Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Baby Doll Diapers

I like adding fun details to the doll donation. Baby doll diapers are always a cute extra. This is a simple free pattern I was able to retrieve using the Wayback machine here. I suggest if you have the remotest interest in this pattern that you print a copy as these links often only last for a limited time.

This is a wonderful pattern. It is simple but effective. It has worked for every baby doll I've used from the 12 inch to the 16 inch dolls I use now primarily by adjusting the hook size. For me I use an I hook with worsted weight yarn for the 16 inch doll. I also use snaps rather than buttons. I tried the buttons, but I found them hard to manipulate. The snaps seemed easier for little hands.

Another challenge I met this year that you can see from the picture is I completed 4 diapers, 2 for each doll. The doll can wear one and the child has a diaper to "change" the doll with in the diaper bag which I will eventually have to make. That was on my list of projects to complete last year and I only managed one diaper per doll.

I've been asked why off white for the diapers. I was gifted quite a bit of off white and I've been trying to finish it up. It fits with my yarn diet as I'm a bit low on solid white at the moment.

Easy Peasy Doll Afghan

I got this pattern from the 2015 Crochet Calendar. You can now purchase it as part of a pattern set here. I try to make sure every 18 inch and Baby doll donation leaves with a blanket so I try to start early. I find before and right after Christmas are a good time to get them out of the way. This time of the year, simple is a good choice for me. I find myself having to focus even on simple stuff to keep stitch counts correct.

I started this one while waiting for someone getting some routine testing done. I had it about half done since the testing ran long. It was the perfect choice since I couldn't have concentrated on a book in the waiting area, but the predictable stitch and counting the stitches to make sure the rows stayed even helped pass the time.

Just a note for myself and for those who are interested I used worsted weight yarn and and an I hook to get the size I wanted for the doll. I did not change the stitch count.

I love Michelle's blanket patterns and look forward each year to the new pattern in the Crochet calendar to try something new.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Baby Doll Bunting

I try to challenge myself with something different each year with the donation project. It keeps it interesting and it helps me to learn new things. This year I decided to try a baby bunting. This is an old out of print Annie's Attic Debbie Ann pattern Debbie Ann's Baby Bunting pattern number 87F48 for those of you who might be interested in locating. I believe the original Debbie Ann pattern came out when the Cabbage Patch soft doll craze was going. Annie's Attic had two soft doll patterns that you could crochet the soft doll patterns and then they offered several outfits you could buy separately. I'm no expert on the subject so if someone knows more feel free to leave a comment and I'll happily post it.

I've picked up a couple of the outfits and played with re purposing them. After failing with another baby doll bunting I thought I'd take a crack at this one. Sometimes patterns just work better for one person over another. Patterns are a matter of communication and when you have limited ability to have a conversation with the person who writes the pattern finding someone who writes the way you think about crocheting is always a blessing.

This pattern worked well for the JC Toys, La Baby 16-inch Doll which has become my baby doll donation now that the Mary Maxim dolls are no longer available.

This was the second bunting. The one major change I made was to use the bonnet from the first bunting that didn't work out for me. The head of Annie's soft sculpture doll is significantly bigger than the store doll. The body fits is similar so the outfit fit well. However, after making the bonnet for the first doll I decided to use the bonnet pattern from the bunting pattern I'd abandoned here. This bonnet pattern just fit the doll better. The Annie bonnet design is just too big for this doll's head.

This was my first try at the Annie's pattern. It had a couple of challenges. First I promised myself, no yarn purchases until after the New Year. So, when I went into my yarn room these pinks seemed like they were all the same shade. Not so much. However, I was determined to finish this thing. So it has shades of pink. The second one I made sure I had enough of the same brand and color before I started so this wasn't an issue. We live and learn.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Water Bottle Carrier

This was the second Christmas project that came from my purchase of All About Cotton | Crochet | Leisure Arts (7055) and it covered more people.

My niece's boys and girl like having water bottles or refillable bottles with them and they often tire of carrying them. I have a backpack with places to carry bottles, but there are places now that restrict bags that can't be seen through. So, I thought these carriers might work as an alternative. It allows the kids to bring their drinks in a see through carrier and it keeps me from having to carry them or throw them out because nobody wants to haul them around in their hands.

I also made one for an older niece who is in a high school program that requires her to have a reusable water bottle. Again it doesn't hurt to have something that makes it easier to carry. I'll know after Christmas how they are received, but they were a simple inexpensive project, so it was worth a try.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Gingerbread Girl Ornament

I've made this ornament a couple of times for swaps or just a quick item to add to a package. She is adorable and the pattern was free. Sadly it has disappeared from the Internet so I can't share the pattern with you. Should she reappear as a fee or paid pattern I will try to update the post so you can find her too.

I've always been a fan of kid friendly ornaments that they can decorate with or play with as the season progresses. I have a bunch from my childhood that my Mom gave me when she moved. It keeps small hands away from the ones you don't want them playing with or breaking.

This ornament went along with the Santa Bear Lovey as part of my Christmas package. I'm already pondering my Valentine's Day lovey options. So far I think I'm going to need to find a Valentine's ami and turn it into a lovey. I suppose I could try to adapt a lovey into a Valentine's creature. I will get through Christmas before I work on that theme. I actually have found a patterns for St. Patrick's Day and Easter Loveys. That just leaves me with the July 4th holiday to consider once I've solved my Valentine's issue. Then she will indeed have a full set of holiday lovey blankies.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Santa Bear Lovey

I've been trying to send holiday themed packages to relatives with a new little girl since Halloween. The lovey blankies have been especially fun. I had no problem with Halloween or Thanksgiving as I had patterns on hand. I never dreamed Christmas would be my challenge. I found a Christmoose I really loved, but I don't use my credit card on sites I'm not familiar with and that was the only way to obtain the pattern so that wasn't an option. I looked at some Santa patterns but none were quite what I wanted. In the past I've made so many ami's with Santa hats I thought why not check out lovey patterns to see if one could become a Christmas theme with some alterations.

I found this free bear lovey pattern here. The hat was a blend of an American Girl Doll free pattern found here and and old Barbie pattern. I honestly can't give you directions. Every time I make one, I end up playing with the style to try to get it to fit the project I'm making.

Just a note for myself and anyone else that might read this and think to try it. The ears help with the hat. The Santa hats can be heavy. I first tried the hat without the ears and it didn't go well. My thinking was why make the ears if you can't see them. They also stick out a little when the hat is on the head. This actually is why you do make the ears. The ears help balance and keep the hat on the head. Since the blankie is already head heavy the additional weight of the hat needs something to help secure it. The ears provide assistance with that task.

Once again a thank you to these and all the designers who offer free patterns. This helped stretch my Christmas dollars. It also didn't hurt that this project was completed with items completely from my stash helping to reduce my ever exploding yarn supply and providing me with a Christmas gift from supplies I had on hand.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Reindeer Dishcloth

As I mentioned before it is always best to get pictures before something is washed and used. However, it is always better to take pictures than forget you made something so after is my only alternative this year.

Years ago Maggie's crochet had a contest for dishcloth patterns and they were offered free to download. I downloaded and printed tons of them as they had a huge range of holiday and just interesting patterns. Sadly and perhaps realistically these are now offered only as sale patterns. If you like the pattern you can purchase it in her Christmas holiday patterns here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thanksgiving Dishcloths

I didn't get a chance to photograph these dishcloths before using them, but again I still wanted to capture what I actually completed this year where I could. I found dishcloths were a great way to help me through my crochet slumps this year. When I couldn't focus on a complicated project I'd work on simple dishcloths. We always need them. As the holidays approached, I thought I'd try some themed dishcloths.

You can find the free pattern for the Pilgrim here.

The free turkey pattern is located here.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Halloween Dishcloths

I love experimenting with dishcloths. They can add some color during the holidays and they help me get refocused when I hit a crochet block. For instance one of these patterns was a trial run for a baby bib.

You can find the free Witch Dishcloth pattern here.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Blankets for the Twins

I have no idea why but blankets were hard this last year. I whipped up the doll blankets without problem, but when it came time to make real baby blankets I ripped out more than I actually crocheted. I don't have a picture of the one I sent all the holiday gifts to, again stupid on my part. However, I did get smarter before the baby shower for the twins and got pictures.

The first is actually a Herschners pattern from a kit I bought ages ago and never finished. I HATED the yarn but liked the pattern. So I tossed the yarn and made the blanket using Caron Simply Soft. The second is a Shell Stitched Baby Blanket free pattern found here. I loved the colors on this blanket and honestly it was what made me want to try it.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dragon Lovey

I was blessed that a while back during one of the Crochetville wishlists I was gifted a Dragon Lovey pattern you can purchase here. As I mentioned in a previous post one of the challenges of getting donations done this year is the blessings of babies on both sides of the family this year. These dragon lovey blankets were made for twin girls due this month, but the shower of course was at the height of my doll production. Family first and it was nice to be able to give something a little different from what is being shown in the baby stores right now. While there are lots of lamb lovey blankets being sold out there, mine were the only dragons at the baby shower. So a thanks goes out again to the Fairy Godmother at Crochetville who made my gift special.

The twins are not going to be identical and we were told not to push the alike stuff which worked for me because I prefer not to repeat when I don't have to and using different colors makes it easier.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bath Pouf

I still do stocking stuffers for the high school nieces and I was looking for some ideas for crochet items that would be useful and easy to make. I found All About Cotton | Crochet | Leisure Arts (7055) during a Leisure Arts online sale and decided to move forward with the project.

These were easy to make and a cheap stocking stuffer. I've made the water bottle holders from the book as well but have to take some pictures before I can post.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thanksgiving Crochet Baby Bib

People may wonder why document so long after an event, well honestly if I look back at the stuff I've done several years ago, I'm often amazed at what I did. I might have thought I'd never have forgotten THAT project, but sure enough with time it faded and it is a wonderful feeling to go back and see what I did accomplish, sometimes cringing, but for the most part happy to see what I did and how I've grown. What frustrated me about the Thanksgiving box is I didn't get pictures of most of it. I sent out this bib along with Pete and Patty Pilgrim and the Pilgrim Girl Lovey. I also made the original Christmas version that I adapted to make this Thanksgiving bib from when I couldn't find one I liked. You can purchase that pattern here. For those who are interested I used Knit Picks cotton for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was affordable and works up nicely for kids bibs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Halloween Crochet Gifts for Baby

One of the reasons I fell behind this year on my donations were the wonderful additions of babies to the family. Cousins on both sides had or are having girls this year and with that came lots of additional crocheting.

I have always loved celebrating the various holidays and engaging kids in finding fun in each one. Is it ever too young to start? This year I explored some themes I'd never really done much with including baby bibs. This was a Halloween package I sent out to family to celebrate their daughter's first Halloween.

This lovey blanket came from an old Crochet Today pattern I've used several times. It is a fun cute flip lovey pattern, simple to make and seems to be a kid pleaser.

I'd never really worked with children's bib's before. I'd made a few for the baby dolls, but this holiday project provided a challenge. Lion Brand provided some free bib patterns and I decided to use Knit Picks cotton yarn to make them. You can find the free Jack O'Lantern Pattern here. The Can D Corn bib can be found here.

I also wanted to branch out and try something new with texture so I bought Crochet Village's Picking a Pumpkin Pattern available here to add some texture to my pumpkins. I really like how these came out and hope to add some to my own pumpkin patch next year.

I'm slowly getting caught up in my retrospective of the year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Donations from Friends

This summer I received a package from a dear friend Tampa Doll from Crochetville filled with wonderful doll goodies for my donation. She is always supportive not just with her donations but with her kind words and thoughts. The students like my donations, but there is a cool factor in knowing their cause goes beyond state borders and inspires people to send stuff for them to give to kids.

I also have to thank the people who have gifted me patterns and other crochet related items over the years when Crochetville had wishlists or swaps. Those patterns still get used every year for these projects. I still have a pouch of buttons one of my swap partners sent me I'm working my way through as I make my doll clothes. The Valentine's hat was sporting a special button I found in there. I can't tell you how many other buttons I pulled out over the years to use on other projects. It has been a gold mine.

Then there are those who write and post the free patterns I use again and again. I posted a note to the woman who offered the free doll carrier pattern on Ravelry and got a nice response in return last week. It is important we recognize and honor the people who help us continue to do our work. Darski thank you. You have supported me through the years with physical donations, but I can't tell you how many times I've pulled out one of your patterns, my favorite being the We Gather, to pull off another donation. Even when you can't crochet your thoughtful sharing of your patterns continues to create charitable works.

So thanks to all of you for spreading good will and cheer.

Monday, December 11, 2017

18 Inch Doll Donation

I think this was the area that disappointed me the most this year. I started on a high note working on a holiday theme and then life got in the way and my donations were not nearly as good as they should have been. However, instead of beating up on myself I'm going to celebrate what was accomplished. My Mom felt up to sending me knitted donations and those are included here as well. This is the first time in a few years she's been able to send me stuff so I guess you have to take what you can and realize it is more than what would have been accomplished without trying at all.

Thanks to Mom for these,

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