Archive for the ‘Knitting’ category

Ski Outfit for a Hearts for Hearts Doll

February 24, 2014

Jacqueline Gibb designed this cute pattern called To Russia with Love for the Olympics. It is sized for both Les Cheries dolls and the Hearts for Hearts dolls. I never thought I could knit this up, but during a knit-along she was offering a free pattern for a dress and purse if you completed it, so I wanted to give it a go.

I plugged away, redoing the first pant leg three times and one of the mittens twice. I was really pleased that I got gauge for this, and wonder of wonders I persevered with the sewing up and it turned out beautifully.

Here is my doll Lark with her new outfit.


I had a bit of trouble working with the eyelash yarn until I saw a tip online to use a strand of regular fingering yarn with it and that made it much easier to work with.


The little felted and embroidered boots she is wearing came with the nightie set for Lilian, another Hearts for Hearts doll.


I learned so much working up this pattern and sewing up the seams and sewing snaps on for the first time on knitting. It was a great experience!



When the Machine Doesn’t Work, Use Your Hands

December 23, 2013

Foiled by the weather in Toronto, I was unable to get my sewing machine in for a repair before the weekend. After a frustrating night where I couldn’t sleep for knitting going through my mind. I arose this morning and got right to it.

Finally, after seven weeks, I picked up the stitches for my first sleeve on the cardigan I am making. I picked up nine extra stitches in order to close the holes in the gusset area, and it worked well, so I was away on the body of the sleeve.


It’s always a bit tricky to choose how to decrease extra stitches on sleeves and regulate the usual decreases so the sleeve fits you, but after some figuring I got it right and made notes so that I can knit the second sleeve the same way.

My goal is to finish this sweater over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and thus be ready to knit a baby blanket I have planned, and to finish the baby quilt I started once my machine gets repaired.



Sometimes all that is needed is momentum.


A Knitted Hat from Scraps

December 4, 2013

I made this one from scraps of leftover yarns because the lovely cabled hat I made my husband two years ago got pilly and fuzzy and looked terrible ratty. We can’t have that sort of nonsense.

This is from a free pattern called Regular Guy Beanie and the pattern was okay, but this turned out too long so he is turning the ribbing up to make it fit properly. I’ll know next time how to adjust the length. I already made it shorter than the pattern called for, but that’s knitting for you, always the fiddling with gauge.



On this one I used a 16” circular needle and then transferred the stitches to DPNs for the last 4 rows. I also learned the technique of jogless stripes in the round, and a technique for joining yarn in the round too. I’m not sure I like the little bump that occurs for the jogless stripe but I guess it’s better than having mismatched stripes.



My First Top Down Cardigan

November 11, 2013

I bought this Patons Canadiana acrylic yarn in the mid 1990s to use in my knitting machine, but after knitting fair isle sleeves on the machine I just didn’t want to bother knitting the body in so complicated a pattern, so I left it. The colourway is called Stained Glass which is pretty worked up.

The pattern is a free one by Laura Chau called Easy Top-down Raglan which you can find on Ravelry and also here. I only wear cardigans these days so was pleased to find a nice free pattern, generously offered online.

I’ve had a huge bag of this yarn for 15 years, sitting around, taking up room. It was slightly musty from being in the basement but clean and I had wound the balls into centre-pull cakes so it was ready to go. I knit a swatch and used a 4 mm circular needle of 60 cm (24-inch length) which I had mail ordered along with a 40 cm (16-inch) circular to do the sleeves.

I really enjoyed this. It’s a mindless knit, even when doing the raglan increases across the yoke, and I found as I went along that the yarn aired out and no longer seems musty. A gentle wash when I block it and it will be fine. I did the neck in 1×1 rib on smaller 3.75 mm needles and the button border and bottom border in seed stitch. I put 5 buttonholes in to just below the bust as I never do sweaters up all the way.


Now I’m ready to pick up the first sleeve. I treat underarm stitches like sock gussets and pick up 2 or 3 more stitches each side of the centre than the pattern says, which neatly closes any holes and then decrease them in the first few rows. This is a morning job as I need good light to get it started.

I have bags of yarn for 4 more cardigans so I hope to chip away and do a second one this winter. I love not having to buy anything for these and it clears a lot of space to use yarn up. With this type of seamless pattern there is no sewing up at the end, when you’re finished knitting, that’s it. I don’t like sewing up so this was appealing to me, plus I can fit the sweater as I go which is another bonus.

I do so many disciplines and crafts and art, bookbinding, quilting, all kinds of things. But in the winter I find it comforting to knit. It’s good to have a basic, workable pattern that I can tweak as necessary and not get too complicated. I like basic knitting.


Pammy Gets a Blankie

September 29, 2013

I recently found a free pattern online for a baby blanket that looked pretty easy to do. I modified the stitch count to 67 stitches cast on, and changed the garter stitch border to seed stitch which looks less sloppy.

I only had a 50 gram ball of Wendy Peter Pan DK yarn in a colourway they call “mini tartan” but that looks like confetti worked up in this pattern. I love it, and I squeaked out just enough in one ball for a blankie for my Star Manufacturing baby doll circa 1960, who was a childhood doll of mine.


While cleaning and decluttering recently, we uncovered this small cradle that my husband had stripped and refinished about 20 years ago. So Pammy is going in there and I need to make some mattresses and a pillow.


I am also making a small redwork quilt for the cradle. I made one butterfly block already and just need to trace the other five out on fabric before beginning the remaining embroidery. My trusty lightbox comes in handy for tracing embroidery motifs onto fabric.

I used free online colouring book images and simplified them for embroidery.


At some point I want to sew and knit some clothes for Pammy but all the patterns I can find are for modern dolls and they are much bigger than these older dolls. She only has a chest of 8.5 inches, and even the preemie knitting patterns are too big for her.



Saila’s New Shawl

September 5, 2013

This little project started as a pair of socks that didn’t fit right so I ripped the first sock out, re-skeined the yarn, dipped it in water to de-kink it, let it dry, and then used my ball winder to wind a fresh ball. It is a high-quality wool sock yarn by Regia so it was able to take reworking without fuzzing up and falling apart.


Since I have never made a shawl I got the idea to make one using the free pattern for the Holden Shawlette. It starts easily with stocking stitch and simple yarn overs at the edge and centre for a lacy effect.


Along the way I decided the project wasn’t exciting me, and it sat on my dining table for four months. The problem was that I didn’t want the anxiety of doing the more complicated lace section. I like to knit but I don’t like to fuss and worry about it.

I caught it just before it got too big and re-purposed it for my Maplelea doll Saila. It is a bit on the large size but it gets cold in Nunavut so a large shawl is always appreciated, and every girl wants something pretty to wear.

In the 19th century and earlier, women knit huge shawls that covered their heads down below their hips to keep warm. Here is an 1840s silk example from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and you can see the fashion was for a large, long shawl.


I used a picot edge for the cast off, just like in the pattern, but at an earlier point obviously without the lace section. When I wet blocked it, I pinned out each picot so they would lie flat.

Before blocking:


After blocking:



Things I learned with this project:

Washing and preparing previously worked yarn to use again.
Making a garter tab to start a triangular shawl.
Using life lines in knitting in order to rip back if a mistake is made.
Russian join for joining a new ball of yarn.
Picot edge bind off.
Blocking a damp shawl on a foam board with pins.

No matter what, you can always learn something. I could see knitting some of these up in various yarns, sizes, and patterns for dolls, in order to learn techniques.



Maplelea Girl Saila Gets a New Dress

March 8, 2013

These self-striping fair isle or jacquard yarns are so wonderful for knitting doll clothes. The pattern appears like magic as you knit. This is a very easy dress pattern but the floral effect just happens without any effort on my part, which is my kind of design.

This is part of an Easter outfit for Saila, I’m fiddling around with some sewing patterns to complete the look. Her little sister Poppy might also get a dress from this yarn if I can get this pattern to fit with some modifications from a member of a forum.

I made the dress a bit longer than the pattern calls for as I think it looks dressier that way. I call it Saila’s Spring Flowers dress. In the journal that came with Saila from Maplelea, mention is made of how she is interested in fashion design, so that makes me more interested in designing nice outfits for her.

I don’t have the right colour of buttons in this size so I’m going to try tinting white buttons with fabric dye. I did that once years ago and you can’t do fully saturated colours but a tint is fine when matching buttons to pastel colours like this.