Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hollywood Inspired Barbie Knits

There is nothing I enjoy more than watching a classic movie on TCM and knitting. And sometimes the movie inspires the pattern. Maybe it's a great sweater on Bette Davis in "Now, Voyager". Or, simply every outfit on Doris Day in "Lover Come Back". I've been toying with some of these ideas for Barb, and thinking this might make another collection of patterns. We'll see, but for now here is a 1940's style bathing suit inspired by one on Betty Hutton in "The Fleet's In". Actually, my version is quite different as it lacks a keyhole opening in the front and the little skirt. But I like it anyway. I am going to try a version with a skirt just to see if it works.

Cotton Bathing Suit
Made with #10 cotton Crochet Thread and 2mm needle

Monday, 24 March 2014

Free Barbie Doll Turtleneck Pattern

This is a pattern for those brave enough to go down to a 2mm needle. I actually think this is an easy, straight forward pattern, but I made a couple of these in something called Punch Embroidery thread, which is superfine, and sometimes a bit fuzzy.

I made a dark blue fuzzy one, from which it was pretty much impossible to recover from a dropped stitch. Also, a silky light blue, which was slippery, but easier to see. After I made this sweater, I went on to design a simpler, chunkier version which is altogether easier. But for those of you with great eyesight, and willing to go the extra stitches, here is the original.

This sweater is actually quite easy except for the fact that the stitches are so teeny tiny and any mistakes you may make are a pain to fix. It’s really helpful to have a very small crochet hook handy (I know because I just spent the morning crawling around the living room floor looking for my grandmother’s hook which is much more minuscule than any I have bought myself – I’ll let you know what size it is if I ever find it again). Something even smaller than 2mm would be great.

2mm/ US# 0 circular needle
Three 2mm/US# 0, or similar sized double pointed needles or stitch holders, or combination of these.
Fine crochet cotton, needle punch embroidery yarn, or lace weight yarn (see Tips section)

Darning Needle.

Instructions for Sweater, (knit in the round from the hem up):
With 2mm circular needle, cast on 60 sts. Arrange stitches for Magic Loop method with 30 stitches on each half of the needle.
Round 1: Knit in rib pattern – (k2, p2), continue to the end of the round.
Continue the same as Round 1 for 7cm/2 ¾ in.
Next round: Bind off first two sts, knit in rib pattern to end of 1st side of round. Bind off first two stitches of 2nd side, knit in rib pattern to end of second side of the round. Transfer work onto 2 dpn or stitch holder and set aside.

Sleeves (make two):
With 2mm circular needles, cast on 12 sts.
Row 1(RS, knit flat in rib pattern): P1, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p1.
Row 2(WS): K1, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k1.
Rows 3 and 4: same as 1 and 2.
Row 5: Inc 1 st at the beginning and end of this row (14 sts total).
Rows 6 – 12: continue in rib pattern.
Row 13: Inc 1 st at the beginning and end of this row (16 sts total).
Rows 14 – 20: continue in rib pattern.
Row 21: Inc 1 st at the beginning and end of this row (18 sts total).
Rows 22 – 30: continue in rib pattern.
Row 31: bind of first 2 sts, knit in rib pattern to last 2 sts, bind off last 2 sts.
Break yarn and pull through last st. Push first sleeve out of the way along needle, or slip onto a holding needle, and begin second sleeve.

Finish second sleeve and slip both sleeves to holding needle.

Join Sleeves to Body:
Slip body back onto circular needle, placing gaps (underarms) at the ends of each side of work.
Re – attach yarn and knit first side in established rib pattern up to first underarm gap. Now knit first sleeve off of holding needle and on to circular needle following the rib pattern on the sleeve. Make sure that the sleeve is right way up, that is, the center two stitches of the sleeve are knit stitches of the rib pattern.
Knit second half of round to second gap and knit second sleeve off of the holding needle following the rib pattern on the sleeve.
Now adjust stitches on first sleeve to be half (7 sts) on one side of work and half on the other. You do this by pulling the needles all the way through the stitches so that the stitches are all on the cord and there is no longer a loop sticking through. Knit to the first side and then adjust the second sleeve as the first.
Next 4 rounds: Knit in established rib pattern.
Sleeve Decreases:
Begin from center of first sleeve (following established rib pattern unless otherwise indicated): (K1, p2, k1, sl1, k1, psso, knit in established rib pattern across chest until the last 6 sts. K2 tog, k1, p2, k1). Repeat on second side.
Repeat sleeve decreases as above on every row for 12 rows.

Knit in (k2, p2) rib for 14 rows.
Next row: bind off.
Turn work inside out and with yarn tails sew undersides of sleeves then underarms together. Sew in tails.
Turn right side out and block (see “tips”).

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Best Barbie Knits on Flickr

I have to admit, my favourite part of the Barbie project is the pictures. And I don't mean TAKING the pictures. That's actually a little stressful, and embarrassing. But coming home and looking at them is fun, and I've had a lot of enjoyment sharing them. Here is the first that I took.

After I looked at these first couple that I took on my balcony, I put on my boots and went out into the first snow fall of the year on a quiet Sunday and took these:

Here is a link to more in this series: Best Barbie Knits on Flickr

Monday, 17 March 2014

Barbie Kangaroo Jacket in #10 Crochet Cotton

This is a new pattern that I have just added for sale on Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy. I have also added it to my ebook Best Barbie Knits (second ed). You can make this in a number of different yarn weights and get a slightly different fit. From a "chunky" sock yarn to a slimmer look in #10 crochet cotton, this sweater is fun and easy to make. Made in one piece, there is no sewing - just a graft at the top of the hood. If you've never grafted before, find an online tutorial that you like. It's a technique worth learning. It's easy, but if you're like me you will need to consult a video tutorial every time. This is the Grafting Tutorial I use from Knitting Help. Grafting can also be called Kitchener Stitch.