Monday 21 October 2013

NEW doll pattern

Greetings friends. I have some good news for all you dolly knitters out there. My new pattern is finished at last. Phew! To tell you the truth I never thought I'd complete it as its been on the go for several months. 

The cosy fireside chair where I do much of my pattern testing and writing has been surrounded by little heaps of children's picture books which I have dipped into for inspiration. Many of you know I'm especially fond of the plump, rosy cheeked and happy little children illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell and I have to confess the new dollies (yes there are two) do resemble some MLA characters.

Meet the twins, Jasmine and Violet, the latest little girls to be welcomed into our playroom. They might look a bit similar to their other Dollytime cousins but are different in several ways. Let me explain . . . . . 

These little cuties are 38cm (15in) tall and made to withstand a lot of love, cuddles and boisterous play. When I started the pattern all those months ago I experimented and knitted with two strands of yarn as I wanted the knitted fabric to be thicker, more robust and less likely to have areas where stuffing could be visible though the stitches. To my delight it worked really well and as a result each of these dolls is knitted from two strands of double knitting (DK) yarn. (In the US I suggest using worsted and in Australia 8 ply). The various clothes are knitted from a single strand of yarn in the usual way. If you wanted to use the same yarn as me you will find details of the brands and colours used plus the web site of an excellent British company that posts yarn worldwide.

As I have already mentioned, I wanted the dolls to be robust but also fun to play with. Knowing that all little girls love to style a doll's hair my next task was create hair that could be regularly and easily re-styled in different ways. And so I chose a lovely golden yellow chunky yarn which is stitched on firmly but can be tied, lifted and pinned in order to create several cute styles. No brushing allowed of course, you use your fingers as a comb (details in the pattern).

The hair is quite long and below Jasmine demonstrates how easy it is to tie it into bunches on either side.

Now she has tied the bunches high on her head for a different look

Or how about some plaits (braids)

Below is Violet, the little dancing doll. She has only plaited the front of her hair and then tied the plaits on top with a bow. The hair at the back is left long.

This little rascal also likes to tie all her hair on top which she is demonstrating here. All the styles and how to create them are described in the pattern.

Finally of course I knew these dollies would require a variety of clothing that would be easy to put on and take off. There are patterns for two dresses, two cardigans (long and short), shoes with socks attached and panties. For Violet the dancing doll I have created some leggings. Hopefully I will be designing some extra clothing for the twins sometime next year. If you posess the basic knitting skills then you will find the dolls and their clothing are very easy to knit. There are lots of pictures, hints and tips to assist you and as a result the pattern extents to a lengthy 26 pages.

Well  . . . After that detailed description I hope you can appreciate why it has taken me quite a while to get to the end of this particular project! I've had great fun doing it and I hope those of you who decide to knit one or both of the dollies will enjoy creating your own cute little characters.

You can find the new pattern in my shops below. Click on the one you wish to go to.

ETSY SHOP - (instant download within 10 minutes)
UK SHOP - (NOT an instant download as I email the patterns to customers myself)
RAVELRY SHOP - (instant download pattern)

I think it's time to give my needles a rest for while!  

Until next time.
Eli  x

Sunday 6 October 2013

Pinning and stitching

Greetings friends. I've just popped in to let you know I'm still here and have been busy sewing for the past few weeks. I'm still in love with freestyle machine embroidery so there has been plenty of that going on.

My days of stitching have resulted in a number of pretty pin cushions being created. Some round and mushroom-shaped and others like small plump pillows.

Not content with making pin cushions I decided to make some decorative beaded pins to accompany them.

I'm rarely without a pin cushion by my side these days as I always seem to be pinning or stitching something.

Above is one of my small rounded pin cushions. A pretty occasional cushion to keep on the dressing table perhaps.

Below is a what I would call a working pin cushion. I keep one like this beside the sofa where I knit and have filled it with all the bits and pieces I use regularly when designing patterns.

The linen pillow below is just as useful and together with my other pin cushions can be found in my Flutterby Stitch Etsy shop. Every pin cushion comes with beaded pins that I've carefully chosen to co-ordinate with each design.

By the end of the week I'd completed my cushions and decided I should make some greetings cards in a similar stitched style.

Of course I couldn't resist putting a cute little face popping out of this pink striped pram.

The knitters amongst you will be pleased to know I'm  plodding on with the new dolly pattern. It seems to be taking forever (possibly because I'm making two dolls). It's turned into quite a sizable project but I'm determined to get it finished in the next couple of weeks as I know many of you are keen to get your dollies knitted and ready for Christmas.