Friday, November 27, 2015

Creative Black Friday 2015

Hard to believe that Christmas is less than a month away!  Today is our traditional Creative Black Friday, where instead of standing in long lines for the latest gift that will be forgotten shortly after it is unwrapped, we fix ourselves a hot beverage, get out the hooks or needles, and make something special for those we love.

It could be a scarf, a shawl, a doll, a toy...a piece of jewelry crocheted in fingering weight yarns, a cowl knit in bulky weight yarns, anything made with love.

There are literally thousands of free crochet and knit patterns available on the Internet.  You can find many toy and doll patterns right here on my blog; just scroll down the left sidebar until you find a pattern that speaks to you.  Other great toy patterns can be found in the 'Links I Love' section toward the bottom of the blog on the left sidebar.

For great free wearable patterns, there is,, and have extensive free pattern libraries.   I think they all require registration, but it is free and well worth it.

And to set the mood, here is a crochet pattern for making tiny Hellebore flowers (the Christmas Rose), Ivy leaves, and a tiny wreath.  You can use the wreath for Christmas tree ornaments, to decorate your doll house, or to wear as a brooch.

The Christmas Cabin is coming along beautifully.  I have the outside decorated, as can be seen in the image at the top of the page.  The Christmas Tree is done and decorated, and now I am working on chairs for the living room :-)  But today, I will make three wreath brooches for my sister and sister-in-law, and be thankful for quiet time and the skills my Grandmother taught me when she taught me to crochet.

Have a lovely Creative Black Friday!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Crochet a Christmas Cabin

When it comes to making dollhouses, my favorite power tool is my crochet hook!  I cannot saw a straight line, and hammers mash my fingers as often as they hit the nails.  But a crochet hook is a marvelous tool, and you really can make a dollhouse with one!

Here is a picture tutorial on Flickr on how to construct your own.  It is mostly guidelines, so you can make a house any shape you want, as long as you can cut cardboard and cover it with crochet.

The Christmas Cottage is made with acrylic worsted yarn and a size H hook.  Sturdy cardboard is used to stiffen the walls and floors.

This house is sized sweetly for Nancy Ann, or my Forget-Me-Knot kids, or a downsized version of Simply Ami.  I've finished the basic house, now all it wants is decorating for Christmas (trees, wreaths, stockings, etc...) and some furnishings (sleeping palettes, chairs, etc...).

Make plan for your dollhouse, stitch and block the blocks, cut the cardboard (about a 1/4 inch larger than your blocks), and stitch the house together!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Peace for Paris; peace for us all.

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater"    ...J.R.R. Tolkien. 

Image by Jean Jullien

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More dolls, more fun!

Jeanette is a hard plastic Nancy Ann with a painted face and jointed arms and legs.  I'm always amazed at how beautifully these dolls are constructed and painted.  All they need is a little cleaning, most times a new wig, and some pretty outfits to make them special indeed.

Jeanette's dress and hat are another outfit designed by Helga Kraft for Kelly dolls.  I end up adding two or three stitches to the waist line, to better fit Nancy Ann, and make the dresses a bit longer.  Otherwise, the fit is quite good.

Jeanette's shoes are from an Annie Potter Presents leaflet entitled Victorian Darlings.  I've used this leaflet for many outfits for these dolls.  I crochet the dresses using size 20 crochet cotton (or size 8 perle) and a size 9 hook.  However, for the shoes I crochet them with the thread and hook recommended.

Jeanette's raglan sweater is my own design, which I am happy to share!

Nancy Ann Raglan Knit Sweater

And remember, most of the outfits I designed for the Forget-Me-Knot kids, here on this blog, will fit Nancy Ann as well.

Nancy Ann projects in the wings include these three Nancy Ann's from the 50's, with hard plastic bodies and sleep eyes:

I've removed their wigs and cleaned and blushed them.  All ready for new wigs and outfits!

I hope you are enjoying the day.  Only 23 more days until White Friday!  Are you ready to knit, crochet, sew, or otherwise hand make someone a special gift for Christmas?  This is what White Friday is all about :-)