Gratitude

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Cutest Doll Crochet Pattern Book

Perhaps I should have titled this: The Cutest Doll Crochet Pattern Book I Have Found to Date. Truth be told, most of the books of crochet patterns for dolls that I've found focus either upon 18-inch play dolls or upon amigurumi. A quick browse of Amazon books shows me some new titles I didn't see the last time I looked. Even so, none of them consider ball jointed dolls, much less tiny BJDs, so basically I am on my own in figuring out how to adapt the patterns. Before I get too far ahead of myself, here is the book, by Isabelle Kessedjian:
A caveat for users in the US: the crochet terms in the book are UK/European. I copied the author's chart showing US and UK equivalents onto a card that I can use as a bookmark, for when I need a reminder that dc in this book equals single crochet, not double crochet as I would normally expect. Another caveat, this for everyone: there is no gauge given. You're given the weight of the yarn and the size of crochet hook used. The only way to know what size garment you will end up with is to make one and see! The same goes for using different yarn or another size crochet hook. This appears to be intentional, a matter of the author letting each individual decide for herself what size her doll will be. Yes, but it's also just a tad frustrating.

That said, the projects are adorable. You get not only the doll with a variety of costumes and accessories, but also props like a suitcase with a blanket and pillow, a basket, a cake and cupcakes, a camera and a schoolbag. You also get amigurumi pets such as a toy bear, a penguin and little fish. I don't foresee many little fishes in my doll world unless my dragons like to eat them, but I can't wait to try the bear and penguin.
My intent in buying the book was to use the patterns to clothe my smaller BJDs: FairyLand's Realpuki and PukiFee, WithDoll tinies, and Doll Chateau Ada. I own two pairs of tiny trousers that someone knitted for Realpuki. Every time I look at them I wonder how the maker did it, because I have never seen knitting needles that would produce something so small. Since then I have found metal crochet hooks that tiny. Whether I can see well enough to use them is another matter, but hope springs eternal, as they say.


I decided to make a test garment to check for size and also to see how well I could follow the instructions. I selected the sweater, as it forms the basis for coats and dresses, and started with Aunt Lydia's Classic 10 crochet thread and a size B (2.25mm) crochet hook. Bad choice. The sweater, like many of the other garments, is crocheted in the round, but no matter how many times I tried, I couldn't keep my chain straight as I worked the foundation row so that I consistently ended up with my slip knot one row above my hem. Undaunted, I switched to Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 crochet thread and a size D (3mm) crochet hook. It wouldn't give me the size I ultimately wanted, but at least I would be able to see what I was doing. After getting the same results several more times, I gave up working in the round and decided to make a sweater that would close via buttons or a Velcro strip.
The sweater looked fine until I reached the armholes. Suddenly I realized that despite having exactly the number of stitches in my row that the pattern called for, the resulting garment was not going to fit any doll in my collection. Oh well, I told myself, I need the practice. So I continued making the first sleeve, which seemed much thicker and wider than those in the book's photos. I had to see what it looked like on a doll. I picked a LittleFee. Hmm... If I made the sleeves shorter than the pattern called for she could almost wear it. Of course, it was too long for a sweater, but it might work as a coat or a bathrobe. Maybe add a fuzzy yarn as trim around the edges. So I did just that, using Patons Cha Cha for the trim. (Note: eyelash yarn is not easy to crochet.) I crocheted a quick belt from the Fashion 3. And here it is:
I've learned a few things from making this test garment. 1) Except for hats, forget about working in the round. 2) I need to get comfortable with Aunt Lydia's Classic 10 and a smaller crochet hook. 3) All of these patterns will need some adjustment to fit my dolls' differing body types.

12 comments:

  1. The coat looks very nice though!! you did a great job! i also have trouble working crochet in circles so I haven't attempted doing hats and stick to scarves hahaha
    The book seems very cute~

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    1. Thank you! Crochet in the round works for hats and wigs because you start in the center and work outwards. Much easier than trying to make both ends of a chain match up!

      Most of the patterns are very cute. There is a little bear costume that I want to try, although I'm worried about crochet in the round on that one, too.

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  2. That book really does look like it has some adorable patterns!

    And seeing you get started on this has reminded me that I started doing some little crochet projects last May and never got around to finishing them, so thanks for the reminder! :)

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    1. Winter is a great time to sit in an easy chair and crochet. You don't feel like you should be outside doing something else. :D

      I think the only pattern in the book that I'm not interested in trying is the Superman outfit. Although, who knows, my LittleFee boy might like it.

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  3. That came out so well! The stitching is the right scale and she looks so cute in it!

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    1. Thanks Fishcake! The more I look at it, the more it says bathrobe instead of coat. Of course, now I need to make pajamas. The book has a pattern for them, but I'm not sure they'll fit under the robe.

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  4. I see you working on a whole chrocheted doll family :). How cute. I admire people who have the nerve to crochet, everything that requires counting, really.

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    1. Usually I don't bother counting. I know I'm supposed to, but the patterns are never designed for my dolls anyway so that frees me to just eyeball it and stop adding rows when it looks right. I don't know if that makes me creative...or just plain lazy! :D

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  5. That is such an awesome book!! And the coat looks really well! You are very talented! Well, I see the crochet nomenclature is confusing everywhere: it is different in Spain Spanish than in Latinamerica Spanih too! O_o Why do they do that stuff? =S
    Hope to see more projects!

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    1. Thank you! I didn't know the crochet terms were different in Spain and Latin America, too. You would think a single terminology would help people share projects around the world.

      I'm already working on another project. I was hoping it would fit the tiny dolls, but it's shaping up to be a 2-piece dress for MiniFee.

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  6. The best place to find knit or crotchet patterns is ravelry, for example http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/panties-for-puki-and-realpuki
    A bit of info about knitting (btw best knitting needles for MiniFee sized sweater are 2 mm or 1 mm size, anything smaller requires size 00 or more zeros) http://www.dollswestdesigns.com/knit-patterns-for-sale.html

    Note that on smallest crochet hooks you can crotchet using sewing thread. It's fun xD

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I've heard of Ravelry but haven't checked it out. Definitely will do so now.

      Crochet using sewing thread sounds like a project for someone with better vision than mine. I'll bet it would work well for Realpuki clothing, though. :)

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