Knitting Dolls: After the socks

March 7, 2013

I had conquered socks on double pointed needles. Since I was not going out to buy two circular needles in a size one or two, and I did not have any yarn I wished to make more socks with, I was in need of a new sort of project. I went wandering and looking; considering…a scarf; a sweater? I wasn’t sure I was ready to learn to knit cables yet. I’m told its not difficult, but I didn’t have as much desire. However, I’d heard about doll making from acquaintances in the Clare County Arts Council but found the classes too expensive and the dolls were not child friendly. I have two nieces who were turning 8 and 10 at this time, and I wanted to make them something special.

After searching the local library, I found a great book called McCall’s Big Book of Soft Toys and Dolls. This book is also available on for about $6.00, give or take a few coins and shipping. Within, were a number of knit or crocheted dolls(as well as fun toys), some of which were crocheted into their clothes. I decided I didn’t want clothes knit/crocheted on and found a pattern with human looking dolls. The right shades of yarn had been gifted to me after my boyfriend’s grandmother passed on earlier that year. This pattern was even on straight needles.
I set to work making the Island sisters, though they didn’t look so Island/Hawaiian when I was done. I made two of them, which was interesting as I was knitting front sides and back sides. Now, I wish I had taken photos of these dolls before I shipped them off to my dear nieces in Florida for Christmas. This often happens at the last possible moment, unless I’m focusing on only gift and become ruthlessly organized the month before. I rarely become ruthlessly organized.

This photo is close, but mine were knit without the bathing suit and cap and more of a waistline (which I found kind of impressive). I hope to update this post with real photos soon.

(That said, If my brother is kind and loving, and hopefully entertained by my signature, “Your loving, teaching, know-it-all sister,” then I may be able to get photos for this blog. Note to self…must take more photos. Somehow, no one ever thought they’d hear me say those words.)

Back to the dolls…which I knit them one at a time. Then I used the extra yarn tied to my knot to sew the dolls together. Having grafted with my toe on the sock, I did attempt grafting the seams of these dolls together. I think it looked better in the end.

All went well, until I realized I made mistakes at the shin/leg of the dolls. Some of them I knit shorter than others…but knit patterns can be forgiving, as well as nieces who can’t read knitting patterns yet (and likely wouldn’t, if they could). I also bought the nieces off with some stash yarn for their crochet practice. After I sewed/grafted the knit dolls together, I stuffed them. Then I began to sew in eyes and a smile/smirk. The smirks suited my nieces, just a tad. Then I got to the challenge of adding hair. I’m not the best at adding hair, and decided to sew it on. Once I got the sections of hair sewn on, as uneven as they turned out(Hey, I’m not perfect here, I just try to be), I gave them another hair cut and tried to sew dresses for them. That’s another adventure. At this point, I’m hoping my sister-in-law with her mathematical eye for detail, fixed the hair shortly after their arrival. If she didn’t, she has my permission to re-set the hair now;-).

All in all, they enjoyed the dolls which went with a story I’d been writing for them. Perhaps I’ll return to the storyline soon. After all, Beach season will be returning…and these dolls can at least be washed.

Above: My inspiration for much of my knitting: My beautiful nieces, Jessica and Elizabeth in sunny Florida. I did create the dolls to look like them in that Jessica’s had dark blond/almost brown hair, and Lizzie’s had sunny yellow blond hair as she describes it. I do wish I had had time to sew them dresses…perhaps I will finish that this weekend, and debate about making them swimsuits for the beach season.

Now you’ve seen it in print…I’ve admitted I’m not perfect. I will have friends and relatives framing this quote for years to come…providing they come read this too…next…we’ll see how the yarn knits up…

One Response to “Knitting Dolls: After the socks”

  1. Asa Ahlquist Says:

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

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