Body Shape and Knitting

Since the red dress was so big, I decided to make a closely fitted dress.  As I knit, I jot down the key number of stitches I use, like the casting on, how many increases or decreases and the shoulder number.  Otherwise, I generally just visually match up the pieces without counting rows.  Aren’t you glad I don’t knit professionally?  lol.

So far, knitting loose fitting sweaters for Rosey, I have not been concerned with her exact body shape.  But this time, as I was knitting the front, I noticed how dramatically different her front to her back is in size.  I mean I know this because I so love her chunky torso after all the painfully thin BJDs I have sewn for, but I was not considering it when casting on for the back panels.  It stuck me that it is why the red dress was so off in it’s sizing.  I feel so dull witted.  Of course, if I halve the stitches that I made for the front and add the usual 6 for the overlapping button edges, the back would be too big!

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Here is the same piece on the front and again on the back.

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And this is why on this dress, as well as the red dress, I ended up switching the back panels to the front because they fit better.

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Rosey thought the constant fussing over the fit was too much, she was cold and wanted me to stop and just finish the dress so she could wear it.  Back into the duvet and blanket while I knit!

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My husband has been teasing me way too much these days as he notices I keep her wrapped for warmth and put her to bed each night.  He asks just how cold a piece of wood can get.  Even with the heat on, our flat doesn’t register above 60 degrees and we are so cold!  I wear sweaters, thick socks in my slippers, and a shawl over my sweater.  I cannot bear to see Rosey nude while I am so wrapped up.

He compares me to the woman in Twin Peaks who carries the log around.  Rosey and I ignore his silly comments, but then we saw a photo of my grandsons each carrying a log and husband is now convinced it’s genetic.  I am hearing no end of it.  He calls me the Log Woman who has Log Children. 

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I might as well add a few other photo’s I snagged from my daughter’s online album:

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Ryah.

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My daughter and Ryah while I was still in Hawaii with them.

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This is how I would live to finish the bottom of Rosey’s dress but I have no clue as to the pattern.  I have never knitted this delicately or fine.  It’s so lovely though, I thought I would share it.

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The Finished Red Dress

Not really impressed with it.  Not one of my better creations.

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Sorry, horrible photo’s it was too early in the morning without any daylight.

I need to watch the shoulder and waist width for a better fitting dress.  This is large enough to be a coat!  While my intention was to have the buttons in back, I decided to put it to the front.  No particular reason.

I actually laid in bed trying to sleep and all I could think about was how to finish it.  I had removed the bottom trim and thought that it made a decent dress just being plain.  But because I did not like the fit, I thought how often would she really wear it?  So it was back to the white angora idea, Santa look for a Christmas dress.  After all that, I was not pleased at all, but a day later, it is starting to grow on me.  I added gold embroidery to enliven in, tucked the shoulders with a sewn seam over the shoulder to create a ridge and added gold buttons.

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I like that the hem is perfectly flat, it helped to crochet only the top stitch and leave a ridge underneath which gave it body to stop curling under.  The top gold button is too close to the others, but I had not planned the finishing in advance and decided at the last minute it needed a closure too.  The dress appears to fit better than it does, the waist is simply too big and had I not knitted in the round, I could have taken in the seams for a better fit.

I had planned on sewing on the machine today, but I am so determined to make a better knitted dress that I am jumping right into another one immediately.  This time I will plan it in advance.  lol.

The Red Dress

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After knitting in the round (waist area) I dived the stitches evenly onto 4 pins.  I added 4 stitches to each side of the back panels to form a place to knit an inset sleeve.   You can see those extra stitches by my fingers.

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The waist is too big.  Sigh.  But perhaps her under garments will help fill it out.

I sewed the shoulder together and started the sleeve.

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Okay.  I really am not fond of this dress, but it does have potential.  I will finish the sleeves and try it on and let that dictate how I will finish it up. 

I am definitely ripping off the bottom trim, I think that bottom trim would work great on a cap, but on a knobby knit dress it is too distracting and not harmonious.  I have Christmas buttons, but they have green on them so there is a very remote chance I may just give in and add the green eyelash yarn trim and the green buttons and it it is strictly a Christmas dress.  This red yarn is a cotton based yarn, so I am considering crocheting a collar, wrist and hem border in a thin cotton, making it lacy.   I am determined to finish it this weekend whatever becomes of it.

Christmas Dress Crazies

The Christmas dress had it’s near extinction.  It was not going well and I nearly abandoned the whole project.  I am still not happy with it, but it may have a chance yet.  After ripping up several wrong directions, I opted to take a break and make a tea cosy instead.

007  Of course it is covered up, but this little stainless steel pot was my grandmother’s who used it to serve coffee or tea when it was just the two of us in my early twenties.  It brings back many wonderful memories of sitting in the dayroom with the pot full and a couple of plates of something to eat before I took off for the day.  Back then I sat in various places around Copenhagen and drew portraits for my pin money.  It was a fun way to make money, but it was also a very long day waiting for a prospect.  Each day, my grandmother would talk about the ideas to get more customers, talk about dreams and hopes….all over that little pot of inspiration.  

Anyways, it was a good way to avoid the Christmas dress.

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This was the start of it.  I really need to draw a design before I start because lately I keep changing my mind long after I start.  The yarn is a true red, it is bleached out in the photo’s.  At first, I thought of a empire waist style dress.  Then a dropped waist.  I kept knitting thinking I’ll get it figured out soon enough.

019 The ends were curling up so badly because I planned on an thick angora border (sort of Santa Clausey), but it drove me mad, so I crocheted on a scallop hem and then crocheted an angora thingie over it and thought to myself, I really must be losing my mind.  This is a weird dress.  Baubles?  What?  It’s called I don’t know what you are thinking pattern. 

I decreased for the drop waist and after awhile thought that I better decide on the closure before I get too far, but by then, I didn’t like the dropped waist idea, the heavier hem made the dress bottom stand out too much, so I ripped up the smaller decreases and went back to the full dress, deciding to just make a standard gathered at the waist dress.  The weight should kept it in proportion.  Hopefully.

009  Back to square 1 with the circular needles.

013 After getting the fullness to Rosey’s waist, I decreased and worked with double pointed, leaving an opening (so I am actually now working back and forth) so that I can do button holes and a closure.  I added 6 stitches to one side of the opening to be able to overlay the button and holes.

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When done, I will sew the flap on the inside of the dress to hold it in place as shown above.  The flap will have the buttons sewn on, the overlay has the holes.   Yes, it occurred to me after the first button hole that this is backwards.  How I am going to do the sleeves, I have no idea.  You know, I think I did better when I was drinking booze.  I swear tea makes me thinking illogically.

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And it certainly didn’t help that Rosey started to play with the yarn as I was knitting.  And while I am thinking of it, a new photo of my granddaughter, Ryah:

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Who looks like her mother (my daughter) when she was this age so much, I find myself in tears.

Number 1 done, Starting number 4

I finished Rosie’s sweater.  I think it is the best sweater I have ever made for a doll.  I use to make really nice sweaters for my daughter, but let knitting go for too many years and then knitting on such a small scale was harder.  Anyways, I am very pleased with this one.

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I wanted the sweater to be able to go over clothes.  I put it over her aqua dress, and granted, the colours are atrocious together, but I wanted to take a shot with something bulky underneath and it still sits very well.

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Then I got the bug to do another knitting project, even though I want to sew fabric too!  I got out a few different yarns and thought about knitting the Christmas dress, since I am pretty sure I have nothing suitable in my fabric stash.  I found a fabulous green yarn with bits of red in it, but when I started to knit it up I laughed at how she would look like a Christmas tree with the shaggy fringe all over!

007 I scrapped that idea. 

After digging deeper, I finally found some red yarn.  It is cotton with knobbies and I was unsure if that would be suitable, but I saw a skein of white angora and thought, what the heck, a Santa-ish dress would not be as silly as looking like a Christmas tree.  I knitted up a few rounds and I like it.  I am thinking of a full skirt, gathered at the empire level and long sleeves, with the angora trim. 

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This yarn is knitting up nice and silky. I think with the knobbies, it’s best on a small scale to keep the simple knit stitch instead of any sort of pattern. 

I am considering this as number 4 on my list of 15, the Christmas Garment.

Sweater Update and Shorter Dresses?

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I am being so extra careful with this sweater.  Only because when I changed the sheets on our bed, I put two pillow cases on the same pillow.  Sigh.

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I took the time to find the right buttons before making button holes, something I rarely do.  My button stash is a quarter of what it use to be and so I sat down and tried them against the sweater until I liked the effect.  Sadly, there were only three of these tin hearts.  I will add a snap or hook at the top to make sure the closure is complete.   I pinned them to the side border and that actually made a nice way to just visually know which row to knit the hole.  I am already on the first sleeve, the collar is done too.

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The collar is all in seed stitch as I wanted and I think it looks nice.  On front opened sweaters, I generally sew the shoulder seems, then knit the collar and sleeves directly on the bodice, join the seems under the arms and down the sides in one swoop. With size 1 needles, I casted on 54 stitches in seed, decreased one stitch on each side after the bottom seed border, cast off 6 for each arm hole.  Front panels were cast on 28 with a cast off of 6 for each arm hole and ending with 12 stitches for the shoulder.  The sleeves I looped in 50 stitches, decreasing 1 immediately at the beginning and end of each row until I had 34 and will complete the arms in that number with seeds at the bottom about the same thickness as the bottom of the sweater.

Sorry, I have no idea how to write up a pattern, but if you knit, you can get the idea I think.

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An interesting (to me, lol) thing happened last night.  As Rosie walked back to her chair after the sweater try-on, I noticed how her dress billowed like in old fashioned children’s illustrations. 

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So I tucked up the dress into the shorty dresses one often see on Patsyettes and young children in the 1930’s.   I thought about my love of long dresses, and how reluctant I am about shorter ones, even though they can be so charming.  It sure made Rosey instantly look younger and I had not realized I really haven’t known exactly how old Rosey is anyways.  The length of her garments can really influence this. 

Again, I seem so hesitant about which era to base her wardrobe.  I have been leaning towards Edwardian as that is closest to her origins, but the 1920’s and 1930’s have a charm too.  Not that Rosey has pretty legs for the ultra short dresses, lol.  Perhaps it would be best if we had an inkling of just how old she is.

And then this morning, I loved how she looked laying on the pillow next to my bed.  That is my reading pillow and I always set it down on the floor when I am ready to sleep.  Rosey was laying next to me while reading and ended up on the pillow.  I went to get her this morning and she was reaching her arms to be picked up.  Just melted me so.

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Rosey is something else.  Seeing her like this gives me a million moments of joy.