Friday, May 29, 2020

18 Inch Doll Cable Link Sweater and Skirt

I am pleased that I'm making progress on my efforts to create separates and non-costumed outfits this year. While I love making the doll themed outfits and already have a few lined up on my to do list there is more to outfiting a doll than themed costumes. Having the basics is important too. However, I sometimes neglect making those in favor of the themed costumes for the dolls. This year I am trying to do better.

This is actually my second try at the skirt from the free pattern Dovetailed found here. I'll be posting about the finished project I made for the Our Generation doll next week. I thought I had enough yarn to make a second outfit for the My Life Doll using the blue yarn but I clearly underestimated how much yarn I had on hand. I had enough for a skirt but not enough to complete the outfit. Just a note for myself, the skirt fits the My Life Doll better with a g hook if you don't use elastic.

Now I needed a top so I turned to my out of print Sweater Trio pattern published by Fibre Craft in 1999 FCM494 for those who might want to search for it. I've made this pattern for several years but it has always felt a bit bulky to me.

I've tried making it with an e hook and that helped a little but it still had that feel of wearing an bigger sister's wardrobe. This year I decided to go back to that purple baby yarn you may have seen across several projects now that I've been trying to use up. I swear it multiplies at night. I used the required f hook instead of going down to the e as I had before, but with the lighter 3 yarn it fit better.

While you can't see it in this picture the sweater pattern includes a headband pattern that also uses the cable loops which for some reason I find to be fun to put together. It is not something I get to do frequently in crochet, but it is a fun little exercise when making this project.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Our Generation Sock Yarn Skirt and Top

A few years back while attending a fiber festival I won a box of Spud and Chloe sock yarn as a vendor prize. While I have constantly used the yarn needle and round cardboard holder they gave out (I may have substituted needles since then) I had a small issue with the sock yarn. I don't make socks. The yarn is beautiful and the women I was with with thrilled for me but I was concerned this yarn would become a permanent resident of my ever growing stash.

Sure enough as I have been digging through my stash to target yarn that has to go during the doll projects this year I came across the box of Spud and Chloe sock yarn and decided it was time to make use of it for the doll donation. I remembered ABC knitting had some crochet doll outfits that might work and set out to see what I could target.

I started with the skirt which called for fingering yarn. You can find the free pattern for the skirt here. This pattern calls for a D hook with the sock yarn I used a C hook to make it fit and next time I might go down to a B. While it has a draw string it was loose at the waist for the My Life doll. It fit better on the Our Generation Doll with the C hook.

I used another free crochet pattern from ABC Knitting for the top. I reversed the jacket from the Elizabeth pattern found here. Instead of a cardigan, I made it a shirt that closes in the back. I used snaps instead of buttons to close it.

I have a small ball of the dark pink and a good size ball of the dark pink left so I'm sure you will see those in future projects.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Our Generation Neon Dress, Hat and Purse

A while back I needed to make more kitchen scrubbies and to entertain myself I picked up brightly colored striped and variegated yarn to make them. The scrubbies finished I of course had left over yarn that has been sitting in my stash wondering when it would be put to use. Every year I promise myself I will tackle the orphan yarns in my stash during the doll project and I make some progress each year. This year with the COVID crisis I've been making more of an effort as my choices are limited to using up my stash or ordering online. So, I've been pushing myself to find ways to use up that yarn that catches my eye when I go into my yarn storage and wonder when will I ever find a use for.....

While pulling the yarn to make the dress for the My Life doll this neon yarn called to me and it just seemed like a good fit for the Our Generation doll.

To make this pattern work for the Our Generation doll I needed to increase the hook size to an I hook. I also added rows to make the skirt longer. The hat was an experiment. The purse was simply a square made with front post and back post stitches. I joined yarn on the starting row and made the back with dc's. I crocheted around the edges joining them with the purse strap chains to get to the other side. Not elegant but it worked.

For those of you who are interested you can find the free pattern for the dress here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Our Generation Elizabeth Skirt and Summer Jacket

While I repeat many patterns each year for the donation I like the challenge of trying new patterns each year. This is a free pattern set found at ABC Knitting here. Don't let the name confuse you this site has free crochet and knitting patterns. I am not much of a knitter so you can guarantee when I make doll clothes they are crochet.

As you may have come to expect if you read this blog I played with this pattern just a little bit. The pattern called for size 3 thread. I'm not a huge fan of working with crochet thread so I wanted to see if I could make it with baby yarn. It was a bit bulky for the My Life Doll but it fit the Our Generation Doll. I did make the skirt and the jacket longer as they were both short on the Springfield Doll I was using to size the outfit. However, when it was finished it looked a little boxy. I tried in on the Our Generation Doll and I liked the fit better, thus another Our Generation outfit completed for the donation.

Notes for myself: I used Red Heart Comfort Sport and Bernat Baby for this project with a C hook.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Microwave Bowl Cozy

I picked up a quilted microwave cozy at a craft fair back in the fall and at the time only bought one not really sure if we'd use it. Sure enough it quickly become a popular item in our house for warming up soups, etc.

The February Crochet World published a Valentine themed pattern for a crocheted microwave cozy in their magazine. You can purchase the digital pattern alone here. It was on my someday I'll get to this list, but as I realized the spring and summer craft sales were not going to be a thing this year so I could pick up more quilted ones, I realized it was time to tackle a crochet one.

The cozy is double thick which does make it strong enough, which was one of my concerns when I was making it. It survived its first outing and received positive feedback on its usefulness compared to the quilted one.

The pattern is designed to be made with two different cotton skeins, one solid color and one variegated. This meant switching colors multiple times and weaving in all those ends.

That design has a certain esthetic appeal but my main focus was on producing a workable product so I pulled Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Ombres Mod Yarn from my stash and stuck with it for the whole pattern. I rather like the look and certainly appreciated the added simplicity of not having to change yarn several times and then sew in the resulting ends. I'm not sure those using it in my house would really appreciate the additional work for the color changes. If you decide to make a cozy that will be for you to decide. I rather like the one color look myself.

Project note for myself. This project calls for an f hook. To make gauge I had to use an h hook.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pink Seed Stitch Doll Blanket

Doll blankets used to be my traveling projects but with COVID I'm not traveling much these days and taking a project with me isn't a healthy choice. However, I have been visiting with family and doing some other stuff via teleconferencing and thus the doll blankets are being worked on during those times. I also find they are a nice relaxing project between some of the other projects as most of these require minimal counting and monitoring to keep the project in check.

I'm continuing to work on reducing my stash. I had picked up some Red Heart Super Saver Ombre Jazzy when it was on sale during my travels as I really do have a thing for striped and variegated yarn. This has larger stripes than I'm used to working on but I suspected it would work for blankets.

This is a simple crochet seed stitch project. I like it because it is quite relaxing and easy on my hands. The border is a chain stitch border. I make it large enough to fit the 18" dolls but it goes in a bag of doll blankets that can be used for any donated dolls or stuffed animals that come into the doll donation.

I haven't picked out the blankets that will be donated with the 18" dolls yet. Other than the Lil Cutesies doll all the baby dolls have their blankets in their donation storage bags. I have a bag per doll to keep the stuff separated to make sure each doll is getting enough items. At some point I'll decide which blankets will go with the two 18" dolls for this year. I'm just not ready to pick yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

18 Inch Doll Dress with Hat

It is time to return to one of my simple but classic 18 inch doll patterns. I love working on this pattern because it calls for the bright Fruity Stripe Red Heart yarn and right now I could use a little color and brightness in my life. I also like it because it works up quickly and was a great project to make in between the Moses basket and trying to finish up the picnic set for the Lil Cutesie doll.

I also chose this pattern as it was a great way to work through some of the yarn I have on hand. I almost had enough left on one skein to finish the project but when I added the hat I had to dig into a second skein I had on hand to finish it off. This is what happens when you work with partial skeins. It's always hard to tell exactly how much yarn you have to work with on a project.

You can find the free pattern for the dress here. In previous years I've made the top smaller using a g hook. However, this year I used an H hook through out and the top fit fine. I'm currently working on using up some neon stripe yarn to make this dress for the Our Generation Doll. I'll post the notes about making it for the slightly larger doll when I finish it. There is no pattern for a hat. I played with the yarn left over from the first skein and added some from the second skein to complete the hat. I wanted something to finish off the outfit.

To close the back of this dress I chose a snap over a button. It was a quick and easy solution to my problem. I may have to think about ordering snaps soon if stores don't open soon. I did order ami eyes online recently as my 6mm supply is almost out.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Lil Cutesies Teddy Bear Picnic

It was actually this pattern which can be purchased at Mary Maxim here that made me decide to donate a JC Toys Lil Cutesies Doll Baby Doll as part of this donation. I just loved the pattern, the theme and the look of the doll. It is a slightly larger and different shaped doll than the 8 inch Lots to Love doll so I decided to buy the doll the pattern was made for and see if I could get the set made for the donation.

Interestingly enough it took me a while to get the doll. I had no idea these things would sell out so quickly. I did manage to get two, one as a model to fit the clothes and one to donate. The one I bought is still sold out though the other two models seem to be available for purchase. I have some 9 inch doll patterns I'm thinking of trying on this doll or perhaps playing with some of the 8 inch patterns I have for the Lots of Love dolls to make sure she leaves with a wardrobe at least as nice as the other dolls.

Just a note about the pattern. For a long time Mary Maxim used to sell kits like this one and then you had to find the patterns in secondary markets if you didn't buy the kits. A few years back they decided they should get into the market and started selling some of their kit patterns after the kits sold out as digital patterns. If you decide to buy look for their sales. The patterns frequently go on sale for $1.99 or less.

As for my pattern notes the blanket, the bears, and the trim for the doll's outfit are all from the AC Moore Nicole sport which sadly is no longer available. I'm slowly working my way through my supply. I love the color of this yarn and decided to make the bears with it rather than changing colors as the pattern called for and I liked the outcome. I also used 6mm safety eyes for the eyes and the noses. The first bear I made using an e hook and it was huge so other than the head I redesigned the pattern to make him a reasonable height vs the doll. Clearly the yarn used in the pattern must be a lighter weight. For the second bear I used the same yarn but a c hook and for the most part followed the directions. I made the feet slightly smaller. I loved this basket pattern and could see using it for other projects. The design is adorable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Doll Clothes Donations

I am very fortunate to have the Crochetville community help me out with my doll donation every year. I couldn't make it without them. I received a package this week with some beautiful doll dresses that I am sure will be making some little ones quite happy this year. A big thank you goes out to a very special AZ friend from Crochetville for all your help. It is so appreciated. I suspect this year more even more than most.CC

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lots to Love 10 Inch Moses Basket

I made one of these for the 8 inch doll so it only seemed fair that the 10 inch doll get a bed too.

For those of you interested in the pattern for the Moses Basket you can find the print copy of the Sweet Baby Doll Layette for sale here and the Digital copy at Etsy here. The blanket was part of a free pattern set you can find here. I like trying different patterns for the blankets. It keeps it interesting.

To make the larger Moses basket it requires working with 2 strands of yarn at the same time. Not nearly as painful as making the larger baskets for the 16 inch dolls but it still wears on the hands. I used up the last of a skein of Caron Simply Soft I had tried to finish off on the Romper for the blanket. I like seeing the orphan skeins put to good use.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Lots to Love 8 Inch Doll Patriotic Outfit

Back at Easter I started making holiday outfits for the 8 inch dolls for my own decorations. While I know the Memorial Day and July 4th celebrations may be some what quieter this year, I wanted something new to add to my own decorations to make sure the days didn't pass without recognition. So, I made myself the July 4th outfit from Annie Potter's Holiday Babies pattern booklet available for purchase here or digitally at Etsy here.

I started looking for appropriate yarn to make the July 4th outfit hoping to have it for Memorial Day. I ran across a clearance sale of Red Heart Sport yarn at Mary Maxim. This was important because baby yarn is often the best weight for these projects but the colors are quite limited. You can find sport yarn but not always in larger quantities for the non-baby colors. The only challenge for this was I couldn't get navy which the pattern called for but I still like it with the lighter blue. I also prefer the darker red to the red in the pattern.

For my own notes I made the bodice longer than the pattern called for and while I would do that again perhaps not quite as long. I added length to the skirt as I reduced the stitches to match the number of stitches on the bodice to make stitching the 2 together easier. As a result I could have made the bodice shorter. These panties are a really easy pattern for the 8 inch doll and would be worth making for some of the other doll patterns where needed. The booties also fit well without having to make adjustments. I used an e hook for this project although it called for a 0.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Our Generation Skirt and Short Sleeved Sweater

I bring you 2 more free patterns for the 18 inch dolls. The skirt can be found here and while I decided on a short sleeve version the sweater is actually a long sleeved sweater found here.

I rarely have to make items smaller for the Our Generation Doll but I ended up going from a g to an f hook for the skirt as it fit better with an f hook. I used the prescribed hook for the sweater but it was bulky and I'm thinking I might try a lighter yarn if I use this again for the My Life doll.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Lots to Love 10 Inch Doll Nightgown

I've been balancing my time between the baby dolls and the 18" dolls trying to make sure I have enough outfits and accessories for the donation. This nightgown is part of a free pattern set found here.

This doll has proved to be an interesting yarn challenge. I'm finding the traditional baby weight yarns are often too small for the patterns I'm using and worsted weight is just a bit too heavy on this doll. It just looks big even when it fits. I've been experimenting with Caron Simply Soft which is technically a 4 weight but I've always found it to feel lighter and Herrschner's Worsted which again I find to be a lighter than sugggested 4 weight. So far I've liked the outcomes. I also like the fact that I'm using up yarn I have been hoping to finish off.

This is a pretty straight forward pattern. I did add some trim for fun. I hope to add the blanket from this set and then make the Moses basket similar to the one I made for the 8 inch doll to add to the donation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Our Generation Ribbed Effect Skirt and Tank Top

I've been searching through my pattern collection to find separates to match up for the annual doll donation and as happens every year I am surprised by something I've forgotten in those pattern binders. This year I came across a Doll Picnic pattern I'd purchased from Maggie's crochet several years ago that you can buy here.

At some point I'm going to revisit this pattern and make the whole picnic set. I think it would be a fun item to donate. However, my mission this round was tops and bottoms. In this case I wanted the tank top.

This top was a little different from others I've made in that it used seed stitch to give the top some texture. I like the look of the top and as I said I'd like to revisit the whole pattern again at some point and make the set.

I thought I'd need a larger hook to fit the Our Generation doll and started this pattern out with an I hook but it was too large. When I make this for the My Life doll it will likely require a G hook. Marking the front was important for me because the first time through I made the reduction for the arms on the wrong side which made joining them unlikely. These are all notes to help me in the future.

The skirt is the same free pattern I used for the My Life doll found here. As this skirt uses an elastic waist band cut to the size of the doll no additional adjustments to the skirt pattern were required. The stitches adjusted around the elastic and the designer leaves you to determine the length of the skirt.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Our Generation Pleated Skirt and Sweater

I actually made this pleated skirt from Maggie Crochet's Crochet Pattern Abby, Allie & Annie PA972-R first. However when I went to make the free sweater pattern from Your the Tops found here I realized it wasn't going to fit the Our Generation Doll so I made another pleated skirt to fit the My Life Doll as I wrote about last week.

The pleated skirt works up with the required hook but you do need to add a few extra rows to make the waist fit the doll. In order for the sweater to fit I needed an I hook for the main body of the sweater and used a G hook for the arms.

One of my early focuses for the 18 inch dolls this year are tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched. I will have to experiment and see how to adapt them to the Our Generation Doll. For my records I'm going to try to keep documenting my progress here so I can come back and remember what I did for next year.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Lots to Love 10 Inch Doll Romper

This is another free pattern found in the Berenguer Baby Layette set here. The pattern uses traditional baby colors but I had a skein of Caron Simply Soft Ombres Grape Purple left over from a scarf project that seemed like it would be a fun fit for this project and a way to decrease my oversized yarn supply. I find Caron to be one of those in between yarns like Herrschners. It say it is a 4 weight but it is a light 4 and good for those projects that fall between sports and worsted weight yarn when I make doll clothes. I find when I use it on projects that call for a worsted weight yarn I sometimes get an outfit that is a little smaller than I would have wished.

This project worked up with the suggested hook size. I did add a couple of rows to the top of the romper to give it length before splitting for the legs. The pattern calls for elastics to make the legs but I chose to split the legs and trim them. I could see the purpose for using the elastics but I went the easier route.

Once I read the directions for the hat correctly it too worked up according to the directions and hook size.

This doll is on its way to being dressed for the donation, too.

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