Craft Junkie: 2020… Mini Knitted Dolls

My Mini’s

All waiting to be finished and head to their homes!

Last year one of my blog followers posted a photo to me of these mini dolls… they looked like nurses wearing masks… and called Nurse Mates. I thought they were the cutest, and immediately began a google search. It took me awhile, but with much perseverance, I finally tracked them down to the creator of Esther Braithwaite… and the best part… she offered them as a free pattern. I’ve never been a fan of knitting dolls, or anything where I had to knit separate pieces to attach… that’s probably the main reason I’ve never tackled sweaters. While I know I could do it, it’s the seaming that makes me cringe… I think I would definitely have to practice the seaming aspect.

All stuffed… ready for hair and faces!

Like most projects… I never have what I need! Why is that? These dolls called for sports yarn if you wanted them small, but they can be knitted with sock yarn, or even worsted if you’d like them more for a toy. My plan was for them to be ornaments, to represent this year… and I recently just received my tiny 2020 charms. As I had leftover yarn from knitting my sweater ornaments in 2018… I first began knitting my sample with it. It worked, but the brand of Herschner’s was a smaller sports yarn vs what the Bravo from Knit Pics is, plus I found the Herschner’s to break when pulling tightly in seaming the doll; the Bravo sports yarn is the perfect yarn for the size I wanted.

I wanted to add a 2020 date… and just recently they fell into my lap.. in The Ornament Girl’s email, she offered them for sale. I quickly jumped on that! They are perfect for my 2020 Christmas ornament.

Finally my yarn arrived… in a big box… and I knew my husband was thinking… more yarn, really! I quickly scurried it away, dug out my needles and began. While I’m not a newbie to floating yarns, (fair-isle knitting) I soon discovered that my color changes to designate arm area didn’t have the stretch I though it should. I quickly searched to see if others were mentioning that, and how they remedied it. For the most part, the creator of the patterns knit them with dpn (double point needles) or knit flat and seams up, but I hate seaming and while I can do dpn… I’m not a fan. My favorite knitting preference is magic loop for everything that needs a seam.

My doll showing the stranded knitting flipped inside out… the next photo shows it flipped back to the knitted side.

In contacting Esther on the magic loop method, she wrote that as she does not know how to do it, she hadn’t tried that method, but suggested that it would work and if I found the color changes and floats too tight, to turn that part of the doll inside out and knit from the back, instead of the front for that area of colors. I had never heard of using that method, but I couldn’t wait to try… and I was excited to see my work in that area now looked much neater and had the stretch I’d been looking for. Problem Solved! Never give up on finding a solution to your problem!

A few of my unfinished… with the mermaid on the left, along with a couple who have not had their arms and legs defined, or face and hair done.

The beginning of the Izzy doll with a flouncy dress… don’t you love her mary janes!

Esther has offered many patterns free in her Ravelry store, but she also has several paid patterns… and believe me, you’ll want to knit every one of them! She just completed a nativity set pattern, but unfortunately I won’t be able to knit it for this year. Her work amazes me as it’s all so picture perfect, with not a stitch out of place… and I have strived for my work to be the same. If you feel inclined to try her doll, feel free to ask me any questions and be sure to check out her tutorials on stuffing, seaming and hair on her blog.

Hope I’ve made you want to go grab needles and yarn!


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© 2020, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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2 Responses to Craft Junkie: 2020… Mini Knitted Dolls

  1. scr4pl80 says:

    So cute. I admire your talent. It doesn’t make me want to knit but it does make me want to craft!

    Liked by 1 person

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