Gratitude

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Getting Ready for Swim Fun in the Summer Sun

Last summer my doll group devoted two meetings to a beach theme. Great idea, except none of my dolls had swimsuits. I kept meaning to make some but never got around to it. I figured this year I would get a head start, or the beach meet-up would come around and I'd be sitting there again with a tiny picnic basket and one or two dolls in shorts. Or else ignore the theme altogether, but that's no fun.

One of my crochet books (Ready Set Crochet by Susie Johns) has a pattern for a cute string bikini top. It's sized for humans, but adjusting it down to one-quarter size posed no problems. I especially like that it has a bit of shape to it, rather than consisting of two tiny triangles and a bit of string. The shape was surprisingly simple to make. You crochet an L-shape and then join the two short edges, beginning at the point where they meet. I tried the strings two ways. The violet bikini has a simple chain for the strings; the blue has a chain with one row of single crochet. The first looks sexier; the second is a bit sturdier and easier to tie.
My only complaint with the pattern is that there is no corresponding bottom. I was wondering what to do about it when I came across an example later in the book of increase and decrease triangles. Aha! I thought. That should work. Starting at the front waist, I decreased to the crotch, crocheted a narrow crotch and then began to increase for the back, all the while measuring against one of my Raccoon girls every couple of rows. Strictly speaking neither front nor back is a perfect triangle as I was aiming for coverage rather than mathematical symmetry. Maybe I'll try a slightly more daring treatment for the next one.
For accessories I turned to My Crochet Doll by Isabelle Kessedjian. I wanted a sun hat, a beach bag, and a towel or blanket. I used the rain hat pattern, measuring the piece on my doll's head after every round because I had no idea how big the finished hat would be. After round 6 or 7 I realized I needed to start decreasing and abandoned the pattern altogether. I decreased throughout the next 2 rounds to snug the hat around the head, then started increasing for a ruffled brim. To finish I wove blue yarn in and out of one of my decrease rows and tied it with a bow. I am absolutely thrilled with the result. Of course I'll have to make a few more; the girls are already fighting over who gets to wear it.
The beach bag looks okay, but I'll be the first to admit I got lost early on. I couldn't manage the adjustable loop and worked from a chain foundation ring instead. It's an accepted alternative--although I found it awkward to work in a small circle, especially when trying to determine which threads to pick up for my next stitch. Next time I'll try to master the adjustable loop to see if it makes the going easier. I'll need to make a couple more bags if I am to outfit a half-dozen girls for the beach.
No pattern was needed for the blanket. My only constraints were the amount of yarn I had in each color. I used a package of Lion Brand Bonbons containing eight tiny skeins of yarn in bright colors and worked five of them into a pattern of narrow stripes. I wish now I had left each skein attached when I changed colors. Not only would it have saved yarn but I wouldn't have had to weave in all the loose tails. As it was I barely made it to the end of my border before the orange yarn ran out.
The only thing keeping me from starting the next bikini now is yarn. Even though I have plenty of both colors left, it would be pretty boring to have six bikinis in the same two colors. My local store carries limited colors in this weight of Aunt Lydia's yarn so I had to place an order; with luck the yarn will turn up in the next few days and I can get working again.


10 comments:

  1. Ohh, I want one :). Come to think of it, I want those boobs, too. Haha. I hope you'll have a great summer to take the girls to the beach to show off.

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    1. Thanks Mia! It's hard for a bikini to look bad on a gorgeous body like Raccoon Doll. I swear these girls are made for bikinis. I only hope that after all this work (plus the bikinis and accessories for the other girls) the doll group doesn't decide NOT to do a beach themed meeting this year.

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  2. They came out so cute!! That hat is the cutest, too--I might see if I can crochet something similar (I am the worlds sloppiest crocheter, but I think I can do a hat now that I see how you did yours.) You are inspiring :D I hope your new yarn comes soon--the beach theme sounds so fun!

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    1. Thanks Fishcake! The hat starts out as a basic bucket hat. It's all single crochet. I just added a LOT of increases to get the ruffle. It came out way cuter than I expected.:)

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  3. They turned out so well!!! Love them both~ And the hat, very nice!

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    1. Thanks Fantasywoods! I wish my yarn would get here so I can start on the other colors. I hope to have a rainbow of bikinis when I'm finished.

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  4. Your girls look great, the bikinis turned out great!! I love the color you chose, they go so well with their skintones!
    You are so skilled in any craft you set to do!

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    1. Thanks Musume! My order for additional colors of yarn has arrived, so I'm starting to make more. I think when I'm done I'll try to make Speedos for the guys.

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  5. Cute! It reminds me of Daniel Bingham knit and crotchet patterns, there were a few cute ones (with a free crochet bikini pattern here

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    1. Thanks for that link, An! I did download the PDF bikini pattern about a year ago, but my computer won't open it. I'll have to try again.

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