Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ready to Ride!

From left to right: my brother, nephew #2, Dad, me, nephew #3, nephew #1, beloved husband, sister-in-law

Ready to ride in the Great Greenway Tour!  My sister is the camera-person :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What we saw: 7/12/2015

On our bike ride this morning, up through downtown Indy.  From the top left, "I am Indy" at Fountain Square;   deer sculpture in front of the Eiteljorge Museum of Native American History; Eli Lily rain garden with downtown Indy as a backdrop; and the flooded White River at White River park.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lillian Hopewell

Lillian Hopewell is a young woman of the 1890's.  Graduated from Wilberforce College in 1893 with a B.S. mathematics, she is about to begin her first day of teaching.  She is nervous, confident, and excited; she knows that to teach is to touch the future.

One way that she personally wants to touch the future is to buy one of the new safety bicycles.  Imagine, being able to travel under your own power at 10 miles per hour!  

Lillian's mother came to Zanesville, OH in 1863 as a teenager, in the company of her aunt and uncle along the Underground Railroad.  In Zaneville she met Lillian's father, who owned a small dry goods store.  After a lengthy courtship, they married, and Lillian was born in 1870.  Their only child, and most beloved.

Patterns for Lillian's first day at school suit:

China Doll dickey

China Doll Gibson Girl skirt

China Doll Gibson Girl jacket


Lillian Hopewell, from the knit China Doll pattern by Sarah Elizabeth Kellner


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sophia Delphine and her fantasy petticoat

I am still captivated by Sarah Elizabeth Kellner's China Doll pattern, and the wonderful possibilities she presents.  My latest doll is Sophia Delphine, a young lady of 1855.  She is wearing a petticoat with a strapless crochet sweetheart bodice and a lace net skirt, embellished with a bit of Irish crochet.

China Doll Strapless Petticoat

I'm not sure poor Sophia will ever get anything more to wear than her petticoat; it is so pretty I hate to cover it up!

I have another doll in the works, Lillian Hopewell, a young black woman of the 1890's.  Right now she is just a head and shoulder plate:


Lillian has a story to tell; it will be exciting to hear what it is :-)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Anna Celeste; ready for the dance, and sweet dreams.

I spent the week working on Anna's dress for the ball :-)  It reminded me of the scene from the Disney's Cinderella, where the mice and song birds all work to make Cinderella's ball gown.  A little from here, a little from there, and hey, presto!  a lovely dress.

I have a pattern for the bodice, which is a simple adaptation of the camisole pattern.  I was caught up the making process and did not write down specific instructions for the skirt and bodice trims, but there are suggestions in the bodice pattern.  Use some of your lace patterns and create a lovely gown of your very own :-)

Evening Gown Bodice

You may notice that Anna has a different hairstyle for the ball.  With this doll it is so easy to make more than one wig for her to wear :-)  This one has a center part created with double crochet and slip stitches, and numerous long curles caught up at the back of her head, with a couple along the neckline.  White roses decorate her hair.

After the ball, Anna will be very tired, so she will slip into her nightgown and snuggle into bed, dreaming of the wonderful time she had at the dance:

Victorian Nightgown

Sweet dreams, Anna Celeste :-)


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Anna Celeste, China Doll #2

Anna Celeste is the second doll I've made from Sarah Elizabeth Kellner's China Doll pattern, which is available on Ravelry.  The original pattern makes a doll about 14-15 inches tall when worked with sport/dk yarn and 3mm needles.  I wanted a doll slightly smaller, so I knit her with 2.75mm needles,  took out an increase row in the torso, shortened her arms a legs proportionately, and also made her head in the round in one color, so I could add a wig.  Anna Celeste turned out 11 3/4 inches tall, with a 5 1/2 inch waist and hips/bust 7 inches.

This pattern is great!  The resulting doll is an amazing reproduction of the antique china dolls, and becomes a wonderful canvas to create period costumes.  Anna Celeste is wearing a 1850's inspired walking suit, with blouse, belted skirt, and Zouave jacket.  All are separates and removable.

1850's blouse

1850's belted skirt

1850's Zouave jacket

In addition to the walking costume, she also has a simple side-to-side camisole and pantaloons:

1850's Camisole & Pantaloons

This camisole top would be the perfect beginning for an 1850's style evening dress, simply attach a full skirt (like the belted skirt) to the camisole, and add some frothy sleeve and bodice treatment :-)

I would like to make Anna Celeste a trousseau, placed in a keepsake box.  Maybe she is about to go to Europe, and if so, she will need some traveling companions too.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Josephine, an old fashioned girl

Knitting and crochet are amazing; one is only limited by their imagination as to what can be created in these mediums.  How about a China Doll? 

Josephine is a knit China Doll, created from the pattern by Sarah Elizabeth Kellner, available on Ravelry.  This lovely knit China Doll is constructed very much like the antique originals, with swing legs, torso and arms of a contrasting color, and a knitted shoulder plate with head that attaches seperately to the torso.  It is a masterpiece of knit engineering, and produces a sweetly old-fashioned doll that can be your starting point for your own collection of knit China dolls :-)

With DK/Sportweight yarn and 3mm needles, my Josephine stands just at 14.5 inches tall.  Her camisole and pantaloons with the lovely knit lace are part of the pattern, and fit like a dream.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What I saw today...

Everyday miracles; around the house, on my ride, preparing a meal.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day 2015

Make every day Earth Day :-)