Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Knitting Pattern: Flat-Knit Fingerless Gloves

I don't do a lot of wearables, but when I do, I prefer accessories because of their small size and instant gratification.
This pattern arose out of the desire to help my uncle.  He severed his ulnar nerve in a tiling accident and since then has endured what he describes as "pins and needles" in his left hand.  The pain worsens when anything touches the area affected - right beneath his palm.  For a long time, he wore garden gloves and bandage wraps to shield the area, until I became a knitter.  This design has evolved through several yarns, gauges, and thumb-hole incarnations.  First it was worsted yarn on size 6's, then on size 5's, without thumbs; then I started to crochet thumb holes; then I worked in mercerized sport-weight on size 4's; then finally I figured out how to add a knitted thumb gusset.  Always knit (by me, at least) in 100% cotton, they are washable, inexpensive, easy, and quick - so he never has less than several pairs at hand.

These gloves are reversible, so you could easily work an identical pair and not have to worry about right and left.  They are customizable, so you could knit them with a decorative stitch or cable if you wanted.  And finally, even though I knit them in the flat, you could very easily adapt them to knitting in the round (just subtract two stitches from the cast-on total).  Best of all, these only take a couple of hours per pair and would make super easy last-minute gifts!!!

Kenny's Fingerless Gloves

You will need:

  • Size 4 US needles, double-pointed with point protectors (in addition to set below), one circular, or straight
  • Size 4 US needles, double-pointed, set of 2, or spare circular
  • One Size 6 US needle, any type, for cast-on and bind-off (you want a stretchy edge)
  • DK-weight yarn, approximately 45-55 yards per glove - medium size
    • I use Omega Sinfonia, available in 100g/3.52 oz. balls at Hobby Lobby.  This yarn has a nice put-up at 200m/218 yds., has a nice range of colors, a crisp hand, and is machine washable.  I get four medium sized gloves out of one ball, if I'm lucky.  My gloves in this yarn weigh up at about 21g apiece; the best way you can check is to weigh your completed glove (metric is more accurate) and compare that against the ball total.  I use a food scale.
    • If you plan on using wool, I recommend Knitpicks Swish DK.  This yarn is soft, washable, and will knit to gauge.
    • Note: you will need a traditional ball with two ends you can work simultaneously, or otherwise you will need 2 balls. If this is not possible, try winding a small bobbin with about 3 yards of yarn.  You will knit the thumb without breaking the main yarn.
  • Scissors & ruler (or double-pointed needle to measure length; or your own hand)
  • Darning needle large enough to accommodate sport-weight yarn

You will need to know:

  • Cast-on
  • Regular, stretchy (see link), or sewn bind-off (scroll to bottom of page - "Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind-off")
  • Garter stitch
  • Stockinette Stitch
  • Make 1, abbreviate m1
  • Slip 1 pwise 
  • Mattress stitch

    Gauge:  Between 6.5 and 7 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch 
    Sizing is as follows: S(M, L, XL)
    S: Child's large/women's small
    M: Women's Medium/Men's Small
    L: Women's Large/Men's Medium

    XL: Men's Large

    Fingerless Gloves:
    Using larger needle, CO 36(40, 44, 48) sts.

    Slip every first stitch of every row pwise.
    K 4 rows.
    P 1 row.
    Begin stockinette stitch: k next row, p next row.  Work in this way for about 2.5(3, 3.5, 4) inches.  End with a p row.

    Begin thumb gusset:
    K across half the stitches - 18(20, 22, 24) sts - and m1; k to end.
    P the next row and all subsequent WS rows.

    Next row: k 18(20, 22, 24), m1, k1, m1, k to end.
    Next RS row: k 18(20, 22, 24), m1, k3, m1, k to end.
    Next RS row: k 18(20, 22, 24), m1, k5, m1, k to end.
    Next RS row: k 18(20, 22, 24), m1, k7, m1, k to end.
    If you would like to use markers, put them on either side of the first stitch increase, and subsequently increase inside the stitch markers.
    FYI if you are embellishing with cables or otherwise need to know: the first 18(20, 22, 24) stitches are the back of the right hand, the second 18(20, 22, 24) stitches are the back of the left hand. 
    Continue in this way, increasing the number of stitches knit between the increases by 2 every time.  You will never change the outside sts.  Stop when you have 53(59, 65, 71) sts total on the needle; p the next row.
    Note: if you are making a larger or smaller glove, increase more stitches or stop sooner in this same pattern.

    Knit thumb:
    Slip 18(20, 22, 24) sts onto spare DPN (or spare circular); slip 17(19, 21, 23) sts onto the needle you wish to work from; slip rem sts onto another spare DPN (or circular).  You will now work the sts for the thumb.
    Join yarn from other end of ball or second ball.  Work 5(6, 7, 7) rows in stockinette stitch; this comes to about mid-thumb; work more or less rows if desired.  BO with stretchy or sewn BO, or with needle 2 sizes larger than the one you used to achieve gauge.

    Continue knitting for hand:
    Using the unbroken yarn, continue knitting the hand.  Pull the yarn tightly when you join across the thumb gap.
    Continue knitting for 1" or so, or until you are satisfied with the length of the glove, minus about a half inch.  K 3 rows and BO using stretchy or sewn BO.  If you don't know how to do one or the other, BO with a needle 2 sizes larger.

    Seam the thumb using mattress stitch.  Try to make it as neat as possible.  You may need to use a few small stitches to close the hole left at the bottom of the thumb (I always do).  Seam the side using mattress stitch.  Do not use a whip-stitch as this will be too bulky.  Make another glove the same way; keep in mind that if you embellish, you may need to reverse the pattern so you have a right and left glove.  Weave in ends and toss in the washing machine; lay flat to dry.

    Notes for knitting in the round:  CO sts as above minus 2; k 1 round, p 1 round for 4 rounds, k all rounds for same length as above, work thumb increases as set, work thumb as set or place on waste yarn and work later, k all rounds for 1", k 1 round, p 1 round for 4 rows and BO.  You can work the thumb flat or in the round as well.

    Ideas for embellishment: embroidery; slip-stitches; color-work; brocade stitches; 4-st cables or 6-cable across back of hand (p 2 sts on either side of the cable, or work the glove in reverse stockinette st).  If you decide to add cables, consider adding at least 2 extra stitches to the cabled panel (first or last half of stitches, the same as where the cables are to be worked) or more, if you work several cables, to account for "pulling in" and decreased stretchiness from cables.  Work ribbing instead of garter stitch.  Or try an edging in moss/seed stitch (but work on a needle 1 size smaller).

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Knitting Pattern: Pullip Legwarmers

    A pretty simple pattern for doll legwarmers.  Obviously these will fit almost any doll.  Super easy, super quick, super cute - I made these when I was chit-chatting with my mother-in-law and didn't have my Pullip.
    Pullip Legwarmers
    You will need:
    • Size 1 US needles, douple-pointed with point protectors, one circular, or straight
    • Small amount of crochet thread, laceweight yarn, or other very thin yarn - under 50 yards
    • About 15" of 1/8" wide satin ribbon
    • Scissors & ruler
    • Darning needle (#22 tapestry)
    You will need to know:
    • Cast on, bind off, knit, purl, stockinette stitch, and 1x1 rib
    Gauge: 11 sts/per inch in stockinette stitch on size 1-US needles.  To ensure accurate sizing, be sure to check your gauge.

    CO 20 sts.  Work 4 rows in 1x1 rib.
    Work in stockinette stitch for the length of your doll's leg, from knee to heel.  Yes - all the way; you'll add a little more ribbing so they are "slouchy."
    Work 4 more rows in 1x1 rib.  BO loosely, leaving a long tail to seam.  Weave in loose ends.  Block lightly if desired.

    Seam up the back of the legs preferably using mattress stitch if possible.

    Using the ribbon, thread through in the last round of ribbing or the first round of stockinette (whatever stitches stick out more).  Thread the ribbon through the tapestry needle and start at the front (opposite your seam).  Leaving a couple inches of ribbon sticking out, do a running stitch through those stitches: under the knit stitches and in front of the purl stitches (try to stay consistent on the same row).  Go all the way around the back and come out the front.  Cut the ribbon at an angle and tie in a bow (if you aren't lazy like me, you can try this with matching sewing thread and make it extra-secure).  Repeat for the other leg.
    If you don't have ribbon, try doing stripes every 2 rows.  If you only use 2 colors, you won't have to weave in the ends if you carry them up the sides very neatly.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Knitting Pattern: Off-the-shoulder Sweater for Pullip

    Here is a very simple pattern for an off-the-shoulder sweater, based on Knitty's Tempting by Jenna Adorno (one of my favorite sweaters of all time).  I made the sleeves longer and did it in stockinette stitch rather than her ribbed style, and removed the ribbon (it's about time I started adding some conservative pieces to Lenore's wardrobe).  If you want to add a ribbon, simply weave it through the bottom of the top edge of ribbing (1/8" ribbon works best).  Eyelets are not necessary.

    You will need to know how to knit in the round; knowing how to knit both on DPN's and two circulars will make this easier (sleeves on the DPN's and the body and yoke on two circulars).  Because of the small size, this probably isn't a good project to learn; but other than the tiny-size factor, it's a piece o' cake.  A couple of really good tutorials are linked in the "You will need to know" section.

    The sleeves and body are each knit seamlessly in one piece, then the stitches are all transferred to the same needle and the ribbed yoke is finished.  There is subtle waist shaping, but nothing form-fitting to the degree of the Strapless Top.  Bonus: there is NO sewing other than tiny underarm seams.  That means no evil snaps to have to sew on!!!

    Off-the-shoulder Sweater
    You will need:
    • One ball of fingering weight yarn, preferably sock yarn; I used Knitpicks Essential (now Knitpicks Stroll) in a brown ombre that has been discontinued.  You will not need the entire (probably not even a fourth) ball.  Stroll is a great yarn because it is very evenly spun, has a fantastic hand, and isn't too fuzzy.
    • Two circular knitting needles and six double-pointed needles, all in size 1 US.  (You can get away with just having four DPN's if you have two stitch markers large enough to hold about three inches of stitches each)
    • Scissors & ruler
    • Small darning needle (with fingering weight, you could probably use a size 22 tapestry needle, available in the embroidery section of most craft stores)
    You will need to know:
    Sweater Instructions
    CO 36 sts.  Divide evenly on two circular needles - 18 sts each.
    Join, being careful not to twist.  Work 2 rounds in 1x1 ribbing.
    Begin working in stockinette stitch.  You will shape the waist.
    Round 1 (after ribbing) and all odd rows: knit.
    Round 2: ssk, k to end of first needle, ssk, k to end of second needle.
    Round 4: k to last 2 sts, k2tog, k to last 2 sts on second needle, k2tog.
    Round 6: repeat round 2.

    K all sts for .5".

    Begin increasing for bust:
    Round 1: m1, k to end of first needle, m1, k to end of second needle.
    Round 2 and all even rounds: k all sts.
    Round 3: k to end of first needle, m1, k to end of second needle, m1.
    Round 5: repeat round 1.
    You now have 30 sts again.  K until piece measures 1.5", then break yarn and put on DPN's or holder (if you choose a holder, put all the front stitches on one holder and the back stitches on another).

    CO 12 stitches.
    • I find the best tension results if I work the first 3 rounds or so on two circulars, but then switch to DPN's.  If you feel like you knit best on two circulars, by all means; I just find all the sliding for six stitch gets annoying.
    Distribute the stitches evenly on the needles: six on the front circular and six on the back, or four on each of a set of three DPN's.  Join, being careful not to twist.  Work 2 rows in 1x1 ribbing.
    Begin stockinette stitch: knit every round.  Work for 2.5", or length desired (measured from underarm to where you want the bottom of the sleeve to be; suggested measurements: long sleeve, 2.5"; mid-forearm, 1.75"; elbow, 1"; short-sleeve, 5").

    First sleeve: break yarn and put on two spare DPNs or two holders (half the stitches on one holder and half the stitches on the other).
    Work a second stitch the exact same way as the first, except do NOT break yarn.

    Slip the stitches from the holders onto the two circulars: one sleeve, then the body, then the last sleeve with the unbroken yarn between the two needles.  To make the underarms easier, try to work the ends so that the cut end on one sleeve touches the body, and the body cut end is touching the second sleeve (that way you can use the tails to seam the underarms).  Work the yoke as follows:
    First needle: Slip 4 stitches pwise, slip 2 onto waste yarn, slip 2 of body stitches on waste yarn, slip all body stitches except last 2, slip those onto waste yarn, slip first 2 sleeve stitches onto waste yarn, slip 4.
    Second needle: repeat as for first needle.

    Note: avoid gaps at the underarms by taking two stitches together on either side of the gap.  This means you will k1, p1, k1, p2tog, rib across front of body 'til the gap, k2tog, p1, k1, p1.  Repeat for the back.
    Work 4 rounds of 1x1 ribbing and BO off loosely (i.e. with a size 2 needle).

    Join the four stitches at the underarm securely.  Try a three-needle bind off by picking up the stitches left on the waste yarn and being very careful; to get the yarn at the end of the 4 stitches, I had to knit two stitches.  Or you could wing it with a crochet hook.  If you have holes at the joins, stitch them closed with another piece of yarn (or the leftover), or more preferably, invisible thread or embroidery floss.  I only had a hole in the front of one side.

    Steam-block or pin & spritz.  Here is a good tutorial for lots of different kinds of blocking.  Honestly, I usually just use pin & spritz or wet blocking (soak garment, squeeze in a towel, pin on a blocking board, put under a ceiling fan overnight).  Blocking helps even out your stitches, which is fantastic for people like me with slightly uneven tension.  It isn't necessary, and frankly I don't do it every time because of the waiting factor, but it will make your garments look better.

    A few WIP pics:

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Knitting Pattern: Pullip Hoodie

    At long last, I give you a pattern for a functional Pullip hoodie.  Since I don’t own a Blythe doll (yet), I’m not sure how this will fit her (my suggestion would be to scale the needles up* a size; bonus points if you can use half sizes).  You will need to know how to do a provisional cast on and graft stitches; the upside is that you will not have to sew the hood together with a bulky seam!  If you plan on keeping the hood down for pictures, I would either recommend making a second “non-functional” hoodie (i.e. one with a proportional-sized hood) and one like this; if you have one of each then you can have some interesting pictures!

    Although I do say that you need circular and double-pointed needles, there is no circular knitting and almost no sewing.  Second, where I normally slip every first stitch of every row (with the exception of rows beginning with decreases), I’m not so sure that’s helpful here since you will be picking up stitches all the way around the front edge, and this particular can make that more difficult.  Your edge stitches don’t have to look neat anyway since you will be hiding them!  Finally, I did not include gauge (I almost never do; I knit normally, not loosely or tightly) because any gauge differences are going to be minute.  If you knit especially loosely or tightly, you might consider changing your needle size up or down, but that may cause a drastic change in size; unless you can get your hands on half sizes (Knitpicks has them; I shamelessly promote that site because they are AWESOME) then you might want to use a stretchy yarn like sock yarn and just block the crap out of the finished piece.

    *Edit as of 10/4/11: It  has come to my attention that Blythe dolls are larger than Pullips.  This has been edited accordingly.

    Pullip Hoodie (with functional hood)
    Revised January 13, 2010

    You will need:
    • Circular needles (recommended length: 24”) – sizes 1 US, 2 US, and 3 US
    • Double-pointed needles (set of 3): size 1 US
    • Crochet hook, size F-5 US (if you do a provisional crochet cast on)
    • Scissors & a ruler
    • Blunt-tipped tapestry needle (I used one just larger than a #22; make sure yours isn’t too big or grafting and seaming will be a pain)
    • Smooth (cotton) waste yarn for provisional cast on
    • Snaps, hooks and eyes, or the closure or your choice
    • Sock or sport weight yarn; used for example: Knitpicks Palette Fingering Weight (100% Peruvian highland wool, 231 yd/50g ball) in 2200 Fairy Tale
      • A note about yarn: Pullip clothes are forgiving since, well, their owners will not be using them the same way a human does.  Although I used a bit thicker cotton yarn here, your choices are almost limitless, as long as the yarn is thinner than sportweight.  Sock yarn would be perfect; it’s going to end up a little smaller, but that is what blocking is for.  Stretch sock yarn hoodies a little when you block them, and the stitches will open up nicely and drape well.  This is a perfect end for that last odd ball of sock yarn you had leftover from the 2 ½ balls you used to knit dad’s socks for Christmas.
    You will need to know:

    Provisionally cast on 50 stitches.  This will be picked out later and you will knit the other way from the live stitches.
    Using size 3 needles, knit for 3.25” straight in stockinette stitch.

    Begin neck decreases (you will go from 50 sts to 25 sts):
    Row 1: k2tog, (k6, k2tog) 6 times.  43 sts.
    Row 2 and all even rows: P all sts.
    Row 3: k1, (k5, k2tog) 6 times.  37 sts.
    Row 5: k1, (k4, k2tog) 6 times.  31 sts.
    Row 7: k1, (k3, k2tog) 6 times.  25 sts.
    Change to smaller needles.
    P 1 row, k 1 row, p 1 row.

    Begin raglan increases (I've done the math for you so you don’t really need a marker; just be sure to concentrate and not lose count!):
    (mkm) for this section means: m1, k1, m1
    Row 1: k3, mkm, k4, mkm, k7, mkm, k4, mkm, k3.
    Row 2 and all even rows: P all sts.
    Row 3: k4, mkm, k6, mkm, k9, mkm, k6, mkm, k4.
    Row 5: k5, mkm, k8, mkm, k11, mkm, k8, mkm, k5.
    Row 7: k6, mkm, k10, mkm, k13, mkm, k10, mkm, k6.
    Row 9: k7, mkm, k12, mkm, k15, mkm, k12, mkm, k6.
    Setup for sleeves & body (slip all sts pwise):
    Slip 9 sts onto smaller circular needle (if you are already knitting on the circular needle, just slip them to the other end).
    Slip 14 sts onto size 1 DPN.
    Slip 18 sts onto circular needle.
    Slip 14 sts onto another size 1 DPN.
    Slip 9 sts onto holder.
    Work sleeves (stitches on DPNs) with the other end of the ball for the length desired; finished long-sleeves should be about 2.75” long.  I ended with 1x1 ribbing for 2 rows, but you could switch to your trim color and do 2 rows in garter st for consistency.  BO.

    K all remaining sts onto one needle of your choice (I kept them on the circular).  When you come to the gaps, k2tog with each stitch on either side on the gap to close them.  K for length desired for body.  Change to trim color after a p row, k2 rows, BO.  Do NOT cut yarn; you will use it to transition to the edging (without having to weave in 2 extra ends).  Hang on to the last stitch (I put it on a safety pin).  You will now finish the hood.

    Change back to larger needle.  Remove provisional cast-on yarn and pick up 50 live stitches.
    Row 1: k all sts.
    Row 2 and all even rows: p all sts.
    Row 3: k 21, ssk, k4, k2tog, k to end.
    Row 5: k 21, ssk, k2, k2tog, k to end.
    Row 7: k 21, ssk, k2tog, k to end.
    Purl one last row.
    Setup for kitchener stitch (grafting): pull your needle cord through the middle of the stitches, so that you have half the stitches on one tip and the other half on the other tip.  Hold the pieces wrong sides together; graft the stitches together.  Adjust the tension of your stitches so they look like a regular knitted row and fasten off.

    Pick up that last stitch you left from the bound-off row.  Using your medium needle now, pick up and knit stitches all the way around the front edge, from bound off edge around the front of the hood to the bound off edge on the other side.  Be sure to pick up your stitches with the RIGHT side facing.  I picked up one stitch every two rows for the sections knitted on the smaller needles and one stitch every row for the section knitted with the larger needles.  K 2 rows and BO all sts.

    Sew sleeve seams.  Weave in all ends.  Block, using the wet method or the pin-and-spritz method, especially if you used cotton yarn.  Sew on your closure.  You’re done!

    Embellishment ideas: I chose pink and green so that I could sew on black seed bead “seeds” and have a watermelon hoodie.  Other ideas?  Use a furry yarn for the trim for a snuggly anorak; sew bunny or kitty ears to the hood (or devil horns and a tail, if your dolly is so inclined); use a self-striping sock yarn or other patterned yarn for minimal effort.  A cropped hoodie (shorten the body length) or cap-sleeved hoodie would be fun too (only knit a couple of rows for the sleeves and then bind off).  Or go the other direction and make a knee-length hoodie for a glamorous look (or a boxer-style robe).  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Knitting Pattern: Pullip Bolero

     I can't take credit for designing this.  It's based on http://kellymaher.wordpress.com/2007/07/04/ribbed-lace-bolero/
    The nice thing about knitting for a doll is that you can make garments you wouldn't otherwise - I would never wear a bolero, or green, but my doll looks great in both.  You will also notice that she is wearing a white version of the strapless top with ribbons sewn on for straps.

    Note: it may be easier to put the sweater on if you remove her hands first (if possible).  Another option is to wrap them in a little bit of plastic wrap.

    Pullip Ribbed Lace Bolero
    You will need:
    • Size 000 needles
    • Size 0 needles
    • Size 20 cotton crochet thread
    • Sewing needle
    • Scissors & ruler
    You will need to know:
    • 1x1 ribbing
    • Cast on & bind off
    • Lace pattern stitch (below)
    • K2tog
    Lace Pattern - Lace Mesh st (multiple of 2 sts + 4 rows)
    Row 1: K1, *yo, k2tog, rep from * to last st, k1.
    Row 2: P all sts.
    Row 3: K2, *yo, k2tog, rep from * to end.
    Row 4: P all sts.

    CO 42 sts with size 000 needles.  Work 6 rows in 2x2 rib (k2, p2 rib).
    Using 000 needles, work 1 row of Lace Mesh st.

    Change to size 0 needles.  Work rows 2-4 of Lace Mesh st, then rep pattern for about 1.25".  End after an odd row (I ended after a row 1).

    Change to size 000 needles.  P 1 row.
    Work 6 rows in 2x2 rib.  BO all sts.

    Sew the ribbing together at the sides, then reinforce by sewing down again and even knotting.  A shoddy job will take its toll the first time you put the bolero on the doll!  (I found out the hard way.)  Do not sew the lace together.  The holes left by the seams are the armholes.

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Beef stew, third generation recipe!

    My grandma used to make the most amazing beef stew when we were little.  I know it's corny, but she used to call it "Stew-goo."  So that's how I remember it.

    It's a pretty simple recipe, and because it was such a dear part of my childhood, I want to share it with you.

     (Please pardon my messy stove!)
    Grandma's Beef Stew
    You will need:
    1-2 pounds beef stew meat, tenderized or plain (you could also use pork)
    2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
    1 large can of diced, stewed, or crushed tomatoes (your choice)
    3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8" coins
    3 ribs celery, sliced into 1/8" coins
    1 regular-sized can no-salt-added corn (or use frozen)
    Kosher salt
    Onion salt or chopped onion
    Pasta (pick bite-sized pieces)
    Beef or chicken stock or broth

    In a large pot, boil about 1" of water.  Pour in the stew meat.  Boil gently for about 10 minutes, or until all of the red is gone.  I know this violates everything you know about tender meat, but trust me - the flavor is worth it, and the pieces of meat are so small that their being tough won't matter that much.

    Once the meat looks to be fairly done, add the potatoes and canned tomatoes (do not drain).  Add pasta if desired.  Boil gently until the potatoes are almost fork-tender.  Add broth or stock if there is not enough liquid to cover the potatoes.

    Add carrots and celery (and okra and onion or onion salt, if desired).  Simmer about 5 minutes or until the carrots soften just a little bit.  Drain the corn and add to the stew.  Salt with about three pinches of kosher salt.  Cook until everything is heated through (do NOT overcook okra, it will ruin everything!).  Serve with crackers and spicy vinegar.

    Spicy Vinegar for Beef Stew
    My grandma always used small hot peppers grown in her garden or by her friends, but you can get small super-hot peppers (arbol chilies are what I use) pretty much anywhere.  Look for small, narrow chilies.

    Cut the stems and throw out any bad, brown, slimy, or otherwise weird-looking peppers.  Drop into a half-empty bottle of white wine vinegar.  For the first use, you will need to turn the vinegar regularly while you are cooking the stew.  From then on out, just keep in the fridge.  You can even top off the vinegar a time or two without changing out the chilies. 

    Pour into your stew to get a little bit of spice and a lot of flavor.  Enjoy! 

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Introductory Post? Pssh...

    .. I prefer to get straight down to business.

    So without further ado, I present my first pattern, a fitted strapless top for Pullip dolls.

    Strapless Top
    You will need:
    • Size 1 US needles.  I suggest using a circular needle or two DPN's with point protectors.
    • 2 small snaps or hook-and-eye closures.
    • Size 10 crochet cotton.  You will very likely need less than a tenth of a 50g ball.  You could also use lace-weight wool yarn.
      • Used for example: Aunt Lydia's Classic crochet cotton in Purple.
    • Needle and sewing thread in a color matching that of the crochet thread.
    • Scissors & ruler

    You will need to know:
    • Stockinette stitch
    • Cast on & bind off
    • 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1 ribbing)
    • Make one, abbreviated m1
    • Slip-slip-knit, abbreviated ssk
    • Knit 2 together, abbreviated k2tog
    Gauge: 11 sts/per inch in stockinette stitch on size 1-US needles.  To ensure accurate sizing, be sure to check your gauge.

    Note: slip the first stitch of every row purlwise (pwise) for a neater edge.

    CO 45 sts with size 1 needles.  Work 3 rows in 1x1 ribbing.
    Setup row: p11, pm, p22, pm, p12.  You are now ready to begin decreases.

    Shape for ribcage:
    Decrease row 1: k to 2 sts before marker, ssk, slip marker, k all sts between markers, slip marker, k2tog, k to end.
    Next row: p all sts.
    Decrease row 2: k to marker, slip marker, ssk, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, slip marker, k to end.
    Next row: p all sts.

    Work as above, decreasing 2 stitches every other row, until you have 31 sts on the needles (this will be after a decrease row 1). P the next row as set.

    Shape for waist:
    K 1 row, p 1 row.

    Shape for hips:
    Inc row: *k to 1 st before marker, m1, k1, slip marker, k1, m1, repeat from * to end.
    Next row: P all sts.

    Repeat last 2 rows twice more.  You will end with 43 sts.

    Work 3 rows in 1x1 rib.  BO all sts.

    Block (wet method or pin-and-spritz) to keep flat.  DO NOT OVERSTRETCH the top when you block it, or it will not fit Pullip properly!  Sew snaps to the back of the top; I sewed mine at the top and about halfway down so that the bottom edge of the top can "open" to accommodate the top of pants or a skirt.

    Note: for a dress, you could keep going instead of working the ribbing at the bottom until you have 55 or 59 sts.  Then knit straight for the length desired.