About Me

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IMAGINATION IS THE EYE OF THE SOUL Joseph Joubert. I am a mother of four...I still remember the smile that refused to go away for weeks after our daughters birth. To have a little girl appear after three sons seemed such a miracle. I have always enjoyed My Doll World, sharing it with Lara when she was little. Today I design knitted outfits for miniature dolls and enjoy every minute of it. The fact that the outfits are removable is what makes it so special for me. Using ever finer threads has opened so many MINIATURE DESIGN opportunities.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crochet outfits are coming along great, I do wish the patterns were easier to write out.

As a Christmas present to all my followers, 
you will have the chance to win a bonnet and dress that fits 

Belly Button Baby

All you need to do is follow my blog by email, and you will be added to the draw. 
Unfortunately the doll is not included. The draw will take place on the  
5th January 2012

Here are other outfits that I have been busy with. 

Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas. 
I wish you a very healthy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you so much for all the comments you have posted on my blog over this last year. It has been truly encouraging.......

who have bought my patterns, your support is so appreciated

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Miniature Crochet in the Studio

The mice have been breeding and so have the number of outfits.

I have been working on a system for making a crochet pattern that one can "read" from a photograph.

I was taught to crochet my copying a doily that my grandmother had made.

The Japanese patterns work really well for me, but when I try to draw the design I run out of paper. I know the patterns can be done in the software program Illustrator but that involves learning a new program.
I wonder if I could learn just the part I need to know.......

All the mice have been made by my friend 
Anna Esteves


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


What a delicious imagination, Sally's creativity, sewing skills and choice of colour are to be marvelled at.

How she must have enjoyed creating such a 
MUST HAVE book. 

The illustrations are so beautifully detailed.

Imagine a miniature version of this Nursery Rhyme Book, in a room display.

The book is available from Amazon for US $ 14.95

See other pages of her work at these links.

Sally is doing a traveling exhibit in America, wish I could be seeing it. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dianne Smith sent me a picture of her version of the
Lisa Marie pattern.....

I love what she has done, she tells me one outfit is definitely for a swap and the other is going to be a Christmas present.
Dianne has been test knitting for me for years now.
The outfits have been knitted in Venne 70/2

The pattern is now available in 
Dutch or English at a price of 7.50 Euro's


Monday, November 7, 2011

6 things I wished I knew when I started
1:12th Scale Miniature Knitting 

I can distinctly remember saying ....
I'll never use smaller than a 1mm knitting needle, 
in fact I would be nuts if I did

Never say Never

Now I wish I had started on that size, in the beginning.
I wonder how much further down my knitting path I would have been today! 

20/20 vision is such a bonus, so we need to get the younger knitters started in our miniature world.   

Having had my cataracts removed this year has opened up a whole new miniature world for me. Thank goodness I did my eyes now and did not wait until I was "do dally tap" or 95 in the shade.

I know there are risks in every type of surgery but what a pleasure my new eyes are and how colours have changed they are simply delicious again....when not seen as though through a mist.


               Some needles do rust or should I say tarnish with use, then they definitely begin to rust over time.
               You will find your stitches "stick" on the section of the knitting needle that usually rests between your thumb and index finger. It is to do with the acid content of the skin.
No amount of rubbing the needles in your hair one remedy I was told of or buffing up the needle, once the coating is gone it is gone and will begin to rust.
               A couple of years ago I took a human size shawl and knitted it in Venne 70 /2, just to see what would happen.
Firstly I should have used a larger size needle...so the result would never have pleased me.
               After having nearly finished the first side, I stopped working on it, leaving it on the knitting needle I was working with at the time.....

Well I came across the piece last week and found that where the needle had been resting on my skin it had totally rusted. 

The finish coating had worn away from me using the needle.....
the stitches cannot move at all in that section. it will need a lot of twisting to remove the work from the needle.

I'm happy that I did so, as now I have a perfect example of what happens to knitting needles that are not stainless steel and only have a coating.

You can see the rust that has formed on the needle and how it has damaged the fabric

For years I had used a pair of 1mm stainless steel  knitting needles that I had bought in Holland. 
Then horror of horrors one of the needles snapped. I felt as though I had lost the extensions to my hands.

I tried to find out who had manufactured the needles so as to replace them but to no avail. 

I bought and tried every miniature knitting needle available  on the market...homemade ones, lace knitting needles from Lacis, 
I felt a little like Goldilocks, these were too sharp, those rusted, others were too floppy, some were just too long,  some were too short, it turned out the ones most suitable at that stage were the Heidi Ott brand.
I discovered the HIYA HIYA brand

These knitting needles are stainless steel and they work PERFECTLY for me.
I have been using them for more than a year now with no sign of tarnish or rust on the needles.

NB      For the moment,  
I am not affiliated to the "Hiya Hiya" Brand in any way....

I'm just thrilled to have found these perfectly wonderful tools for knitting my miniature lace design and garments.
I happen to use the 0.7mm 24" circular needles, as straight needles for my layettes.
The length of the needle section is 5 inches, so they sit in my hands exactly as they should.

Not too long that the points stick into my clothing, making my knitting go every which way causing me to drop stitches. One needs to be careful that the cord between the needles does not get caught.

That has happened to me a few times much to my horror as I see stitches drop from the needle.

I have asked  

stockets of the Hiya Hiyas needles in the UK to please approach Hiya Hiya and ask them to make other sizes required for the miniature knitters of the world...namely 0.8mm and 0.5mm

1.     Don't be afraid of these tiny knitting needles they 
        don't bite.
        Saying that.....remember they will if the needles you 
        are using, have too sharp a point on them.
not so with HIYA HIYA needles the points ARE PERFECT

2.      Don't use knitting needles that are so sharp that they 
         cut through your skin, this is totally unnecessary.
3.      Always have a pair of finer gauge knitting needles than 
         the size you are working with,  in your knitting basket.          Perfect.....should you need to unpick a row. 
         I use the 0.5mm for unpicking            
4.      You need a range of knitting needles in various sizes
                    0.5mm for unpicking a row
        Unfortunately the smallest size Hiya Hiya make are 0.7mm
        I cannot remember where I bought my very fine needles 
                    0.7mm for knitting in a Madeira Catona 80 thread
                    0.8mm for knitting stocking stitch garments in         Venne 70/2 Cotton Thread.
        I use my Heidi Ott needles, which are the ones with the 
        gold bead on the ends, for the Bomber Jacket

        Hiya Hiya do not manufacture this 0.8mm either.
                   1mm for knitting lace patterns in Venne70/2 
         Cotton thread.
                    1.2mm for casting off when a garment has been   
         knitted using 1mm knitting needles
                    1.2mm when knitting shawls in the Venne 70/2 

        The finished fabric needs to be far more of an open      
         weave for shawls and the drape is marvelous.
5.      You need a range of crochet hooks in various sizes as well
               0.4mm when working with Madeira Catona Thread
               0.5mm when with working with Venne 70/2 Thread
6.      When sewing up your garments use a very fine No 12
         sewing needle.This gives a far neater finish.

Enjoy your miniature knitting experience 
hoping this post helps in some way


Monday, October 17, 2011

Special for this Week

Shadows Pattern 

In the pattern I have instructions for knitting the Shawl

with  Madeira Catona 80 cotton thread

or with Venne 70/2 cotton thread

The pattern is available in 
English or Nederlands

I deliver my patterns via email in PDF format.....
so no postage 
I accept PayPal

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tutorials 1:12th Scale

Decide on the shape you would like for your Tree skirt.
Having curved corners or a round makes for a much neater finish.


Click on the photographs to get an enlarged view of each sequence.

You will of course match your thread to your fabric colour

I chose a circle shape which I drew onto my fabric
with a white quilting pencil and a whisky glass

I then used Steam - A - Seam 2 
which is a double Stick Fusible Web
to join the two pieces of fabric together.
This double thickness gives weight to your carpet!

If you visit this website you can see a  You Tube demonstration

Use a ZIG ZAG stitch to finish the edge 
The side with the circle drawn onto it is the wrong side
Stitch width at setting 2
Stitch Length .05

Turn the piece over

Keeping the foot of your sewing machine on the edge of the zig zag stitch and your needle as far over to the right as possible. 

Use a strong thread for the straight stitching as the last thing you want is this thread to snap.
Make sure there is a length of thread from both the bobbin and top thread before your begin stitching

Stitch a line of stitches using stitch length 2.5
Try to finish up as near to the first stitch as possible
Break off thread leaving a length of thread as you will need to tie the threads  off

Turn the piece to the wrong side again and pull the loop of the thread  through.

There are now 3 of the four threads on the wrong side.

Turn your work to the right side again

Thread this last thread into a fine sewing needleand insrt the needle next to the first stitch completeing the circle, and pull the thread to the wrong side

Turn your piece again

Using a reef knot tie these 4 threads, 2 at a time and weave them away between the two pieces of fabric.

Cut away excess fabric and then using the Mettler no 50 thread and a 0.6 crochet hook
Attach your thread around the stitch, at the opposite side to where you began and ended the line of straight stitches

Round 1     

3sc into each stitch as you make the first round. 
Slip stitch into the first single crochet

Round 2    

3ch (for first treble) *3ch, miss 2sc 1 tr into next sc
rep from * till end of round
Slip stitch into 3rd ch of round to complete the round.

There must be an even number of holes formed for the pattern to work out

Round 3      

Slip stitch into first hole make 1sc into this same hole
*3tr, 2ch, 3tr, into next hole, (we will call this a shell)
1sc into next hole rep from * finishing with
a slip stitch into first sc of round. break off thread

Round 4     

Change colour and beginning at the oppsite side of the edging, 
(you don't want all the threads at the same point difficult to weave them
away  later.

1sc into a sc, 4ch, then 1sc, 2ch, 1sc, into 2ch space at the top of shell
4ch, then 1sc on top of sc of round below

You can use this technique for all sorts of miniature items, it is not as though we will be washing the items every week.
There are so many different delicate crochet stitches that were used on handkerchief edgings.

You can use it for turnovers on little sheets for you beds and cribs. Of course you won't fuse the fabric with those.
Hems of little dresses that need a trim, also it is difficult to get silver or gold delicate lace, so one can do this method in silver thread to decorate jackets....I think it is endless.

I can't see the woods for the trees anymore, so if you don't understand any part of this tutorial I'll happily see what I can do to make it better.
Just post a comment and ask for help!

I'll show you other examples another time!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Miniature Knitting in the Studio

I really pushed the envelope when designing this jacket.
Menswear in Mini is rather rare, so I wanted this piece to be the best I could do.
I love baby ware the best so had to really work hard to finish the project.

 The jacket is now 100% complete and will leave for USA tomorrow

I had the perfect beads in my stash so am more than happy with the result.

I am thrilled ...Teri Davies has said she will dress one of her Handsome Men Dolls in my Jacket and send me a photograph for the pattern.

Here are some pictures of the process of making this jacket. For me this is the best piece of design work I have ever done.

Detail on Back of Jacket
Showing the working pockets
Adding the Lining
Stitches picked up for the cuffs
Showing V darts at the cuff there is a definite left and right cuff

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tutorials 1:12th Scale

I would like to see how many of you out there would like to see a tutorial on how I made these Christmas Tree Skirts. 

One could also make a "rug" for a little girl or boys room.
Also trim the bottom of a dress or the front of a jacket!

Just pop a comment telling me if you would like to know!

Having rounded corners makes it much easier when it comes to the finishing for the crochet work.
I used a variegated thread for a few of the edgings

For this project you do need a SEWING MACHINE.
One could always to the project with a friend who does have a sewing machine!


1.    100% Cotton quilting fabric preferably with a small     
       design to keep to the 1:12 scale

2.    Quilting double sided applique paper
       used to bond two pieces of fabric together

3.    100% Cotton Sewing thread to match the main colour you have chosen.
       This you will use on your sewing machine

4.    0.5 crochet hook

5.    4mm Silk ribbon or Bunka

5.    Mettler No 50 100% cotton sewing thread, two colours

6.    A very fine No 12 Hand Applique sewing needle

7.    A white quilting pencil

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Miniature Knitting in the Studio

I was asked to knit  a sweater and realized it would have to be on the back burner for a while....so much needs doing.

Then while knitting in all white as I usually do, the sweater kept popping into my head. So I thought I would just try out the collar to see what it would look like...I am so easily distracted....and then

VANESSA for a lady doll

Ja ja..... I ended up till late last night knitting...it was such a change to knit in colour,  love how it has turned out.
What perfect  colours for a Christmas sweater after all.
Did my soul good to do something different for a change.
I have charted the pattern so anyone can knit it no matter what language they speak.

Very little written instructions..... anyone out there who could translate English into Spanish/ French /Portuguese  for me?

The translating programs on the web while are great to read a blog and sort of know whats going on, certainly have the ability to make one laugh out loud, that is for sure!

I have it on good authority that patterns don't like to be laughed at! hahaha

As the sweater is now complete I thought I would add a picture.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Photography in the Studio

DSLR 1 An entry level course that will enable you to take better photographs with your digital SLR  camera.

Photograph Selection for my FIRST WEEKS PROJECT

Never having used a SLR camera before
(a camera with a removable lens) only a point and shoot which did all the "light thingie" and focusing for you, I was so intimidated.

I had no clue as to what cameras "DO"
I simply waited for the time of day when the light was the best for the type of photographs I needed to take.

Doing this assignment I constantly read and reread my notes, then looked up Aperture and ISO on the net...the more I read the less I knew and that was even less than NOTHING ....

Now this week I at the very least know what articles to look for.
I know how to set an ISO and aperture, which dials and buttons to press to do so...How to keep the exposure needle in the middle...one heck of a lot more than last week!

This course was a Christmas present to myself as I wanted to do tutorials, the photographs taken for tutorials don't just happen.

In November I hope I know enough to give your girls and boys a photographic tutorial on how I make fimo flowers for my outfits.


A great site for first time photographers

Knowledge with understanding is vital....

PS Did you know that when the shot you want to take is in focus the camera BEEPS at you, now there's a thing
Wish I knew that 200 shots ago!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Photography in the Studio

PHOTOGRAPHS a whole new world

For homework we need to print three 6 x 9 photographs that we have shot this week (all on manual) concentrating on exposure not under or over and take them along to class.

Well a hundred and something pictures later, I need to choose at least one of this series. 
Thank goodness I had had my cataracts removed as now getting pictures in focus is a mission.

This last picture is out of focus!

These shots have not been touched up in Photoshop as yet,
as I don't know how to.
I was trying light from behind no shadows wonderful.
The sun is now so bright I'll have to rig up some sort of curtain behind the soft see through one hanging at the moment.
All a learning curve.

My doll Hilda which is an antique reproduction doll,
is my most favorite of dolls.
It was a smaller version of her that I bought on Pier 59 in LA
which started me down the porcelain doll road. 

She was not a particularly well painted doll,
but could she talk... That was 30 years ago now.

My child size Hilda was painted by my friend Lesley Vermaak.
Lesley is a wonderful artist and sculptor. I love her style of doing things, how she manages to get a new creation look as though it was made years ago is such a skill.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Miniature Knitting in the Studio

Spent the afternoon going through photo files,
I wish I had not sorted them into new folders as now I can't find anything.

I eventually found what I was looking for, a photograph of an outfit I had made for a lady doll about 6 years ago.

As you can see the socks don't match, I was playing around with different lace patterns to see which would be the best for the ensemble.....

The pattern was written out in a diagram format  using EXCEL.

The tights take 4 days to knit....looking at the ensemble I feel it has not dated, maybe in colour choice, it seems all the young woman are walking around in tights these days.