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Knitted Dolls

Knitted Dolls by Arne & Carlos.

Trafalgar Square Books.

I don't know if there's anything more delightful than a handmade doll. Probably a whole bunch of knit dolls, complete with a vast knit wardrobe as offered in Knitted Dolls: Handmade Toys with a Designer Wardrobe by Arne & Carlos.

If you don't know Arne & Carlos, let me introduce you. Arne Nerjordet is Norwegian and Carlos Zachrison is Swedish, and they urn their clothing design company from the Norwegian countryside. Their book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit was a huge international success, and this book likely will delight readers as well.

About the Book

  • Pages: 22
  • Format: hardcover with jacket
  • Number of patterns: one basic body pattern with variations and 44 outfits with a total of 76 different garment and accessory designs
  • Skill level: intermediate
  • Illustrations: full-color photographs, hand-drawn charts
  • Publication date: June 2012

Knitting Your Dolls

If you're familiar with the Christmas book you'll recognize the heads of these dolls. The bodies are worked from the legs up in the round and can have pants, underwear or shirts integrated into the body. The body has raglan shaping up to the neck, and the head is a ball with an integrated nose.

Holes are made for the eyes, which are knit separately and sewn on (though you could use button or googly eyes, too). Options are given for facial features and hair designs, and 15 variations are shown -- including a knit Arne and Carlos -- that will give you ideas for customizing your own dolls.

I say dolls because once you knit one, you'll probably want to make some more.

Doll Clothes

Once the basic body pattern is covered there are some ideas for knitting clothing onto the body and a section on basic garment design.

There are sweaters, skirts, pants, overalls, a jumpsuit, dresses, cardigans, a cape, a poncho, headgear, socks, shoes and mittens.

Each of the patterns is written for a plain design (other than the Long Dress with Lace Skirt) though those patterns that have pictures show variations that are described later in the book.

The variations are grouped according to theme, with things like ski gear, casual coffee break clothes, items inspired by candy, punk, nautical motifs, the garden, colorful butterflies and painted birds and a pajama party.

The simple patterns and colorful variations can be used as written, of course, but also likely will inspire you to try tiny designs of your own to use up scraps of yarn in your stash. There are plain charts you can copy to draw in your own patterns as you like.

The patterns are mostly written for fine yarn and tiny (US 1.5 or 2.5 mm) needles, but I'll bet you could use bigger yarn and get a bigger doll if your stash tends toward heavier yarn (as written they're almost 16 inches tall with a gauge of 3 stitches per centimeter). Either way these projects are sure to produce irresistible dolls kids and bigger people will love.

Bottom Line

If you're a fan of knit dolls, this book is a must. If you know any small people who like dolls, you should have this book, too. If you have a sense of whimsy, you can use this book to knit up dolls that look like everyone on your gift list, or just knit a couple and outfit them with a vast wardrobe you -- and any little people who visit your house -- are sure to love to play with.

Publisher's website

Projects on Ravelry

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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