Sunday, September 4, 2011

More Babies and Barbies, Oh My!

This weekend definitely felt like time to post my last several crochet projects. I realized I've been doing this about once a quarter since starting this blog late last year, though I didn't plan it that way. I also see I last updated this blog on a three-day weekend (Memorial Day, and it's now Labor Day weekend). That works out well, since it takes time to get pics of my projects, upload them, crop them and write the descriptions. This time, I'll be posting 3 baby items or ensembles that I'll put on consignment at Craft City (my friend Dianne's daughter-in-law's shop), followed by two more Barbies in gowns for my own collection.

The first pics below are one of my favorite baby ensembles I've made, consisting of a jacket, hat and panties. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn in pale rose.

This next baby jacket and dress are from an Annie's Attic booklet called "Baby's Sunday Best". It was pictured in off white with rose trim, which was nice, but I decided to make it more colorful, using Knit Picks "Shine" yarn in ocean with cherry trim.

I saw some #5 pearl cotton on eBay and decided I wanted to try using it for a baby dress. This dress is called "Sweet Pea" and was from a 2008 "Crochet World" magazine. It was fun to make and turned out cute, but I will try making it in the future with baby yarn. The #5 cotton had only 50 yards per ball, so this little dress took 12 balls! The color is "watermelon".

I mentioned planning on starting the Barbie below when I last posted in May. I worked on part of her skirt during my train trip to Portland in June, since it was a lot of repetitive but relaxing basic single crochet. I used #10 Cebelia in garnet and cream, with accents of #10 Opera in parasol pink. I think she is very elegant, prim and proper!

Hey, it's "Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown" (and if you remember that song, you must be older than me or into music trivia!). I just finished this girl a few days ago and she is one of my favorite Barbies I've made. I think she is just SO pretty. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but there are close to 800 of the light blue cat's eye beads in the bottom part of her skirt, over 200 in her jacket, and more in her hat and parasol. I used #10 Opera thread in atlantis. It was hard to find the right color beads (at a price I could afford) but finally found them at

The project I'm presently working on is an afghan called Floral Bouquet, which consists of squares with alternating colors of flowers with popcorn stitch petals, in neutral squares with more popcorn stitches. More on that next time!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oh, You Beautiful Dolls!

On this rare 3-day weekend, I'm glad to have a moment to update my blog with my most recent projects which (with the exception of a shawl I crocheted for a graduating senior at my church; I forgot to photograph it but maybe I can get a picture soon with the young lady who will be receiving it), I've continued to concentrate on the fancy Barbies I love creatiing -- three for my own collection and one will be winging her way to a special friend (pardon the pun; it's an angel doll!).

I had mentioned at the end of my last entry that I was about to start at least one and maybe more dolls in the profusely ruffled "Miss Holly" collection of gowns, depending on how it went. It turned out I made just one gown from that pattern, due to the sizing being off. Because I crochet tightly, I go up several sizes on the hook I use for Barbie gowns, and that almost always works fine. But this time, the "Miss Holly" gown was still too small for the Barbie I intended it for. However -- I discovered it fit one of my 10-inch "Skipper" dolls (Barbie's little sister) just fine. So she ended up with this frothy concoction. I used #10 Opera thread in tapestry rose, with cream and black trim (also #10 Opera).

Several months ago, I bought a beautiful African-American Barbie from eBay. This gal looks like she stepped right off a Caribbean island, and I've been looking forward to creating a bright jewel-toned outfit for her. I used #10 Opera thread in a bright royal blue (not sure of color name) together with the #10 Opera in tapestry rose, and am very pleased with how she turned out. I generally never name my Barbies, but this one reminds me so much of one of this year's "American Idol" contestants, whose first name was Naima (pronounced Nye-EE-ma) that this is what I ended up calling her!

The next gown I decided to create, using one of my very favorite colors of my beloved discontinued #10 Opera thread (official name is Wintergreen, but I call it seafoam), turned out to be one of my more ambitious efforts, due to the dozens of roses that it called for attaching to her full skirt. The pattern called for crocheting the tiny roses, but I didn't care for the way they looked. So I searched on eBay and found some tiny iridescent ribbon roses in the exact same shade! I attached each of the tiny roses with fabric glue and also tacked them in place with the thread. She turned out to be one of my favorites; I think she is absolutely gorgeous!

My most recent Barbie, which I just finished last week, will soon be on her way to a special friend, who I hope will enjoy and be comforted by her. As I shared a few months ago on my narrative blog at, my joining Facebook several months ago has not only been fun but has reunited me with two special ladies I'd lost touch with many years ago. My cousin's daughter Janet in Chicago found me at the end of last year (after my favorite aunt/her grandma passed away last Nov. and no one bothered to tell us...) and it's been incredible catching up with her. Then a few days later, Ellayne in Massachusetts who was a special long letter pen pal for MANY years on and off since the early 70s (YIKES) but who I lost touch with in '95, found me. I was SO thrilled to find her again and learn she was happily remarried. Then, a mere four weeks later, her beloved husband passed away. As glad as I am to be back in touch with her, I was broken-hearted at what she was now going through. I wanted to do something for her other than pray (though that's important, of course). So I asked her to let me make her a Barbie angel and asked what color gown she would like.

Since my friend likes green, I decided to use the same seafoam I used for the last doll with the roses gown, since I find it a very soothing color. I decided to use a Barbie with beautiful long brown hair and a sweet face. I had trouble getting the lighting to accurately capture her coloring even though I tried several settings on my beloved Nikon Coolpix. She is actually not an African-American doll, but a brunette with a light tan. I still don't think the photo does her justice; she is prettier in person. I hope my friend will cherish her and that she will be comforted in her recent loss, and that we will remain in touch always.

I've started a new Barbie for my collection; a very Victorian-looking gown with a ruffled blouse and a full striped skirt. I'm using #10 Cebelia thread in cream and in #815 Garnet. Picture coming later this year!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Baby Dresses and More!

Well, it has been two months since I started my new crochet blog, and this weekend I finally got around to taking photos of some items I have crocheted since then. The first, a thread crochet baby dress from the Annie's Attic booklet "Frilly Frocks", I had actually crocheted late last year but had not photographed.

Fittingly, the name of the above gown in the booklet was "Blue Bliss". I used #10 Opera thread in Atlantis. I don't often crochet items in the same color shown in the pattern; this one just worked out that way. Though I was pleased with it, it took quite some time to make -- and even though I went up a couple of sizes on the hook than what was specified, it still basically came out newborn size. So I decided to sell the pattern booklet on eBay rather than try any of the other four dresses, and seek another source for a thread baby dress. I decided to try a pattern from an old issue of Crochet World magazine and quickly found it was poorly written. I often had to stop and figure out what the designer meant, and made many notations on the pattern itself. However, I was thrilled with the final result:

This dress is a 6-month size (according to my friend Dianne; it's hard for me to judge, never having had babies) and I used #10 Cebelia thread in #210 Lavender. I liked it so much that I decided to make another in burgundy (#10 Cebelia in #815 Garnet):

The blue and lavender dresses are presently on consignment at Dianne's daughter-in-law's new craft store, and hopefully they will sell. The burgundy dress will join them there, next time I see Dianne. At some point in the future, I will try making this little dress in a larger size. Now that I have figured out the errors in the pattern, it seems like it should lend itself well to my increasing the number of stitches to adjust the size.

After I made the burgundy dress, I took advantage of JoAnn Fabrics' recent coupon offer of $5 off any regular priced item costing $5 or more. I looooove their Sensations "Angel Hair" yarn for scarves and hats, but at $5.99 each, I only buy it on sale. I was gradually able to obtain 4 at this great price, just enough to make my favorite 6-foot scarf and cuffed hat in the Mayfair stitch (this set will also go on consignment). This color is just called "blue", but as you can see, it is much more than just a basic blue!

And now for the most recent creation I finished just yesterday! As some of you may know, I love crocheting doll gowns and have most of a glass cabinet full of Barbies I have created thread gowns for. You will see a few of them in the Dec. entries of this blog and many others in the 5-page crochet section of I also have four 16 to 18-inch girl dolls and have crocheted worsted weight yarn gowns in the past couple years for three of them. I had never gotten around to crocheting a gown for Samantha, partly because I did like the peach dress and hat that she came with. But Sammi was feeling left out, not having a special handmade gown like her "sisters". So I felt I would eventually make one for her. I decided the time would be this month.

I initially chose a thread gown in a booklet for 18" dolls and started crocheting it with #10 Opera thread in peach. But I realized early in the process that this pattern was not going to work out. So now what? I again looked through my patterns, but for her size, they were yarn patterns and I didn't have peach yarn on hand and didn't want to buy any. I then looked through my booklet of five Victorian gowns for 15" dolls (which included the teal and rose gown I made for the doll I gave Dianne for Christmas, posted earlier in this blog). I really liked these gowns and knew I could adjust the size slightly to fit Sammi. But what yarn? It didn't HAVE to be peach. What other color would look good on a redhead? I looked through the other colors I had on hand when.....DING! Light bulb moment! Dianne had given me some yarn during her recent process of sorting her huge stash for her move. Among this yarn was Impeccable worsted weight in Forest (medium sage) and Sage Butter Ombre (a pretty variegated sage, tan and white). I sensed these would be PERFECT for the gown called "Abigail" in this booklet -- and I was right! Here, resplendent in her new outfit, is the beautiful Sammi!

The next project I plan to start is matching ruffled gowns (in dark rose with cream and black trim) from a leaflet called "Miss Holly" -- one for a Barbie and the matching gown for a 7-inch Stacie doll. (The booklet also contains the same dress sized for a 9 to 10-inch Skipper doll -- I MAY do that also, depending on how the first two go!) Thanks for viewing my latest creations!