Friday, November 27, 2020

The Friday After: toys to crochet for girls and boys


The Friday after Thanksgiving is always a tremendous shopping day.  Having never liked crowds, and perfering to hand make gifts, I've never been a 'black Friday' participant.  In fact, I got to calling it white Friday, as a day to stay home and make something.

Today, black and white take on meanings and nuances that probably have always been with us, so I am going to change it up and refer to today as The Friday After...a day to stay home and make.  So, here are a few patterns from the past that make up quickly and will give you the satisfaction of giving a gift of your hands and heart.  And best of all, the patterns are FREE!

Lets start with Whoever Welcomes a Child, the pattern for the doll shown above.  She comes with a set of clothing, and is a mere 3 1/2 inches tall if made with size 10 crochet cotton.  You can size her up, just remeber to use a size smaller thread for her clothing.

One of my favorite patterns is Simply Ami's, which you can crochet in two sizes with light worsted yarn.  There are several clothing patterns for this doll which you can find on the left side menu of this blog.

If you have boys on your list, here are some cute puppie patterns that make up withy worsted yarn:




German Shepard

Border Collie

and I will sneak in some Kitties as well.

Of course, girls will like them too!

And maybe your intended child would like a wee mousie in their Christmas Stocking!

And last but not least, three owls to crochet:  A Snowy Owl, and Northern Saw-Whet owl, and a Collard Scopes Owl.

All of these patterns, and many, many, more are listed along the left sidebar of this blog.  I hope you enjoy your time making these, and may we work to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe this holiday season.

Enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Sweet Ella, Ivy, and Ann


The last couple of months I have been making dolls by two dollmakers:  Carla Vigliucci and LuluCompotine.  Their dolls are similar, and both have extensive, and different, wardrobes.  Both designers use constructions techniques that create beautiful doll bodies.   You can find their patterns here:

Carla Vigliucci on Ravelry

LuluCompotine on Etsy

Since I enjoy 'Frankensteining,' I have taken the techniques I like the most from both of these designers to make Ella, Ivy, and Ann, the three dolls above.  In their bare feet, they are 9 1/4 inches tall.  I used Knit Picks Curio 3 crochet cotton for the dolls and most of their clothing, with mohair and wool yarn for their hair.

These simple dresses are from LuluCompotine, with shoes from Carla Vigliucci.  The sweater is my own design.

The girls wanted nightgowns, so I knit them some.  Thank you to Dawn Smith for the inspiration  to use to the 'long tail cast on,' which creates a much neater neckline, and for the cap sleeve version of the nightgown (Anne in blue is wearing this).  If you are unfamiliar with the long tail cast-on, check out Google and watch some video's.  Once you get the hang of it, it will be your go-to cast-on.

Pattern for the knit nightgowns can be found here...caveat, they have not been pattern tested, so their may be some goofs (almost guaranteed!)

Knit Nightgowns for Ella, Ivy, and Anne

As always, enjoy the day and enjoy the crochet!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Make America Kind Again.

A lot confronts us.  Lets remember to be kind.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Doll designs by Carla Vigliucci


For the last few weeks I have been making dolls from the patterns of Carla Vigliucci, which can be found on Ravelry, and Etsy.  Each of her patterns include a doll, anywhere from 7 to 11 inches tall, and at least one if not more simple outfits for her to wear, and a beautiful hair design.

Carla has some unique dollmaking techniques, and I always love learning something new.  How to make a sturdy one piece head/torso, how to eliminate that tiny gap under the arms when crocheting arms into the body, how to make a TERRIFIC pair of shoes.  These are just a few techniques.  And if you are like me and do NOT like sewing parts, these are the patterns for you.

The dolls all have very similar builds, so most of the clothing is interchange-able, or will work with just minor tweaking.  I used size 3 crochet cotton (primarily Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3  and Knit PIcks Curio 3), and a B hook (2.25mm) to make the doll, and a B or C hook for the clothing.

Two other tips to 'up' your dollmaking game.  The Yarn Under Single Crochet: this blog post by Earl Grey Crochet explains this better than any I have found on the internet.  Your crochet fabric will be tighter, and little if no fiberfill will show through.  

The other is the Invisible Single Crochet decrease.  This blog post by Planet June explains the invisible decrease, and it really is!

Here are some of the lovely outfits I made for Elinor, above, who is a combination of Carla's Ema patten, for the body, and Alys pattern, for her hair.

As always, enjoy the day, and enjoy the crochet!

Friday, September 18, 2020

A bad year just got worse.

Your wisdom and integrity have blessed our country for decades.  Rest in peace, Justice Ginsburg.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What should outrage you?

So, which of these infringes on your Constitutional rights? Being required to wear a mask, or the Federal Government sending troops against its own citizens?

Outraged?  Yes!  Over mask mandates?  No!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Flowers or weeds?

Flowers, or weeds?  My weed garden stitchery!

For at least a couple of years I've had it in my head to create a simple embroidery of the flowering weeds that we see every our yard, along the bike path and against fence rows.  Even in the hotest and driest of summers, these 'weeds' flower with abandon and create impomptue bouquets in the most unlikely places:  through the cracks in the sidewalk or against a railroad trestle.

Most folks do their best to get rid of them, but since they do so very well in all seasons, I think perhaps we chose the wrong flowers to cultivate.  What about a weed garden?  You wouldn't have to do any work at all!  They pop up, and keep on coming, despite our best efforts to the contrary.

So, with a few line images borrowed from the internet (a Google search for weeds and line art), a lightbox to trace the images onto paper and then fabric, some simple embroidery stitches, and finally, a picture!  Chicory, bindweed, dandelions, and thistle.  They are great for pollinators, too.

However, I got bitten by a bug sprite, and now they have taken up residence with my stitchery:

Chicory, Bindweed, Dandelion, and Thistle Twins

These are my weed sprites!  They are from the wonderful Bug Sprite pattern by FantasySpriteStudio on Etsy.  The dolls have a wire armature, the easiest one I've ever seen to do.  My sprites were crocheted with size 10 crochet cotton and armatured with size 20 cotton wrapped wire.   They are about 5 1/2 inches tall.  The pattern calls for fingering or sock weight yarn and 12 to 18 gauge aluminum wire, which makes a sprite about 6 1/4 inches tall.  They are adorable, quick, addictive, posable, and just plain fun to make.

Here are the Thistle Twins, hanging out together!

I highly recommend this pattern, and all of the patterns from FantasySpriteStudio.  Treat yourself to some fun!

Have a great day, and enjoy the crochet!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Sweet Small Dolls by Sleepy Sheep

Great skin colors in size 3 crochet cotton.  From right to left:  Aunt Lydia's Coffee; Nazli Gelen Garden 3  Medium Brown; Aunt Lydia's Copper; Thread Art #16; Thread Art #02. 

All of these dolls were made from the pattern Joy by SleepySheepPatterns.  Using a size 2.25mm hook (size B) she is about six inches tall before wigging.

With such a small and skinny doll, clothing makes up pretty fast, especially if you use size 3 cotton for the clothing as well.  The pattern comes with a cute dress that can be made either long or short sleeve.  I had great fun creating a 'capsule' wardrobe for this doll; inspired by my friend Dawn Smith and the Tiny Rag Doll Nation on Ravelry making capsule wardrobes for their dolls.

This is Jasmyn, wearing a tee-shirt dress and short sleeved knit sweater; red pants and a white tee-shirt; blue tee-shirt and yellow pleated skirt; and blue tee-shirt and pocket shorts.  A cloche and a sunhat cap her ensembles.

And this is Joy, wearing undies, lacy cap sleeve dress with long sleeve knit sweater, pink tee-shirt and blue jeans.  This hair style is the one that comes with the doll, along with the hair band with the rose.   I made the doll's feet without shoes, so I could change them with her outfits.  The pattern for the capsule wardrobe, that includes all of these outfits, is freely available here:

Joy's capsule wardrobe

There are a lot of other adorable patterns on SleepySheepPatterns Etsy site.  You should check them out!