Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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......