Posts Tagged ‘bjd’

Universal Hat: in-between sizes

uh-oh, hat's too big!

My Universal BJD Hat pattern aspires to make it possible for every doll to have a basic toque (or beanie, or watch cap, or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods), based on wig size.  But some dolls don’t wear a standard wig size and in this post I’ll walk you through the arithmetic of customizing the hat beyond what’s in the pattern to fit unusually-sized heads – or unusual wigs!


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Universal BJD Toque Pattern


Just what you’ve been waiting for: a simple sock yarn hat for ball-jointed dolls written in the same increments wigs are commonly sized by!   Written for every wig size from 3-4″ PukiPuki and similar teeny-tiny dolls, right up to the melon-headed 9-10″ large BJDs, the Universal Ball-Jointed Doll Toque is an easy beginner project or a great jumping-off point for advanced colourwork and funky stitch patterns – or just something quick to knit for a homecoming hat, swap gift, wig cap, etc.  The pattern features two different styles of brim, rolled or ribbed, and has been tested in all of the commonest wig sizes.


The pattern is available as a free download through Ravelry, or you can get the PDF directly from my blog, here.  You may also want to check out my tutorial for micro-adjusting the sizes to accommodate in-between heads or unusual wigs.


Happy knitting!  And remember, in the immortal words of REM: everybody hats sometimes; sometimes every brim is long, but now it’s time to knit along…

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The winter solstice is still almost a month away, but oh man it gets dark early already.  By the time I get home from work at 5, it’s full dark, and really, if I want useful light for photography on these mostly overcast days, it’s got to be before 3.  All of which is to say that I’ve been taking some terrible flash photos of my latest misadventures and they’re awful but they’ll have to do.

First up, the socks that aren’t.  Not any more.  I frogged them.


The pattern was Mince Pie Mayhem from Socktopus by Alice Yu.  It’s a cool pattern and I look forward to knitting it down the road, probably on a size larger needles than those I got gauge with (2.25mm), definitely when there’s no deadline involved.  The stitch pattern has cable crossings every second pair of stitches on every second row and there was just no way I could envision myself finishing them in time to give them to Mr. Salamander for Christmas, plus I was not happy with the way the yarn was spiral pooling.  So I ripped them out and started again with a different pattern (which is turning out well enough to deserve Saturday afternoon light, no pics yet).

And then an uninspired doll shirt.


I think this is the third time I’ve tried to knit a distressed-look doll sweater, and every attempt has either languished on stitch holders or been frogged into oblivion.  I think it’s the drape – or lack thereof – at this scale that causes my dropped-stitch sweaters to look dumb instead of badass like their human-scale counterparts.  Drape is definitely an issue with this handspun I was using (singles from the Tour de Fleece), and I was also really disappointed with how not handspun it looks.  I was trying to spin thick and thin, why didn’t it come out that way?!?  So that’s frogged as well, and the yarn is in time out.

I do have one flash photography success story, though, but I’ll put it under a cut for anyone who’s not ready to see *gulp* Christmas-themed decor yet…!


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A day at the park

And now back to your regularly scheduled mediocre photography…a bit of a change after those gorgeous shots from Vessellated, but what can you do?

Although it’s still windy and a bit chilly, we’ve had some gorgeous sun this past week, and while I was out for a spring tea party picnic I got the dolly family out for some photos too!


Posy didn’t understand why everybody else just wanted to lounge in the sun when there were awesome things to climb and explore.


Posy has now commandeered this black wig, and Suzuha refuses to wear it.  Those picky BJDs!


I think she was channeling Katniss Everdeen here.  Dangerous and wild!


Rada enjoyed playing on the playground equipment…


and climbing trees to daydream in the spring sun!



Vasilisa was modelling the cropped version of Ur-Bun, feeling very casual chic.



Enjoy the spring sun – we sure have!

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It’s the season for thinking of bunnies and cuteness, and my contribution is now up for sale in my Ravelry store!

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That’s right, I have finally released the Ur-Bun Hoodie pattern for Slim Mini, Standard Mini, and Large BJDs!  It’s my favourite style of boxy, loose knitwear – the sort that looks terrible on me but wonderful on my dolls – and like all my patterns it’s written to be pretty beginner friendly.  It does involve cables and require reading charts, but both are simple enough to be a great introduction for the adventurous beginner.  It’s also a fun base for anyone who, like me, loves to mod designs for a unique twist!  Adjusting the length is an easy way to get a very different look from the same pattern, as I found when I worked my final sample in the largest size.  I’m so pleased with how this coat came together, and I hope you will be too!
Photos taken by the wonderful Vessellated; the model is Insoulated‘s beautiful MiniFée Shiwoo Elf, Dieudonnée.  Thanks, guys!

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I got a new spindle! It’s 1/3 oz, ideal for spinning very fine singles, and it’s so pretty I haven’t wanted to put it down since I got it!


The shaft is made from a chopstick, so it’s a tad short, but it’s so pretty and sparkly!  And it spins quite a long time even in my beginner hands.


It came with a half ounce of fibre to test it out with as well, so I’m spinning purple Romney and white Jacob wool.  I think I’ll use this single to learn how to chain ply.  Of course, the wool attracted some attention from another member of the household…


I don’t know how much time I will have to play with my lovely new toy, though, as I’m working like crazy on the Ur-Bun pattern, testing out the final size and tweaking the pattern formatting, etc.  I was really relieved to find out that my math was perfect and the body of the coat fits a large size doll just right – it’s my first time “grading” a pattern that’s more complicated than a simple rectangle.  I hope to have the pattern released around the end of the month, but it will be down to the wire indeed, as this is where the final sample stood as of yesterday afternoon:


Just a few more inches to go, right?  Right, almost there!

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Everybody hats, sometimes…


I’ve got four out of seven prototypes for my every-size hat pattern tested out!  This is the 9-10″ size, modelled by the beautiful Vasilisa.  Now I am scratching my head and poring over numbers, because I’ll admit that for each of the four finished hats I have had to try them on time and again trying to figure out a good length (the circumference was pretty easy to figure out before knitting) and while I have local folks lined up to try the fit of the remaining sizes, I don’t think I’m on close enough terms with anybody to borrow a doll or head over to their house for an evening of hard knitting, frogging, and re-knitting to try and get things right.  So I have to figure out the proportions somehow, and I think that somehow will involve arithmetic.  Well, Mr. Salamander is working this weekend and I have the house to myself.  Sounds like a good time for a little Saturday math, right?  And then probably some spinning for a reward!

Speaking of which, here’s the first plied yarn I’ve made that I feel truly deserves the name!  I am planning to knit up a little collar/neckwarmer with it.  There’s really not very much – around 45 yards, gulp!


I’m also working on trying to spin a thicker single that could eventually become a small wrap/shawl, but it’s not going so well.  The ability to get a reasonably even single eludes me at a heavier weight and my efforts so far have been a little disappointing.  I’m not giving up, though!  I will learn even if it kills me!  Or, more likely, makes my fingers bleed!  Or even more likely, makes my arms slightly tired!  Yup, that’s dedication!

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Folks who read the ABJD Knits group over on Ravelry might have already divined that this is in the works, but here’s the official announcement.  I’m working on a super-simple pattern for toques of all sizes, sized not for “tiny” and “large” but for wig sizes (e.g. 5-6″ and 8-9″) to make things easier on owners of dolls with unusual head sizes (not that I know any of those…).  I’ve worked out three sizes so far, 3-4. 7-8, and 8-9.  I’m planning to do at least two more, 6-7 and 9-10, but I’m not sure if there are many dolls who wear size 4-5 or 5-6 wigs.  NEED MORE RESEARCH!

Here’s a teaser photo showing two sizes and two styles of brim.


By the way, aren’t the two of them cute together?  I didn’t expect them to form a couple when I brought Suzuha home, but then BJDs love to surprise you!  Somehow I find their size difference adorable – in Edik’s embrace she literally has a handspan waist!

My design work, however, has been interrupted by a new hobby: hand spinning!

On Thursday evening I started messing around with my spindle and some youtube videos and some Corriedale fibre that was a “learn to spin” gift along with my BFL/silk top from Everything Old.  Here’s what I came up with:


It’s awfully uneven – there are cocoons of fibre almost a centimetre thick, and it thins down to cobweb weight in a few places.  But it’s…yarnlike?

Then yesterday, I took a drop spindling class at Knotty By Nature, joined by my lovely sister.  I learned a lot, bought some more fibre, and had a lot of fun! Here’s my sister, spinning her impressively fine and amazingly even single.


And me with…mine.  It’s miles better than the first already – I’ve learned how to deal with those cocoons and how not to let it get quite so thin – but I’m still having a very tough time getting the spin distributed evenly, so I have sections that are very soft-spun and others that are corkscrewing like mad.  But that’s okay; I now have lots of fibre to work on!


When I got home, I was in such a great, energized mood, and I didn’t want to stop spinning!  So I took the rest of the white Corriedale and some scraps from the braids I bought today as well as my needlefelting stash and spun a ridiculous riot of colour, which I attempted to ply with that first single.  Here are the results – my first yarnity yarn!


My plan is to knit a couple of coasters from it – something decorative yet useful.  I’m still waiting for the yarn to be fully dry after setting its twist, but I should be able to knit it up soon.  Meanwhile, more spinning!

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sad dolls in snow

Those darn job things have their uses, but they do keep a person from getting in any daytime photography.  Still, is there any better time to photograph snow than dusk?  (Some might argue “Yes, any time there’s enough light for your camera to work properly.”  To them I say “Nyah!”)  And it is, after all, Victoria…I’m already surprised that the snow has been here on and off for two days, and I have no hope that it will still be around on the weekend.


I flatter myself that in her Pevensie coat, Rada really does look like Lucy Pevensie wandering into Narnia for the first time.  Only the coat fits her too well, heh.


Suzuha’s just a snow fairy plain and simple, perhaps admiring her own handiwork with the withered apples on our little tree.

Happy snow day!

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All my gift knitting is done!  Done and blocked!  And ends woven in!  And any buttons, etc. sewn on!  In fact, I’ve had about 24 hours to bask in my done-ness!  So finally I have a few minutes to devote to the blog, and I thought it was time to show off my dolls’ winter outfits.


It’s my festive doll shelf!  What with Mr. Salamander being so handy (he’s a contractor, and a damn fine woodworker), we have a lot of shelves around the house, including one specially for our small Christmas tree (we get a 3-4 foot real one because we are fancy and setting up artificial trees destroys the skin on my hands), which doubles very handily as a doll photograph staging area (or it would if the lighting were a little better…something I hope to improve in the new year).


For Suzuha I put together one of the Barbie dresses I bought her with a hair tie to make a snow fairy outfit!


Edik, of course, is Brat Moroz/Santa Dahhhling.  One of these years I will make him another Christmas costume, but I love his elf outfit.

And Posy, in a wool felt top ’embroidered’ by needle-felting with laceweight wool yarn!


Rada is wearing my completed Winterhold.  I’m hoping we’ll get a bit of snow this winter; I’d love to get some outdoor playtime pics with this one!


My second crack at the stranded colourwork turned out completely adequate (although I think I have a ways to go before I could describe it as “good”) and overall I am in love with this cute coat!


“Do you think it will snow today?”

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