FO: Dolls and Diversity

While I was in Chicago I got the chance to finally meet up with an online friend in person. I’ve known my girlfriend Pem since back in my old blogging days. She worked for a brand I loved and we just clicked so we’ve always emailed and kept in touch via social media. She has two children and one day I saw a picture of her daughter holding a doll that looked nothing like her and I said to myself that I needed to make Leia a doll that mirrored what she saw in herself.
Little Leia
I made what is now affectionately known as Little Leia. This is the same doll pattern from the Susan B. Anderson Mary, Millie and Morgan doll I made previously for Maddie. I ordered the Knit Picks Brava Sport in the color almond to get a skin color close to Leia’s and when I did her hair I decided to cut it in a choppy little bob to mimick her own haircut.
Little Leia
For the record, growing up all the dolls in our home were black. These are my sister’s Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls (my sister’s name is Anne so clearly she had to have an Ann doll).
I didn’t even know Raggedy Ann and Andy were white until I saw a cartoon version of them and I thought, well that’s odd because our Ann and Andy are brown at home. That’s also how I felt about non-black Santa Clauses LOL. My mother believed that the dolls you play with should look like you and they should. I’ve taken that to heart and love making dolls when I can for friends. Seeing yourself in everyday things makes you feel more like you belong, like you’re the norm. And sadly in 2017 we still don’t have as much diversity in our products and mainstream culture as we should.
So here’s Leia with the death grip on her doll. She was so excited. And here’s the great thing about when I gave her the doll, she looked at it and said, ‘that’s me!’ with such excitement and joy it made my heart want to explode. She pointed everything out to me and said, ‘that’s my hair, those are my eyes, that’s my button nose…’ She knew that doll was meant for her and Pem told me that when we left and they went to a museum later she told everyone that was her little Leia and fell asleep clutching her doll.

I can’t make a doll for everyone but I’m happy that I can make some of the little girls in my life dolls that show them how beautiful and special they really are in this world. Diversity matters. Representation in the world matters. And sometimes all it takes is seeing the joy in giving a little girl a doll to realize it.


FO: Morgan for Maddie

Allow me to introduce you to Morgan.
Morgan and the Tutu top
I made Morgan for Maddie, the adorable little girl with two curly puffs you’ve seen a few times on the blog. Maddie is just the cutest. Don’t get me wrong, I love my two godsons but making things for girls when you’re already a girly girl is just plain fun!!!

Morgan is part of the Susan B. Anderson doll patterns for Mary, Millie and Morgan. My LYS was having a class on how to make these dolls and I picked up the pattern when the class was full and thought I’d give it a go myself. I was surprised at how easy it was. Seriously, if you can knit in the round you’ve got this. The “hardest” part was this hair, or as I like to say, her weave. LOL I decided to use acrylic yarn for this because I wanted her to be washer and dryer friendly (and she is! All these pics are post being washed and dried). I used Knit Picks Brava Sport and it had a lovely softness but still sturdy feel to it. I bought lots of colors for under $25 so I could have some options but man this brown is spot on. It’s the perfect shade of brown and when I saw it coming together I was so tickled throughout the process. I was so excited I finished it in 2 days!
And when I made Morgan’s clothes I decided I needed to make it match a top I was going to make for Maddie too because matching your doll is even cuter. Monday night I went over to give Maddie her doll…and here’s Maddie meeting Morgan.
And kissing Morgan…I think she really likes her.
And taking her for a ride in her stroller with a maraca in case Morgan wanted to play a song perhaps. These things make sense to toddlers.
And once I get a picture of Maddie in her top to match Morgan I’ll do a post about the top too. In the meantime, here’s the top next to Morgan in her dress.
Morgan and the Tutu top
The pattern for the doll comes with options to make a skirt, cardigan and shawl for the doll too. I figure when I knit up Maddie’s fall/winter pieces I’ll whip up a few things for Morgan too…because why not? I also realized that by knitting the doll feet I had to do a heel flap and I could totally try sock knitting. My almost 15 year old godson asked me to make him orange wool socks – now I know what to whip up for his birthday next month. Morgan’s already helping me learn new skills to put to work for the next project. I couldn’t be more pleased with how this turned out and I see some more knit dolls and toys in my future.

Stitching Status: FO’s and Adorable Dolls

I feel like I haven’t talked about what I’m actually knitting in a while. It’s time for some stitching status updates.
It's time to block my latest sweater! #sweaterknitting #yardsofhappiness #nevernotknitting
My cotton bulky weight cardigan, Teazel, is blocked and almost dry. That sucker is heavy! And I needed to pin down the decorative edge to help it lay flat. I probably should’ve knit the size down, knowing it’s cotton and will grow even more but I think this might be a really great cardigan for summer. My office is already freezing and this has such a lovely swing shape and wraps around me. I am totally making this again in the winter in a wool yarn. Hopefully it will be dry and I can take pictures to get a full FO post up for Friday about it.
I am so into knitting this Morgan doll for Maddie. I started this on Monday night around 8pm and finished the head and increases at the top of the body. The above pic was progress after my evening commute home on Tuesday. My friend Lavon told me I need to do a better job of documenting my progress so I’m trying to take more pictures as I go along. This is how far I got this morning in the car.
So by the time I get home I should be started on one of the arms. I’m surprised that something on size 3 needles is going to quickly, but really at most I have 60 active stitches at once. So it’s not a ton of knitting. I want to get the body completed so I can move on to the details (ears, face and hair) and then make her little clothes! I altered her slightly from the original and didn’t do striped tights. Instead I gave her underclothes and bare legs with little red sneakers on since Maddie has the cutest pair of little red Chuck Taylors. I know she’s only one but I hope this little doll lasts her a while and becomes a special doll to her. Who knew I’d enjoy making dolls so much? I’ve already started looking up other animals to give as baby shower gifts too. So that’s what I’m working on, how about you?