Thursday, 18 August 2016

American Girl School Sweater

American Girl Doll School Sweater:

Free doll knitting pattern


Yarn: Fingering yarn.
Fili&Fili Baby Cachemire, 80% merino wool, 20% cachemire.1 ball= 50gm. 250m.
USA 1 / 2.5mm needles
(Or those required to get gauge)
A small size cable needle. (a short DP or darning needle can substitute)
8 sts x 10 rows = 1” in Stockinette.

Co: cast on. (I used a cable cast on but any desired method is OK)
Bo: Bind off (cast off)
R: row
Rs: right side of work.
Ws: wrong side of work.
K: knit.
P: purl.
Ssk: Slip 2 sts knitwise and knit as one through back loop.
K2tog: Knit 2 sts together as one.
P2tog: Purl 2 stitches together as one.
C5f: Put 3 sts on cable needle and hold in front, knit two sts and then knit the 3 sts on holder.
Ss: Stocking or stockinette stitch. ( Right side, knit 1 row ; wrong side, purl 1 row; repeat for as many rows indicated. )  

Knitting Instructions.

Cast on 104 sts.
1-2: *K1, p1; repeat from * to end.
3: K1, p1, ssk, yo, *k1, p1; repeat from * to end.
4-6: As rows 1-2.

Start body:
1: K1, p1, k1, p1, k96, p1, k1, p1, k1.
2: P1, k1, p1, k1, p96, k1, p1, k1, p1.
3-24: As rows 1-2.
Adjust length here if you like.

Divide work:
1: K1, p1, k1, p1, k22, bo 3 sts, k46 sts, bo 3sts, k22, p1, k1, p1, k1.
Continue working on front and backs separately.

Right Back.
2: P1, k1, p1, k1, p22.
3: K1, ssk, knit to last 4sts, p1, k1, p1, k1.
4: P1, k1, p1, k1, purl to end.
5-24: As rows 3-4.
Continue making decreases as before at arm on right side to row 25. (15sts)
25: K1, ssk, k8, p1, k1, p1, k1.
26: Bo 5 sts, p9.
27: K1, ssk, K4, K2 tog.
28: Purl.
Bind off all sts.
Left Back.
2: P22, K1, p1, k1, p1.
3: K1, p1, k1, p1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
4: Purl to last 4sts, k1, p1, k1, p1.
5-24: As rows 3-4. (Add buttonholes on rows 11 and 23)
25: K1, p1, k1, p1, k8, k2tog, k1.
26: Purl to last 4sts, k1, p1, k1, p1.
27: Bo 5, k6, k2tog, k1.
28: P6, P2tog.
Bind off all sts.

2: P46.
3: K1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
4: Purl.
5: Repeat row 3.
6: Repeat row 4.
Continue repeating rows 3 and 4 to row 20. (28 sts on needle)
21: K1,ssk, k6, Bo 10sts, k6, k2tog, k1.

Continue separately on both sides of neck:
22: Purl.
23: Ssk, k3, k2tog, k1.
24: P6.
25: K1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1.
26: P4.
27: K1, k2tog, k1.
28: Purl.
Bind off.

Other side of neck.
22: Purl.
23: K1, ssk, k3, k2tog.
24: P6.
25: K1, ssk, k1, k2tog.
26: P4.
27: K1, ssk, k1
28: Purl.
Bind off.

Cast on 30 sts.
1: *K1, p1; repeat from * to end.
2-6: As row 1

Start increases:
1: Kfb, Knit to last stitch, kfb.
2: P32.
3: Knit.
4: Purl.
5: Kfb, Knit to last stitch, kfb.
6: P34.
7: Knit.
8: Purl.
9: Kfb, Knit to last stitch, kfb.
10: P36.
11: Knit.
12: Purl.
13: Kfb, Knit to last stitch, kfb.
14: P38
15: Knit.
16: Purl.
17-32: As rows 15-16.

Start decreasing:
1: K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, knit 2 tog, k1.
2: Purl.
3-28: As rows 1-2. (10sts).
Bind off.

  Cable collar.
Cast on 34 stitches.
1: S1, k2, p2, k10, p3, k16.
2: P16, k3, p10, k2, p3.
3-8: As rows 1-2.
9: S1, k2, p2, C5f, k5, p3, C5f, k11.
10: P16, k3, p10, k2, p3.
11-12: As rows 1-2.
13: S1, k2, p2, k5, C5f, p3, k5, C5f, k6.
14: P16, k3, p10, k2, p3.
15-16: As rows 1-2.
17: S1, k2, p2, k10, p3; turn work.
18: K3, p10, k2, p3.

 19-20: As rows 1-2.
21-22: As rows 9-10.
23-24: As rows 1-2.
25-26: As rows 13-14.
27-28: As rows 1-2.
Repeat rows 9-28 for 5 times or to length necessary to stitch around neck. Bind off all stitches.
Sew collar to neck edge. Collar is sewn to the top back edge, sleeve top, front, second sleeve top and other back edge. The sleeve tops are included in the neckline count. Sew all seams and sew on buttons.

Patricia Renwick © Copyright 2013.
All rights reserved. You may sell items made from this pattern but not the pattern. Please respect my design rights. 

I have updated and revived my school sweater pattern. This is available as a PDF download free on Ravelry.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

How does your garden grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

No silver bells and cockles shells here but some zucchini and tomatoes!

Not my garden either but the tiny piece of land which belongs to the house across the road. No-one lives there and as we have had the the key for many years, this year when DH cleaned it I finally persuaded him to plant something useful instead of leaving it empty. 

It just grows wild otherwise and there were often adders there so it is far better to keep it cleared. The old man gave us the key originally and his sons have changed locks and given us the new keys after he passed a few years ago. 

Last year the owners didn't even come down here at all, the year before just for a week in October to get some olive oil. They would like to sell the house but there is no market and it is in really bad shape, so it is just sitting there eating money in taxes since the old man died. The usual village story. The old folks pass, there are no jobs and the young people have nearly all emigrated. 
As the children grow they prefer more interesting seaside resorts so parents no longer come here on holiday. This is not a tourist place.

Anyway, we planted just a few zucchini and tomato plants and have been blessed with a great yield. I still have the flowers everyday for the "frittelle" (I have a photo recipe here on my blog)
It is amusing as it is now no longer the season so I am the only one on the street who still has some.

Today I made some sauce again with our very own tomatoes. I know we have the ones DH grows with my inlaws, but somehow to actually go into the garden and pick them is so much more satisfying! There is nothing sprayed on them and the only work is to take down a couple of pails of water. I save water when rinsing etc so it is also ecological, water is precious here.

It was amusing that the other day I actually gave my Mil some tomatoes as she didn't have any and was going to buy some! 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

What's Cooking?: Yarn!

As some of you know I do not like the local homemade wine. Although many enthuse about it I tend to think it tastes like vinegar...far better to drink a nice glass of ice-cold lemon tea!

So here I was one morning with a bottle of wine. So what did I do? Threw it into a pan, added a skein of yarn and cooked it! Lol!

Dyeing with wine

DD came downstairs. What's cooking? Yarn!

Experiments! At worst a skein of yarn gets thrown out!

I brought it up to a boil and then left it till it cooled down.

Rinse well under running water. No need to add vinegar here! Lol!

Surprise surprise it actually came out quite nicely! It is more of a dusky rose colour than the brown the photo shows. Difficult to show a true colour.

Now I need to design something to knit with it!

Disney Princess Merida doll

Well as I said in my previous post, I bought a Disney Princess Merida doll from Ebay. An almost 14" doll she has such a sweet expression. 

Princess Merida

Of course she needed a new dress although fortunately she already had her original shoes! (Not an easy find!)

Disney princess

Needles and yarn clickety-click and I have made two new dresses for her! 

Brave doll
Obviously a spa-treatment was in order after my success with Ariel! 

Disney princess hair

Now her curls are so cute even though I am the world's worst hairdresser! 

doll hair styled

As usual the pattern is available in my Ravelry store and will soon be on Etsy!

Princess Merida

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Ariel's hair styling session.

I recently bought a couple of dolls on UK Ebay for the grand amount of £1.50. The postage cost me more. 
The one I was interested in was a Disney Merida (more about her another time) but there was an Ariel doll included which was a bit worse for wear. Together they cost far less than other Merida dolls available so I placed a bid and won them. A great deal.

Ariel hairstyle

Ariel's hair was in a really bad state so I decided to try my hand at restyling it. I am NOT good with hair at all, but figured that it couldn't turn out worse than it was! 

Conditioning Ariek's hair

So armed with dish-soap, fabric conditioner, straws, clips and tissues I started! 

First I washed her hair with some normal dish-soap. Rinsed well and then treat it with fabric softener in fairly hot water. Let it soak a while and then combed and divided it into sections. This was the part I found hardest to do as I wasn't sure how it was best to divide the locks.

Then I rolled it with a little tissue paper onto the cut off straws and secured the curls with a hairgrip. 

Disney spa treatment

Dipped her hair into warm water again once finished and left to dry. 

Curling disney doll hair

Today I took out the "curlers"and Tada!:


I think she looks far better! 

Doll hair restyled

DD has already commented that she will style it better for me but I am really happy with the result. Not bad for a first try. Her hair feels really soft and is shiny. It was dry and not nice to touch! 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

See ya in Venice!

Well I have just published my latest pattern: See you in Venice!

See Ya in Venice!

There was a honeymoon knit-a-long on our Ravelry American Girl doll knitters group so I just had to design something for my dolls.

See Ya in Venice

 It has been a fun couple of months. June was a wedding theme.

Here comes the Bride

 Of course I also designed Bride and Groom patterns! 

American girl doll bride.

AGD groom

Poor Groom was not so enthusiastic about the idea!

Here comes the Bride!

Obviously I also needed a bridesmaid dress!

Here comes the bride

All of these patterns are as usual available in my Ravelry store!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Mother Memories

I have been very quiet for a long time. It is taking me far more time than I thought to elaborate my loss. I miss my Mother.


This is my all-time favourite photo.




William, Ella,Jean, Pat, Ray.

My Super Big Sister!:

The three of us.

Some may have thought because I didn't go to the funeral that I was indifferent. So far from the truth. Maybe because I couldn't physically be there it hurt even more. Mother-daughter relationships are always difficult at the best of times it seems. All in all I had a good relationship with my Mother. She was a difficult, unhappy, but very intelligent person.
I have the precious memory that she once said I was an ideal daughter!
I have been very far away for so many years but there was always the possibility of writing a letter or phoning; even when I had to go as far as Catanzaro to be able to phone! Usually I managed to say Hi at least every fortnight recently even when money was tight.
Now it still seems so unreal to me. I keep thinking that I must say this that or the other to Maman when I speak to her!
I so understand  when she said she still found herself talking to Daddy, I would sometimes say, "tell Daddy...!"

There were things that Maman would understand that else will ever "get"; a shared delight in crafting and knitting. She understood my desire to create knitting patterns for doll clothes and although she never actually saw them, she delighted  in the knowledge that I had published another design and that it was successful. She was proud of me.
I know that if I had asked her opinion she would have told me to not go. By the time I could have got there I would not been able to see her and it was so long from then till the funeral that it would have just been impossible. Add the fact that financial problems would have meant I would have had to borrow money or go into overdraft to go, plus leave my youngest daughter when she needed my help for schoolwork it just wasn't feasible. Still hurts. 
Life seems so hard at times. Daddy passed away and then my Father-in-Law. Ironically I spent all day holding my Fil's hand the day he left us. He had suffered for a while. 
Seems I can't be there for my own Folk.
I have many memories. So few photos. 

Still hurts.

I have decided I will make digital copies of all my old photos. There aren't many but like my favourite one of my Mother and our cat they are slowly decreasing in quality. It has been too exposed to sun and heat over all the years.