Kids and grownups alike can easily see the fun and creativity involved in making and playing with dolls: you can change up their clothes and hair, and, if you're a crafter, you can make them new clothing and accessories as you see fit.
With Claire Garland's Knitted Babes: Five Dolls & their Wardrobes to Knit & Stitch, you can also make the doll. The book offers a basic knit doll and clothing and accessories ideas for five different "characters" you might enjoy.
Meet the Girls
The book starts out with a review of basic knitting and sewing skills and the pattern for the doll, which is knit in Stockinette Stitch with two matching pieces for the body and long arms and legs that are allowed to curl into body parts.
One of my few complaints about this book is wondering why the limbs weren't knit in I-cord, which would make them more solid without any more work, but knitters who like making I-cord can easily do that instead.
Following the basic instructions are patterns related to five different characters:
- Dot Pebbles, a beach-loving girl dressed in bathing suits, cords or with a cute rubber duck swim floater.
- Bunny Bright, a girly girl who favors sparkles, long dresses and retro style.
- DD Diva, a stylish girl who loves to travel and has a fondness for bright stripes and bold colors.
- Flo Tilly is a dancer, complete with a tutu and sweats for warming up, as well as a cute round felt bag and knit Fair Isle pullover.
- Rudy Ranch, as you might guess from her name, is a country girl who like fringe, floral, gingham and, of course, her cowgirl boots.
Clothing and accessories projects involve easy knitting, sewing or a combination, and most projects are very quick to finish. They include lots of lovely small details, like flowers cut out of felt, tiny buttons and sequins, or ribbon used for straps.
The pattern ideas can serve as a good jumping-off point for your own knit and sewn accessories for the dolls, and you can make them completely unique by making clothing from cast-off T-shirts, odd balls from your stash (most everything is knit in laceweight yarn, since it's on such a small scale) and extra fabric left over from other projects.
That aspect makes these dolls even more fun, because you can recycle or reuse things already in your house that you might not use otherwise, and using project scraps makes playing with your doll like a trip down memory lane.
The book is written as if you were going to knit the doll for a child (advising not to use small decorations on projects for kids under 3, for example), but once you get your hands on this book you're going to want to knit a little babe for yourself, too.
Publication date: September 2005.