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Babes in the Wool


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Easy-to-follow patterns and instructions make this book suitable for knitters of all abilities.
Nine stunning dolls to choose from, each with her own clothes and accessories.
All the clothes fit every doll in the book.
All the patterns can easily be adapted, allowing the reader to design dolls and outfits of their own.

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.


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 '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! 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

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