Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Charity’s Box Opening

The obligatory box photo.

Still life with peanuts.

Excavation in progress.

Her LittleFée booklet.

Her dress, stockings, shoes, wig, and a second wig for Chutzpah (for modeling hats).

Discreetly placed shoes, for modesty’s sake.

Sitting up.

Charity waves hello!

And a close-up of her dear little face.

I took these in the break room at work, so none of her siblings were present. They all seem to be playing nicely, although Faith looks poutier than ever, and Temperance looks a little stunned.

I have a little over $50 saved up for the next doll, who will be Hope, and am a little sad that the Narin Firefly Bandy has apparently been discontinued. There are also a couple of outfits at Iplehouse that I want for Temperance, and I am putting out feelers for a group order.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Sweater for Little Miss Chutzpah

I was tidying up old drafts and found this, originally begun last August. I am not going to fiddle with the verb tenses, so you will just have to imagine that we are sitting in a time machine, and all the typing is happening now instead of almost a year ago.

I got started on the raglan decreases at church on Sunday. This is the stage where, on a human sweater, you have all the bits threaded onto a circular needle (or a pair of them), and everything just dangles from the needles down into your lap, and it’s heavy and awkward, and you think you’re never going to be done with it. Here, I have flipped the sleeves up out of the way so that you can see that they really are in place, even if this does not much resemble a sweater just yet.

And suddenly, all of the sleeve stitches are gone, and if you have calculated the neckline decreases accurately, those stitches are gone as well, and all that remains are the stitches across the back of the neck.

I have cleverly not photographed the time two times that I got off-kilter with my decreases and had to frog back. [Nor the search for the fifth needle (after I got distracted by the fourth book in the Twilight series). It was, of course, right where I had left it: atop a magazine, not even six inches from the rest of the sweater. Thankfully, I found it using my eyes and not my feet or a vital organ (I frequently knit in bed).] As you might be able to see below, I opted for a V-neck.

And then if you are knitting for a human, you bind off the neck stitches because you don’t want the neck to stretch out in back; but if you are knitting for a doll who will not be turning cartwheels or chasing a cat up a tree, you can just leave the stitches there and pick up along the front edges of the sweater and work a garter stitch band with simple YO (yarnover, K2tog; I’m not channeling Rocky’s “YO, Adrian!” here) buttonholes on one or both sides, depending on whether you are going to button the sweater closed [as I did for Blessing’s teal sweater] or lace it shut [as I did for Celeste’s variegated lavender/rose/grey sweater].

Here it is at that point, with both sleeves seamed, the underarms grafted, and most of the ends woven in. I left the tag from the cast-on, in case I want to use it to sew on buttons later. When I made Blessing’s sweater, I knitted in the button-beads as I went. Some of them are a little wobbly (too long a thread shank, in effect). I think that if I stitch the beads on later, I will prevent that problem in future sweaters.

Here it is with the button bands completed. I opted to work buttonholes on both sides.

How sad is it that when I inventoried my ribbon stash, I had three cards of green 4mm, one card of green 7mm, and four cards of green 13mm? None of which was individually right to lace up the sweater, but all of which combined to give me the idea for a really cute skirt. So I drove over to The French Knot and bought four more cards of green 4mm, two cards of #8 silk perle (like perle cotton, only better), and two tiny hanks of #8 soysilk thread (one of which I immediately hand wound into a ball roughly the diameter of a quarter and proceeded to cast on for a pair of bloomers or panties, using a #11-12 steel crochet hook and my 00000 needles.) Insert sigh here...

I took three shots of the bloomers in their infancy: one aerial view showing the cleverness (ahem!) of the nether panel shaping (pardon the coyness, but I am trying to avoid spelling out the word which means the part where limbs join the trunk, both on trees and on people, because I think it would attract the wrong kind of attention to this blog), and two showing how short rows in the back were adding the fullness required to accommodate Her Cheekiness. All three of them impossibly blurry, so you will just have to trust me, but I was rather pleased with the shaping itself.

I have since duplicated the sweater, since I mislaid the instructions the first time around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Revisiting “Intolerable Cruelty”

One of the things that I did when I was home on Tuesday, was to update Ravelry. Here is the original detail picture of the finished skirt, posted on my primary blog in late March 2010. Here is a link to the original post on this blog.

Here is the front view of the finished skirt.

Here is the back view.

And a close-up of the handpainted silk ribbon, which does not contrast so violently in real life.

The finished skirt is 3.75” across at the waist; 4.5” across at the hip; and 12.25” in length. I did not need to run shirring elastic through the ribbing on the inside, as I had thought I would.

I updated the project page on Ravelry earlier tonight.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not “Hope”. Not “Charity”. Definitely not “Joy”.

Solemn as an owl, this one. The only virtue which seems to fit, is “Temperance”.

Her wig was lighter and redder than I expected, though I am certainly not disappointed. Now I have three black-haired beauties and three dark-chestnut beauties. And her wig is wavier than Honor’s but far less sproingy than Chutzpah’s.

Nekokoi had a pair of lilac glass eyes which are, purely and simply, enchanting. To the point that I can see I will need to invest in glass eyes for her sisters. And the faceup is perfect.

Like the Jessica which was [briefly] mine, the Iplehouse girls are more solidly built than their counterparts from other companies, and more realistically proportioned. She is approximately the same height as Faith, but see how much larger her head is in comparison.

She is currently wearing a T-shirt and bermuda shorts made for a Ken. I think this one is going to be a tomboy, which explains why I felt a distinct no! when I briefly contemplated the little schoolgirl outfit on the website. I might be able to wheedle her into a corduroy jumper, but I think she is going to want to hang out in jeans, cowboy boots, and T-shirts. Though she will happily wear the family tartan if she can also have a claymore.

I wish I still had the letter opener that was Dad’s. It was modeled after a cavalry sword.

She does not have Blessing’s austere beauty, but she is a very pretty (if resolute) little one, and most welcome to the tribe.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photos from the doll meetup on Saturday.

Panning left to right.

We’re walking, we’re walking.

We’re walking, we’re walking.

And we’re stopping.

We’re walking, we’re walking.

And we’re done.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We gots no eyes?

Nekokoi texted me to say that there were no eyes in the box with my Naias. I had missed that small fact. I have emailed the manufacturer but probably won’t hear anything until Monday. Nekokoi has some loaner eyes. Failing that, it’s either pirate patches x 2, or a pair of Ray Charles shades.

Had a blast at the doll meetup yesterday. The doll owners are every bit as interesting and varied as their dolls.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

She’s here!

Although, technically, she’s at Nekokoi’s, waiting for the humidity to please go away so that Doll Enabler #1 my gifted, intuitive daughter can figure out what her face is supposed to look like. And then I can figure out if she is “Hope” or “Charity” or some other virtue I haven’t considered.

I spent the better part of an hour wrangling Celeste into the finery I bought from Nekokoi. I have a doll meetup at lunch, after I spend the morning doing things of greater eternal significance.

Friday, February 18, 2011


She successfully navigated the customs office yesterday. Box opening later today?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

She’s still in customs.

(Note the absence of an exclamation point in today’s title.) I figure that they are still digging out from the storms of the last two weeks, even though in Chicago they are probably pretty used to that.

I got all the stitches on the new prototype sweater transferred from DP’s to a short, pointier circular needle yesterday. No actual knitting done, as I am working on a project in human scale.

Maybe tomorrow I will have a new doll in hand; I am hoping that she will arrive before the weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She’s in customs!

I’d better get busy at my sewing machine!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On shipping.

I checked my order status at Iplehouse this morning. I have a tracking number for my Naias. She may be here as early as tomorrow, depending upon how long she spends at customs.

No idea when I can get her to Nekokoi for her face-up, as this is looking like a particularly busy week. But pictures soon, I promise!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Out of dolly debt.

(Originally published this morning on my spinning blog. Oye.)

My Iplehouse Naias is paid off. I am just getting the basic doll, a wig, and a black turtleneck T-shirt. The fairy/naiad bits are cute, but they don’t suit the character I have in mind for her.

I also paid off this outfit I bought from Fourthborn. Pictures of the petticoat, crinoline and shoes are on my primary blog today. The blouse:

The crinoline, which I wanted as a pattern for future ones of my own design:

And the petticoat, pretty in its own right (although the commercial lace does not thrill me excessively), and also useful as a pattern.

I’ll try to remember to photograph the vest and the overskirt in the near future.

I bought more yarn for doll hats last night on my way home from work. Progress is slow but I think steady toward opening my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Neglected blog.

There has been way too much going on in non-doll life. I did finish the sweater for Chutzpah.

It has buttonholes on each side of the button band and laces up with silk ribbon from my stash.

I bought a DOC Bee-A from Nekokoi, who sent all sorts of clothing and shoes home with her. That’s Honor, in the red.

I have one payment remaining on an Iplehouse Naias, who will either be Hope or Charity when she arrives sometime after my birthday in mid-April. I am also severely tempted by both Erzulie (love that ladybug on her dress!) and Efreet, although I would like Efreet better if she were not so pouty.

And I am opening up an Etsy shop (soon). This is some of the yarn I ordered last week, when I was snowed/iced in.

Right now I have a dozen hats in three sizes, all knitted up from Noro Kureyon Sock in four colorways. And I need to reconstruct the pattern for Chutzpah’s sweater, because I’m not finding it in any of the usual places in Word. One of my friends in the doll world has suggested that I offer some items in non-wool fibers, hence the silk tweed (beige) and bamboo (lime green) you see above. The fuchsia is laceweight cashmere, because I couldn’t resist.

And now if you will all excuse me, I’m off to do some serious swatching.