Over the last few weeks I have been working on three Waldorf inspired dolls, and you have seen each one slowly develop. The morning sunshine and bright freshness of spring is a wonderful time to experiment with colour, and despite the neutral tones of Francesca’s dress, there is something really quite sweet and vintage looking when mixed with soft pink and mauve.
This year, I made the decision to name each doll, as they were made, alphabetically. Not only did this remind me of how many little dolls I had made, it also meant that I would look at names that did not instantly come to mind. Now I have to admit, I haven’t done this completely alone, my lovely friends on Facebook have helped me no end, with some wonderful suggestions for each of the letters, and there will certainly be some that I will use on the next alphabet cycle!
The names seem to add even more character, and help to develop the stories that bounce around in my head, whilst making each little doll. These little stories, I hope will form part of the ‘Suitcase’ package at some point, when I have worked out the best way to include them.
So here we are with Francesca…….Frannie to her friends!
Francesca is an Italian female given name, derived from the Latin male name Franciscus meaning ‘the Frenchman’ It is widely used in most Romance languages, including Italian, French and Catalan, and place of origin is Italy.
This seems a terribly grown up name for a little girl, that has such a sense of adventure, gets into quite a pickle with her curly hair and whose favourite past time is reading comics and eating iced gems! So to her friends she is indeed Frannie.
As with all of my dolls, they are completely handmade by me and inspired by the very natural nature of Waldorf ideology. Waldorf education promotes the idea of surrounding your child with natural materials, that speak closely to the soul, with colours that are soothing. The characterful nature of the dolls encourage imaginative play, building bonds for years to come. Frannie is no exception. I have used beautiful super wash pure wool for her body, crocheted on a smaller hook to ensure longevity of shape and stuffed with brushed and carded sheeps wool. I knitted her dress from Drops Delight 4ply, which I have to say was a joy to use and blocked really well. Her little hood/bonnet was knitted with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
The hood/bonnet is a really easy little make, and would be a great ‘learn to knit’ project for kids and doll lovers of any age! The tendency when learning to knit is often to make a scarf. Personally I think this takes too long. It may be just my impatience, but I think when learning a new thing, whatever, that may be, a ‘quick’ result is much more encouraging.
As a blank canvas this little hood has many possibilities.
I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino but any double knit yarn would do 🙂
A pair of 2.75mm & 3mm needles
3mm crochet hook ( if you want a crochet edge)
Using 2.75mm needles Cast On 68 stitches
Work 4 rows in garter stitch
Change to 3mm needles and work garter stitch for a further 24 rows.
You can either simply cast off all stitches, fold the knitted in piece in half and sew down the back seam or cast off edge. This is probably the easiest option for beginners. Or you can do what I did and ….
Knit 34 stitches, hold the 2 needles side by side ( each with 34 sts on them ), and do what is called a 3 needle cast off ( there are many video tutorials on this technique over on YouTube)
As an edge I simply took a 3mm crochet hook and did 1sc 1ch around the entire bottom edge of the bonnet. You can then attach either a ribbon or chain stitch tie on each corner and embellish with flowers, buttons or embroidery…..the choice is yours 🙂
Frannie seems to have made the decision on which suitcase she would like to have. This pretty case from Sass & Belle does seem to be a good match, so this afternoons project will be to create her little bedroom.
Hope you all have a lovely day, full of sunshine and giggles