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Using up old yarn - can anyone beat this?

(63 Posts)
Witzend Wed 25-Apr-18 10:09:35

Among the toys of dds' we kept for future grandchildren, were a couple of baby dolls - their clothes have long been missing.
Gdd is just 3 and very into her 'babies' so when she visits those dolls are straight out of the toy box.
I recently unearthed some pastel shaded yarn I seem to recall having bought to make a cardi for dd2 at 7 or 8 - she's now 38!!! Don't know why the cardi never got made - probably pattern too fiddly - but have now used some to make a dress and knickers for one of the dolls - there's plenty left over for a hat and socks and probably a blanket, too.

Can anyone beat that for using up an ancient stash?

nipsmum Thu 26-Apr-18 11:54:25

You still buy hand dyed wool in skeins which require winding. My daughter was my yarn holder recently for 3 Hanks of beautiful wool. I also have been given black bags full of yarn of various weights. After sorting and using it I do try to let he person that donated it see what I have done with it. Charities are always looking for knitted goods. It keeps me busy as I can't bear to be sitting doing nothing.

nipsmum Thu 26-Apr-18 12:00:39

Does anyone know where I can buy nice baby dolls for dressing. I don't want to pay a fortune for named manufactured ones. They are for charity. Any that I see or can buy on the internet are quite ugly.

wot Thu 26-Apr-18 12:08:03

I've got a teddy bear who is now 64 years old. I treasure it. I remember one morning waking up to see Teddy in red corderoy dungarees and a red jumper my mum had made for him in the evenings. He is still dressed in them. That means love to me, her making them.

harrigran Thu 26-Apr-18 12:14:43

Yes probably, my youngest child is 46 and all the toys came out of the attic for GC. We even have some from my youngest sister's toybox and she is 61.
I also have a box of knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn from way back when.

youngagain Thu 26-Apr-18 12:17:13

My mother was an avid knitter and also a great tennis fan, particularly Wimbledon. During the Wimbledon fortnight, she used to do all her work in the morning so she was able to sit down and watch Wimbledon in the afternoon, and at the same time she would be knitting! One year she knitted 2 cardigans during Wimbledon fortnight! She still had these cardigans when she died in 1994. It took me a few years before I could part with them. Money was short when my children were very young and both my mother and I would knit and crotchet clothes for them - a girl and 4 boys. However, when they went to school, the boys in particular were most put out because they were 'the only ones in their class with hand knitted jumpers/cardigans'!! Apparently everyone else had 'shop bought jumpers or fleece lined tops'. I still knit and have patterns from over 70 years ago which my mother knitted for me and my brothers as babies and also the pattern she used for the 2 'Wimbledon' cardigans!
Has anyone else noticed that some patterns from years ago actually turn up again in the shops as 'new' patterns? I have used a number of patterns over and over again. I also found wool my mother had left over and knitted items for my granddaughters when they were born - over 20 years ago!
We also knitted lots of dolls clothes over the years including for 'Cindy and Action Man'!
My Mam was a beautiful knitter and I am so thankful she passed her knowledge to me.

youngagain Thu 26-Apr-18 12:25:18

Nipsmum. Have you tried charity shops for dolls, or even car boot sales? I have seen lovely dolls of all sizes in both of these places.

Gaggi3 Thu 26-Apr-18 12:51:16

I have a cream cardigan with a fancy beaded pattern on the front, which belonged to an Aunt of DH. The label reads 'Made within the British Empire'.

Funnygran Thu 26-Apr-18 13:11:26

I knitted for my children and grandchildren when they were young but once past a certain age no one wanted to wear hand knitted clothes. When one of my sons was about 8 we bought him a small snooker table for Christmas and my mum knitted him a black waistcoat with pockets for his chalk so he looked like the professionals. I have a wonderful book of knitting patterns which was given to my grandmother at Christmas 1942. I just love looking at the patterns which include knitted vests, knickers and swim suits for children!

sunnydayindorset Thu 26-Apr-18 13:12:57

I was sorting out the garage and found Jane. I think my brother bought her for me when he was born- so she must be 61 now.
Her clothes have been moused - I have some wool left over from knitting for DSs but does anyone know where I can get patterns for "old" baby dolls please?

gillybob Thu 26-Apr-18 13:13:56

I smell a massive stinky rat !

Patticake123 Thu 26-Apr-18 13:45:55

Yes I can. I found a half made summer dress that I must have started 36 years ago . I’ve now inserted the zip and finished it off and my oldest granddaughter aged 7 loves it!

Pat609 Thu 26-Apr-18 13:47:43

I used to love making dresses, jackets, in fact all kinds of clothes for myself and my daughters. Haven't done so for years as the material became more expensive than the finished article. I still knit even though that has become expensive. I did use up some wool which I bought over 20 years ago recently. It's a shame a lot of dressmaking skills have been lost. My mum was excellent making at making dresses and knitting, far neater than me. She was making clothes without a pattern until well into her 80's.

Farmor15 Thu 26-Apr-18 15:00:20

witzend , or anyone else - have you a pattern for the doll’s clothes you knitted? I’ve looked online and though there would seem to be patterns out there, I only found one with free download. I’m looking for ones for smallish (10-12”) baby doll.
My grandmother knitted me doll’s clothes, which I loved. I’ve already sewn some for my granddaughter but like the idea of using up wool scraps.

VIOLETTE Thu 26-Apr-18 15:09:30

I used to knit my daughter enormous jumpers (at her request) as she had long arms and was quite tall and thin and nothing in the shops fitted her ....I knitted a cowl neck one year, and she loved it so much I was required to knit four in different colours .......she still wore them at Uni ! The wool I had left I used , much to her embarrassment , to knit wooly scarves and pom pom hats for my garden gnomes in the winter (for fun ! it amused next doors small children !) she said DON'T EVER let my friends see that (by then she was a teenager !) all leftover wool (an enormous chest full of it) I gave to the Church for their knitting circle.........................sorry to say I still tend to buy wool but only ever knit cat blankets for the homeless cats home near me ! (and my own two !)

Daisyboots Thu 26-Apr-18 15:22:00

Yes I have a stash of wool left over from knitting for DGC. I keep thinking I should find ways of using it up to make things for charity. Five years ago while I was away ( a rare occurrence when Mum was alive) Mum got my DH to order some yarn as she wanted to make a shortie type cardigan from a pattern she had found in her People's Friend magazine. It was quite a complicated lacy pattern and she started and undid the knitting several times. She was 96 at the time. When she died 3 years ago I vowed to knit it in her memory. The thread has reminded me so I must get the yarn out and start it. Thanks for the reminder.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 26-Apr-18 15:35:31

Try your local library, they may have books of knitting patterns, otherwise you will need to hunt in charity shops for magazines from the right time.

Actually, I find that baby dolls' measurements have changed least, so you may find a book of patterns for one of the newer dolls, like "babyborn" that you can use.

How big is Jane? Sometimes the smallest size of patterns for babies can be used for dolls' clothes.

A magazine that existed when we were small and is still in print may even have the old patterns in their archives, or again a library should be able to find a copy of say Women's Own or women's illustrated.

Jalima1108 Thu 26-Apr-18 15:48:08

sunnyday here is a link, and Ravelry could have some free patterns for dolls' clothes:

Witzend Thu 26-Apr-18 17:54:13

Farmor, I have recently used a Sirdar pattern no. 3124, clothes to fit doll from 12 to 22 inches. The pattern is very fiddly so I did it in a much simpler stitch. It's for hat, jacket, trousers and bootees. TBH I think my version is nicer than the fiddly one!

I have also recently made an 'angel top' dress from King Cole (relatively simple) pattern no. 5000. It was actually for a bigger doll, so I knitted it on smaller needles and it was fine.

HannahLoisLuke Thu 26-Apr-18 17:56:41

Ive got lots of odd balls of yarn which I finally donated to a charity shop. I don't knit dolls clothes or blankets so thought somebody else would enjoy doing that. By the way isn't it expensive to knit your own these days? I don't like acrylic or man made fibres so the yarns I buy are always at least a fiver a 50 gram ball. I try not to overbuy but inevitably end up with at least one spare ball.
I did recently use up a three yard piece of cotton fabric that must be about twenty years old. I have a linen tunic style dress from a rather expensive Swedish range that I'm very fond of but didn't want to spend more money buying another. As its a simple shape I made a copy pattern with grease proof paper and made myself another one out of my "free" fabric. Very satisfying.

Barmeyoldbat Thu 26-Apr-18 18:34:04

Taught myself to knit socks over the longer winter and I am now knitting socks with all the many odd balls of wool I have. I have also just starting making simp,e dresses and shorts the young children of the salt workers who live in appalling c9nditions in a place near where we stay most winters. Not sure what to do with the socks

Cherrytree59 Thu 26-Apr-18 18:36:53

My grandmother knitted all my dolls clothes including woolly knickers.

In my airing cupboard I still have blankets crocheted over 50 yrs ago by my grandmother using up all her left over wool.
Can't bear to part with them but feel sad that they are just left in a cupboard.sad

GabriellaG Thu 26-Apr-18 18:53:29

A very nice story. smile

GabriellaG Thu 26-Apr-18 18:57:46


Is it Lagenlook (not sure of spelling)
I too like some of their linen items and buy them from eBay. Even then, they're not cheap.
It was a clever idea to copy the pattern.

Jalima1108 Thu 26-Apr-18 19:57:09

GabriellaG I'm assuming you mean the story about the jumper and not the one about same DGD and the Sindy dolls!!

keriku Fri 27-Apr-18 00:03:27

Over the years as relatives and neighbours have died I always seem to end up with their sewing stuff and wool. I recently sewed something up with a reel of thread which had a price label in shillings! My friend cried when I showed her the crochet blankets I made from her late mum's left over wool.