Wednesday, December 30, 2015

American Girl Sweater and Skirt

I made a pledge when a friend gave me his sister's yarn that I would use at least some of it towards getting doll clothes made for this year's donation. Up next I have the first doll sweater I made with the yarn along with a simple skirt. The sweater was made using the out of print Sweater Trio pattern FCM494 from Fibre Craft. The skirt pattern is actually the pants pattern from Maggie's Crochet Abby, Allie & Annie PA972-R that I adapted by adding extra rows instead of making the leg rows.

I've made this outfit several times over the years and it is a simple, but fun addition to the doll donation. The sweater and skirt easily change with other pants and tops I make to increase the number of outfits the new owner will be able to create as she plays with the doll.

I'm working on my next doll outfit. I'm currently untangling a big yarn tangle that is holding up the project. When that is resolved I hope to push forward and finish the next outfit.

DH was kind enough to pick up some new patterns to add to my supply and I'll be talking more about those soon I'm sure.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Yoda was the last of the Christmas presents to be finished and delivered. DH originally purchased Lucy Ravenscar's patterns for me about 4 years ago. She had upgraded them and then pulled them from Etsy when she got a contract to publish a kit with a updated pattern book and supplies for a couple of projects. They are now published as a kit under Lucy Collins Star Wars Crochet (Crochet Kits) and I really like the book format she produced. It was what I wanted when I bought the original patterns on Etsy.

As far as the kit, I would have preferred the book alone. I ended up making Yoda with an e hook and worsted weight instead of what seemed to be probably a size 2 yarn. It was not fun to work with and I quickly decided my stash of worsted could handle the burden. Considering what DH paid for the first set of patterns on Etsy when he bought them for a gift, the book was a deal, had they thrown in no extras. While I used the eyes for Yoda, I prefer the ones I have in my own stash. These were not of the best quality. There are several of these kits out there, where I'd just love the books, I don't need all the other stuff in the kits. I'm not sure why the kits are so popular, the patterns are adorable.

I had no issue going from making Yoda smaller to larger until I got to his coat. As I posted several times the force was not with Yoda's coat. I ended up remaking it using Darski's Pilgrim pattern, an e hook, and completing part of my mission, I used some sports weight yarn donated by my friend who passed this year. Oddly enough when you decrease your hook size, use much smaller yarn, and crochet tightly, a jacket you will make for Yoda. I thought it looked pretty good. Normally I'd have gone with a Barbie pattern, but I just haven't felt that well and digging through patterns didn't seem like a great choice. I hadn't put the Pilgrim pattern away yet.

All is well. We exchanged Christmas presents yesterday with our friend and Yoda was a big hit. While he made it under the wire, he did get finished for lengthened Christmas celebrations.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to family and friends.

Thanks to all of you who are so supportive and encouraging during the year. Next year's doll donation is already started and some little girls woke this morning to find this years dolls tucked under the tree. Peace and good will to all in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

American Girl Mrs. Claus

It seems to me Mrs. Claus gets included every other year in the donation. I'm not sure what happens, but it seems if I don't get her finished right before Christmas of the year prior to donation, she doesn't make the cut for the year. I just looked back at my previous blog entries and sure enough the last Mrs. Claus outfit was completed in December of 2013 for the 2014 donation. Last Christmas was crazy and I never got the dress done, thus no Mrs. Claus outfit for the 2015 donation. Well 2016's donation is secure. I sewed the buttons on Saturday night.

The dress is adapted from Darski's Pilgrim dress found here. The hat is a free American Girl Santa hat found here. While updating some old links, I found the designers new website and updated the link to her new website.

I'm working on a sweater using up the yarn left to me by a friend. I'll make a skirt to go with that and another outfit will be finished. I still need to get Yoda's jacket completed before Christmas Eve. It has been a bit stubborn. The force is clearly not with his clothing.

In other good news I got an email from AC Moore with an advertisement for a sale on the Springfield dolls for $9.99 good until Christmas. DH went out Saturday getting me the two dolls I need for next year's donation. This is a huge step forward for getting ready for 2016's donation. Now I just need to get the clothes made.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Minion Scarf

A funny thing happened when I realized I was short a scarf, I went rushing to find a pattern that was simple and that I already had the yarn to complete. Luckily I found a free Minion Scarf pattern here.

This pattern is not only adorable, but it works up incredibly quickly for that last minute gift. I thankfully have lots of these basic colors on hand in Caron Pounders, so the yarn wasn't a problem. I've done my present accounting and most of the presents are wrapped, so I'm not thinking I'll have any more panic moments. I have one more project I'm working on for a friend that I hope to finish for Christmas. I'm having to rework part of the pattern so we'll see if the little Ami makes it to my Christmas Eve party.

To my friends at Crochetville thank you for all the beautiful Christmas cards. With your help and those of my Dog Blogger friends we have again just about filled two card wreaths with beautiful Christmas cards. It has become a favorite Christmas tradition.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dr. Who Scarf

I have a younger family member who has become something of a Dr. Who fan. I decided to explore my options for making a Dr. Who scarf for her for Christmas. Since the original is knitted this was a challenge, but there are several free patterns posted to adapt the idea to crochet. After reading several I found the most helpful to be dreamweaverartsandcrafts post on the topic here.

The chart she discovered for the colors and her suggestions for how much to buy of the Vanna's Choice yarn I needed for the project were incredibly helpful. Most of the other patterns suggest the English Stylecraft yarn. I'm sure this is a wonderful option for those who want a pure recreation. However, mine is being made for a preteen. The odds is will get lost, be damaged, or otherwise suffer harm are pretty high. I couldn't find Stylecraft in the US and importing it made it quite pricey. Even buying Vanna's yarn on sale with free shipping, the amount of yarn used still doesn't bring this in as a cheap gag gift. You have to know the person is going to like it.

I did make some changes. I made mine half as wide as her pattern suggested. It was turning into a bizarre shawl at the original width and it would have crushed the person it is being given as a gift. I frogged it and made it half as wide. I did stick with the hdc and used one hdc row per suggested on the chart and it seemed to be a more reasonable length. Perhaps not authentic, but it's a preteen not a six foot giant who will be wearing it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Minecraft Scarf

I thought I'd posted all my scarf pictures and realized I missed two that were unique. First up is the Minecraft Creeper scarf. You can find the free pattern here.

This pattern works up quickly and has a simple chart that makes the creeper pattern. I'm sure this will be a hit with the Minecraft fan on my Christmas list.

There are lots of scarves on my Christmas list this year, but considering one was left at my house last weekend after a visit, I'm thinking extra scarves are not a bad idea.

I've finished Mrs. Claus' hat and begun her dress. With 2015's doll donation delivered, I want to get a jump on 2016's outfits. After I finish Mrs. Claus' outfit I have a couple of sweater outfits I want to make along with a Colonial outfit. I found a new bonnet pattern I want to try out. I still need to make the Christmas holiday dress, too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

American Girl Pilgrim

There are some outfits I try to include every year in my donation and others that rotate around as I get new patterns and have to decide what to include and what I don't have time to make. I try to include as many of the holiday outfits as I can each year. When possible I try to get them done before Christmas or right after as they seem not to get finished if I wait until Spring.

This year I dived into the Pilgrim outfit shortly after finishing my Christmas scarf presents. This is an adaption of Darski's We Gather Together pattern found here. Every year I promise myself I will write down the changes I've made and then I remember it doesn't work out that easily. I took pictures and I work through the pictures slightly differently each year.

The sticking point this year was buttons. I just don't enjoy sewing buttons. I put it off for several days and finally finished sewing them on on Tuesday. It isn't a complicated process, just not the part I enjoy. I've started on the Mrs. Claus outfit. The hat is almost finished. Then I'll adapt this same pattern to make Mrs. Claus' dress. Hopefully I'll have that finished so I can get the Christmas party dress completed before Christmas.

Another change I made this year to the Pilgrim outfit was using off white for the hat, apron, and trim. A friend's sister passed away and he offered me the yarn she left behind. Most of it is off white in various brands. It's good quality acrylic and I'm determined to honor her by finding ways to use it in my donation project this year. Next up I'm thinking of using it in a doll sweater I make every year. I've got quite a bit of it, so you'll see it popping up. I think it is a great way to honor her memory.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Aztec Wishes Donation Headed Out

DH is delivering this year's doll donation to the local tech high school's Aztec Wishes Holiday gift program and thanks to friends at Crochetville it is the biggest donation I've ever made.

This year we have more baby dolls than ever. Thanks to Darski and Tampa Doll at Crochetville we will be sending a beautiful rag doll, an 8" doll and an additional 15" doll in addition to the yearly 12" and 15" baby dolls I usually send. I also warned the director she was going to need more 18" dolls than the two I normally donate to accommodate the beautiful boxes of clothes sent by Darksi and Tampa Doll. I can't wait to hear the director's reaction to all the donations and the kids realization that their program has reached beyond the United States into Canada.

I also need to thank Crochetville friends who have donated tights, shoes, and patterns to the cause. While some patterns are repeated yearly, for my sanity, I need to try new stuff each year to keep this donation project interesting and engaging. Thanks to all of you there are some little girls who will wake up this Christmas not just to dolls, but to dolls with beautiful clothes and accessories. Thank you all.

Monday, December 7, 2015

American Girl Sundress

I haven't posted in ages, but I have been busy crocheting scarves for Christmas gifts. I didn't post all of them because many of them were repeats. I fell in love with the pocket scarf and got lots of requests once the first one was finished.

However, I started to get the urge to return to my doll donation project and wanted to get started for 2016. I got Sarah's Sundress pattern as a gift from a Fairy Godmother on Crochetville's wishlist.

As is usual with me I ended up making a couple of changes to the pattern although it was easy to follow. I am useless when it comes to crocheting into a row of slip stitches. I have used a row of slip stitches to end a piece, but I can almost never crochet back into it to continue on to a new row. So I changed the pattern and it worked for me.

I stuck with Caron Simply Soft as suggested by the pattern, but I decided to use up some left over yarn I had from making scarves. The pink actually turned out to be a good choice.

The next project is almost done. I like to start the year with my holiday projects. The Pilgrim girl only needs a button. I haven't had the patience to sew the buttons yet, so I started on the Santa hat until I have the quiet time I need to get it done.

DH will be dropping off 2015's doll donation to Aztec Wishes this week. Thanks to the kindness of friends at Crochetville there are 6 boxes of wonderful crocheted goodies and extra dolls beyond what I normally donate. I can only thank the kindness of friends who have donated finished items, dolls, shoes, tights, and patterns like the one for today's finished product that make all of this possible. I'm hoping to get some pictures taken before the boxes leave.

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