Monday, June 28, 2021

Hermit Crab

I love to combine children's books and toys in gift packages. Sometimes I look for books that fit the theme and other times I look for patterns to fit books that I want to gift.

In this case when I thought about doing an ocean/sea themed package I thought of both Eric Carle's House for Hermit Crab and Bill Peet's Kermit the Hermit.

One of my disapointments recently with Eric Carle's books is that book sites are only selling altered versions of his original picture books. The hardcover versions and picture books are not the tradtional children's book formats many fondly remember of Eric Carle's books. Most of the paper versions have been converted to "leveled" readers. While many publishers have added board book offerings the current hardcover offerings are not what you expect when you buy a hardcover book.

I've been searching through homeschool sites and other book sites for new copies of the traditional sized picture books and I am pleased to say the Hermit Crab will be heading out with traditional sized copies of both Eric Carle and Bill Peet's books.

If you are interested in the traditional picture book sized copies of Eric Carle's books I suggest you check the book measurements. While one expects a smaller version of the book when ordering a board book, I know I have certain expectations when I order a hardcover picture book that used to be a full sized book.

Some of the newer hard cover publications of Carle's books are closer in size to a Beatrix Potter book than a traditional hardcover picture book. If you want the larger sized books try homeschool sites and other book sellers. Some still have the regular picture book sized books in stock.

The pattern for the Hermit Crab comes from How to Crochet Animals: Ocean.

I didn't have the appropriate sport cotton colors and the lighter acrylic I had didn't hold the shape. Thus I went with wosted acrylic yarn and a D hook to have some control over the size of the crab. I used beads for the eyes that I'd recently purchased for Barbie clothes.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Barbie Clothes donation

I've been following the beautiful Barbie designs at Shasarignis Blog and had commented on her work. We began talking about my doll donation project. She offered to send me doll clothes and before I knew it a package had arrived with 3 beautiful Barbie outfits on Wednesday.

While I of course ame thrilled with the beautiful clothes what makes me the happiest is knowing this will make some little child very happy on Christmas morning. Barbie is getting quite the wardrobe to head off to her new home this Christmas. I'm always amazed and thrilled at the generous spirit of people to give to others in need.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Easy Peasy Doll Blanket for 2021

I have some wonderful friends at Crochetville who send me doll blankets each year for the doll donation. However, I still make a few to add to the supply each year. They are relaxing projects and a great way to target yarn I want to finish off from my stash. This Lion Brand Yarn Ice Cream Yarn, Tutti Frutti has been hanging out in my stash for some time.

I always end up buying more than I think I'll need for a project and when I was done with the baby blanket I made with this purchase the remainder went to live in my stash. I finished off a ball and have another ball I started on but recently I thought I saw another skein hiding out. That being said a dent has been made and another doll blanket is ready to go out with this year's donation.

I used the Easy Peasy Seed Stitch doll blanket pattern from Annabelle' Afghans set which you can purchase here. I used an I hook for this project.

I just started the Tisket a Tasket pattern for my next doll afghan. I keep a doll blanket as a "travel" project. I don't travel much these days but I do find if I have to wait in the car before going into an appointment or I'm on a zoom call these are easy patterns to work on while waiting.

The one adjustment I made this time around is to list the stitch count in my phone notes so I didn't have to carry the pattern with me at all times. In the car it was easier to check my phone for the stitch count than it was to reach down and dig through the bag to find the pattern and read the notes about the stitch count for the row. I don't remember stitch counts when I haven't seen a project for a while so a quick refresher maximizes the time I work on the project.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021


I wanted a seahorse to send along with Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse for July's birthday box. I chose the pattern from How to Crochet Animals: Ocean and I found the pattern to be easy to make. I used worsted yarn and a D hook. I'm thinking about making a second one with sport yarn and a c hook to fit with the size of the rest of the ocean animals.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021


While I've added a number of ocean creatures that are common to ocean sets I've also tried to find some uncommon ones to include as well. The swordfish comes from Bathtime Buddies which I've used to make some of the other creatures for this project.

I found a ball of blue I wanted to use up and realized later this was Red Heart Sport yarn and thankfully I had another skein as I didn't have quite enough to finish the project with the original ball. I've been working on keeping these creatures smaller so I used a D hook for this ami.

The pattern gives you options for using terry towel material or felt for certain animals in the set. I'd never used terry so I wanted to try it. For the rest of the animals in this set that require cloth, I'm going to use felt. While I liked the textured look it creates, I didn't like the way the terry sheds.

I have some other creatures I need to finish in order to match up with the books I've included in this birthday box so you can expect to see those soon along with more doll clothes as I continue to prepare for the Christmas donation.

Monday, June 21, 2021

My Life Scrubs

This is another Adoring Dolls crochet pattern. You can purchase the scrubs or the scrubs with medical coat set. Mine has the medical coat and you can purchase it here.

I'm working on some additional ocean creatures for the July birthday, but my hope is my next doll project will be the medical coat.


I used an H hook for the mask and I'd continue with that change. I used a D hook for the straps and I would continue with this as the mask fit behind the ears. While I don't know how long it will stay on during play I do believe the smaller chains helped it to fit on the rather small ears.

For the shoes I changed to an I Hook.

The scrub hat was made with an I hook I'd experiment with an H.

The pants were made with an H hook and this was a good choice.

I used an I for the top, I'd try an H next time. Both sleeves were done in H a g might work.

The pocket was made with a g hook.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Ken Slacks and Shirt

I mentioned when I wrote about Ken's Ski outfit back in May that I was waiting for an order of size 20 yarn from Creative Yarn source to complete another pattern from Crochet Wardrobe for 11 1/2" Fashion Dolls(Including a complete Wedding Ensemble and Trousseau.) The thread arrived and I finally got around to trying it out. I'm working with 2 variables in using this pattern set, first the patterns were written in 1982 and second this is a considerably smaller Ken than other models. I've read this comment from others so I know I'm not alone out there as I'm fitting clothes to him. To make this outfit fit I used a Tulip Etimo Steel Crochet Hook-.75mm with the size 20 thread.

I had bought some micro buttons but they proved to be too small and slipped out of the double crochet holes. I did however have a container of mixed buttons that had small white buttons that worked for this shirt. Sometimes you get lucky with stuff you have in your stash.

While the slacks fit with no adjustments other than the ones mentioned above I did have to remove some rows from the shirt as it was too long for this doll. The pattern calls for 11 shirt rows I only did 7 before splitting to front and back sections. I added ss rows to the arms and the legs of the pants to keep them from fraying.

I have an 18 inch doll skirt pattern that proved to be too large in size 10 cotton so I'm eager to see if I can make it work with the size 20 cotton and a smaller hook. Then I'm looking to order more colors of size 20 yarn to work on the patterns that have been too large for Barbie and friends using the size 10 thread. At the moment I'm working on a yarn project for the My Life doll. It's good to rotate between the smaller and larger hooks as the smaller hooks can be harder on my hands. I also have an ocean ami I'm trying to complete.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

My Life Madison Maxi Dress

I haven't made anything to donate for the My Life Dolls since March so it seemed like a good idea to get back to it again. I haven't stopped making Barbie items but I do need to continue on with the other dolls as well. You can purchase this pattern from Adoring Doll clothes here.

One of the advantages of working with the same designers clothes on a frequent basis is you have a better feel for guage when you stick with the same dolls. For this project it meant I knew I was going to go up in hook sizes to make the clothes fit before I started as I have experience making clothes with this designer's patterns. I used an H hook for the skirt and an I hook for the Bodice. I used an I hook for the headband and shoes. I went with a C hook for the first 3 flowers and realized in making the last headband flower I should have moved up to an e. I mention that for future projects.

If you look at the skirt you will notice the V's going sideways instead of up and down in the traditional V stitch. I'd not done this before and I won't give away the designer's secret but I enjoyed learning a new method for creating a skirt for a dress that I'd not used before.

This is a fairly quick dress to make. The shoes fit and I didn't find them falling off which is sometimes a complaint about crocheted shoes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sea Turtle

This is another pattern from the Ocean Tower play set you can purchase here. She includes more sea creatures in the pattern but this is the last one I'll be making as there are other patterns I want to make for this bithday box and the deadline is creeping closer.

This is a quick turtle pattern and the directions are clear and easy to follow. I've been making my creatures smaller to save space, so this was made with a D hook and worsted weight yarn. I also chose to use safety eyes instead of sewing eyes on the turtle.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Skipper Tennis

I mentioned when I wrote about Barbie's tennis outfit that I was working on one for Skipper as well. I finished up the skirt from the 1995 Leisure Arts Fashion Doll Leaflet Vacation Fashion Doll Wardrobe but the top was proving a more difficult fit. I put Skipper aside and finished off some other projects.

After finishig Ken's tennis outfit I decided it was time to take a crack at finishing off Skipper's outfit and made a very simple top alternating HDC and sc rows measuring to make sure the top fit and adding increases and then decreases to make sure the shirt was a good fit. I added chains for the arm holes and then crocheted into the chains into the next row and finished off with crocheting around the ends to finish off the top. I used snaps to close the back of the shirt.

I used the same method I did for Ken's head band I measured the distance around her head, cut 1/8" elastic, sewed it together and then crocheted around the elastic finishing off with a second row of slip stitches.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Barbie Beach Accessories

When possible I try to add accessories as well as clothing to the doll donations. I think it just adds some fun to the doll experience. Giving Barbie and Ken beach bags and a beach ball seemed like a great idea to add to their swim suits.

The pattern for the beach bags, towel, and beach ball are found in the same Summertime Blues Fashion Doll pattern set designed by Lori Zeller and found in Crochet World June 2009 that I used for Ken and Barbie's bathing suits.

The added white stripes in the beach ball made it easier to join the pieces together. I tried another beach ball from Annie's Fashion Doll His and Hers and without the additional seems mine didn't end up round and I decided to frog it and move on to other projects. Ken, Barbie and the rest of the family will have to share. I'm still hoping to get the rest of the siblings into bathing suits before the donation deadline.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


The Octopus is one of the sea creatures included in the Ocean Tower pattern I wrote about previously. You can purchase the pattern here.

I've been trying to keep the animals small so while I did use worsted weight yarn but I went down to a D hook. I also used saftey eyes rather than the eye pattern suggested. I experimented with the eyes, but I couldn't get them to look like the pattern so I moved on to safety eyes.

This is a really quick ami to make and he's a great additoin to any sea/ocean set. I was looking at the one from Bathtime Buddies but after thinking about it I decided he's a bit intimidating for the age group I am making the set for and opted for the friendlier octopus from this set. Nothing says the more detailed, realistic one can't be added at a later date.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Ken Tennis Outfit

I'd been looking for Annie's out of print Fashion Doll His and Hers 87D15 since I started making Barbie clothes again and realized it wasn't in my collection. I wanted this book because the patterns are all casual clothes and thus perfect for the types of clothes I wanted to include with my donation. When it arrived it seemed like it would be fun to see if I could adapt the tennis outfit to fit Ken. I still need to make a top for Skipper but I'll get there at some point.

This outfit is made with Red Heart Crochet, Thread Size 10 White. While the pattern calls for a size 7 hook I needed to use my Tulip Etimo Steel Crochet Hook-.9mm to get the outfit to fit this modern Ken doll.

I changed the pattern for the headband and the wrist bands. Instead of weaving the elastic through the finished bands I measured the elastic to fit this doll, sewed it together and then crocheted over the over the band in sc to cover the elastic. This made it easier than trying to figure out the differences between the old and new Ken's heads. I was able to quickly make these last accessories for the outfit.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Ocean Play Tower

I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted to finish up the Ocean Play Tower so it would be ready for the July birthday box. I'd been working on the pattern, you can purchase here, for some time and the main structure was finished at the beginning of May. I had stalled when doing the finish work. When I realized it was Memorial Day weekend and June was around the corner I decided it was time to finish off the tower. What additional animals I add will be a matter of what I get done before the mailing deadline.

Along with adding another play set to the birthday box it also added the feel of a coral reef to the project.

The instructions for creating the towere were excellent. The tower came together well and the part that took me the longest were the outside decorations which I added before putting the towers together. The directions for these are also clear just time consuming. I chose to use smaller fibers rather than split fibers as suggested for some of the projects. My fish are larger than prescribed because I failed to change fiber and hook size.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Barbie Tennis Skirt and Top

I'm working through a 1995 Leisure Arts Fashion Doll Leaflet Vacation Fashion Doll Wardrobe and decided to make the tennis outfit. I realize there are more modern looks in tennis these days but not necessarily more modern Barbie patterns.

Since I have this one I thought I'd send Barbie off with a vintage tennis outfit. I've got the skirt finished for Skipper so she'll have a matching outfit. I just need to resize the pattern for the top to fit Skipper so Barbie will have a partner to play tennis with when she reaches her new home after the Christmas donation. I'm trying to track down mini tennis racquets. I have a couple of leads and I'll post information if I find them.

I used my Tulip Etimo Rose Steel Crochet Hook-Size 0/1.75mm for Barbie's skirt. The 1.5 mm hook ended up working for Skipper.

The top was a bit more challenging. I needed to go down to a 1.25mm hook and drop some rows as the shirt was too long for Barbie. When I made the first shirt with a 1.5mm shirt it actually fit Ken but it didn't look good on him.

I still need to finish Skipper's tennis top but I am trying to finish the Ocean Play Tower so it can be mailed at the end of June for my July birthday box. I'm hoping to make more ocean creatures for the overall theme but this structure is close to being done and I want to have it ready to mail.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


This was actually the pattern that made me want to buy Bathtime Buddies when it first came out. This guy just stood out and made me laugh. I knew some day I was going to have to make him. When I thought about putting together this ocean set I realized he was going to have to be a part of it and thus the hunt began for the book I had lost.

The diver is made with Schachenmayr Catania sport cotton yarn and a D hook.

I added the eyes to the face plate before joining to the head as I wanted to use saftey eyes. This was something I learned after making the first head, which required me to make a second one. I make note of it should I decide to return to this project again. The hands are flat I made mine round.

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