Little Sister

You need to register with Ravelry, but it is free and well worth it!  The doll, like all of Fiona's patterns, is easy to make and makes up beautifully.  Mine is 17 inches tall with a nine inch waist...about the same size as an American Girl doll, but two inches more slender.

Meet Patience;  she has needed that quality as much as I have these past few weeks.  But I'm happy we both perservered; she is a delight!

Here is hoping the coming weeks bring us the promise of spring, of life after death, and health for all of those we love.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rose is ready for Christmas!

I have always thought that union suits, those red one-piece undergarments worn in the 1800's, were pretty cute on dolls.  Probably a pain to wear in real life, but dolls live uncomplicated lives and enjoy looking cute :-)

So I knitted up a red union suit for Rose to wear for Christmas, and topped it off with a Santa cap.  Here is the pattern:

Travel doll union suit and Santa cap

We also had a lot of fun knitting up some other Christmas treats.  The stockings are made from a free pattern available on Jean Greenhowe's site; scroll down a bit, they are toward the bottom of the page:

Jean Greenhowe Christmas Stockings

The teddy's and rabbit are from a free pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits:

Teddy and Rabbit

And the blanket was a free pattern from Jennifer Jackson on Ravelry (you need to register, but it is free!)

Doll Blanket

All of these are quick and easy to knit, and the dolls and young (or old) girls in your life will love them :-)

One last item is the Christmas tree!  This one was crocheted a few years back from a free pattern available on the Michaels web site:

Michaels crochet Christmas tree

Rose and I wish you a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holydays!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Holy Days!

We had our first snow of the season Thursday night and Friday, and it left a sparkling six inches of snow, which is blindingly bright this morning.  Yesterday seemed the perfect day to get out the Christmas decorations and put up the tree (or trees, this year!).   I also got outside and took a few pictures of the lovely, virgin snow.

Whatever your spiritual persuason, I hope you  enjoy the spirit of goodwill that this season celebrates.  Without that, there isn't much point to the celebration.  Maybe fewer gifts, more hugs, donations to your local food pantry, or shoveling the neighbor's walkway of snow.  Be easy on yourself, and meet each day with Joy.

My very best wishes for all of you this Holy Day season :-)


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just in time for White Friday!

Just in time for White Friday; the Friday after Thanksgiving where we all stay home and make something special for someone we love :-)  For Ivy, my latest Travel Doll from Fiona's Travel Doll pattern, a new dress with a knit seed stitch bodice and hem. 

Travel Doll Seed Stitch Dress

If you are at a loss for what to make someone for Christmas, there are many, many sites with free knit and crochet patterns.  Starting with Ravelry, all you need to do is register (free!) and you have access to literally thousands of free patterns for dolls, toys, wearables, you name it.   Many low cost patterns as well.

Lionbrand yarns is another great site for free patterns.

1500 Free Amigurumi Patterns is actually now 2000 free patterns, and a great site.

Crochet Pattern Central  and Knitting Pattern Central are also great sources for free patterns.

So make yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage, put a Christmas CD in the player, get out some yarn and the tools of your choice (needle or hook), and enjoy the day!