Friday, February 3, 2012

Hello Spring! Our Imbolc and Candlemas Celebrations

Dear Saint Bridget of the Kine
Bless these little fields of mine,
The pastures and the shady trees,
Bless the butter and the cheese,
Bless the cows with coats of silk
And the brimming pails of milk.
Bless the hedgerows, and I pray
Bless the seed beneath the clay.
Bless the hay and bless the grass,
Bless the seasons as they pass,
And heaven's blessings will prevail,
Brigid, Mary of the Gael

So here we are, already three days into February. It seems to me that January creeped by due to illness in our house. I am quite ready for all of that to be over! We rang in February actually with Jonas getting a terrible stomach bug on Tuesday. I despise stomach bugs the most out of all illnesses. Thankfully it was short lived and he was the only one to get it. My fingers are crossed and I am determined that we shall be out of the woods with colds from here on out! 

With February came our first celebration of both Candlemas and Imbolc, or St. Brigit's Day. I really wanted to celebrate both holidays since I love all the themes of St. Brigit, Christ's presentation in the temple, and the reawakening of the earth for Spring. My children and I have been noticing the signs of Spring all around us, so doing a  joint celebration seemed fitting. 

Last night we had our co-op buddies come over for a party at our house. Deirdre was so excited to have a party. During nap time I finished up our February decorations and crafted the kids some presents to take home with them. I wanted them to all have a special votive candle to remember our time together (inspired by Wee Folk's votive but a bit different). I also finally got a seasonal tree fixed up and placed in our school room. My hope is that we can craft little ornaments for each seasonal and holiday to hang on it as the year progresses. 

Votive Directions: 
First I painted on a tissue paper heart with glue.
Then, once the heart was dry, I painted the whole votive with glue and rolled it in sugar until it was totally coated.
Then you must let it totally dry.
Once dry, seal it with Mod Podge.
Viola, you have a frosted heart votive that should last!

Deirdre also wanted to help with the party preparations, so she decorated her playroom with her play silks. I love her and her desire to help and create.  She was so giddy about having a party, it really warmed my heart to watch her. 

I made a tasty dinner with Anya's help for us all as well as a 'sun' cake for the kids to decorate with yellow and red sprinkles. Because according to Deirdre, "It is not a real party unless there is cake"! I concur! We used this recipe. It was very tasty and I thought making fruit based cake would help tie in the idea of Spring coming- along with fresh fruits again! I am already dreaming of strawberry season. 

Then we headed outside for a candle boat race. The kids had a blast and so did I. Jonas was way more interested in playing in the water than with his boat though. Got to love him! Afterwards we ate dinner and cake. Then it was circle time by our fire. I read a story about the earth getting ready for Spring and gardening. I had little garden props for the kids to play with while they listened. They seemed to enjoy themselves and the girls really got into the book. They are ready to garden for sure! I ended by telling them the story of St. Brigit- which they also loved. Deirdre was trying to spread her cloak today over the playroom to stake out her claim to the land. Fun times were had by all. 

We ended the party with some quiet playing and crafting. We made St. Brigit crosses (as seen in the first photo on the post). I got the idea from my friend Laura's blog: Nestled Under Rainbows. Anya and I ended up doing most of the crosses but the kids sure loved playing with them. 

All in all, I loved our time together. I think they kids will remember it for some time to come. I know I will. 

Always, Nicole 

For the Kids Friday

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Waldorf Doll Giveaway over at Itsystitch

A blogging friend is hosting a free giveaway of one of her beautiful dolls (see above photo) over on her blog. I suggest you hop over there and enter- the doll is gorgeous! It ends today at 2pm! And if you don't win, and love her dolls, check out her ETSY shop as well! 


PS: I promise to be backing blogging soon. As if things could not get worse health wise here, my kids got a stomach bug a day ago. We are still reeling from it! 

Monday, January 30, 2012


It seems that our poor daffodils and forsythia are confused. These are the two local flowers that have always heralded the coming Spring for me. They usually do not appear until late March, but as you can see they are happy to pop up and say hello in January! Sadly this means if we get another frost, and I am sure we will, that they will die. I must say the crazy weather we've had this Winter (if you can call that) has thrown me for a loop. I'd say the past four years we have always had at least one nice snow and normal cold temperatures. Plus in the last two years we got tons of snow and very cold temperatures. Not this year I suppose. 

Our poor co-op kids have been learning about snow and Winter animals. Even they really want snow. Oh well. Maybe one day I'll take them to Wintergreen- a local ski resort about three hours away- to see the snow before our real Spring begins. 

In other news, we are sick again over here! Will it end? I do not know. This time it is Deirdre. Hopefully this will be short lived. At least my children only seem to be ill once a year (always in January) and then generally they get a mild sniffle in Autumn. I am trying to stay positive since so far they have not needed any antibiotics or the like. I'd prefer it to stay that way too. 

However because of the on and off colds we've all had, I won't be able to finish my Rhythm of the Home article in time. I am pretty disappointed by it- but what can a Mamma do? I still plan on finishing it- so maybe it will go well for next year or maybe on their blog. In the end, there isn't much more I can do. Sick kids need loving- not a Mama furiously crafting and writing to make a deadline. Next time I will take 'colds' into consideration. With the Autumn and Winter editions, I had tons of time. On the up side though, I already began a Summer article and I won a "Woolly Rounds" giveaway today :) 

Before Deirdre got sick again, we had some fun coming up with new night time "tv-free" activities. Deirdre decided she wanted to wash dishes and give her playmobil a bath. Now it is an every other evening event. She loves it, I don't mind, and she washes her and Jonas enamelware (which should not go in the dishwasher). 
I'd say it is a win-win. 

I also had a stroke of genius when it came to pops. My kids, when they were sick, loved to have pops for their throats. But they were- bless them- making a huge stained mess of their clothes even with bibs. So I thought well let's try in the tub, and it worked! The mess was contained and I was not having to do extra laundry. In the Summer we just do it outside so a mess wasn't an issue but in Winter, I think the tub idea is great. 

At any rate, I hope you all are well! Thank you for your well wishes on my last post. It means the world to me. 

Always, Nicole 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Precious Little One

It seems that this little baby is well on its way- and I cannot wait! My pregnancy has hit its stride. No more hyperemesis or placenta bleeding scares. Lots of growth and kicking abounds now, with some serious cravings. All told,  sometime between mid April and early May- this little one will enter our lives. I can't help but get excited since I have only two full months left until we meet him or her. 

With that added peace, I have been able to reflect on how unique this little one and its pregnancy has been. We feel so immensely blessed to welcome another precious child into this world as well as to be pregnant. Having experienced loss, I am reticent to complain about being pregnant. Children, in our view, are blessings. Pure and simple. They're lots of work yes, but the way in which our children have blessed and enriched our lives only affirm and strengthen this view. Plus I am up for the task. I am honestly not daunted one bit by another child. I got all my fretting out when I had Jonas. I can do this, and God made me for this. 

I also really think a mother's 'glow' comes from her joy for the little life inside of her. 
Who could keep that in?

 I also believe this makes it equally hard when others- especially family- don't share in your joy and try to rob you of it. As this baby through the years grows into a child, I can honestly say it will be hard to just forget negative family attitudes. It also, to me at least, seems extremely patronizing and dehumanizing when others' try to chalk up your feelings to being sensitive and pregnant. My moral compass and reasoning did not leave my body when I became pregnant.

I can only journal and pray about my hurt so much before well I accept it for what it is- selfishness. I don't need people to be happy for us if they can't be, but they can keep the negativity to themselves. I used to be a very blunt person and that changed along then line somewhere. However I think I might bring it back some and just shut down what I call "diarrhea of the mouth" before it crops up. Not in a nasty way, but in a matter of fact way. 

So I suppose that all in all, I resolve to not let anyone rob me or my family of our God-given joy. I also resolve to not be a doormat. Our sweet baby will be welcomed into this world surrounding by love. If some family and friends won't be part of our loving village- then please leave. 

I considered making this blog private but I won't. This isn't an attack, it is just how I feel. I choose to be open about this, because I know I am not the only mother who has felt this way before. All life should be celebrated.

Maybe this will just remind us all to be loving to one another as well. 

Thankfully you all, my dear blog friends, are quite nice. I really appreciate that. I do have a large supportive and happy village as well. I am so blessed to have them. Many pages in my journal are filled with praises for my village. Many more pages of happiness than hurt. For that I am thankful. 

Who could not love this baby!

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Sick Mommy

Hello dear friends!

I write you from the comfort of my couch, aka my sick bed. I have been battling a terrible cold since Thursday. It has now gone from my head into my chest. This means I am on my way to the doctor tomorrow. I can usually kick a head cold but because I am prone to bronchitis- due to the nasty smoking habits of my parents that I was exposed to for the first 17 years of my life- I need to go in at this point. Being pregnant also doesn't help. 

So please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Amid this cold I still have a house and little ones to care for, and my husband and in-laws can only help out so much. Needless to say, I am ready to be better. 

Until then, keep me in your thoughts. I will update once I got to the doctor. 

Always, Nicole 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Little Buddy for Jonas

Yes that's right! I actually made a 14' Waldorf doll. Who knew when I began this doll making trial and error journey that I would actually finish it, and be happy with my results!

I also firmly believe anyone can do this!!

Armed with "Kinderdolls", a bunch of wool batting, very tan knit fabric, very large sewing needles, a crochet wig, tons of blonde yarn, and embroidery floss- I began the task of making Jonas a 'little buddy'. Craig came up with the name little buddy. I think it is cute and that it fits well because my hope is that this doll will replace his sleep sheep (a raggedy sheep that he loves dearly and calls baby) as well as become a comfort for him when the new baby comes. 

When I had Jonas, Deirdre attached a blue doll and would mimic my behavior with the new baby- with her own doll. It seemed to help and comfort her, and I can honestly said we had no regression issues. However with that being said, she also has a very nurturing personality so if Jonas regresses, I won't be upset or surprised. They just are different in that way and I love it! 

I also realized that I don't have a boy doll. They are all girls, fairies, or gnomes! Jonas likes the dolls but I think he will really like having one that is a boy, that he can dress, and that looks like him. 

Another reason that I wanted to make him something special for his birthday is because I make Deirdre lots of things. I don't know what it is about girl things, maybe because I am a girl, but sewing dresses to me is easier than sewing a button down shirts and pants!! DD has tons of Mama-made goodies and while I am sure Jonas doesn't realize it yet, I do, and it bothers me. When I make things, it is out of love, so I want to make sure I make an effort to make him clothes and toys as well. 

So here is mini-Jonas, his new little buddy. I quietly began him back in late November. I don't know how many times I took the body apart, re-stuffed the head, cursed the sewing needles, but he is done. I like him and I am happy with him. I also understand why these dolls cost $100 plus from an experienced doll maker (A LOT of work goes into them). He was made with lots of love and for my first doll ever- I think he looks pretty good. Will I be making another one? Yes- for Deirdre before the new one arrives. But until then I am going to hug mini-Jonas and excitedly await his 2nd birthday to give it to him! 

I love how Waldorf dolls have vague faces and are soft. Deirdre creates such imaginative stories and adventures with her Waldorf dolls, much more so than with other dolls. I highly recommend you make or purchase one for your children. Magic Onions featured a great article on the importance of Waldorf dolls here if your interested! 

Oh and an FYI- I used Adirondack Pattern's Waldorf doll clothes pattern for his clothes. It was a fabulous pattern- super user friendly. I highly suggest getting it. I will never pay for doll clothes again. 

A few tips from a first timer: 

- I suggest getting extra wool batting. At first I did not have enough in him so when I went to sew the limbs to his torso- it looked terrible. 
-I also suggest drink a glass of wine and relax before you 'form' the head. That was probably the hardest part for me. 
-I also bought a crochet wig cap. That made looping the yarn on the wig easier. Then all I had to do was sew the wig on instead of sewing the strands down bit by bit (as the Kinderdoll book suggested). 

Other than that, I am now a firm believer that if you have the time and supplies, then anyone can do it! They also are not terrible to pull apart if you mess up. I took out the embroidery on his mouth three times and I can't tell now! At any rate I hope it helps and I'd be happy to help you as I can. I am however still a huge novice. I am sure other real doll makers out there have much better advice!!! (It still was much cheaper doing it myself than buying one)

Until next time (oh and please pray for me, I have a yucky cold! It seems I have what the kids had a week ago!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Quilt or Two!

From time to time I get a sewing bug that I just can't itch. It comes and goes really, because in between those time I rarely enter my sewing room but when it does come, oh the glorious productivity! 

Back in late May I made these quilts, one for Jonas and one for our playroom. Deirdre loves gnomes so when I saw the gnome fabric I caved. She already has a quilt (her fairy baby quilt) so I don't think she really needs another right now (besides the Christmas one I just made her). 

Jonas on the other hand did not yet have a baby quilt (he is almost 2) so I hopped on that project as well. The results are above. Once I finished, I sent these off to be machine top quilted. So when I got them back in late June, there they sat ready to be bound. 

The cowboy fabrics that I used for Jonas' quilt came from a dear friend Linnea and her daughter Rachael. The backing was a Michael Miller Cowboy print. I really love the look of them all together. The fabrics from the gnome quilt were from Moda's "Wee Folks" line, including the mushroom print backing. I used a charm pack for the front as well. All together I really like them. 

You must be asking yourself at this point, so why are they just now finished? Well that is the sad part really. I spent all of July packing up our house and refused to let myself do any sewing or projects so that I could pack up my sewing room. Then one month after we moved in, I found out that I was pregnant. I spent September to early November terribly sick with Hyperemesis only to just feel better by December- which was Christmas crafting time! So finally here comes January and the perfect time to finish the quilts (not to mention Jonas' 2nd birthday is in a few weeks so that is a perfect time to give him his quilt). I also want to begin the baby's quilt and I told myself I would not touch it until I was done with the other two. It also doesn't help that I HATE to bind quilts. I just hate it. 

But it is done, and I am very happy with them both. I am still undecided as to whether I will machine quilt the baby's quilt myself or send it off to the quilt lady. I quilted the Christmas quilt totally by myself and I was happy with it but the quilt lady still does an awesome job and she charges maybe $20. We will see! 

I am in full baby nursery mode right now too. I believe nesting as set in some. I also have two projects to finish in time for Jonas birthday- his Waldorf doll and a pair of big boy pajamas. Here is hoping that I get ot all done!

Until then I leave you with an awesome quote and a few photos of the fleece tie blanket I made Jonas. 

Daily Quote or Verse: 
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction...The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." 
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progress and Completion

I am officially done with my Valentines Day craft swap (not pictured yet are the candies I will pick up at the store on my way to to the post office)! I really enjoyed dreaming up this little gnome set, wet felted heart ornaments, and sachet. I am slowly realizing that crafting gnomes and embroidering are coming more and more easily to me, which is good and validating. I also find that the artistic/crafty medium of wooden pegs and felt have endless possibilities once you have a basic method down. So all in all, I can't really take full credit for the gnome peg people and sleeping bags I make, since they were all inspired by Wee Folk Art's tutorials. The designs at this point are my own, however this really isn't about artistic integrity for me, since I make these for my children and friends as gifts. I want to keep it that way too. But I also want to give credit where credit is due! 

Deirdre helped me wet felt the purple heart ornament. She was very proud of it and is even more excited to send it to our swap partner in New Zealand. I pulled up photos on the computer for her and map. She concurred that  New Zealand  is beautiful but far away from us. I find that to be one of the really neat things about blogging though. I am making connections with people, different yet like minded at the same time, worldwide. It helps me feel not quite so alone in my homeschooling and Waldorf journey. Plus it's the next best thing to travelling (which Craig and I fully intend on doing again since we'll barely be in our forties when our kids are grown). Don't get me wrong, we totally plan on travelling some with our children as well but I am still looking for my money tree to make that happen ;) Let's hope I can still speak a few of the languages I studied by the time I find it! 

Enjoy the photos and feel free to use them to craft your own little Valentine sets. I will post a tutorial later on to explain how we wet felted the hearts as well as a spool table and spool mushroom tutorial. I realized that I did not give directions on how to make your own! Opps!

Until then, Happy Monday! (And enjoy some photos of the littles!) 

Yes they do help me cut them and it is helpful. Deirdre did one whole by herself (with a butter knife). Jonas tried really hard but ended up eating the raw potato more than cutting it. 

Homemade pound cake- yum! The kids helped with this too. They're great egg crackers. 

We are slowly replacing TV time with planned nightly activities. We started again to watch more TV when I was very ill with hypermesis. So far it is working. They also totally clean up after themselves collectively. I am very proud.

For the Kids Friday

Friday, January 13, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual birthed by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Some of our day... (and a yarn along)

The lavender sachet and valentine gnome sleeping bag for Natural Suburbia's swap. I'm not done yet but these are a start! I got the idea of the sachet from my friend Stephanie from church. Thank you! 

A doll cardigan for Valentine's day that I am beginning today. I hope my pattern turns out well! For my next yarn along I plan of actually reading something else besides my own pattern as well ;) 

Deirdre's, my 4 year old, sky scarf. She is getting so good. I am proud at her effort.

Deirdre and I are joining in with Ginny again today for a Yarn Along over at her blog, Small Things. You should join in too! She is reading one of my favorite books, Organized Simplicity. You should check it out. It was a game changer for me. 

Well it has been a few days, hasn't it? Thankfully both my children have kicked their colds.  I love it when they have their first uphill day. I miss their laughs and happy spirits when they're sick. I think they miss them too! 

This week we also began our new Winter circulum. My co-op partner and I spent the month to December creating our own curriculum to follow Advent, St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, Christmas, and Epiphany. It also allowed us to take a break without feeling guilty because we paid for 4 weeks of material and used maybe 2. This past Autumn we used Little Acorn for all three months and I liked it a lot. There was a lot of material in their package, so much so that I can use it next year and cover stories and crafts we just never got to- and trust me we did a lot! 

So for Winter and Spring we are trying a new circulum out from Wee Folk Art. Best of all it is free and a perfect mix of Waldorf for us. I plan on adding to it as I see fit for my kids and where they are at. I have lots of extra Waldorf resources and enrichment guides that I have gotten through Earthschooling and Little Acorn. That is the beauty of homeschooling for me. Through my education I have been given the tools to effectively teach my children and understand on a deep level where they are at developmentally. That peace gives me more freedom to add and subtract where I see fit, without second guessing myself. I feel immensely blessed to be able to teach them and to have found Waldorf education. If I had not, I think I would feel very lost or torn when it came to their schooling (which really at this point, since it is the preschool years, is not serious at all- as it should be). 

I really feel like a giddy child myself too when it comes to new material. I get really excited about the lessons plans and the upcoming days we will have with each other. I guess that is how it should be? 

At any rate, we are chugging right along. The new ciricuum went off well this week so far and the kids are having fun. I am enjoying watching Deirdre learn to knit and Jonas how to draw and paint. His forms are so cute and purposeful. 

In Nicole news, I submitted my article proposal for the Spring edition of Rhythm of the Home magazine. They accepted it, so now the writing and creating begins. If all goes well this will be my 3rd article with them. I feel so humbled and excited to share a bit of our world with others. I will be cmbing crafting, reading, and teaching in this article. My three great loves, not to mention the book I will be discussing is The Story of the Root Children! I love connecting with new and different people. I also am almost done with my craft swap for Valentines day. Deirdre and I even wet felted some heart ornaments today!  I can't wait to share all that we made. I hope my partner enjoys it! 

Until then!

Daily Quote or Verse:

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
-Psalm 119:111

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Snow Child and Poppy (plus a tutorial!)

Both my little ones have been sick with a nasty bout of the common cold. Jonas was the first to get it, in conjunction with getting his two year molars, then Deirdre. Together they make one pathetic pair between their banshee like coughs and runny noses. However both seem to be in fine spirits, just very tired- as they should be! 

Needless to say it could be worse. I hate seeing them sick but at least they are allowing me to comfort them. Thus enters the little above Snow Child and Poppy. 

Every once in awhile I order something and stow it away, for a rainy day or a special event, to give to the kids later. I bought this book about a month ago and wanted to save it for after Christmas.

So during the kids' extra long nap, I sat down and whipped up a peg Snow Child and Poppy to go with the book. I knew the kids would appreciate it and since they felt so awful, I hoped it would cheer them up. Well, it worked! 

Right now Deirdre is sleeping with Poppy and Jonas with the Snow Child. Reading the book while holding their new friends warmed my heart. If you don't already have a copy of the the Snow Children, then I would encourage you to get one. Right now they are only $12.21 from Amazon (which is pretty good since the large hardback version is usually $20). 

Making the peg dolls were pretty simple. I use large peg dolls from Michael's and they seem to work best for little ones. However my directions are general enough that you should be able to use any size peg person to make these. You just need to use you peg person to measure the felt pieces that you're going to cut out. 

To make The Snow Child and Poppy peg person:

1. Cut one small white Snow Child and one small red Poppy felt rectangle (large enough to wrap around the body of your peg people).

2. Hot glue both the body wrappings in place to their respective peg person. 

3. Cut another rectangle in both Snow Child white and Poppy red, three times as large as the previous piece. 
(To check that you sized it right- try wrapping the piece around the peg head. If the piece totally covers the head and hangs mid way down the peg body- then you got the size right.)

4. Thread some light blue embroidery floss for the Snow Child and blanket stitch all the way around the large white felt rectangle. 

5.Repeat the same with the large red Poppy felt piece, but use white floss. 

5. Apply hot glue to the entire head of each peg person, except for the face.

6. Press the middle of the stitched felt piece to the head of the peg person, cinching it in the middle. 

7. Stitch the neck closed with the left over embroidery floss. 

8. Hot glue the back and the front of the Snow Child's coat to the peg body. Then shape the sides of the cloak to resemble wings. Glue the insides of cloak together if necessary. 

9. You do not need to glue the cloak to Poppy's body.

To make Poppy's white hand muff: 

1.Fold a small piece of white felt over three times to form a thick tiny rectangle. 

2.Glue the layers together.

3. Braid three strands of white embroidery floss together. 

4. Tie the ends together to form a necklace (the necklace should fall to the middle of Poppy's body)

5. Glue the tiny white rectangle to the middle of the necklace and viola! 

And you should be done! Enjoy you little people! 

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual birthed by SouleMama. A single photo - few words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

. . . . . . . .

Her first row of knitting on her sky scarf!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reconnecting and Planning

The kids and I rang in the new year by ourselves. Craig was working, as he usually is, and I am so grateful that he is willing do to so. His hard work allows me to stay at home with the children, which at times makes me feel guilty because let's face it, my job is a lot more fun than his. 

Every few months however I begin to feel a bit anxious and then he and I have a sit down to sort out our plans for the next few months (like things that need to be done) to even long term goals (like deciding to not put Deirdre in public pre-K next year). I really love these times because it really reunifies us in out joint endeavor to raise our little ones and care for our home. 

So last night we got to have one of the reconnecting evenings and this morning I feel so so much better. I was beginning to pile a lot up on my plate, when we both knew what I wanted and needed to do was be focused on the home, the kids, the impending baby, my one mother's ministry outreach, and their schooling. I guess I just needed him agree that those things were most important before I would allow myself to let go of the rest.

This morning in turn I woke up feeling quite refreshed and unburdened as a result. 

So here is to a new reaffirmed direction! I have a few projects in the works and lots of list making to do. I can't wait to share them all with you! 

Below you'll find a mini-tutorial on how to make floating beeswax candles. It is very straight forward if you already have molds and a double boiler. We enjoyed it so much that we will be making some more again very soon! 

The kids in their New Year togas- Jonas of course wanted to copy Deirdre.  I love his over zealous cheesing in the photo. 

Their New Years painting of fireworks with our plant based water colors. 

Daily Verse or Quote: 

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
– Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Little Friend Doll Sweater Tutorial

I am joining Ginny from Small Things this Wednesday for a Yarn Along. Hop over there if you want to join in too! 

A while back we purchased this doll for Deirdre from Nova Natural. She was our first Waldorf doll and is quite well loved. So well loved that her arms began to fall off and she went out of commission for awhile. Amid my hyperemesis this Fall and a move this Summer, poor Vera stayed in my mending basket for far too long. When Christmas rolled around I was determined to mend her and also make her some new clothes. 

I adore Waldorf doll clothes. They are so cute and well made. However as much as I love them, I am not willing to pay $20-$30 for one outfit plus shipping. I have had a hard time sewing clothes for dolls as well so I decided I would try to knit some. 

Then enters this dolly sweater. I am by no means a talented knitter. I'd describe myself as passable, mainly because I am self-taught. I have lots to learn still and little time and patience...haha... so I need to work with what I got. 

So I devised a super simple, super easy pull over sweater for Vera. The head  and arm openings are extra wide so children can put the sweater on themselves. I also knitted with large needles and bulky yarn so that the sweater would give a little (again to make it easier for my daughter to pull it on). 

Vera is 11 inches tall. The pattern is designed for her and other "Little Friend" dolls or 11-12 inch Waldorf dolls. If you have a larger or smaller doll and want to make one for them as well, message me and I can do the math on how to adjust this pattern to fit your doll. 

-Size 10 Needles
-Bulky Yarn that knits up to 4=14 stitches on size 10 needles (I used alpine wool)
-Yarn Needle

1. Cast on 30 stitches 
2. Knit 10 rows 
3. Cast off 7 stitches
4. Knit 16 stitches
5. Cast off 7 stitches 
(At this point you should have 16 stitches in the middle still on your needle)
6. Knit another 20 rows. 
7. Bind off loosely at the end. 
8. Then knit another identical piece following the same steps from above. 

Once you have your two pieces...

1. Sew up your seams along the outside of the sweater, except for the bottom, the ends of the sleeves, and the neck portion. Make sure to leave the neck portion wide. (See photo below)

2. Turn your sweater inside out and weave in any loose ends. 
3. Viola, you should be done and ready to put the sweater on your Little Friend! 

Enjoy! And please let me know how it goes if you knit one ;) 

Daily Verse or Quote: 
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
– Proverbs 1:5-6 (NIV)