Bonnets and bootees

I have a history with handknitted dolls’ clothes and I thought they deserved their own post. My great-grandmother, after whom my daughter is named, knitted a whole collection of dolls’ clothes for my mother (after whom my daughter is also named) when she was a little girl. My mother played with them when she was small, I played with them when I was small, and my daughter is playing with them now. How’s that for longevity? Admittedly nearly all of them are somewhat the worse for wear. Moths and washing have done their work and it’s a rare item that doesn’t have a hole, or isn’t slightly felted. But I am very sentimental about these things, and there’s no way I’m throwing them away. They’ve nearly all seen half a century of dolly-wear.

So one more self-imposed mission – replace the items that my great-grandmother knitted, as accurately as possible. And have some fun along the way. To this end I’ve just bought a CD from ebay of 100 vintage knitting patterns – I’m hoping that among them may be some of the right(ish) patterns. Otherwise I’m going to have to start copying things as best I can which will be fairly effortful and therefore something I’m hoping to avoid.

In the meantime and to get my hand in I started on this set of patterns that I found on Ravelry: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/30127289. A baby doll outfit from the New Zealand Mercury Christmas 1936. It’s for a 16″ doll. Now, of course dolls have changed a lot in proportions since the 30s, but with dolls most things fit ok. However, I cannot see that any doll would be able to sensibly wear both these items:

The vest (because it is a vest and not a dress) is clearly for a much longer-in-the-body doll, and the bootees are also for bigger feet than Blondie here possesses. But the bonnet had to be blocked to within an inch of its life to even get it on the small doll’s head and not in this life is it ever going to fit Blondie. I can only assume either that the New Zealand Mercury received some very cross letters from readers who’d tried to knit these, or that dolls in New Zealand have freakishly small heads. It is a pretty stitch pattern though – this is a closeup of the bonnet:

I might try doubling the width and depth and see if Blondie can get a hat too. In the meantime, on with the ‘pilchers’ (I have no idea at all what these are but the pattern gives instructions for them so I’m hoping it will become clear as I knit…)

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2 thoughts on “Bonnets and bootees

  1. Pingback: Knickers! « The twisted braid – a knitting blog

  2. Pingback: Additions to dolly’s wardrobe « The twisted braid – a knitting blog

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