Tuesday, 12 July 2016

*NEW PATTERN* - Bo Peep and her sheep

The day started really well for little Bo Peep. She gathered her sheep and they were all well behaved.

But suddenly they made a bid for freedom.
Over the hill and far away.

Poor Bo Peep, she's lost her sheep once again.
This little girl was great fun to create and is easy to knit. She has discarded her traditional dress and straw bonnet in favour of dungarees and a woolly hat (much more practical). She measures 17cm (7in) and the sheep are just 5cm (2in).
The knitting pattern for Bo Peep and her rascally flock can be found in each of my shops.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Bedtime Bunny

I've just popped in to let you know about my latest pattern - Bedtime Bunny.

Holding her tiny toy rabbit, little Bedtime Bunny is wearing her nightdress and slippers and is ready for bed. But where will she sleep?

Her bed is a cosy sleeping bag with pink daisies and a bunny appliqued on the front. She snuggles down inside with her tiny friend and very soon they are both fast asleep.

Bedtime Bunny measures 18cm (7.5in) and her tiny rabbit is 7cm (3in).
Knitting is done on two straight needles. 3.25mm needles (US 3) used for largest items and 2.75mm needles (US 2) used for smallest items.
Small quantities of DK (double knitting) yarn required in beige, pale pink, pale blue and cream (or white) (US use light-worsted/Australia - 8 ply).

Bedtime Bunny is easy to make and the pattern contains lots of photos and tips to help you.

The pattern can be found in each of my shops.

Bunny's cute little slippers will also fit my Rabbit Rascals. Their pattern can also be found in the three shops above.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Knitted doll making tips

Tilly has just popped in to give you a tip or two about stuffing dolls. She's heard that some little dollies are looking a bit thin so she hopes her ideas might help you to create plumper ones.

Polyester toy stuffing is very light and fluffy and Tilly is demonstrating just how much you would need to fill her head. You'd need four times as much to fill her body, arms and legs as well. It might seem a lot but it's amazing how much you require to make a nice plump doll. 

If the dolls you make look rather thin then you probably aren't using enough stuffing. Hopefully the following tips might help you to get it just right.

Pictured below you can see a knitted piece from one of my dolls. The head and body are knitted as one. The knitting is then folded in half (lengthways) and the seam stitched. I think you’ll agree that at this stage it bears no resemblance to a doll.

When insufficient stuffing is added a sausage shape is created, and when yarn has been tied round to create the doll’s neck it resembles two sausages! This is definitely not the shape you want.

I've put a face on the sausage shaped doll and you can see that a long thin head and body do not create a cute doll.

The solution to banishing the sausage shape is to add more stuffing and make the doll plumper. However, to avoid unnecessary lumps and bumps I advise stretching the fabric to make it wider before you stuff. If you simply add more stuffing without stretching you could end up with an even longer sausage!

Wait until you’ve stitched the seams and then push your thumbs inside the head and body and firmly but gently stretch outwards to make the doll wider as opposed to longer. Now you can add more stuffing and easily make the doll plumper.

It might seem a bit brutal but it will give dolly a much more pleasing shape and she won’t become limp and bedraggled later on when she’s enjoyed some boisterous play with her new owner.

Continue to stretch if necessary and push plenty of stuffing into the sides of the head and body before closing the end(s). Viewed from the side the doll should appear flattened from front to back.

With eyes and mouth in position you can see the difference made by a bit of stretching and extra stuffing.


Many of my patterns have the head and body knitted as one piece but if I want my little characters to have heads that are wider than their bodies I make them separately (Lucy Lavender and Little Belles are typical examples). If your pattern has the head and body knitted as two separate pieces then stitch the seams and then stretch using the method I’ve described. Remember to stuff each piece really well before joining them together at the neck.

Don't forget to add rosie cheeks to your doll once she's finished. You'll find more information about this in my ROSIE CHEEKS blog post.

I think many of you will know I recommend using Hayfield Bonus DK 'Flesh Tone' as the thickness is just right and the colour isn't too strong. A 100g ball will be sufficient for several very small dolls and two or three medium dolls like Tilly. It's inexpensive and widely available in the UK. Many UK online yarn shops will mail it overseas and you can also find it on Ebay.

If you want regular updates about my dolls and their life in the playroom you'll find them on Facebook - DOLLYTIME

All my doll patterns are available from my Etsy, Ravelry and LoveKnitting shops (see links above left in the blog sidebar).

Happy doll making everyone.

Friday, 18 March 2016

New patterns

Greetings friends. I know many of you have been popping into Dollytime on Facebook and will have seen my regular posts. I visit my Flutterby Patch blog less frequently these days as unfortunately the rural area of England where I live has an annoyingly slow internet speed that makes blogging quite a lengthy process. Doing short posts on Facebook is quick and easy and so that's where you'll usually find me.

At the beginning of the year I decided to restock my yarn shelves with scrumptious colours from the Stylecraft Special DK range. This yarn is available in many countries and I've found it to be perfect for knitting toys. As you can see, several dolls decided I needed help with the unpacking. The bigger girls are all reasonably sensible but I had to keep a watchful eye on some of the smaller rascals who love nothing more than tumbling about in heaps of springy soft yarn.

I can never remember seeing summer flowers throughout the winter but this year the weather remained so mild that our roses never stopped blooming which felt very strange. The picture below was taken in January.

As Easter approached my thoughts went to warmer days and . . . . rabbits. I made this little bunny for my new doll Betsy. Betsy loves her bunny and takes it with her wherever she goes. To avoid her little friend becoming lost I stitched a loop of elastic to the paw.

The elastic slips over Betsy's hand and the bunny is held securely.
Betsy wears a cosy pair of bunny slippers when she's playing indoors.
When she goes outside she wears a pretty pair of Mary Jane shoes and a pink hat with a blue flower on the front. The knitting pattern for Betsy and her bunny can be found in all three of my Dollytime shops on Etsy, Ravelry and LoveKnitting.
Earlier this week Kate discovered some tiny bunnies who were looking lost so she popped them into tiny baskets to keep them safe.

Much to her dismay, the little rascals suddenly sprouted wings and flew away into the garden. Kate hadn't realised they were fairy bunnies.

Luckily they weren't too difficult to spot and we quickly gathered together a group of eight. Seven of them wear bonnets but the eighth seems to have lost his.

The bunny without a bonnet is Kate's favourite and she carries him in a basket wherever she goes which he seems to enjoy as it makes him feel special.

These sweet fairy bunnies measure just 7cm to the tops of their ears. Quick to make as small gifts, I know any little girl would love one. So if you'd like to knit one (or maybe a few) you'll find the pattern in my Etsy, Ravelry and LoveKnitting shops.

Please don't forget you  can find regular updates on Facebook

Enjoy your weekend everyone. Until next time X


Thursday, 29 October 2015

NEW - Little Skipping Friends

Greetings friends. I've just popped in to tell you about a second 'Little Friends' pattern. This one is named 'Little Skipping Friends'.

Four cute 15cm (6in) knitted dolls with their skipping ropes. Maggie, Mary, Milly and May are made from the same basic pattern but their pretty clothes and hair styles give them a very different appearance.
The easy to follow knitting and sewing patterns will utilise lots of odds and ends of yarn and fabric.
Milly can be made with a sweet blue cardigan

Or you might want her to look more like Milly Molly Mandy in the famous story books. You will find instructions for both options in the pattern.

The traditional Milly Molly Mandy wears a pink and white striped dress with short sleeves.
You'll need pink and white striped cotton. The stripes should be approximately 3mm wide.

Imagine living in Milly Molly Mandy's little white cottage with a thatched roof. There are roses round the door and hollyhocks peeping in through the windows. . . . perfect.

You'll find the 'Little Skipping Friends' pattern in my three shops -

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