Friday 19 June 2015

Alice in Wonderland

This year, 2015, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll celebrates it's 150th anniversary. It was first published in 1865 and has been a popular children's classic ever since.

The story has been illustrated many times over the years by a wide variety of artists, all with their own individual styles and interpretations of each character.
Perhaps the most recognisable illustrations are the originals done by John Tenniel in the 1860s. He produced satirical cartoons for Punch magazine and this style is evident in his Alice in Wonderland illustrations which were originally in black and white. Later they were tinted with colour.
Tenniel's tinted illustrations became very popular and were used for a number of children's games and toys (see above).

It is the brightly coloured Disney cartoon illustrations that today's children will recognise (see above).
If you would like to make a Wonderland Rabbit like these you will find both colour combinations in my knitting pattern. There is even a template for the pocket watch which is of course an essential addition!

The doll in my Alice in Wonderland pattern has yellow hair (tied with a ribbon). She wears a blue dress and white apron just as the Disney Alice did. The original Alice in Tenniel's tinted pictures wore a yellow dress but somehow I think blue suits her better.

Knitting patterns for Alice and the White Rabbit can be found in my Etsy and Ravelry shops and on Loveknitting where patterns are prices in GB pounds.

Monday 8 June 2015

FREE PATTERN - Fairy and pin cushion

I thought I’d start the week by showing you the free knitting pattern I’ve just put online. This tiny (5cm) fairy is attached to a pin and happily sits in her pin cushion garden.

The fairy would, I'm sure, be happy to sit on any pin cushion but this pretty one is quick and easy to knit and easily constructed from two 13cm (5in) squares knitted in garter stitch.

It is very easy to stitch together in the biscornu style (Google for 'biscornu' if you aren't familiar with this).

The fairy pins are quick and easy to make from short lengths of yarn. Make one and I'm sure she'll soon be joined by a friend!!

The FREE download for the fairy and the pin cushion is currently

You'll find regular updates about my knitting and family of knitted dolls

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Yarn choice

Dolls come in many different colours and styles these days and (like people) their skin tones vary widely around the world. So when asked to recommend a particular yarn for a flesh colour I find it difficult and am only able to tell you which yarn I use here in the UK and why I choose it for my dolls.

The question I get asked most frequently by knitters is "Which yarn shall I use as the flesh colour? Should it be baby pink, peach or cream?"
I never recommend baby pink; cream can be OK but can be a bit bland, so a shade of peach seems the best option. But if you want to put your dolls in pale coloured clothing a peach colour can appear too strong (see photo above).
Luckily I have found what is for me the ideal colour and this is the one I recommend (see below). I suppose I'd describe it as a warm cream with a hint of very pale peach. It is widely available here in the UK but for obvious reasons I'm not able to guarantee it's availability in other countries.
My number one choice is Hayfield Bonus DK and the colour is 'Flesh Tone'. The shade number is 0963. The 100g balls are 100% acrylic. The thickness and quality of the yarn is perfect for dolls heads, bodies, arms and legs.
This flesh colour works well with pale pinks and other pastel shades.
I use it for my largest dolls and my smallest.
I've used this yarn for a number of years and so asked for a few dolls to pose with a ball of Hayfield Bonus DK. As you can see I was inundated with volunteers. Looking at their smiling faces I think I can safely say they are all very happy with the way they look!
By now many doll knitters will have discovered their own favourite shades but if you are still undecided then try Hayfield Bonus DK. It is available from many high street shops and by mail order from online companies many of whom will mail it oversees if you are unable to find it closer to home.  Happy dolly knitting to you all.