Monday, February 15, 2016

It’s a Whirl

Last weekend’s Spin Along resulted in some interesting yarn:

The roving (fiber) was AlohaBlu’s Targhee "Saturated Spring,” 2 oz. The result is more or less DK-worsted. I got 108 yds, Navajo-plied to show off the colors. I used a Kromski Sonata wheel equipped with WooLee Winder.
Here’s what the singles looked like. I used long-draw or modified long-draw drafting method:

I'll post another photo after it's washed.
We’ve had a “new addition” to the doll family. This is Gabi:

She's the Tonner "My Imagination" Starter Redhead.
There are a few slight differences, though, from other 18" dolls. I measured her, and this is what I got: 
chest, 10 5/8” 
waist, 10” 
hips, 11” 
thigh, 5 3/4” 
calf, 5 1/8” 
upper arm, 5 1/2” 
full body around shoulders, 13 3/4” 
arm length from shoulder, 5 1/2” 
inseam, 6” 
head (about where a hat would rest), 12” 
height: 18” (without shoes)
She can wear most clothes made for other 18" play dolls, such as American Girl. She will be the foundation for a new set of fashions to be set aside for the next doll to give Miss Daphne. (I'm trying to spread them apart a bit.)
Gabi has an all-vinyl body, not a soft body, like the Madame Alexander doll, Dolly, and the American Girl dolls that are so popular. However, like the American Girl dolls, Gabi has a wig. (Dolly has rooted hair.) Also possibly important, her eyes don’t close, so she needs a sleep mask to get any sleep. I found a sleep mask pattern on Karen, Mom of Three’s Craft blog, July 16, 2012.

Gabi makes a great Little "Red" Riding Hood. Here she is with the wolf pup she met on the way to Grandmother’s house:

I finished the “Time for Tea” dress, started last month, for her.

Here’s the Ravelry Project Page. The pattern can be found here. The yarn is Stroll Tweed "Bare" I had dyed with KoolAid.
Here’s the back:

A slip underneath the skirt gives it some flair.

I had some issues worth discussing. First of all, someone on Ravelry observed that hand-dyed yarn sometimes left color that was hard to remove from doll bodies. Remembering that KoolAid can dye protein (animal) fibers but not cotton or acrylic, I conducted a test using the bottom of the foot on each doll. The “dye’ applied to each foot didn’t leave a mark on either. I will be vigilant, however, when using commercially hand-dyed yarns for either doll.
Another issue was the blocking. I thought I could just wash the dress and hang it to dry, because it’s so small, but it stretched, making it too long and too big in the neck (Superwash wool will stretch) and very limp. I wet it down again and dried it using the hair dryer, with the skirt spread out in a circle, which worked better than putting it in the dryer, because I could choose the shape. With the slip underneath it was just right.
Dolly hasn’t been neglected. I managed to get some lycra on Thursday after Vintage Stitchers and on Friday sewed the leotard for Dolly’s ballet costume.

The leotard (actually the swimsuit from Best Doll Clothes Book by Joan Hinds) can be used for practice sessions and classes at the barre, as well as for the foundation of her performance costume, sort of a Mardi Gras style costume.

The embellishments to the costume are made with Patons Twister in “Fruit Loops.” A three-stitch I-cord goes around each armhole and the neck. The one at the waist has the addition of 12” sections of the same yarn attached at more or less equal intervals with a single crochet stitch, allowing equal tails to hang down over the skirt, which is made from three equal 7” strips across the width of fabric, gathered. The net is attached to a ribbon and tied at the waist. The I-cord is separate, so it can all come off for practice.
At Vintage Stitchers almost everyone was sewing binding on quilts you have seen before, but Barbara had this one you haven’t seen since June of 2014, and certainly not quilted yet then.

The blocks come together in the middle of each dark shape. Templates were used, but the curves are gentle, and piecing was done easily by machine. Many of the fabrics are by Kaffe Fassett.
We’ve had some nice, sunny days. It won’t last, though, so we got out with the pups for a hike in the snow. No snowshoes needed, because the trail was nicely packed down.

What's on my needles:  Striped dress for Dolly. The Trickle Socks, waiting.
What's on my Featherweight: Still doll socks, tights and undies. Will start on Regency outfit for Dolly soon.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished From a High Tower by Mercedes Lackey. Great story, narrator was fine except for pronunciation of German words. Now listening to The Watcher by Jo Robertson, a crime novel, another Audible “Deal of the Day.” Still reading A View to Die For by Richard Houston on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake Malbec, a staple at our house.
What's my tip of the week: It’s easy to make gathers in fabric without any special equipment. Make two parallel rows of basting stitches along the edge where you want the gathers to be. Pull the bobbin threads from each end and adjust the gathers so they are evenly distributed along the edge and the piece is the width you want it to be. Then you can tie the bobbin threads together or wrap them around a pin at each end. If the basting stitches show below the seam after you have sewn the gathered material to the bodice, sash or whatever other piece you’re using, it is easy to remove. In fact, it’s easier to keep the gathers even if you allow one row of basting to show below the seam.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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