Sunday, June 20, 2010

Knitting Doll Clothes

What is the best thing about having a new waldorf doll? Making clothes for him of course! Yes, with the completion of my Waldorf doll kit from Weir Doll and Crafts I had a nice new albeit naked doll. This kit came with patterns for making clothes, but alas I am unable to find it in the pile on my desk. Did I let this deter me? Did I take them time to sort through this pile of detritus? No, I simply made up a toe up sock pattern of sorts with some fingering weight yarn I had on hand.

They are a bit on the pointy side, but cute!

These socks fit just perfectly and with this success under my belt I wanted to knit more. So, I jumped unto the internet to Raverly and looked up free doll clothing patterns. Waldorf Mama has a great cardigan pattern for free on her blog, but it was for worsted weight yarn. Then I found this cardigan pattern made for the lovely Bamboletta Dolls from Pixie for Purls that I could use the same fingering weight yarn I used for the socks. I omitted the button as Sam is not too dexterous at using them yet, and I didn't want him to become frustrated and then mad at his doll. The sweater took a little longer than I thought, but with size 2 needles what did I expect?

Here's Lamby in his whole ensemble.

I still had lots of yarn left over so I created a hat as well again making it up as I went along. Starting with size 2 double pointed needles I cast on 80 stitches and knit in the round. I began with the same rib pattern as used on the cardigan then just good old garter stitch the rest of the way. I decreased ten stitches every so often (didn't keep too good of track to write out specifically) just checking the fit periodically until I had 10 stitches. Then I decreased to 5 stitches and knit for a number of rows to make the knot on top. I wish I would have knit for longer before my first decrease, but otherwise I like the elfin look it gives Lamby.

You can see how the hat decreases a bit to rapidly in this side shot. I love the knot!

Now, I just need to dig up those patterns to make pants and a shirt. I found a fun remnant of fabric at this really funky fabric store in NE Minneapolis that I am excited to use. The fabric is a cream background with red, green, blue, and yellow diamonds arranged in a pattern like you might see on a Harlequin costume. I just need to find the time to sort out that massive pile of stuff...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Waldorf Dolls

Wonderment is a fabulous toy store in Minneapolis that caters to the Waldorf family. They often have classes on making toys too and by far their most popular is making Waldorf Dolls. After struggling with a kit, taking a class that was canceled half way through I decided to try this class. It was wonderful and as the store owner predicted very empowering. Eight women sat down at 10:00 am on a rainy Saturday morning knowing zilch to ending at 4:00 pm that same day with a finished 16" Waldorf Doll. It was so amazing the transformation of cloth, wool and thread to this little person with a personality all his own. I made mine in the image of my child with auburn hair and hazel eyes. I purchased an outfit from the instructor to get him ready to give to my son Sam who was, with Daddy, picking me up (life with one car can be tricky) at the end of the class.

The class doll is in clothes and the kit doll just has a hat so far.

I was tired and in a bit of a daze as 4:00 pm hit and I heard a little voice behind me say "Mama?" I turned to Sam and showed him his new doll which he immediately hugged and said "I love him." Wow! I was so pleased my hard work and effort elicited this response - what more could you ask for?

With my new knowledge under my belt, as well as those few extra pounds (where do they come from ? Certainly not chocolate!), I decided to tackle my half made doll kit. So, today I made my second doll. He too is a boy but with blue eyes, Sam's request, and red hair - no clothes yet. What a wonderful feeling to know I could make this doll on my own! An old half completed project now finished and useful - hurray!

Getting the eyes right was so much trickier than I thought, but I'm pleased with the end result.

Sam is loving them with that special boy love of hugs one moment and wacking him on furniture the next. I hope they hold up to such affection. He named them Sheepy and Lamby. Kind of fitting when you think of all the wool used to make them yes? I'm off to make them socks now - wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gnome Pouches and a Personal Note

This idea came to me watching my son Sam's Waldorf Kindergarten class. The children in the class are given a "little one", a small doll, from their teacher when they turn 5. The children then get to sew a bag to carry their "little one" around their neck. This way their doll can go on adventures with them and be close to their heart. It really is the sweetest thing to see both boys and girls playing with these doll; although the boys vehemently say they are not dolls but little ones.

So, here is my version for carrying - what else but - a gnome! The pouches are made out of plant dyed wool felt from fellow etsian mamajudes same as my wands. The bag portion measures aproximately 3 1/2 inches x 5 inches and the chain is 17" long. Sam tried them on for me but I haven't gotten him to hold still for a picture, but they sit at chest level with the gnomes hat coming almost to his chin. I decorated them with a rainbow so that no matter what gnome you choose it will match, and frankly can anyone have too many rainbows? Of course then I had to use my lovely bulky rainbow yarn to finger knot a chain for the bag. Sam is so eager to finger knit, knit and sew it's hard for me to keep telling him soon you'll learn this in Kindergarten, as he really isn't ready yet. He is just such a boy of action he wants to do, do, do not just watch. I think of these bags for gnomes, but they could be used for other dolls, or treasures, or maybe even secret messages!

On a personal note our In Vitro Fertilization or IVF prodcedure was not a success. I'm coming to terms with the fact I won't be pregnant again, but it was hard for Sam. He really wanted me to be pregnant and to watch the birth (he loves to hear the story of his birth - sliding out of mama into the water.) We'll now focus on adopting from the Philippines (my husband Dan is 1/2 Phillipino himself.) I find myself hoping to adopt siblings so Sam can have the brother and sister he wants to complete our family. Looking towards the future is good right now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Gnomes have been my focus in my etsy store for some time now. This past January I added wands and crowns for some more variety of imaginative toys. But, still something was missing. I've always wanted a counterpart for the gnomes - elves seemed too similar, mermaids too different and fairies too delicate for knitting. Then Mamajudes on etsy had a sampler of plant dyed doll hair yarns (mohair and boucles) for sale and I thought maybe I could give fairies a try.

Here are my first attempts

I used the braid around their head to help keep their hair sewn down.

In these first attempts I used the body from my standing gnome to start. Then sewed on hair instead of a hat and felt wings in place of a knitted cape. I gave them symbols on their chests to give them an identity and to balance the color and texture of the wings. So, there is a love fairy, sun fairy and a good luck fairy (you'll notice they are similar to my wands.)

Here is the "love" fairy, but she could also be a bleeding heart flower fairy.

You'll notice here that I sewed felt to the bottom to completely enclose
the fairy and making it more child safe.

I'd love to hear comments from all of you on how successful these fairies turned out and any improvements or changes I might make. Once an idea occurs to me I find it hard to see other possibilities that's why your comments really help me in refining a toy.