Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bringing a Doll out of Hibernation

Sometimes I start a project and get really far really fast... and then I end up setting it aside and forget about it for a while.  Last fall I started the pattern Mary, Millie, and Morgan during a class with Susan B. Anderson at Vogue Knitting Live.  I'm not sure why I stopped working on the doll.  I made great progress in the class, finishing the head, the body and part of one leg.  At the end of March it was time for me to bring this project out of hibernation and finish it up.  Hopefully I can find all of the instructions!

The WIP that I set aside for way too long. 
I pulled out my size 3 (3.25 mm) dpn's and my remnant bag of shine sport and started working on this doll again.  Hopefully I can remember the tips that Susan taught us in her class to finish her up!

I started this project with 6 g of an unknown purple.  This is close to the color Iris, but isn't exact.  Since I was afraid that I would run out of the unknown purple for the stripes on the second leg, I knit the first purple stripe in Iris and the last two with the unknown shade.  

As I finished up the doll body, I decided that her name would be Millie.  I suppose I picked it because that was my favorite of the patter title, but it also seemed to suit her.  I felt triumphant after finishing the doll after letting her sit as just a head and torso in my travel knitting bag for months.  My feelings then shifted to fear... soon I have to do all of the finishing details.  Millie is all sewn up, but she needs a face, hair and to have her shoes embroidered.  Yikes!  

Lucky "helping" me finish up Millie
The shoes were simple to finish, it was just duplicate stitching with the skin tone to turn them into Mary Jane's.  I've done this before so I wasn't concerned.  French Knots on the other hand...

I did make a mistake when making the feat and did one too many decreases, which is why they are shaped a little wonky.  I also wish that I hadn't made them quite as long, but I suppose that since I have such big feet myself I shouldn't feel bad about creating a doll with large feet, too!  

There is more knitting on the body left, I forgot about the ears!  I love how the ears are picked up and knit versus knit and then sewn on.  I think that it looks much better in the end.

Before doing the face, I added the first two strands of hair so I could get a sense of where I wanted the hairline to go.  I was REALLY nervous about the embroidery, but realized that the only tricky part would be the French knots which I did previously when making Lucky's Halloween Costume.  (Here is a handy tutorial if you need some French Knot Help.)  For the mouth I split the 4 ply shine sport in half and used 2 of the pink plys.

I went for a center part and the rest went pretty smoothly, even if it took a long time.  I just wish that I had done this right after the demonstration from Susan!


Embroidering on the part was  a breeze.  Now I have a finished doll!

I decided to knit a single color "pretty dress.  I'm using Shine Sport in "pistachio" and size 5 (3.75 mm) knitting needles.

I think the dress was the fastest part of the whole project, but then again I didn't take a huge break in the middle of its construction.  If I were making this for a real little girl, I would worry that the dress is too short, but on a doll it is fine!

Isn't Millie Darling?  There are a few minor details I'm still not sure about.  I sort of want to secure the tops of the braids to the side of her head so it is harder to "mess up" the hair from the part.  It just doesn't feel secure and one good yank will really mess it up.  I also sort of wish the neckline of the dress were a little tighter, but I also used a yarn that has very little elasticity.  These concerns are minor and are only really important if I decide to knit another doll sometime in the future.

Final Yardage Consumed:
Dark green (shirt and leggings) - 11 g; 24 yards
Purple 1 (pants) -  6 g
Purple 2 (pants) -   2 g; 18 yards purple total
Cream (skin) -  12 g; 26 yards
Brown (hair) -  14 g; 31 yards
Black (shoes) -  6 g; 13 yards
Pistachio (pretty dress) -  17 g; 37 yards