Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Rag Doll Dress

I made a promise to myself that I'd get back to the dolls I'd neglected and try to get them more outfits made before the deadline. With some dolls that presents more of a challenge than others as I don't have specific patterns designed for them. As I was working on the free Linmary baby doll pattern found here it occured to me the dress portion of the pattern might work for the at least one of the rag dolls. I'd need to work adjust fiber and hook size but it was worth a try.

I started with Knit Picks Palette yarn from my stash and a D hook. That hook size was too small to fit around either doll so I increased to an e hook and after reaching the arm hole determined that this dress fit both dolls but was a better fit for the 13 3/4" CR Craft Doll rather than the 15" Factory Direct Rag Doll. I'm trying this pattern again for the 15" doll with different yarn and a different hook to see if I can get a better fit for the larger doll.

I stayed with the original chain length. I stuck with the top pattern until I reached the dolls waist at which point I switched to the skirt pattern. I then proceeded with that pattern until I reached the desired length. While I alternated color for the top and added the trim for the top of the dress I chose not to trim the arms or add the contrasting color to the bottom as I had done with the baby doll dresses. I liked the way the blue stood out alone. However, the top was the starting chain and it did need to be trimmed to finish the outfit. I chose to do that with the contrasting color as suggested by the pattern.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Lots to Love 14 Inch Doll Dress Hat and Shoes

One of the advantages of donating multiple sizes of dolls is when you make a mistake you sometimes can recylce the project for use with another doll.

This was my second attempt this donation cycle at the free Linmary Knits crochet baby doll pattern found here for the JC Toys -16-inch Baby Doll but I had two issues. First I forgot to add the extra rows in the dress, which is in all fairness designed for a 14" doll. The extra rows make it a better fit for the 16' doll. The second issue was an experiment on the hat. I found the g hook for the hat was too large and the pattern calls for an e hook. The e hook fit the 14" doll well but was too small for the 16" doll. This made switching this outfit to the Lots to Love Babies 14" Doll a practical solution.

The shoes are part of a petite dolls 14" doll pattern set you can purchase here. The pattern calls for DK yarn and I was able to use up more of the Herrschner's worsted weight yarn I was given by a member of Ravelry's Charity Knitting Group. The rest of the outfit was made with baby sport yarn.

This of course means I will need to make one more outfit from this pattern to fill the baby donations. I'm also thinking about experimenting with it to see if it would fit the larger of the two rag dolls.

Just a note to myself for future projects. While this slides off easily on the 16" doll due to the soft shoulders it is a little harder to slide on and off the harder larger bodied 14" Lots to Love doll. It might be wiser not to join at the top but wait until the waist using a snap to close the next time I make the outfit for this size doll.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

16 Inch Baby Doll Carrier

I looked at my stash yarn as I approached this project and realized I didn't have 3 skeins of the same colored purple yarn but I could mix and match to finish the project. This seemed like an ideal solution as my goal is to reduce my rather large stash of yarn to a more manageable size. Using up yarn on larger projects is always a great way to start. I came close to finishing with the 3 skeins I started with but the 2 Red Heart skeins gave out at the very end when it came time to make the handles. I had enough left from a partial pounder and found 2 slightly different Red Heart Super Saver purple shades to finish off the handles. I thought the finished look was fine.

I'm already scanning my stash to decide what to use for the last doll carrier. I need to give my hands a rest as working with the 3 skeins at once is hard on my hands and wrists, but time is moving quickly. The deadline will be here before I know it. I'd like to have the stuff ready early if possible.

For those of you interested this is a free pattern and you can find it here. I've modified the pattern to make it slightly smaller as I found the original to be rather large. I crochet the first 10 rows of the pattern with an I hook and finish the remainder with the suggested K hook.

The granny blanket came courtesy of a donation from a MO member of Crochetville. I'm fortunate that she and others help me with this doll donation each year. It means more kids get dolls with clothing and accessories each year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Samuel Whiskers

I'm continuing my Beatrix Potter birthday crochet project with The Tale of Samuel Whiskers using the pattern found in the Simply Crochet supplement from issue 110. You can purchase a digital copy here.

I made this project using Omega Sinfonia cotton and a B hook. If I make him again I'd think about using acrylic for the coat as it was stiffer than I liked.

I'm still contemplating the patterns for The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny to include either as part of the birthday box or as a Christmas gift. I made a bunch of ducks for Make Way for Ducklings but this one is dressed which makes it unique. Both would also be fun additions for an Easter box. That would also give me more space to work on other projects.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Monkey Finger Puppet Pink Dress

I am so pleased to say I can see the end of the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed project in sight.

These are not difficult puppets, just time consuming as they are made in thread and thus take me longer to make than the ones I've made with sport cotton or acrylic yarn. I think there is also the repetitive nature of making the same puppet 5 times. There was something nice about getting to make the dress this time instead of the overalls. The dress pattern is a little more fun to make and it also works up more quickly.

For those of you interested you can purchase the pattern here. I used Aunt Lydia Size 10 Cotton, Natural, Fudge Brown, and French Rose for this puppet.

Monday, August 23, 2021

16 Inch Baby Doll Dress, Hat, and Shoes

In looking at my donation post I realized I needed more outfits for the JC Toys - 16-inch Baby Doll and decided to get to work on the task. This is a free crochet pattern from Linmary Knits designed for a 14 inch doll but I've used it for the 16 inch dolls for some time. You can find the pattern here.

One of the things I love about working on this pattern are the different textures it features. There is a lovely flow to it as you work on the dress.

I used Bernat Baby yarn for this dress with a G hook. The hat called for a smaller hook and I missed it and continued on with the G hook. When I make the second one for the other donation doll I'll want to remember to use the smaller hook for the hat.

I used my favorite free shoe pattern to add shoes to the outfit. They are part of the Peachy Keen free pattern found here. The shoes require worsted weight 4 yarn and an I hook.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Lots to Love 14 Inch Doll Bear Lovey

With Covid, my subscription to the UK magazine Simply Crochet has been somewhat eratic in its arrival. I've missed a few issues but I was thrilled when issue 112 arrived a few weeks ago. One of the things I love about Simply Crochet is there are always little extras. This edition had a double ended wooden hook and a dinosaur supplement which I hope to explore at some point. Dinosaurs seem to be a popular gift and new patterns are always welcome.

What caught my eye as I was looking through the magazine was an ami pattern for a mouse called Sweet Squeak. While the mouse was cute I had no need of a mouse pattern at this time. What drew me to the pattern was the mouse was carrying a bear lovey. I'd never seen something like that before.

I'm always looking for new accessories to add to the doll donation. It makes the dolls more fun for the kids and selfishly keeps me more engaged as I get to try new projects. This was unique and not something that had crossed my mind to make for the baby dolls. I'd made lots of loveys for children why shouldn't their baby dolls have one as well?

This was a quick project and allowed me to use up yarn on hand. The bear was made from Omega Sinfonia sport cotton. The blanket section was acrylic sport yarn I had on hand. I used a B hook for the bear and a C hook for the blanket. I added rows to the blanket to get the length I wanted before adding the final trim row. I'm not sure what the dimensions were supposed to be, I went based on how big I wanted it to be for the doll.

The pattern includes instructions for adding a loop to the back of the bear's head so the mouse can hold the lovey. I adjusted this slightly for the dolls. To make this work for the JC Toys - 16-inch Baby Doll the chain will need to be longer as the loop was to short as written to fit over the arm. It did fit the JC Toys - Lots to Love Babies 14" Doll but for future projects I'd make it a little longer as it would be easier to slide on and off the doll's arm.

If you are not a subscriber to Simply Crochet but would like to find the pattern you can a digital copy of the magazine here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Lots to Love 14 Inch Doll Carrier

The doll baskets are usually projects I tackle right after the last doll donation leaves the house. This year I put them off and I realized I needed to begin tackling them as they are not quick projects and while not a hard pattern to follow crocheting with 3 strands of worsted weight yarn at once does make them a physically challenging project for me.

I started this one last winter and put it aside as other projects beckoned. I left it in a project bag with the required yarn and directions as I knew I'd be back to finish it for the donation. After finishing the pumpkin, this seemed like a great Olympic watching project. Last week after the Olympics were over I continued to watch the streams of events as it was easy enough to avoid results for most of the events and I rarely take the time to see many of these events at any other time.

The free pattern for this project is available here. I normally adapt it for the JC Toys - La Baby Doll by crocheting the first 10 rows with an I hook and switching to the K hook to finish the project. I've just found this is a better size for these dolls. For the JC Toys - Lots to Love Babies 14" Doll I used an I hook for the entire project.

Normally 3 skeins of Red Heart will finish the project. I started with 3 skeins of Premier Basix but ran out just short of the top of the basket. I had one skein of Premier in my stash and ended up working from both ends of a Caron One Pounder to finish the project. I'm determined to make these baskets stash projects rather than buying more yarn. I have a huge stash that just needs to be downsized. So the rest of the carriers might be a bit more colorful this year.

The beautiful blanket comes from one of the amazing contributors to the doll donation from Crochetville. I received a beautiful box of doll blankets and 18" doll clothing from MO and I can't thank her and all those who help each year enough.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Monkey Finger Puppet Grey Overalls

This is the next finger puppet for my Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed project for the October birthday box. This is the last of the overall monkeys. The next two have different outfits. You can purchase the pattern here.

I used Aunt Lydia's Crochet Size 10 Thread in Natural, Fudge, and Stone.

Monday, August 16, 2021

My Life Playtime Garden Dress

The Garden dress is another one of Adoring Doll's designs that can be purchased here.

This was a great chance to use up some yarns I'd had in my stash for a while and wanted to target for removal. The dress is adorable and works up quickly. While it is a garden theme it would work up just as well in other colors for play outfits for anyone looking for a quick make for 18 inch dolls.

I used an H hook for this set and found the fit to be good for the My Life doll.

For the buttons I went with daisy and sunflower buttons for the dress and strawberry buttons for the hat. I buy buttons when I find them on sale to have a selection on hand for projects so I don't have to buy as I go for doll and ami projects.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Pumpkin House

I saw this pattern last year after I'd sent out the Halloween box and had it on my list as a canidate for this year's additions to the Halloween Village I'd begun for last year's box. The pattern is Elisascrochet and I purchased it from both Annie's and Etsy. I returned it to Annie's after working with customer service and not getting it to print. I tried again with Etsy hoping for better luck. I was able to download the pattern which is how I made it working off my laptop. However, even with the amazingly helpful designer who sent me a PDF of the pattern for some reason I just can't print it. Others may have better luck or do as I did.

Since I needed to work from my laptop this became an Olympic viewing project for me. As my DH and I were streaming the Olympics I'd open my pattern on my laptop and work on the pumpkin. This actually worked well because the directions are clear and it made a wonderful viewing project.

I used a light worsted yarn and a c hook as I wanted to keep this pumpkin smaller so it wouldn't overwhelm the other houses I'd made. If I'd had lighter sport yarn in orange I might choose that next time as this is still a good sized pumpkin.

This was actually one of the easier stem constructions I've made to date and I'd use it again, possibly as a substitute as it works up and attaches better than others I've used.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Purple Bottle Carrier

I mentioned last week that I'd gone back to All About Cotton Leisure Arts (7055) for a solution to carrying water bottles around in places that don't allow backpacks. I'd always used the bottle holders on my backpack on previous trips but with more bag restricitions I realized after my first trip out this summer I needed a solution to carrying my water in order to stay hydrated.

After making the first one for my husband I realized I wanted a longer strap so I could wear mine in a cross body style rater than off my shoulder. I figured it would be less likely to slip when I walked and would fit better with the purse that most places still allow me to carry in to their venues.

For my own notes the original handle calls for 100 chains. In order to get the length I wanted I went to 160 chains. There is a chance with the weight that overtime it will stretch. However, I'm not overally concerned. It is a simple project to make again if I can't fix it.

I wanted purple for my bottle carrier so I went searching through my stash. Sadly I didn't have a large Bernat Handicrafter but I did have a single skein of Lily Sugar'n Cream Ombres Purple Haze and had I not extended the handle it might have been enough to finish the project.

If you are planning to make one of these using the pattern the suggested yarn requirements proved to be right. My skein was small for this project but I finished the handle with Lily Sugar 'N Cream Violet also pulled from my stash.

Looking forward to getting out to test these soon.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Lil Cutesies Striped Set

This is the final outfit for the JC Toys Lil Cutesies 8.5" All Vinyl Baby Doll from Shady Lane's Gingham Tote Tykes Pattern set 411. For those of you interested you can purchase a digital pattern here or a printed leaflet here. While I'm done with the outfits I'm still contemplating making the tote for the donation.

I used Bernat Baby Big Ball Sport Yarn, Peach Blossomand now unavailable AC Moore sport yarn for the darker peach yarn as I didn't have any darker colored peach baby yarn on hand. If I do this next year I would go with contrasting baby yarns rather than focusing on the peach as the thickness and textures of the yarns work better together. This year I wanted peach and I used what I had on hand.

This dress had some unique construction elements I hadn't used before. For my own records I liked the format and fit of the previous shoes better for the dolls if I'm looking to find a shoe pattern that fits the dolls for an outfit without shoes.

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