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Babes in the Wool: How to Knit Beautiful Fashion Dolls, Clothes and Accessories Paperback – 25 Jun 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press Ltd (25 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844485099
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844485093
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 0.5 x 27.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

If you think that knitted dolls have to look like the traditional type that you see on sale at fetes then think again! Instead this author has come up with a new type of fashion-conscious doll aimed at the more sophisticated doll lover, the sort that you can happily put on display just about anywhere. Based loosely on Asian ball-jointed dolls in their big-eyed appearance and well-dressed style your fete stall will never be the same again. I was instantly impressed by these attractive, modern creations that are surely a world away from the traditional knitted doll. These come in all colors and have such attractive faces; there are lots of fun contemporary garments to make for them too from jeans and boots to smart dresses, leggings, accessories and even beachwear. There are generous instructions to how to make the basic body, plus templates for the features and how to needlesculpt the faces. This is a grand way of using up lots of odds and ends from other projects and would appeal to the intermediate knitter who can follow a pattern and knows all the basic stitches plus how to make and shape small items. This is not a book on how to knit and you won't find the basics in here but think of it as a book of patterns, as this is exactly what it is. I particularly liked the way that mostly ordinary double knitting yarn was used that you can buy anywhere and of course the delightful originality of this whole concept.-Myshelf.com 'Babes in the Wool' is by Fiona McDonald, she of the Knitted Aliens, and is just as fun and quirky. These projects demand a little more time to complete but again work simply on plain knit and purl stitches and simple increase and decreases. There are patterns for nine 'babes' based on three basic body shapes. They vary slightly in complexity and in size. There are also a huge variety of outfits which will fit any of the dolls- to a more modest or racier degree! I knitted the medium sized doll for Anna's birthday who came out very leggy, but with a very nicely shaped body, even if I do say so myself. These dolls have exaggerated features which mean they all come out different and with very distinct personalities. The eyes are painted with acrylic paint onto felt and I have to say I love this technique; honestly watch this space for more variations on this theme. I hooked the hair for my babe and am pleased with how sultry she looks, these dolls would certainly be suitable as gifts for older girls, and as exaggerated caricatures of friends- I really want to make a wild one with tattoos and piercings! The body is strengthened with cardboard which means that you couldn't throw dolly in the wash if she met with a messy disaster, so maybe not suitable for a very little girl. I have knitted two outfits so far and have found that the fit depends greatly on how well stuffed your babe is- I cast on some extra stitches for shoes as my doll has big feet! I also found that there aren't quantity requirements for all garments and I started the coat with one 50g ball of wool and had to frog it as it was clearly going to take another. Also the pictures in the book show the dolls standing- which with long stuffed legs they don't. I wonder if a child who chose a doll from the book would be disappointed by this? All in all babe is a success. I had great fun making her, and Anna has been carting her around by her leg, which is nice. I am handing the book on to Mum so she can post little outfits when she fancies a quick project to make a little treat for Anna. The book is GBP9.99 but the dolls wouldn't cost more than a few pounds to make and with a small stash of wool possibly not even that. There would be time to make a babe and a whole fantastic wardrobe for a little girl before Christmas, and for those of you to whom, like me, these things matter, the babes do come with a pattern for bra and pants!-Jennyflowerblue.blogspot.com This book provides easy to use knitting patterns for making stylish, fun dolls, including a fabulous range of knitted clothes and accessories. Easy to follow patterns and instructions are given for making the bodies, faces and hair including handy templates for eyes, mouths and eyebrows - so the book is suitable for knitters of all abilities. There's a choice of nine dolls, each with its own clothes and accessories. All the clothes fit every doll in the book and all the patterns can easily be adapted, allowing the reader to design dolls and outfits of their own. These dolls will delight and inspire older children as well as adults.-Machine Knitting Monthly If you can knit, purl, increase and decrease, you should have no trouble completing the dolls in this book. And what a fun collection! The more tricky part of making these dolls is when it comes to the eyes and the hair. There are nine dolls, each with its own personality, and a wardrobe to match. The clothes are all interchangeable, so if you want sporty Samantha to relax a bit more, lend her some of party-girl Poppy's gear! Easy-to-follow instructions for making the bodies, faces and hair are included, as well as handy templates for creating the eys, mouths and eyebrows.-Knit Today Long, leggy, 50cm tall, female dolls with narrow tubular legs and arms, flamboyant hair and a wide range of knitted clothing. The faces incorporate painted felt pieces for strong eyes, mouths and eyebrows. I wonder whether the styles perpetrate the Size Zero image that can cause problems for young girls' self image but, on the other hand, the wide range of skin and hair colours serves as a reflection of 21st century diversity. Or can one get too bothered about the subliminal messages in a knitting book? If it helps knitters produce items they want to make and to understand what can be achieved with yarn and needles, maybe it has served its purpose and I should stop worrying.-SlipKnot During the last couple of months I've been knitting a doll which is called 'Rose' from one of Fiona McDonald's books 'Babes in the wool'. She was a joy to knit and I had so much fun thinking about the clothes I would dress her in. 'Babes in the wool' is such a fun quirky book. If you have lots of scraps to use up, love experimenting with novelty yarn and dolls then you won't regret buying this book. The extent of the instructions meant that I had no trouble making up the doll. Fiona has again put extensive directions in the book for painting the eyes and finishing the faces. There are two pages of templates at the back of the book for lips, eyebrows and eyes. There is a wide choice so you can get the face you really want. There are black, asian and white dolls to choose from giving the book a really funky multicultural feel. The dolls have their own identity and personalities which children will love. 'Willow' is a beautiful raven-haired doll who is obviously quite gothic, 'Jenny' is a stunning blonde and 'Samantha' loves to keep fit! The clothes are just as ecletic with mad hair ideas, tights and underwear for the dolls. There are nine dolls in total and 35 knitted clothes and accessories all together which are all interchangeable so you can do as I have and pick a dress for your doll or a top and jeans - anything! There are 12 pages of instructions at the start of the book before the instructions for the individual dolls begin. There is so much advice on how to stuff the dolls, how to stiffen the back and neck and how to add blush if you want your dolls to look highly made up.-sewingisforgirls.blogspot.com

About the Author

Fiona McDonald studied classical painting and drawing at The Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, Australia from 1985 to 1989. After moving to the Blue Mountains, she began developing her unique oil-painted, needle-sculpted, life-size cloth figures, and her own line of fabric dolls and dragons. On returning to her home town of Armidale, Fiona added to her skills by learning to knit. This latest phase in her career has resulted in her developing designs for dolls and other toys.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By hells456 on 3 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book, one that you will keep picking up just to enjoy browsing through. The dolls are fairly simple to knit, if you can knit, purl, increase and decrease you will have no trouble with the knitting part. Sewing up, while time consuming, is also easy. Any extra shaping is clearly explained and pictured.

So where's the catch? The hard part is making the eyes and hair. The eyes are painted with acrylic paints onto felt and then varnished. Well I cheated and used my kids' felt tip pens and clear nail varnish which looks similar in the end. The hair I found difficult because there was only a short paragraph on the hair and no photos, so I felt a bit lost in the dark. I also found a mistake in the first bikini I tried (and found it way too small to fit the doll), so I will keep trying the clothes on and adjusting as I knit from now on.

Overall, I am very happy I got this book, it is already my favourite pattern book. The dolls look great on the page and even better knitted up. You won't regret buying this one.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lifelongreader on 11 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really love this book and have now completed two dolls and a wardrobe of clothes for each of them. There are unfortunately some pattern errors in some of the clothes items which if you are a complete novice might throw you, but for those with a bit more experience I think the errors are obvious and easily remedied. (Would have given a five if not for this). You do not have to be an expert knitter to complete the dolls or the clothes. The features are a bit of a problem to get right but once in the right place they do work remarkably well. I painted the felt eye piece with white acrylic paint before using permanent marker pens (which didn't bleed) to draw the outline and fill in the iris colour - which worked very well. I also found putting a couple of invisible stitches into the eye and mouth also worked well in shaping. The hair I found very easy and think the easiest way to do this is to start at the forehead and go round in a circle to the back of the head and then fill in the middle - got t give one of my dolls a very funky pony tail in this way which gives the option of adding hair decorations which will stay in place. You can add odd strands where the shaping needs to be more defined or if you want a streaked effect. I used chunky wool for one doll's hair and double-strands of textured cotton yarn for the second - both effects look very good. The clothes patterns are very adaptable and as Fiona has done all the hard work with number of stitches etc it's extremely easy to go with your own ideas, eg the coat I shortened, added buttons all the way down and 'tailored' by reducing the number of stitches across the width gradually every couple of inches. I've used the tank top pattern to form the bodice of a party dress by knitting the bodice upside down(it's basically a square.... and increasing the stitches past the waist every few rows until I got the fullness I wanted - the results are very good. I look forward to seeing other books by this author.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. Patterson-Knowles on 20 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
I ordered this book about 3 weeks ago and spent the first few days captivated by the beautiful dolls Fiona shows in the book. However - do not think that your knitted doll will stand unaided like the ones in the book! I have now completed my first doll after 2 weeks of leisurely evenings spent knitting in front of the TV. It was really good fun seeing how all the knitted body parts fitted together and were then moulded by the needle sculpting described in the book. The hair instructions are brief but it's not hard and looks amazing as it transforms the doll into a girlie. I found the stuffing the most difficult as the arms and legs are long and thin so it's hard not to make it lumpy but I liked the idea of the doll having a cardboard 'spine' to help it sit upright and look more like a fashion 'babe'. The face is tricky to get the proportions and eyes right but they are so much better than stitched features.
Overall I'm delighted with my first attempt and can't wait to experiment with more hair, clothes and faces. Every girl (old and young) who enjoys a bit of knitting will love this girlie fantasy world. Off I go now to start my second one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By relaxingcrafting on 30 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book! The dolls are so beautiful and so easy to knit and put together. I have made 5 of these dolls and have my 6th one started. I used the clothing patterns in the book for the first 3 dolls and then made up my own clothes for the rest of them. There are a few minor mistakes in some of the clothing patterns in the book but the clothes are very simple and the mistakes easily corrected.
Because I am not so great at painting eyes, I scanned and printed out the page with the eye templates on it, cut out the eyes I wanted and glued them to white felt. I then cut the felt around the eyes, put two coats of clear nail polish on them and then glued them to the doll's face. Voila!!! Beautiful eyes for my dolls! I also used embroidery thread,two strands of the six, to stitch in the eyebrows.
All in all, these are the best knitted dolls that I have ever made, they are lovely, big dolls and are so much fun to dress and pose. They make wonderful gifts for all ages of people. I am looking forward to Fiona's next book, Knitted Fairies, I am sure it will be as wonderful as this book is. (I have bought 3 copies of this book and gifted two of them to friends who were thrilled to receive them)
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