Hope you had a nice/fantastic/lovely/relaxing holiday whether you celebrated or not. I celebrated with my family at my brother’s place but was at home for most days with my cat who is recovering from an emergency surgery and can’t be left alone for longer periods yet (If you don’t follow me on instagram you will have missed this but you can read up on it here).
Thought I’d quickly pop in here to talk about my gift knitting this Christmas. I say gift knitting as if I’m going to roll out an magnificent number of knitting projects here but like last year the grand total of Christmas knitting I did is one thing. The recipient for said gift knitting is also the same as last year: my nephew Luca. This year he is not a charming toothless smiling baby any more though! Now, he´s an energetic 1,5 year old toddler – whose hysterical laughing is still charming! It is safe to say that in the year since I last wrote about him a lot has changed. He has just learned how to walk by himself and fully utilises this newly opened up world to bounce around all the rooms. He really enjoys his soft toys at the moment, hugging them, carrying them while running around, feeding them etc. Other things he enjoys at the moment are pointing at things, shouting at things, sitting on his tricycle, playing peek-a-boo, watching (and pointing at) trains, ALL THE FOOD, Bumba, playing with wrapping paper and saying no and shaking his head when you ask him if he wants to sleep.
Anyway, I thought it be fun to knit him a doll this year because he is so in to them now. I made him a little elephant when he was born but this year I fairly soon decided I wanted to do something else and make him a doll version of my favourite fictional character of all time: Pippi Longstocking. She’s not been in all my social profiles for ages without reason!
I adapted Ysolda’s Poppy doll pattern to turn her into Pippi. This is an idea that I had for a loooong time. Way before Luca was born. Alas I’m just not that into doll making so it never happened…until now of course.What I like about Ysolda’s toy patterns is the seamless construction that they have (or at least, both toy patterns that I made). The poppy doll is one she designed at the start of her knitwear design career and knitting from this pattern was like a nostalgic trip to back in the early days of Ravelry and knitting blogs. It was around this time that I started knitting and it’s a period to which I (naturally) look back to with fondness.
Anyway, the Poppy doll is highly adaptable to any look you are going for. A lot of the projects on Ravelry are using the doll pattern to make the wildest doll visions come true. I’ve seen and admired a couple of Bowie poppy dolls and there are a few Pippi dolls out there. I greatly enjoyed seeing how inventive knitters adapted the pattern to their own liking.
My own mods to the pattern t make the doll more Pippi-like were fairly minimal. But here is what I did:
– I gave her stockings in bright orange and green like the late 60’s and 70’s Pippi film Pippi played by Inger Nilsson. I just knitted part of the leg in these colours instead of the bare legs she has per pattern. I first did 10 rounds of body colour and then switched to stocking colours. I didn’t embroider the shoes as per pattern, because I didn’t think that was very ‘Pippi’, so I just kept them plain brown.
-I went back and forth a couple of times on what dress colour to go with. I narrowed it down to a couple of options, taking into consideration the yarn I had at hand: a yellow striped dress like pippi wears in Inger Nilsson film version, a plain yellow simplified version of that or the blue dress she wears in the books and illustrations in said books that I grew up with. In the end I went with the blue dress, with the plan to add some coloured patches on. In the end I left these off because I was pressed for time.
-The biggest deviation from the pattern was how I added the hair. I added the strands individually using a crochet hook with the rooted method over the two head halves, creating a parted hairline in the middle. This different method allowed for the hair to be braided, which is of course a critical feature of any Pippi resembling doll. The only other thing I added to the face were a couple of freckles. I did this by un-plying the yarn I used for the hair and using that smaller thread to make small french knots on the face.
She was mostly finished the day before our Christmas celebrations, but I added the freckles on early in the morning the next day and took her pictures then. Because is it even Christmas if you are not frantically doing some last minute crafting? Anyway he unwrapped the present himself a handful of hours later and my entire family basically shouted “Pippi!” in unison the moment she came into view, so I was relieved I made her recognizable enough for that as dollmaking isn’t my forte. He later ran around with her for a bit and tried to feed her by pushing his pear cookie through her braid so I’m calling it a win.