Sunday, August 28, 2011

Knitting, bean bags and my first proper doll

August has been a busy crafting month. After going back to the knitting for a bit, I got through a lot of Mia's blanket and then ran out of the main wool. I posted a picture on my last blog entry - there's a colour stripe sequence and between each colour a few rows of light brown in garter stitch. Sadly no one seems to stock that wool anymore in that colour. I have an excess of the pink from another project, so at least I could finish the blanket with a border in pink if it comes to that.

I've also started knitting a wrap top in a purple wool that I bought on sale a few winters ago. It's a cute top, but I'm not sure if the wool is suitable so it's a bit of an experiment. The pattern's really cute and can be found at Will post pictures as it starts to take shape more.

This great tutorial ( inspired me to make some bean bags. I'd been looking for gift ideas for one-year olds, but I ended up making them for Mia. With a short name like Mia, they're the perfect toy to pop in my bag if we're going out and she loves putting them into and out of boxes.

Some other gifts I've been working on are a simple backpack for my nephew, a stationery organiser for one of my nieces, and a couple of tote bags for another two nieces. The big project for the month though has been completing my first Waldorf doll. With Mia's first birthday approaching in November, my partner and I have wanted to give her a special doll. We've looked at loads of ugly plastic dolls in the shops and then I turned to Etsy and found loads of cute dolls and although I'd love to support another Etsy seller, "why buy something I can make myself for less than half the price" (quoted from my own mother who repeated this same question every time we went shopping when I was a child)?!?

So I searched and found this tutorial: I wasn't sure at first if I wanted a doll that was the same size as Mia, or something small that she could carry around in an Ergo-style carrier, but for my first attempt I thought I'd follow the tutorial this time and I could always make a smaller version next time.

I used a cotton interlock for the body. The feet were a challenge, but worth it to have a more three-dimensional look. The other major challenge was the head. I used an old tank top of mine for the inside of the head and it took me a couple of attempts to get the wadding into a tight enough ball. After sewing the head on, my partner I laughed as we thought that she resembled Mia quite closely. I crocheted some hair from a mohair blend that is a similar colour to Mia's hair. I'm still not convinced that it looks like hair though - she looks a bit like she's wearing a cap. The diaper pattern on the website didn't work for me - I guess it depends how you stuff the doll - so I made my own.

Being such a big doll, we worried that Mia might be scared of her - not a problem at all. Every time Mia sees her she gets excited and wants to clap with her, kiss her and cuddle her. I think they'll be great friends. As we're planning another baby sometime next year, I'm considering making a smaller version.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A break from the sewing frenzy

Last winter, while I was pregnant with Mia, I thought it would be a great idea to start knitting her a blanket. Something she could keep forever knowing that I'd started making it for her before I even knew her. We didn't know back then whether she'd be a she or a he so I'd chosen neutral colours. I found this great free pattern online at and chosen my own wool and colours. The only problem was I was so tired during my pregnancy that I'd get one row done and start falling asleep.

Recently when I'd made up a lot of dresses and gifts from some cute fabrics I'd found, I was at a loss for the next sewing project. That's when I looked in my cupboard and discovered my stash of yarns. Given our recent house purchase and the need to control my fabric spending a little I decided I should use up some of the yarn collection before buying anything else. And I thought it might be nice for Mia to get use of this blanket before her 15th birthday.

After I finish this blanket, I'm set to make myself some winter tops, a scarf and a knitted dress.