Late night crocheting

So I’ve been in a bit of a crocheting slump lately. It’s been some weeks since I’ve purchased a new skein of yarn, which might attribute to some of my lack of excitement for crocheting. A lot of the time, I’ll see a skein of yarn at Michaels and think of how gorgeous the yarn would look when made into a hat or scarf for me or my one of my dolls. Since I haven’t added any new skeins to my stash, I’ve been working with and looking at the same balls of yarn day after day. I guess my brain is desensitized to the colors and textures I own.

At some point during this winter, I do want to take on a rather big project – I want to make myself a sweater! I have 12 skeins of this rich, mid-tone blue satin sport yarn just sitting in my stash untouched. However, I need to mentally prepare myself for this kind of thing. I imagine making a sweater will take a while, and long projects are sort of a marathon for me. They test my endurance, and patience to look at the same thing hour after hour. I’m also the type of person who doesn’t like to have multiple crochet projects in the works at once, so that doesn’t help at all.

And since I had this sweater project in mind, of course, my brain tells me to procrastinate in crocheting a sweater by crocheting other things!

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Animal-eared headbands! The deer headband was pretty annoying to make. The yarn for the antlers and the ears were kind of a pain to work with because of how thin they were. It was totally worth it though! I really like the deer motif for my dolls, and it’s perfect for Christmas ^^. I think I’ll be adding these mobius-style headbands to my shop, because I’m pretty pleased with how they came out.

I’ve actually made a considerable dent in my yarn stash this past month, making gifts for my friends and family, and also crocheting little things for blythe dolls. I hope to keep busting through my yarn skeins, and then I shall reward myself with something kind of luxurious – like a skein of nice alpaca yarn.

A MINIJIJO is happening on my dolly shelf!

XD The etsy store name MINIJIJO makes me giggle (on the inside). “Jijou” means situation/circumstance in Japanese, so when I hear the name MINIJIJO, i immediately think “Mini situation”.

This weekend, my girls were redressed in some pieces I recently purchased from the etsy store MINIJIJO (minus Bryn, because I didn’t purchase anything middie sized this time around, and minus Marina because she was already wearing one of the new dresses). I was in serious need of some separates, so I had purchased a few tutu skirts.

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I’m pretty satisfied with how Finley and Rosaline are looking. I still don’t think the blue dress is quite Marina’s style – I get the sense that the dress is a bit too old-fashioned/prim for her… and I’m not even sure WHAT Rory is thinking. Bryn actually looks pretty cute in the crocheted dress I put on her.

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And here is Marina modeling a scarf I finished yesterday. It’s quite chunky because I doubled up on the yarn (one strand is mustard yellow and the other is an olive green), and used a really fun and poofy stitch ^^, I was so happy that I managed to figure out what to do with that size particular yarn. The yarn is really soft, but also very thin, and kind of hard to work with. I was wondering what on earth I would do with the yarn, and settled on trying to make a scarf. I have four skeins of this type of yarn, and I will probably make a ton of dolly scarves with them!

My Protips for Crocheting Blythe Hats

I exaggerate when I say “protips.” I hope I haven’t raised any expectations too high >_<.
I’ve said many times before that I really enjoy crocheting for my dolls, particularly hats! They make for quick projects, and unless I am trying out a new pattern, I can make the doll hat by memory. There are many resources for crochet patterns for dolls, but even so, sometimes it’s hard to find a pattern for exactly what you are looking for in a hat. Although there are tons of hat styles for people (newsboy, baseball cap, bucket hat, beanie, tam, beret, skull cap, etc), not all of these have been translated to pattern or scaled down to fit Blythe dolls. I’m not an expert at crocheting, or pattern adjusting, but I do have a few tips that I think might be helpful for fellow blythe-loving crocheters. Most of my tips will have to do with playing around with gauge.

Technical definition for Gauge as provided by Lion Brand website

Gauge is usually defined in the pattern by a ratio of stitches and rows to a given measurement such as 16 stitches and 14 rows in single crochet = 4″. You should always work a swatch of fabric (approximately 4″ x 4″) in the stitch pattern of the piece you are making.

A pattern will instruct you to use a certain weight of yarn and a specific hook size to achieve a set size for the finished product. Sometimes, the pattern may recommend the user to create a swatch to make sure the correct gauge is achieved, and if not, the user should adjust their hook or yarn until the recommended gauge can be recreated.

Who has time for this???

My approach to achieving the gauge I want is more trial and error and may even cost me more time. Lol. Mostly, if the pattern I am using is for a hat that would be slightly too big for a blythe, I will use a smaller hook, or a smaller hook and slightly thinner yarn, as opposed to adjusting the number of stitches in the pattern. I find this to be more simple than dissecting the pattern and making changes to the stitches and rows. I want to reiterate that this type of adjusting works best on hat patterns that are slightly too big for blythe dolls. I wouldn’t try this on a hat pattern for an adult human, and expect it to fit my blythe doll (at least not without struggling first).

American Girl hat patterns will fit Blythe

I say this with relative certainty, though I believe that the circumference of American Girl doll heads are a bit bigger than Blythe heads. I’ve made several Blythe sized hats for a coworker’s daughter’s American Girl doll, and they fit well. The beauty of crocheted hats is that they have a good deal of stretch to them. When testing an American Girl doll hat pattern to create a Blythe sized hat, I might suggest a slightly smaller hook to achieve a snugger fit.

American Girl dolls are more prolific than Blythe dolls in America, and they have a stronger presence in the media, being very popular with kids and adult collectors. There are many hat patterns out there specifically for AG dolls.

Take advantage of baby hat patterns  
The two hats on the right were both made from baby hat patterns. The number of baby hat patterns dwarfs the number of Blythe hat patterns, no contest. Of course, a baby’s head will most likely be considerably bigger than a Blythe’s head, so this is where I suggest being experimental with gauge. To be quite honest, using smaller hooks or thinner yarn isn’t a guarantee that the baby hat pattern will translate well as a Blythe hat. I’ve run into quite a few problems with proportions, because let’s face it, I can’t think of any baby whose head is shaped remotely like a Blythe’s head (wide face, yet very flat head…). However, when the hat comes out to be a success, you have a pattern you can add to your repertoire! And, you’re able to add variety to your Blythe doll wardrobe.
Note that you may have to do some technical adjusting by shortening the hat (maybe cutting out some repeat rows in the middle of the hat). A Blythe’s head is not as long as a baby’s.


Subtopic protip – Preemie hats! 

Sometimes baby hat patterns will also offer instructions for several sizes. For preemie baby hat patterns, the pattern will often segregate the sizes by baby weight or by head circumference. Blythe dolls would fall into the 3-4lb baby sizing. This takes a lot of the guess work out of making adjustments.

Make sure to have a volunteer(s)

By this I mean, have one of your girls handy for intermittent fittings while crocheting. I usually place the would-be hat on my doll’s head after every row past the 4th or 5th row. I can generally tell if a hat is going to be too big, and sometimes I try salvaging my efforts by strategically placing some decreases. Also, the frequent modeling can help with determining hat length. 

   I hope this helps anyone looking to crochet hats for their Blythes. In my opinion, Blythe dolls’ heads are practically made for hats with how oversized they are compared to their bodies. Crocheting for my dolls is a big part of how I enjoy this hobby, and I know how frustrating it is to have limited pattern resources.
Happy crocheting ^^.