Beguiling Bertha for Blythe

Bertha Hat for Blythe

Stripes are awesome, and I think they work really well on Blythe. This hat is a great way to show off some stripes! It’s a generously sized toque, so it will stay on well even if your Blythe has big hair (you know how some hats will sort of try to spring off the top of Blythe’s head? This one won’t do that, even on Ash, my mohair reroot whose locks are boisterous). Add a bobble if you wish, or leave it as a plain cap.

Bag Bertha on Etsy, Ravelry, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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review: A New Dimension in Wool Appliqué

A New Dimension in Wool Appliqué

A New Dimension in Wool Appliqué: Baltimore Album Style by Deborah Gale Tirico

On picking this book up, I had never heard of the Baltimore Album style, but apparently this specific type of quilt block was popular during the 1840s in Baltimore. They were created to reflect an image of life at that time, and some reflected (in a somewhat hidden way) not just the day to day of the women who made them, but their political opinions as well. The patterns included here range from table rugs to pillows to sewing notions, and instruction on felting wool, making patterns, and appliquéing with felted wool are provided. These projects have bold color, fine detail, and certainly reflect the skill and time required to create them. Some also include details about the history of the content, such as the symbolism of various fruit used in the cornucopia table rug. Templates are also included.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Kalamazoo Public Library through the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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Pretty Primrose

Primrose Romper for Blythe

I’ve been wanting to create more garments for Blythe using mohair/silk yarn, and I’ve been wanting to make up a pattern for a romper, so here’s both of those things in one!

This romper features a shaped bodice, cap sleeves, and puffy shorts. It is worked flat and in the round on size 2 (2.75mm) double-pointed needles using one color of lace weight mohair/silk yarn. It is also seamless! It’s knit top down and all in one piece. There is no finishing beyond weaving in the ends. It’s super quick and easy!

Available on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and LoveKnitting.

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review: The Magic of Children’s Gardens

The Magic of Children's Gardens

The Magic of Children’s Gardens: Inspiring through creative design by Lolly Tai

Who doesn’t love the idea of a whimsical garden that delights all ages? This book showcases 19 children’s and discovery gardens from all over the United States. For each garden, it provides details of the goal, concept, and design the garden’s creators started with, along with a guide to key areas and a list of plants used. Also listed is contact information and some stats such as size. Accompanying all this information are sketches and design images from the conceptual and planning stages of the garden’s creation, as well as color photographs of the garden at present. There’s lots of good inspiration here for most any gardener, even if you’re not planning something on the scale of these large projects.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Lapeer District Library through the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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review: Three Balls of Wool

Three Balls of Wool (Can Change the World) by Henriqueta Cristina, illustrations by Yara Kono, translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

This picture book, published in association with Amnesty International, is one of a growing number of titles aimed at bringing political awareness to young children. In this story, a family flees their home country to settle in a place where, unlike in the country they fled, all the children are able to attend school, but they quickly find that the limited options in their new home are also unsatisfying. This unrest is illustrated by the three monotone sweater options available to children: solid green, orange, or grey. The mother, tired of seeing the children looking “like an army” in their matching clothing, unravels three sweaters and uses the wool to knit multicolored versions which soon become a trend. This seemingly inconsequential thing brings joy to everyone and illustrates the point that small actions can spread out and become larger ones. The illustrations are also restricted to a limited color palette (mostly but not completely green, orange, grey, and black) and use knitting symbols and imagery throughout for a very effective and striking look. The last couple pages include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which may spur further questions and discussion.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Enchanted Lion Books

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new year! new free pattern!

Murry Headband

Are your ears cold? If you live in my neck of the woods, they probably are. You may even be spending a bunch of time outside shoveling snow and your ears are REALLY cold, but if you put a hat on, your head gets too warm because you’re doing physical labor. Perfect solution: the Murry Headband. It’s warm and cozy for your tender ears, but won’t mess with your hairdo or make you overheat.

Warm up your ears with this freebie at Ravelry, Craftsy, and LoveKnitting.

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Review: Fliers

Fliers: 20 small posters with big thoughts by Nathaniel Russell

When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought, that looks like that one Art Assignment. Well, it turns out that’s for good reason: that Art Assignment was created by the author of this book! These are fliers (or flyers) that were created to be more art than utility. You might find them funny, thought-provoking, mildly disturbing, or a variety of other possible things. Some are distinctly Night Vale-esque (which I particularly appreciate) but there are lots of themes taking off on the themes of actual fliers. The former punk rocker in me also really loves the DIY look of these. I remember cutting and pasting (by hand) band posters and zines and these have that same feel. All pages are thick cardstock and designed to easily pull out so you can post them or frame them or whatever suits you.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

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Blythe window shopping

I got some great responses to my last post about Blythe and finding dolls that are not White – thank you to everyone who responded! One awesome person, Deb, let me know that there’s another site kind of like ebay, Ali Express. I’ve heard of the site, but I didn’t realize how many Blythes are available there! Most seem to be factory/TBL/fakes, but as I mentioned in my last post about this, I am willing to make that compromise in order to find what I’m looking for, at least once. Once I get one, we’ll see how I feel about it. For now I’ve been window shopping online, and have found a few cuties!

I also don’t have any Blythes with non-stock bodies at this point, so I’m a bit intrigued by those that have jointed bodies.

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Mellow Myriad

Myriad Hat

Winter in my neck of the woods lasts awhile, and it’s nice to have a few easy hats to hand that you can just grab and put on without thinking about it. I also like a hat that doesn’t have a visual front, so that as I go in and out of buildings throughout the day, I can remove it and put it back on without worrying that I have it on crooked. This hat, Myriad, is perfect for that! It’s stretchy, so it’ll fit over your hair without giving you hat head, and it’s even all the way around, so there’s no wrong way to wear it.

Make your own Myriad using the pattern at Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and LoveKnitting.

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