Monday, August 27, 2012

Grief


It has been a tough week.  I lost a friend today to cancer.

The final days were long, and hard. On my friend, on her family, and on all who cared for and loved her.  Finally, she is free of the prison of her body; and whether she is in the arms of God, or sweet oblivion, she is free of pain.

And we are free to grieve.

Obituary


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong: 1930-2012

 photo courtesy NASA

Neil Armstrong; the first person to walk on a planet other than our own.  A Navy fighter pilot in the Korean War, an engineer, an astronaut, a professor, a father, a husband.  A man that every child of my generation watched in breathless wonder as he took those first steps on the moon, that hot July night in 1969.

He has inspired generations of children to dream beyond their horizons.  "Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon." - Paul Brandt

Godspeed, Neil Armstrong.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crochet Mock Smocked bodice and Mary Jane shoes for Bleuette

I love the look of smocking, but I've never been very good at it.  Too cheap to buy a pleater, and too impatient to mark all those little dots on the fabric :-)  As W.C. Fields put it so eloquently "A thing worth having is worth cheating for!"  So here is a crochet version of smocking, that I call mock smocking.  It is achieved with triple crochet post stitches and a bit of embroidery after the crochet is complete.

Mock Smocked Bodice 

Here is what the smocking looks like before and after embroidering:

You could also use this pattern to make an Aran sweater in crochet.  Post stitches are extremely versatile, and add wonderful texture to your crochet pieces.  They are not hard to do, just a bit different and take a little practice.

I also have a pair of shoes for you to crochet for Bleuette.  They are made with size 3 crochet cotton and a size C crochet hook.  They fit over the crochet socks.  The pattern is for Mary Janes, but once you have the right fit for the foot, you can modify them for boots, slip-ons, and embellish them as you wish.

Crochet Mary Jane Shoes

Enjoy making these new patterns for your Bleuette or Crochet Bleuette!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Simple Wigs, and other Bleuette goodness

Making wigs and hair for my dolls is my favorite part of the dollmaking process.  Once the doll has a wig, that is when her (or his) personality comes alive.

Simple Bleuette Wigs

These four wigs are very simple to make, based on the basic crochet wig cap.  In this instance, the wig cap is also part of the hair.  By using mohair yarn, you don't really need to cover the wig cap with strands of yarn.  This saves on yarn, saves on time, and is great for a play-able doll for a child.  These wigs will fit any doll with a seven inch circumference head, and can be adapted to fit any doll at all.

You can make these wigs with any yarn, really; but the fuzzier it is (higher mohair content) the more it will look like those pictured above.  Brushed nylon will also work, and the many 'fun fur' eyelash yarns as well.

The only drawback to these yarns is that the stitches can be hard to see.  So, if you are just beginning, I would suggest making light colored wigs at first: blond, gold, peach and light shades.  Also, crochet with a piece of white paper in your lap...it helps to see the stitches.  Don't worry too much about mistakes or missed stitches...they become invisible in this kind of yarn :-)

A couple of other goodies to share:


A mostly knit shrug for Bleuette!  The shrug is knit as a rectangle nine inches long and three inches wide.  Fold it lengthwise and sew up  two and a half inches on either end for the sleeves, then crochet a border around the rest of it.  I like the knit for the body as it gives a soft hand to the fabric, and the crochet edging adds crispness around the edges.


And a Link Stitch Bodice.  This bodice is worked from the neckline down, so you can easily make it any length you want.  It starts with a series of 18 links.  I like working into links better than working into chain stitches; it is easier to get a neat border, and gives a sweet eyelet look to the neckline.

Enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet!