Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Doll Face


Knitting for Barbie

I know what you are saying. I can hear you now. Surely she has better things to do. There are pieces to embroider; tapestries to weave; sketchbooks to work on; socks to knit. But I really couldn't help myself. This Barbie resides in the toy basket here and sees the light of day whenever an appropriately aged child comes to visit. She has been played with for years and years. The basket (and it is a large basket) also contains articles of clothing made by my daughters, for Barbie's as well as other dolls. A year ago, Texas Barbie was put into play as the BFF of a Barbie who came visiting from Italy, in the hands of my granddaughter Robin K. All the clothes came out of the basket to be tried on by the dolls and scraps of fabric were draped around them to become new dresses. I found myself adopting a high voice and moving Texas Barbie about in the wake of Italian Barbie. Fortunately, they were both speaking English. Eventually, Italian Barbie went home with her handler and Texas Barbie went back into the basket. Sometime this year however, I saw a pattern for this dress in a package of Hiya Hiya knitting needles and I had some rose colored yarn with tiny sequins in it. Perfect. And then I found pages and pages of Barbie knitting patterns on Ravelry. Can you believe it? And I had some Mohair yarn that I had unraveled from an old sweater of my Mother's. If you really want to get into this story, you can see photos of me unraveling this yarn on my blog about "things to do with a broken neck". At any rate, this yarn has a little bit of a story and it made a nice snugly mohair coat (there is even a pocket) and hat for Texas Barbie who of course had to come out of the basket to be fitted. In fact. so many fitting were required, that the doll hung out in our bedroom for a good while. I finally finished the coat last night, prompting my husband to ask if Barbie could now leave the room!

I know this is a long post and you think it is about knitting for Barbie's, but really it is about memories. It is about remembering fun times with my daughters and granddaughters. It is about remembering fun times with my Mom--she and I made doll clothes together and in her later years, she wore that mohair sweater that is now a Barbie coat, a lot. It is about missing my girls, Bonnie in Italy and Robin J. gone since 2006. Robin Jeanne would have been 49 tomorrow. It is about remembering my Grandmothers. Visiting at my Grandmother Duncan's house, I once found a drawer full of doll clothes made by my Mom and her sisters. What a thrill. There was even a negligee made by my Mom with fur around the neck--fur from one of her slippers. My Grandmother Crittenden stayed up all night to make a real fur coat for one of my dolls, rushing to the train station with her nightie under her coat, to make sure I had it to take home. Priceless. Home was a long way off, in South America.

So, in the end, I don't have anything better to do. My projects will still be waiting for me tomorrow, but the Barbie clothes will be in a padded envelope on their way to Italy, because I think someone there will be surprised and happy......

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall Color?

Steve, Tessie and I drove out yesterday afternoon to look at the Fall color and to take some pictures of trees and such. We saw many beautiful trees, but the sun was too low and bright for good photos. However, these guys were happy to be photographed. Tess didn't like them much!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Linen Stitch Cowl

This is what I made with the wool that I dyed in October and then spun.
There were two colorways, green (Meadow) and orange (Blood Orange).
They just naturally went together since the same colors were used on each yarn in differing amounts.

This is a Half Linen Stitch-ish Cowl by Nicole Nehrig of Nerdyknitting

I am already wearing it as we had our first freeze last night and it is cold in the studio! 
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Monday, November 11, 2013


On the right is what I bought at the Kid N Ewe show this weekend--another Hokett loom (the large one, I already had the small one) and some tapestry bobbins, also made by Jim Hokett. I noticed not too long ago, that you can now buy his products at The Woolery, but they don't carry everything he makes, so it was fun to visit his booth and see what was new.

Meanwhile, back at the studio, I am working on this tapestry. As usual, it is a design as I go project. I have no idea what will come next. The magenta colored part is supposed to be the hem. I need to remember not to make the "hem" part in a distracting color! Of course I need to remember a lot of things like not winding the warp strings so close together. These are so close I can barely weave . I think close warps are good for making shapes, but not so good for regular weaving. My hands and wrists are getting a work out. 
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Sunday, November 10, 2013


Here is the decoration I decided on for the Gourd Basket. These are Teneriffes. Jo showed me how to make them at basket class and they are just like making Suffolk buttons. I know how to make the buttons (thank you Karen), so these were easy to learn. I made several of them in the car on the way to Kid N Ewe yesterday (don't worry, my husband was driving) and attached them to the basket when we got home. I them painted the inside of the gourd so that the designs would show up a little better.

Teneriffe lace is a needle lace from the island of Tenerife. Sometimes called Sol lace, sun lace, similar to a lace from South America called ñandutí (meaning spider web).
The lace is created by weaving thread on a ground of radial spoke threads, creating distinctive roundels.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

The Gourd Basket


This is what I did yesterday. It was time for another Basket Class with my friend Jo Evans and for this class, we decided to make Gourd baskets. We cut and cleaned out our gourds ahead of time and started class by staining or dyeing the outside. I rubbed mine with Decorator's Gilt in a couple of different colors to give it some depth. I had also previously collaged the inside with rusted rice paper. When our gourds were dry, we went on to drill the holes and apply the pine needles. I was weaving along rather sedately, when I suddenly decided to jump across the space with a "rope" of Pine Needles. I like that a lot and wish I had done it more than once. Last night, I added some stones between the pine needles and the gourd, but I didn't really like that and so took them off this morning. Remember, I have to tear something up at least once before I like it! I don't know if this is finished or not. I like the simplicity of it but I may play around with it a bit. I have another Gourd basket in work as well..
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

10 x 13"

I finished the weaving on this piece, although it is not completely finished.
I want to add a little embroidery and push something interesting through
the slits around the top two squares.
It is not the best thing I have ever done, but it is not the worst either! 
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