Friday, February 28, 2020

Baby Doll Carrier

I'm very excited to say I'm done with the second doll carrier for the 2020 donation!!! This means no more for this year unless I need one for a gift. This rarely happens, but I did need an extra one last year.

The only real challenge with this pattern is the need to crochet with 3 skeins of yarn. It is a bit hard on the hands. I tend to alternate working on the carriers and working on another project.

I was able to finish the first project using stash yarn. This was the first donation project I needed to purchase yarn to make this year. I just couldn't find three matching skeins of yarn in appropriate colors. I don't feel to bad. Not everything is going to work out as a stash busting project.

For those of you who are interested in making your own doll carrier this pattern is a free pattern available here.

I finished this at the beginning of February so I making good progress getting the baby dolls ready for the donation.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Drop Waist Baby Doll Gown

I didn't precisely set out to change this pattern into a drop waist dress, but I did want the top of the dress to be longer before I started the skirt based on my experience from making the first dress. I actually kind of like the look of this dress. When I attempt this again I might make the top a little shorter but I'd still stick with the dropped waist. I rather like how it looks.

For those of you interested in making doll clothes you can find a free pattern for the dress and hat here. The shoes are from another free pattern set Peachy Keen found here. Since they fit the JC Toys, La Baby 16-inch Pink Dollwith minimal challenges it has become my pattern of choice. I use an I hook to get the shoes to fit and I add a couple of chains to the strap and the shoes fit easily. I've tried several other patterns with varied success. I also find the strap helps keep the shoes on. Even when I can find a pattern that fits, the shoes still don't always stay on the feet.

This project helped me with my mission to wipe out the orphan yarn in my stash. This is another ball of sport baby yarn that thankfully is much smaller than the yellow ball. I've used it on several other projects over the years, but it takes a while to finish one off. I think I still at least one more doll project left before I can declare this ball finished.

Some notes for myself I used an I hook with the sport yarn to make the outfit fit the doll. I used a snap as a closure the fist time I made this outfit this year. This time I made the dress in the round allowing it to be slid on and off and it works fine. I would do that in the future as it is simple to make and for the child to dress the doll.

I write this during the last days of January and I can see my stash of baby doll clothes growing for the doll donation. I'm hopeful in February to have enough of a supply that I can start to turn to the 18 inch dolls and continue on my holiday boxes going out to family.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Baby Doll Splash of Color

I generally don't like making duplicates of patterns in the same donation, but this year in order to increase the number of baby doll outfits I've been crocheting two outfits from each pattern to increase the number of outfits I can donate for the baby dolls. This way both baby dolls I donate have a copy of each outfit I make. However, for my own sanity I have refused to use the same colors. In order to make it feel a little different I've been using different colors.

As I mentioned in the Dress for February post I adapted this dress from a free Dora the Explorer 15 inch doll pattern found here. Fall colors have always been favorites of mine so I decided to go with red, orange, and yellow. The shoes are as always from the free Peachy Keen pattern found here.

Notes for adaptations:

I needed a K hook for the bodice of the dress. I switched to an I hook as soon as I started the skirt. It quickly gets to large in the skirt area without switching over to the I hook.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Baby Doll Parrot Stripe

In the grey days of winter I love the chance to work with bright colors. I needed to make a second version of this pattern so I went looking in my stash for another striped yarn and came out with Red Hear Super Savor Parrot Stripe. While the Fruity Stripe continues to be my favorite color for this pattern, Parrot Stripe is becoming a close second.

What pattern you may ask? This is actually a free 18" doll pattern available on Ravelry here. With an H hook this pattern fits the JC Toys, La Baby 16-inch Pink as long as you check that it doesn't go too long. I used a snap to close the back.

The shoes are my go to free pattern Peachy Keen found here. I'm still playing with the hat pattern so I have nothing to post yet.

Monday, February 24, 2020

St. Patrick's Day Finger Puppets

One of the hardest holiday boxes to put together each year is the St. Patrick's Day package because I have trouble finding a variety of new patterns to try each year. I suspect I'm getting close on the Valentine's front but I still have a couple of patterns I haven't used yet.

Over the years I've found myself turning non-holiday patterns into holiday patterns adding Leprechaun hats, Santa hats, Easter baskets, etc. to expand my ability to deliver holiday themed items. I also have found some holiday themed projects transfer to other holidays rather easily.

Puppets have always been a favorite if not challenging project for me to add to these packages. I think it's a great way for kids to tell stories and even interact with the books I always put in these packages. There are two challenges. One is finding patterns that fit the theme. The second applies more to the finger puppets. They are small tight projects. These can be challenging for my hands. However, I continue to make them because I do think they are fun for kids.

Now for those of you waiting for the pattern information there is no actual St. Patrick's Day finger puppet pattern. As I said it is a tough holiday for toy patterns. However there are two free Pilgrim patterns that adapt pretty well for this project. You can find the male pattern here and the female here.

For my notes I made these from peach yarn no longer available and Knit Picks cotton. The bodies were made with a g hook the accessories with an e. A reminder that you need to weave in ends before you finish off as it can be very hard to get into the inside to finish off once you get past the area you are working on if you fail to finish off the ends when you cut them.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Baby Doll Diaper Bag Items

Last year I got distracted in the middle of making the diaper bag items. This year I had them finished in early January and it was a nice feeling to have something off my to do list. I've been working on grabbing yarn from my stash to use on projects and this mint green yarn just called to me. In the past I've primarily used pink or purple but it was a pleasure to branch out to green. I might continue this direction next year and stray away from pinks and purples.

One of the advantages of posting what I have done is it does help me keep track of what I've completed or remind me what I've made in the past. While working on this last diaper bag set I realized by looking at a previous post I'd forgotten to make the bib and was quickly able to finish one and add it to the pile. It's a simple way to track which patterns I use and which ones I've discarded in favor of better options.

The wipes and diaper changing pad are part of a paid pattern set and can be purchased here. The changing pad was another one of those travel projects. It was a simple project to take with me as it required little counting, but using down time to finish a project I needed completed makes waiting less frustrating.

The bib pattern is a free pattern found here. It adjust easily to the size of your doll by changing the size of your starting chain.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Baby Doll Yellow Daisy Dress

I'm continuing on my mission to use up orphan skeins of yarn in my stash. This yellow is part of one of those huge balls of sport baby yarn. This is the second doll dress I've made from it and I swear you can barely notice a dent in it. I'm determined not to surrender though. I will eventually finish it off.

This is a fun easy free doll pattern found here. In order to make this fit the JC Toys, La Baby 16-inch Pink Dollusing sport yarn instead of worsted weight I used an I hook.

This pattern does not include shoes. It's taken me a while to find a pattern that fits and I keep going back to the shoes from the free pattern Peachy Keen found here.

The pattern uses velcro to join the back. It had been a while since I'd made this particular pattern and I never use Velcro because I find it hard to sew. I used a snap closure for dress but when I make the second one the dress is loose enough I believe I will just close the seem, add the staps and not worry about creating a closure. It should slide on easily and save me the hassle of buttons or snaps.

I'm writing this at the end of January and I feel like I'm making a good start to getting these dolls dressed for the donation due at the end of November beginning of December. The baby dolls tend to get neglected as I find the 18 inch doll clothes a bit more fun and creative to make. However, this year I'm sticking to my promise to focus on getting the baby dolls dressed before moving on to the 18 inch dolls.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Baby Doll Lula Gown

I discussed this pattern previously in the Baby Doll Day of Play post. I adapted a premi pattern that can be found here.

My first attempt at this project didn't work with a lighter weight yarn. It was just too tight for the baby doll. I have written quite a bit about my mission to attack my orphan stash yarns and this project fit right into that mission. While looking through my stash for an orphan yarn to use for this project I came across a single skein of Herrschnerrs Bulky 5 weight yarn. I went to look it up but they don't actually carry this yarn any longer. While it is a 5 weight it isn't your typical bulky yarn. While slightly heavier than a 4 it is no where near what I normally think of as a 5 weight. It worked out well for this project.

I used an f hook for the top of the dress and an I hook for the bottom. I sewed the seem up the back of the dress leaving an opening that was closed with a snap at the top. I made a chain 3 trim at the top and bottom of the dress with variegated yarn to add a little color.

There wasn't enough yarn to make the shoes so I grabbed another orphan yarn ball of purple to make shoes. The pattern is the Peachy Keen one you see often sighted here on this blog here.

I had a little bulky yarn left over and I was determined to use it up so I started a hat and finished it off with the orphan yarn I used for the shoes. I don't have a pattern for the hat. I've been making them for a while and it was primarily an increasing circle with a shell pattern brim. I increased the hat until it was big enough for the head and then made rows of alternating sc and hdc until the hat was long enough. Then I used shell patterns to make the brim.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Baby Doll Sunset Dress

Well technically I can't claim this is part of my plan to destash my orphan yarn. The truth is as soon as my supply of Red Heart Super Saver Fruity Stripe is close to being finished it will be replaced in my stash. I love the colors in this yarn and and constantly finding ways to use it. It will only disappear from my stash when it is discontinued and that will be after I hit all the local stores to stock up on it before I can't get it any longer. But enough about my yarn obsession.

I found myself wanting to work with some bright vibrant colors and this yarn has been calling to me for some weeks. Generally I use this yarn and this pattern for the 18 Inch doll but it seemed like a good time to expand the options for baby doll outfits. You can find this free pattern here.

I use an H hook for both the baby doll and the 18" dolls or I find with my gauge the dress is too tight with the suggested g hook.

At some point I will write down the pattern for this hat, but I'm still playing with it.

The shoes are from the free Peachy Keen pattern found here. I don't see myself changing at this point the shoes are easy to make and don't fall off the doll's feet. I do need an I hook to get them to fit the JC Toys, La Baby 16-inch Pink Soft Baby Doll but that is a small change to make if they stay on the feet.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Irish Bear

I finished this guy up just before the Super Bowl. I'm working on getting the St. Patrick's Day holiday box ready to mail and he seemed like he'd be a good addition.

The pattern comes from an out of print American School of Needlework Crochet Pairs of Bears #1182 for those of you who may want to look for it. The original bears are much smaller. The pattern calls for them to be made from sport weight yarn and a C hook. This did not work for my plan so I used worsted weight 4 yarn and a g hook. I liked the outcome. I still have the Mrs. to make but I have time as I write this on Super Bowl Sunday and the kids likely are still playing with the Valentine items I sent.

The most challenging parts I found were the jacket and the tail. I didn't get the tail quite right so it doesn't actually stick out of the hole in the pants the way it is supposed to as it is too flat. The jacket finally came out but it took me two tries before I was sure I had it right. I chose to sew the buckles on rather than use felt as suggested in the pattern. I didn't want stuff coming off with little hands.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Heart Dishcloth

As I mentioned in a previous post, I thought I was done with making Valentine's items and then I found two kitchen patterns that just called to be made and placed in my kitchen. I love holiday themed dishcloths and potholders. It's a simple and practical way to add some decorative feel to my kitchen.

You can find the free pattern here.

This is a fun quick project if you are looking to add some holiday decor to your kitchen. It works up in a rather unique manner for a heart. I haven't seen one that works up quite like this one does. I had a little trouble with the trim as the two kitchen cotton brands while the same weight were within the range of the weight but not the same. The white was heavier than the pink and made it a bit more challenging working the trim.

I'm happy with this first attempt and may at some point try it again with two skeins of the same brand of cotton yarn.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Baby Doll Day of Play

I'm always looking for patterns that can be adapted to fit the baby doll. I came across this pattern here and thought perhaps I could make it fit the baby doll. I've used some of her patterns in the past with some success.

I believe it would have fit if I'd stuck with worsted weight 4 yarn, but I've been determined to finish off this purple yarn which is more of a 3 weight. So while the top section fit well with the prescribed hook size E, even moving up to an I hook for the skirt, the body was just too tight for this doll. I may try it again at some point with a heavier weight yarn as I do like the pattern of the skirt.

Having put the time and effort into making the top section I pulled out the project to top length where it was loose fitting and finished it off. After putting all the effort into it I wanted to explore a way to finish this off and use it as another outfit for the doll donation. I decided to add the short pants to it to finish it off.

I like to give attribution when I adapt patterns. The pants were inspired by the Santa Baby pattern that can be purchased here. That being said if you've ever made doll pants they aren't hard to figure out if you are just looking for a simple pair. Once you've made a few it isn't too hard to make another pair.

I added variegated trim to the outfit as my purpose is different than that of the original designer of the outfit. I was looking for a fun doll outfit for a child to dress a doll. Her purpose is more serious.

As a note to myself I used a snap as a closure at the top and a tie in the middle of the back to close the top. If I had made the complete dress I'd likely have sewed the seem and closed with snaps.

The shoes may be familiar if you have been reading this blog they come from the free Peachy Keen pattern found here.

This project finished this skein of purple but I believe sadly I unearthed another skein when I found the big ball of yellow baby yarn. I have no idea how I ended up with so much of this yarn but I hope that it will soon be gone. I do feel good about targeting yarn I don't plan on replacing. In the past I've used up yarn true, but it has primarily been colors I'll be buying again as they are primary colors for my projects. I'm hoping to make real progress with destashing this year on yarn that won't be replaced and restocked. I could really use the space.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Heart Potholder

I love reading crochet blogs. People have such a range of talents and interests. Some are pattern designers. Some like me blog and link to the patterns they work from so others can find them, but there is always something to see and learn.

When I posted the Hearts Couple I thought I was done with Valentine's projects for this year. However I came across two house patterns that I couldn't resist. Digging into my stash I found I had yarn to make them and couldn't resist trying them out.

This potholder was the first. You can find the free pattern at Crochet for You here.

What truly made my day about this potholder was it was crocheted in the round in one piece which is rare for potholders I've made in the past.

The traditional method is to make 2 sides and sew or crochet the sides together. If you are good at making two sides exactly alike this method is not an issue for you. If however, you are like me and one of these things is not always exactly like the other, it can prove a bit more challenging when the time comes to put the two together. This is one reason I only occasionally make squares that are sewn together for blankets. They don't have to be off by much to make the blanket a little awkward looking.

I'm quite pleased with my potholder. Looking at my kitchen I am acquiring a supply of holiday and non-holiday crocheted potholders that have been gifted to me or that I've made. The holday one's especially add a little cheer to the kitchen when they come out for the month of their holiday.

While called potholders mine tend to be used as hot pads as we use mitts for carrying or picking up hot items. These however work great on the counters or table for hot items.

One note potholders need to be made from cotton not acrylic. I know some people use wool but I find cotton to be easier to work with when I'm making them. Acrylic yarn will melt under heat and thus is not a great choice for potholders that will be used under heat. If you make them to hang as decorations it shouldn't be an issue.

I have been checking lately because while some brands are 100% cotton, there are a few on the market that are blends and while I will use those for dishcloths I keep them separte in my stash beccause I only use 100% cotton for potholders. I mention it only because I only discovered it accidentally that a brand I picked up in the store wasn't 100% cotton. Thankfully it didn't matter because I was making a dishcloth. However, since then I've been more careful about how I buy and store the brands I have so they don't get mixed in my stash.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Baby Doll Dress for February

This dress came from a free pattern found here for a 15 inch Dora the Explorer doll. I've gotten used to having to adapt doll patterns to fit the JC Toys 16-inch Pink Baby Doll as doll patterns aren't written specifically to fit this doll.

It took a bit of experimenting but I realized that for the bodice of the dress I needed a K hook to make the dress fit. Anything smaller and it was just too tight on top. However, a K hook for the skirt made the dress much too large so I went back to the suggested hook size I for the skirt.

There is a shoe pattern with this pattern but I went back to my tried and true Peachy Keen pattern for the shoes. I know they fit and they don't fall off so these are the shoes the baby doll will be wearing. You can find that pattern here. I do have the complete Peachy Keen set on my list of patterns to make for the donation this year. However, right now the shoes make an appearance constantly.

I loved the holiday colors for this dress and have plans to make a second dress in different colors to keep the donation bags even. While I've been able to convince myself repeating patterns is necessary to have enough baby doll clothes for this donation, I do draw the line at having to repeat the colors all the time.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Post Stitch Baby Doll Afghan

Every year I promise myself I'll do something about the ever growing and aging stash of yarn in my spare bedroom. I do get rid of some of it every year but at the end of the year I realize I haven't done as well as I need to to make any real dent in the problem. During the Christmas break I started targeting yarn that could be used up on specific projects. I had these huge round balls of baby sport yarn I'd bought years ago thinking I could use them for Barbie projects. When they didn't work out they got boxed and pulled out occasionally for small projects but it takes quite a bit to "finish off" one of these huge balls.

So I began putting them to use. I made one doll blanket and still had what I thought was sufficient yarn for a second. That turned out to be overalls optimistic. I started out making the Post Stitch pattern from Annabelle's Doll Afghans patterns which can be purchased here. The pattern does call for white trim, but I needed to also add white and start using up and orphan skein of vareigated baby yarn for trim in order to finish it all off. I rather like this blanket and it was a great way to clean out some yarn that needed to go. It is also one more blanket done for the donation finished before the New Year even had begun.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Baby Doll Sundress with Shell Trim

I was reading a post a Crochetville about stretching yarn and hoping it would last for to finish a project. I ran into that making doll blankets this year.

However, this specific yarn seems to be endless. I thought I'd easily finish it off making the two sundresses but there is quite a bit more left in this skein and while searching for yarn for another project what should I find but another skein of this yarn that needs to be finished off this year. It is going to be a very purple donation.

That being said it is fun to try to change things just a little with these patterns to keep them interesting since they do get repeated so many times.

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

The dress is a simple pattern which it is why I love it so much. It works up quickly and has adapted well to the changes in doll sizes over the years. That being said this year I've found myself looking to add to it just a little to challenge myself.

This time I added a shell border with some baby yarn that also has proven remarkably hard to finish off. It is a small skein and I was sure it would be done by now as it has trimmed a few items but it has proven remarkably stubborn.

For the hat I changed to dc after the 2sc in each row. This gave the hat a different look. Then I also did a shell border on the hat. As I said not huge changes but something to keep it interesting.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hugging Heart Couple

I rarely end up making things to decorate my own house. However after making the Hugging Hearts to send out with the Valentine's package I couldn't resist making the original boy and girl couple for my own Valentine's decorations. They really are adorable shelf sitters.

As I wrote about before the pattern for these is part of My Silly Valentine available from Crochet Village on Etsy here. I bought this set back when Crochet Village had their own website. However, while I've used this pattern regularly over the years, this holiday has certainly been quite the revival for it. It has provided patterns for most of my Valentine projects.

This has been a great scrap project. I have lots of red and pink balls of yarn left over from various doll and Christmas projects. This is a great way to dig into those and finish some of them off.

It seems strange that I'm writing this in mid January and I'm already done with Valentine's day projects and moving on to St. Patrick's Day. A good sign. I hope I can continue to stay ahead on both the gifting and the charity side.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Yellow Baby Doll Dress

Every year I promise myself that I will attack my stash yarn. As I write this in January, I feel like I'm already making a bigger impact on that goal than I have in previous years because I'm digging in to yarn that has been living here far too long.

I mentioned in a previous post about this pattern that I wanted to experiment with making this pattern with sport yarn, but didn't want to buy any. So I went digging to see what I had on hand. This dress was a product of that goal. I found one of those big balls of baby sport yarn and found a matching Bernat Satin to use as trim. I'm going to continue to look for patterns to use up the yellow ball along with the endless purple I've got on hand.

Notes to myself. I started out following the pattern directions but the dress was too tight using the e hook. I ended up needing a g hook to make this fit using sport weight yarn. With the g it is loose enough for little hands to take the dress off on and off easily as it has no buttons or snaps and one must be able to pull it on and off. While this is a plus for me because I don't have to sew buttons, it does require a balance to make it loose enough to allow it to slip on and off but not so big that it hangs off the doll. I think I accomplished that by going to the g hook.

I used two free patterns to make this outfit. The dress and hat are from Linmary Knits here. The shoes are also from a free pattern set Peachy Keen available here.

The shoes are a darker color as I needed to make them from worsted weight and this is the lightest yellow I have on hand. I need an I hook to make these shoes fit the doll.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Leprechaun Baby Doll

In January I kind of got in the mood to make holiday outfits to send out as part of my holiday packages. If you read the blog you know I sent a Big Sister baby doll out to a family member when she was getting a baby sister and I've been crocheting holiday outfits ever since as part of the holiday packages I've been mailing out since she was a baby.

Making baby doll outfits can be challenging because as I've mentioned in previous posts you rarely are using patterns designed for the doll you are working to cloth. It generally requires you to adapt patterns from different kinds of dolls to get what you want. This project was a meld of several patterns.

The first pattern you may recognize if you read some of the holiday posts. The dress was adapted from the Santa Baby pattern which can be purchased on Etsy here. For my own notes I went down to a E hook size this time. I might consider sport yarn if I had it on hand for another try. It still is a bit bulky. Perhaps a lighter worsted? That being said this was another great stash busting project. I was able to use up yarn left off on some bobbins from an afghan project. Everything used on this project came from my stash. It feels good to be using up yarn and not needing to purchase yarn to complete a project.

The hat comes from a book I bought for the 18 Inch Dolls Amigurumi Holiday Hats for 18-Inch Dolls I reduced the hook to a G and the hat fit fine. I generally find I have to increase the suggested H hook size to get the hats to fit the 18 inch dolls which is why I only went down one hook size.

The shoes have become one of got to baby doll patterns. It is part of the free pattern Peach Keen found here. These work up quickly and best of all I find they stay on pretty well, which is one of the bigger challenges with making baby doll shoes. The first is getting them to fit because unlike the 18 inch dolls that have flat feet baby doll feet tend to have curled toes or other odd shaping which can make them tough to fit. This then adds to the general problem of making doll shoes in general, keeping them on the doll feet.

In the past I've tended not to make baby doll shoes but recently I've been pushing myself to add them as it makes a more finished look to the outfits.

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