Monday, April 16, 2018

First camping trip of the year!

We snuck in an overnight camping trip to Brown County state park this last week.  The weather was dry and in the 70's (as I write this Monday afternoon it is snowing!).  We had a wonderful time, in the most beautiful of our state parks.

...hiking the trails...

...chillin' at the campsight...

...looking for signs of spring...

...and finding fairies in unexpected places!

"There is no WiFi in the forest, but the connection is incredible."

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Don't throw that out!

Okay.  There is a decided advantage to never throwing anything away.

Of course, you have to be able to find what you've stashed!

This afternoon I just had to make a couple of bendy dolls.  Several years ago I made dozens of these little dolls from Salley Mavor's Felt Wee Folk book.  Instead of using embroidery floss, I remembered I had a stash of Persian style crewel yarn in a gazillion different colors.  This almost got tossed when cleaning up my workroom a few weeks ago, but I just couldn't trash all those beautiful skeins, even though I had no idea what I might use them for.

Well, they work GREAT for wrapping the pipecleaners, and making the hair :-)

These little dolls are 2 1/2 inches tall, and require just one 12 inch pipecleaner to make them.  The doll on the left has a 20mm diameter head, and the one on the right a 16mm diameter head.  They have acorn caps that I've had for over 10 years, just waiting to be used again :-)

Rose among the Hellebores


Instead of dressing them in felt, I want to crochet some remove-able outfits for them, which is a departure from the book.  And I think they look sweet faceless; what do you think?

So remember...don't throw that out!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Looking for Spring

March has come and brought the most snow we've had all winter, but the flowers continue to bloom.

I fell in love with Dala horses this month!  A Dala horse is an artifact of Swedish culture: a carved stylized horse with lovely painted details.

These three are from Etsy.  The largest is 6.5 inches from toe to ear, the smallest is 5.0 inches.  Since carving and painting are not my strong suits, I looked around for a crochet pattern for this style of horse.  This is what I found:

The basic horse pattern is for an Icelandic Horse, freely available on Ravelry by K. Godinez.  Here is a direct link to her pattern page:

Icelandic Horse Ragdoll

I tweaked the pattern slightly by adding a stitch to both legs (making them slightly wider) and inserting a thin wooden spool in the bottom of the leg to make them stand a bit better (a piece of dowel rod the appropriate diameter would also work).

I then decorated my horses with crochet flowers, lace, and doilies.

My bead and dowel doll Diane was very happy with the result, so I made her a Swedish inspired outfit to go with her horses :-)

The pinafore is from a pattern for crochet Hitty that you can find on this blog on the left sidebar.  The bonnet is from a pattern designed by Joyce and is available on her Flickr site.  The dress is a fitted waist crochet Hitty dress that you can also find on this blog.  Look for Crochet Hitty on the left sidebar and you should find several outfits to make for this doll.

Here is hoping that spring will decide to come and stay!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kitties for Hittys...and other tiny dolls

We love cats!  And so does Hitty Twig.  If you knit, Rabbit Hole Knits on Ravelry has two freely available and delightful knit kitties; one of which you see here in grey on the right.  This is the Tiny Window Cat.  There is also a Tiny Parlor Cat.

I do knit, but it is not my strong suit, so I used the inspiration of the Rabbit Hole Knit kitties and created two crochet kitties.  The ones you see in Twig's lap, and the one of the left.

Crochet Kitties for Hitty

So now, you can have a tiny cat for your tiny doll, whether you knit or crochet.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A great week!

Last week was a great week!

First, I cleaned up my workroom...the last time was in 2014.  Really, my Mom did raise me to do better than this!

After everything was nice and clean, I made these simple, inexpensive, fun little curio shelves from cardboard boxes.  The perfect place for my little bead and dowel dolls to live :-)

And the girls got some new dresses!  These are based on clothespin angel patterns published several years ago by Leisure Arts

And these are made from size 10 crochet cotton.  The dress is a length of lace from a Leisure Arts pattern; the pattern for the rompers and the cardigan sweater is here:

Twiggie Rompers and Sweater

And finally, more friends in the making, including a Hitty!  Meet Hitty Twig :-)

And patterns for her undies in size 10 crochet cotton:

So listen to your Mother!  Extraordinary things happen, when you clean your work room :-)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Order out of Chaos

When it looks like a craft store has exploded in your work room, its time to bring some Order out of Chaos! I still need to get Aragorn hung on the wall, instead of leaning on it, and the pile of boxes in the lower left are my next project. Stay tuned.

Look!  I can even see most of the floor :-)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dolls from dowels and beads

This post is especially fun to write, as I get to share with you a dollmaking collaboration between Joyce and myself.

Several months ago we both became enchanted with making dolls from clothespins.  Simple wooden dolls have been made for centuries, either whittled from wood, like Hitty, or made from what was easily available, perhaps a wooden spoon or a clothespeg.   Working with our talent for crochet, and our admittedly limited ability with power tools,  it seemed that a marriage of crochet, beads, and dowels was in order.

And so, the soft-bodied Peggies were born!

Joyce has created a pattern that uses a pillow shaped crochet body with jointed arms and legs from 1/4 inch dowel rods, and the head and neck from a wooden bead and another dowel.  The parts are cut, drilled, sanded, and painted. Tools necessary are a pin vise for drilling tiny holes (this is a hand held drill and NOT a power tool) and a small miter box used for dollmaking.  You can find them here, or at your local hobby shop:

Small miter box for dollmaking

Pin vise for drilling small holes

 Assembly is as easy as threading a needle with carpet or craft thread and jointing the pieces to the body.  You can crochet your outfit directly on the doll, or make them remove-able.  Here is Joyce's pattern for the doll body:

Pillow Bodied Peg Doll

Another variation on this theme is to use a Hitty inspired crochet body, which is what I have done.  Here is my pattern for the Hitty bodied peg doll:

Hitty Bodied Peg Doll

If you wish to make remove-able clothing, you can do a Google search for crochet clothespin dolls and find some free, and inexpensive, patterns that will fit these dolls.  Etsy has several sellers that carry these old patterns.  Here is a link to one free pattern, using size 10 crochet cotton.  In the interest of complete disclosure, I have not tried this, but Joyce has!

Free clothespin angel pattern

I have a couple of patterns for the Hitty bodied doll, worked in size 8 perle cotton and a size 8 steel hook.  Worked with a slightly larger hook they will fit the Pillow bodied doll as well:

Undies and wigs for soft-bodied peg dolls  this pattern includes the three wigs you see here as well as the undies.  You can make an entire wardrobe with these patterns.

Nightgown for Peggy Jane

And finally, look at the adorable ways that Joyce painted her Pillow Peggies!

Let your imagination run wild with these delightful and easy dolls!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Good things in tiny packages

I love tiny dolls.  They work up quick, they require small amounts of yarn to make,  they make great travel companions, and they are adorable :-)

This little sprite is Annie, from Laura Teggs Little Weebee pattern, which is freely available on Ravelry.  I used the bunny version of this pattern, but made Annie in a solid skin color.  She is 4.5 inches tall when crocheted with sportweight yarn and a size C (2.5mm) hook.  I used Knit Picks Brava Sport in Brindle for the skin color, and Wool of the Andes Sport in Fedora for her hair.

I couldn't resist making some simple outfits in knit and crochet for her, which I would like to share with you:

Mini Weebee Knit and Crochet Wardrobe

Laura also has many patterns for clothing for this little doll, both free and paid.  I highly recommend her wardrobe essentials patterns.  I purchased the Wardrobe Essentials Part Two, there is also a Part One and a Christmas Carolers pattern pack. 

Check out all of Laura's patterns here.

This is Little Weebee Maddie, just in time for Saint Valentine. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wonderful Weebee

This is Bethany, made from Laura Tegg's freely available Weebee doll pattern.  Laura has several clothing patterns that are free for this adorable doll, and some paid patterns. 

This is a knit outfit that I designed for my Weebee's.  My dolls are small; they are worked with sportweight yarn and a size C (2.5mm) crochet hook, so they turn out about 7.5 inches tall.  My knitting gauge for this outfit is 6sts/inch in stockinette.  Here is the pattern, with some gauge recommendations if your doll is larger than mine:

Knit Outfit for Weebee

I have NOT tested the pattern on any doll other than my own, so if you make this for your doll, definitely try to check the fit as you go.  This is not as easy with knit as crochet, so you may find yourself making more than one garment to get the fit right.

I would suggest starting with the dress and/or the cap.  These are pretty simple outfits, so adding a few stitches would not be difficult, to get the fit you want.

This dress and cat hat are both from Laura's free patterns; the sweater is from my knit pattern.

And this adorable hoodie and the overalls are also from Laura's free patterns. 

Have a great day, and enjoy the crochet!