Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Toppers: A New Knitting Pattern for 18" Dolls!

Last fall, amidst the craziness of my last semester at college, and working a job that was sucking my soul, I had a notion that I'd like to make up a doll hat knitting pattern, both to make some fun doll hats but also with a mind to publish it for anyone else who might like it. Of course, because of afore-mentioned craziness, I never got further than a few rows of hat sample #1 before it ended up it the knitting bag, where it languished for almost a year.

About a month ago, I was thinking about it, as I had so many times before, and I just decided it was time. So over the past month, I have been having a ball designing and knitting up samples. I've come up with what I think is a nice little pattern with a lot of opportunity for customization!

The pattern includes three "views," for three different hat styles. There is a very classic hat with optional pompom and heart motif, a slouchier version of the classic hat, and then a fun "stocking" style with optional stripes.

In designing these hats, I wanted to make sure they were as simple and fun to knit as they could possibly be, so I paid a lot of attention to the little details, like trying to work out shaping and other details in an easy to follow way, and minimizing how often you have to move stitches around the needles. I also wanted it to be versatile, so the three hats can have any of the details swapped out, including the heart motif, which will fit perfectly on any of the three views you'd like to knit.

They use a sport weight yarn, which I felt was a good compromise as far as staying away from the worsted weight folks often use when patterning for dolls (which I feel ends up looking a bit too chunky for a doll for my personal taste), but without getting down to a fingering weight (which would make the project take a lot longer - although I am working on another hat pattern for those of you who like a more delicate look and don't mind the extra effort it takes to work with a finer gauge!) The small yardage required makes them a great stash buster, and they are quick to knit (a speedy knitter will likely be able to knit a hat in one sitting) which lends them nicely to last-minute holiday gift making!

This pattern is now available via Ravelry (Winter Toppers for 18" Dolls), and if you decide to purchase it this week, you can save 20% by using coupon code WINTERHATS (good through the end of Sunday, 12/10).

I also decided to start a Ravelry group (Historically Dressed Ravelry group) for my knitting designs, so that there is a place for people to ask questions, and to show off their finished things made from my patterns. I hope you will have as much fun knitting these hats as I did designing them!

Monday, June 19, 2017


I graduated!!! And with High Honors, at that. So very exciting! I'm now in the middle of a couple of months break between careers, as I fill in what I feel were gaps in my education with online classes, as well as spend some time seeing friends and family I have not seen in a while due to putting full-time-work-plus-school on top for the past four years. I even have a costume adventure coming up: Jane Austen Fest in Louisville!

But first, I want to share this dress that I made for my graduation. I had stumbled onto this cool fabric that has a green and silver binary print on a black ground. My school colors are green and white, and my degree is programming/computer science, so how perfect is this?!? I also love that the print is very small, so it's not too tacky. Just the right amount of themed fun! (And, bonus puffy kitty tail!)

I decided I just wanted a very simple sleeveless dress, both because I was concerned about overheating, what with wearing a polyester robe in June, and because I want to be able to wear it in my everyday life post-graduation. I decided to go with Simplicity 1652, which is a princess-seamed dress from the "Amazing Fit" line, which means the pattern pieces are already adjusted for various cup sizes. Unfortunately, the cup sizes weren't quite large enough for me. Fortunately, I finally got over my fear of the dreaded FBA! In the end, I don't know why I was so afraid of it. It's ridiculously simple, and worked out right on the first try!

After that, making the dress was a piece of cake. Of course, I was down to the wire with it, doing most of the construction the day before, with some last minute touches (including remembering I had to have a pocket, so unpicking the skirt side seam and putting one in!) the morning of. But being me, I still managed to line it, of course! I chose a bright green, because colorful linings are fun!

After graduation, Glenn suggested we "go out to eat" but when I got home, I discovered that a big surprise party had been put together for me! It included a fabulous cake that looked like a circuit board!

Also, there were lots of funny, cute decorations that my Mom put together, like these little silverware pockets!

The award for best gift-wrap job goes to Sydney. She even got the tassel color right!

It was such a perfect day. Thank you to everyone who made it a special, memorable day for me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tiny Marching Sheep

A belated Happy New Year to you! I've been quiet, but hard at work on my last semester at college (which has been so much fun, because I'm learning Python and Android Apps, and loving it!) I've also managed to steal some time to work on several historic costuming and doll projects, but nothing is really at a point where it would be interesting enough to blog about. I do, however, have a handful of things I made in 2016 that I haven't chattered about, so here is one of them. . .

A tiny cashmere blend (yet machine-washable, apparently) cardigan featuring two rows of sheep marching around the top! This was a gift for one of my very best friends, who had her first baby in November. I'd done a little bit of fair isle knitting before, but this was the largest amount of fair isle yet. I was so stressed out that I was going to get the tension wrong in the fair isle section, and have the sheep be puckered or too loose, but I think it turned out great!

The pattern I used is "Welcome to the Flock," by Julia Farwell-Clay, and I knit it up using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Light Blue, Dark Grey, and White. (If you want to read more about the knitting process, you are welcome to visit my Ravelry page for it, which can be found here).

I decided that I also needed to make a pair of pants to wear with the cardigan, so I made up Butterick 5510, view C, in some 21 wale corduroy by Robert Kaufman, in the "Graphite" colorway. They turned out so cute, but along the way, I decided that I definitely do not enjoy sewing snap tape!

The finished ensemble included some onesies that I found which featured a gray and white sheep theme (so perfect!) and a pair of cute little gray shoes with a woolly lining, that I simply could not resist.

And finally, my husband contributed a little something to our gift:

Of course, it has nothing to do with sheep, but we feel you are never to young to start learning the ways of the force! ;)