Friday, January 31, 2020

Doll Diaper Bag Items

Twas the Week before Christmas...

I mentioned in the doll diaper post, I was concerned when I did inventory before dropping off the 2019 doll donation that I hadn't finished all the baby doll items that I needed for the donation. This motivated me to start with them this year. I wanted these items done and out of the way before moving on to the bigger items like the doll carriers and the clothing for the donation.

I was quite excited to find that the baby dolls I ordered for the 2020 donation come with magic disappearing liquid bottles so no need to crochet bottles this year. Just one less item for me to add to my crochet list.

For those of you interested in the patterns, the bib is a quick and easy free pattern found here. One of the challenges with working with baby dolls is few people are writing for your specific baby doll so I'm used to adapting to fit the doll. To fit the JC Toys, La Baby 16-inch Pink I have to chain 16 to start and do 20 rows before doing the shaping row. When I get to the shaping row, I do the shaping at both ends and ss until I get to the shaping stitches described in the smaller pattern. I hope this helps for anyone trying to adapt to their doll. It is a great deal about trial and error to get stuff to fit the different sized dolls.

The wipes and the changing pads are available as part of set to purchase here. I love the ability to add creative play items to the donation every year.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Baby Doll Dress and Hat

While I've been busy working on the holiday boxes I am trying to keep my focus on the doll donation project as well.

This is a free pattern crochet pattern available from Linmary Knits available here.

You may recognize the pattern as I previously used this pattern to make the Red Riding Hood dress. I love patterns that don't require buttons or snaps so I was determined to add this to the doll donation this year. I plan on making a second one so each donation doll will have one.

For my own notes I needed used an e hook for the dress. While this was a great chance to finish off a skein of Bernat Super Saver I had left over from holiday projects at some point I do think I'd like to experiment with doing this pattern in sport yarn. I just think the worsted weight is a little heavy. However, right now I need to work from my stash. I ended up using an I hook for the shoes.

The shoes are not included in this pattern but are from another free pattern Peachy Keen found here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Hugging Hearts

This was the last crochet item I made for the Valentine package. I love these little hearts. The original pattern has a boy and a girl, but since I'm sending the pattern to two sisters I thought they'd each want a girl, thus two girls.

The pattern is part of Crochet Village's My Silly Valentine Pattern CV089 that I wrote about in the Valentine Cookie post. You can purchase the pattern on Etsy here. The pattern set also includes a large sized Hershey Kiss pattern I've made several times.

I was at Dollar Tree picking up greeting cards and came across these little mailboxes and thought they'd be cute to mail the hearts in and I managed to find some heart boxes to put away for next year. I like to have fun boxes to put the toys in when I mail stuff out.

This has been a another great scrap project. I finished off a skein of off white that I've been working on since December. I was quite glad to see it go. The dark pink was from a ball of yarn from last year's doll projects. I am determined to target my left over yarn this year.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Crochet Box of Chocolates

I alternated making chocolates with making crochet cookies and other projects. As I mentioned in the cookie project I did debate making the actual "box" of chocolates and decided against it. I wanted to make play food for Valentine's Day for little ones but the effort to make the box versus the time it would last didn't seem like a good use of my time. As I mentioned in the cookie post I found heart boxes at Hobby Lobby. You can find this box online here.

I didn't follow one pattern for the chocolates. In some cases I followed a pattern to completion. Others inspired me to create my own based on established designs. For my own records in case I decide to do this again and for those of you interested in making your own crocheted chocolates I'm going to do my best to document just what I did.

The round pink and yellow ones with the dark centers were called Licorice Allsorts. The Chocolate with a swirl is a Chocolate Bon Bon according to the designer. These are part of a free pattern found in a blog post labeled Crochet Candy found here.

For those of you interested in a free box pattern with chocolates Red Heart has a free pattern here. This pattern uses Luster Sheen which has been discontinued. Fortunately for me I had some brown I wanted to use up but for this project. There are other yarns which could substitute and work for making the box if you don't have Luster Sheen in your stash. From this pattern set I made the chocolate covered pretzel and I adapted the white chocolate striped chocolate. I alternated between Luster Sheen and Red Heart Sport yarn which I also believe has been discontinued. I'm determined to work my way through this old stash.

The last pattern set I used was an out of print Annie's Attic pattern Crochet Sweet Dreams 55X. This pattern also has a box with no cover I didn't follow any of these patterns for chocolates directly but I did use the pictures for ideas to finish off my box of chocolates. I made some circles and oval chocolates after looking at these patterns. If you are interested in play food and come across this set it is worth picking up as it has a variety of other play food patterns. If Annie publishes this as a digital pattern I will try to update this post.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Be Mine Baby Doll Valentine Outfit

I've had the Be Mine pattern in my binder for a while and while considering what to put in the Valentine's package this year, it seemed like a good time to pull it add and add another holiday outfit to the Big Sister doll. You can purchase the pattern here.

A few notes to myself should I try to complete this again in the future, I didn't have sport weight (3) yarn in red so I decided to see if I could make gauge by using a smaller hook and worsted weight (4) yarn. I had to go to a size D hook, but it worked. If I do make this again, I think I would choose to go with a lighter weight yarn for the shirt as it was a little bulky under the heart jumper. However, the dress was fine with the heavier yarn.

I played with the arms as I found the pattern made the arm holes too tight for my doll. While the arms are designed to be fitted, they also need to be able to be taken off by little hands.

The snaps for the straps worked out well. I also chose snaps for the shirt.

This pattern does not include a pattern for shoes. The shoes come from a free pattern found here. This is actually one of the reasons I've tried to be more careful about documenting what patterns I use for which items. It can help you the reader, but it also helps me. I knew there were a couple of baby doll shoe patterns that fit this doll but I'd forgotten which pattern sets they came from. By reading the posts I quickly located the one I wanted and this outfit has shoes.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Doll Blanket

I've been reading lots of posts lately about crocheting in public or do you take your crocheting with you. Well I do. I'm not good at waiting with nothing to do. I will sometimes bring a book or my Kindle to read, but depending on what I'm waiting for I can find it hard to concentrate on reading. I do find simple crochet projects work well during these times.

The challenge is sometimes I'm working on projects that don't "travel" well. Sometimes it's because the project needs to be fitted to a doll. I won't travel with a doll. They are heavy, awkward to manage in public, and let's be honest it just draws unnecessary attention. Sometimes I'm working on projects that need to be sewn together and that isn't something I enjoy doing when I might have to stop unexpectedly to move. I also can't count on having a place to lay out complicated directions so having a project with fairly simple directions and repeats is an ideal travel project.

Last fall when I was working on the Big Sister project I came across a perfect project that met my needs. The Little Angel Layette had an accompanying blanket which I didn't need for the Big Sister project as I'd already made a blanket for the doll. However, the pattern was perfect for my travel requirements. At the time I started this the fall I didn't have any projects on my hooks suitable for travel. I needed something I could take with me that would be simple to work and made me feel I was accomplishing something while I was dealing with wait times.

The day before an appointment in the middle of December I pulled this out and measured it against an 18" doll and realized it had reached the length I needed for it to be included in the doll donation. I finished it off. I was working on a doll changing pad at the time so that met the requirements for a simple travel project. I didn't start another doll blanket right away but there will be another one there soon I'm sure as it is nice to have a project with no deadline.

Technically I could have pushed and finished this blanket for the 2019 donation but I had plenty of blankets for the 2019 donation and this gave me a low pressure project finished for 2020. I've enjoyed having a project that doesn't have a deadline. I worked on it only when I was "traveling" and left it alone when I was home until it was time to finish it off.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Baby Doll Carrier

Most years I have to buy yarn specifically for this project as it requires the equivalent of 3 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver all in the same color to complete the task. This year while cleaning the yarn room I found three Caron One Pounders in purple and they were more than suited to this task. I'm still hunting for the 3 skeins I need for the second carrier, but since my hands and arms need a rest before tackling that one, I have time to see if I can't find 3 more matching skeins in my stash to complete the second carrier.

This is a free pattern available on Ravelry here.

I love adding accessories to the donation, so I do include this project with the donation every year. The challenge I find is working the three strands in the round. It isn't just hard on the hands but I feel it all the way up the arms. The pattern isn't complicated it just is sometimes hard getting the yarn worked through.

I have had to adapt the pattern to meet my needs and I like to record my notes in case I lose my paper copy and have to download a new one. These may or may not prove useful to others making this doll basket.

The pattern calls for a K hook. I found this made for a huge basket almostt a real baby size. To change that I did the first 10 foundation rows with an I hook, then I returned to the K hook to finish the rest of the basket. The bigger hook does help with manipulating the 3 strands of yarn which ultimately give the basket a more solid form that holds the doll inside the basket.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

16 Inch Baby Doll Sundress with Hat

Just about every year I start the baby doll donation clothes with this outfit because it is quick and easy and thus starts the year with a bit of confidence.

In order to accomadate additional guests Christmas Eve this year I had to clean out the yarn in my living room. This meant making room for it in my already over crowded spare room. In doing that cleaning I became more determined to attack the orphan yarn problem. Every year I start with the intention of using up yarn in my stash, but this experience made the need more clear. I just have lots of yarn that needs to be targeted with a specific project. There are some colors and yarns I use and buy again constantly for various projects. However, there are these other yarns that get bought for a project and then abandoned when the project is finished and I have more yarn than I needed or the colors didn't work...

I started by making doll blankets. When I came across this yarn left over from an afghan project back in 2011 I decided it was time to attach it to a specific project. I was working on another doll blanket at the time so starting another doll blanket seemed like a bad choice. In looking at my patterns I decided a baby doll dress could work. I had a ball of white yarn I've been trying to finish off and that became my trim.

This is an out of print pattern available only through the use of the Wayback machine here.

The trim on the dress and the hat are not part of the pattern. The dress is a simple sc chain 3 sc trim. I did a reverse sc on the hat for a trim.

I still have more of this skein to use up so I'm thinking of making a second dress for the other donation doll using a different trim.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Crochet Valentine's Day Cookies

Not even half way through January and I was working on Valentine's Day projects. I hadn't even finished getting all the Christmas decorations put away. The truth is however, if you are going to send hand made gifts you have to get a head start. Even a bigger start if you have to mail a package.

I've always been a fan of play food. I think it encourages pretend play. Adding holiday food just makes it even more fun. You can keep these as heart sugar cookies in your play food box or bring them out for the holidays as something to play with after all the Christmas toys and decorations have been put away.

This pattern is part of one of my favorite Valentine pattern sets created by Crochet Village called My Silly Valentine. Crochet Village used to have a website but the company seems to have moved to Etsy. You can purchase the pattern here.

There are a few container patterns available in crochet and plastic canvas in heart shapes. I considered the option and dismissed it. While I love making hand made gifts I'm realistic about how well certain items last under little hands. Measuring the time and effort required to make a crocheted box versus how long it would last I began looking online for my options. I found two different heart shaped boxes at Hobby Lobby. Since we just had a Hobby Lobby open near us, I even avoided shipping. You can find the box online here.

Monday, January 20, 2020


It's hard to believe I'm still posting about Christmas presents but I think I'm pretty close to the end of 2019 Christmas gifts. This is what happens when you are finishing Christmas presents in the middle of December to get them mailed and you want to post them so you'll have some record of what you've made for future reference.

This was the last dino I was able to finish for the dinosaur package. I had hoped to add a mammal to the package with a Wooly Mammoth but I ran right up to my deadline finishing the flippers on this one. Perhaps the mammoth will make it into a birthday package.

This pattern was part of a pattern set gifted to me from my husband many years ago but you can still purchase it. It has moved from Etsy to Ravelry. I don't believe she offers the patterns as single patterns. You can find it here.

This was another experiment with sports yarn. I had bought a bunch of AC Moore's Nicole brand yarn to experiment with smaller dolls for either gifts or donations for next year. I've not decided which direction I'm going with the smaller dolls. However, with AC Moore closing I figured I can't rely on it as a source for these yarns so I don't want to get dependent on them as a reliable source of yarn that will fit these dolls so using the yarn for another project didn't seem like a bad choice.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Baby Doll Diapers

Right after Thanksgiving I did an inventory of the doll donations and realized I was short on baby doll items. Right after I dropped off the doll donation and mailed out my Christmas boxes I decided that I would start on the baby dolls to prevent another Thanksgiving baby doll marathon crochet session. The doll diapers work up pretty quickly so it was a great place to start. The most time consuming part is actually sewing on the snaps. The pattern calls for buttons, but I've always thought the snaps were a better option. A week before Christmas and the doll diapers for next year's donation were ready to head into the donation bags.

I was thrilled that the new baby dolls come with baby bottles so those don't need to be made this year. It's the small things in life that make us grateful. Those little small items would seem to be quick to make but they do add up when you are making multiples.

You can still find this pattern via the Wayback machine here although I'm always worried it will disappear. My copy is precious as it is my go to pattern every year.

Thursday, January 16, 2020


I've been collecting Planet June's animal patterns for years. Her dinos are a particular favorite of mine as they work up quickly and her directions are pretty clear and direct. You can purchase the pattern here. She also sells sets of patterns which sometimes make the patterns more affordable as do sales. I believe DH gifted me a couple of the dino sets as presents because dinos are popular gifts.

This was a great chance to use up some sport yarn I've had left over from various projects. In many respects this dino project was my orphan yarn project. It was a great chance to dig into some skeins that I'd had left over from other projects or were my "extra" skein I'd bought so I wouldn't run out when working on another gift. Now of course I need to find a way to finish them off so they stop taking up space.

Just so I don't confuse anyone these dino patterns call for regular worsted weight yarn. I wanted smaller dinos which is why I decided to dig into my sports yarn stash. I wanted a collection that would be fun but take up less room. The lighter weight yarn helped bring down the overall size of the animals.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


As I mentioned in a previous post my second Christmas box that left the house was full of dinosaurs. I was on a very tight schedule so I tried to choose patterns that would work up quickly. I also changed from my normal pattern of using worsted weight yarn to lighter sport weight yarn as many of these dino patterns can be huge and I didn't want storage to become an issue.

The Little "Un T. Rex can only be found through the Wayback machine here. I've had this pattern on my to do list for a very long time and just never had the right occasion. I've got a couple of other more complicated T-Rex patterns that I'm hoping to put on a birthday finish list. It never hurts to have a couple. My experience is they tend to get in tangles with one another.

This one worked out well for my purposes. He stands well but you will want to stuff the legs firmly without over stuffing. It is a tough balance, but easier than several other dino patterns I've made with dinos that stand on the back legs.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Baby Doll Summer Fun Set

One of the things that made this past years donation project special was I was determined to try projects in my crochet pattern binders that I had printed either free or paid patterns and never made. This Crochet Yarn Summer Fun Set is a paid pattern found here. It had felt good to know I'm finishing patterns I've I requested as gifts or even just downloaded when they were free and didn't just hide them in a binder for some day.

In theory this pattern does work up quickly. The main challenge my brain seemed to have was working in spaces rather than into stitches. I read the directions. In theory I understood the directions. At times I even performed the directions for a row. Then I'd get distracted with something going on around me and before I knew it I'd find I'd started working my stitches into the stitches from the previous round and I'd have to pull back to where I'd been working the directions correctly.

This is an adorable set and I don't know why I haven't made it before. It was a great chance to use up yarn from the doll blanket from the Big Sister project as the trim for this outfit.

This dress was designed for the Bitty Baby not the 16 inch doll I used so I made some adjustments. The fit of the suit was fine. However the skirt was too short to cover the bathing suit as shown in the pattern so I added rows. The coverup had the same issue so I again added rows to have it equal the length shown in the pattern picture.

As for the shoes these were a PERFECT FIT!!! If you follow this blog you will know shoes have been a challenge for this doll. I have 2 patterns now that fit and I'll be using them more frequently to provide shoes for the dolls.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Little Red Riding Bear

I fell in love with this bear pattern years ago and received it as a gift, but never had the chance to make it. While it is I promise the last Red Riding hood project I'll post for a while it wasn't the last I finished. I just chose to write about it last because it was one of those projects I had wanted to make so long it was almost a promise to myself.

For those of you interested you can purchase the patterns for Red and her Grandma here.

Teddy bears have always been a favorite of mine and themed bears even more so. Sharing that love is an even greater pleasure.

I like it when the designer talks about options. In this case one option was to give Red a white dress rather than red to contrast with her hood. This made sense as the Red dress and hood were a bit too much together. The white dress actually helped the hood stand out. This actually helped my thinking when making the Baby Doll Red Riding Hood outfit. As I mentioned in a previous blog I was working on multiple projects at once prior to shipping everything before Christmas so one project sometimes helped me rethink another.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Little Red Riding Hood Finger Puppets

It's the New Year and I'm still catching up on posting my Christmas projects but there are worse fates. Little Red Riding Hood was a theme for one of the family members I was making gifts for this year. I'd made her Handmade Kitty's Three Little Pig Finger Puppets for her birthday so it seemed fitting I add the Red Riding Hood ones for Christmas. You can purchase the pattern here.

I've always been a huge fan of matching toys to books. I sent along a couple different versions of the Red Riding Hood tale to go with the present as I did with the Three Little Pigs. I think puppets are a great way to extend the play with a story. I've come a long way with the puppets and I promise myself some day I will master the houses for these puppet sets.

These are great scrap projects. I used up more left over bobbins from the farm blanket I blogged about previously. I've been targeting color choices on various projects in an attempt to use them up. I also used up some light cotton yarn I've been trying to finish off as I don't have enough to do much with but I don't want to waste it either.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Bert the Triceratops

While I speak mostly about the little girls I make presents for a couple of years ago a family member had a little boy who had a dinosaur baby theme. I made a blanket and some dinos. I always had the intention of getting back to making more dinos but life has a way of mocking you. So this Christmas after finishing off the girls stuff I got to working on the dinosaurs.

If you are ever stuck and need a quick dino crochet pattern Bizzy Crochet's Bert pattern is for you. You can find the free pattern here.

Bert was another great stash busting project. This was a lighter yarn I'd bought for a teddy bear project a while back and hadn't had a use for it since. Bert was a quick day project and using the lighter yarn and f hook he was a nice small size compared to many of the dino pattern that are huge and can make storage of the animals more challenging. This is also more in line with play size which is also a plus.

After finishing this around December 10th I immediately began work on a reindeer ornament and a T-Rex. The T-Rex is larger but using lighter yarn smaller than the pattern suggested. The reindeer is using the same yarn as Bert. I'm hoping to finish off that skein and see it gone with this project.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Red Riding Hood Set

This was actually the last set I made but I do have one more to write about that I'll mention next week. I almost didn't make this set. I had another set I'd had my eye on since I landed on the idea of doing the Red Riding Hood theme. However, time was starting to be an issue.

To complete the other set Red Riding Hood had rather long legs with red and white striped stocking which meant lots of color changes and weaving in ends just for her legs. While the effect was cool the time was an issue. It also lacked a Grandma.

As I was flipping through my pattern books I stumbled across a free Red Riding Hood pattern I'd printed ages ago from Red Heart that was a complete set that had Grandma, the wolf and Red herself. While adding a character the time needed for each was significantly less. Problem solved this was my pattern for the final Red Riding Hood project.

This is a Michelle Wilcox pattern and you can find the free pattern here.

For those of you used to round ami construction starting at the top of the head and working down these are a little different. These work from the front of the face to the back. The legs are formed as one piece and divided through sewing yarn to make an indentation. I liked the change, especially the way it allowed for Red's hair. It made adding eyes easier as well. If you don't like the leg formation it would be easy enough to adapt to a more traditional ami style. I rather liked it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

It was a very Nursery Rhyme Fairy Tale themed Christmas gifting season for one set of presents this year. As I've written many times I love toys that link to books. I sent along My First Mother Goose with Humpty and this gift. I thought they'd make the rhymes more fun.

This is an old out of print Michele Wilcox pattern found in an 1988 Annie's Attic pattern booklet called Toy Chest. Annie's has been recently releasing some of their out of print patterns so if I do discover this one I will post a link. After writing up the Humpty blog post I stumbled across the pattern looking for another out of print pattern on their e-pattern site and updated my post to include the link for anyone who might want to make that pattern. You never know when they will reissue an old pattern in digital format.

The challenge of this pattern wasn't the shoe it was completing all the little people. I alternated making little people with finishing other projects. It was the only way to finish everything that needed to get done. It almost became assembly line crochet. Finish a little person, crochet an arm of something else, start .... and return to little person. I did get a remarkable amount of stuff done.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Little Red Riding Hood Baby Doll

I've always been a fan of combining play with children's books. This year's theme for the older child I was making gifts ford was Little Red Riding Hood. I found different versions of the story and worked on ways to bring the story to life. One was to give her baby doll a Little Red outfit of its own.

If you ever explore the world of baby doll crochet patterns you will discover you can't always find exactly what you want for patterns. You often have to do quite a bit of adaptation. Even if you find the right theme it may not be the right size. 18 inch dolls have had a broader appeal for designers and you often see more themed patterns for outfits. I've used some of these from time to time to help me reconstruct items for the baby dolls, too.

This outfit was made from a combination of patterns. I chose an 18 inch doll pattern that can be purchased here for the cape. This is an easy cape pattern to work up and when I purchased it I had the Red Riding Hood theme in mind. I needed a dress for Baby Hood to wear. I had recently come across a free pattern I hadn't tried out yet that was done in turquoise with white trim. I decided to make white my primary color and pick up the red from the cape. You can find that free pattern here. Lastly while Baby Hood may not be walking she wasn't going off into the woods without shoes. This was accomplished with another free pattern, one of the few that fit her feet, found here.

Just a note on the dress the free pattern is written in UK terms. I ended up crossing out the UK terms and writing in the US terms as I've learned from pervious experiences while I tell myself I'll remember to translate my brain doesn't. As it was I had to pull out the contrasting color as I'd made it in dc instead of sc as I noticed I didn't cross out all the UK references as I thought. This is just a note to myself in case I reprint the pattern at some point. As much as I think I can mentally translate and remember, I tend to forget.

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