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Friday, 24 February 2017

Sitting pretty

Dear Diary,

Jesse:  Not long ago, I had a couple of requests to show the boys with their individual chairs.  We aim to please: here are the photos.


The odyssey of this chair, coming from the US and getting to NZ, has already been chronicled here.  Everyone loved this chair.  It was purchased for Hans but some other boy doll climbed up and liked sitting in it.  Poor Hans had to evict Armand so he could have the chair for himself.

I recently knitted the waistcoat for him.  I made three in different colours.


I don't understand why Armand was so determined to have Hans' chair when he has a lovely wicker chair of his own.  This chair has a very wide seat which accommodates Armand's wide seat perfectly.  Although I often strap him in to prevent any accidents, he doesn't need it as he sits firmly in place.


A Victorian woman's parlour chair in red plush upholstery suits Adam nicely.  Adam's creator used UD (Unintelligent Design); he has a difficult time sitting, moving his head and posing.  His creator should have used science instead - the results would have been more satisfactory.  As you can see, he needs a chair which accommodates his splayed legs when sitting.  He also needs an extra amount of ease in his trousers so he can sit down.  He likes his chair and doesn't mind sharing it with others.  But, don't tell him it's a ladies chair - you know how silly blokes can be!

Now, this is what I call "man spread"!


As the longest doll resident in my family, Angelo has a custom-made rocker.  It is after the Mission Style Arts & Crafts style, specifically the Gustav Stickley design.  Angelo's rocker is perfectly scaled to him.  He enjoys sitting and rocking for hours in it.

Nini Studio Boy Doll 

Waiting in anticipation.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Advice from sasha morgenthaler

Dear Diary,

"It is better a child have one doll to enjoy, keep and play with for many years, than many dolls used briefly and discarded.  A single doll is then treated as people should be treated, with loyalty, consideration and love."  

Sasha Morgenthaler, Look, 1964

Jesse:  Dear readers - What do you think? Do you agree with Sasha? Do you have one most special  doll?  Please take a moment and share your thoughts in the comment section!

Friday, 10 February 2017


Dear Diary,

Armand:  It was time to do the first cutting of the rhubarb and did we ever have a lot!  We decided to make up rhubarb pie filling and to bottle it for use during the winter.  We made 14 quarts.

It's very colourful.

Then, using the left-over rhubarb pie filling, we made a pie.

Rhubarb pie with political attitude.

Adam:  That pie didn't last long and there was still some pie filling to be used-up so we made a delicious cake.  It is kept refrigerated and served cold.

The top is so bright and colourful even though the photo doesn't show it well.

It looked so good that Adam had some with afternoon tea.

Jesse: For those of us who have Queen Elizabeth as our Head of State (instead of a barbarian fascist), you may recognise the china.  It is by the Paragon China Company, commissioned by HRH Duchess of York (the late Queen Mother) to commemorate the birth of her daughter Princess Margaret Rose (the late sister of the Queen) on August 21, 1930.  It is a lovely pattern of budgerigars.

The pattern comes in other styles of china pieces, most more formal than this style.  We have them all!

Friday, 3 February 2017

When sheep meets possum

Dear Diary,

Jesse: I love to knit for the boys which is a good thing since I'm not great at sewing.  In the past, when I would see an old doll with a wardrobe of only knitted clothing, I wondered why. Now, I assume it's because the (grand)parent responsible for outfitting the doll couldn't sew! I have recently been knitting jumpers for Hans; I can finish one in about 3 days of interrupted knitting.  I've been using a wonderful New Zealand knitting wool named 'Amuri'.  It is made of 75% Merino wool + 25% possum hair.

In New Zealand, we raise some of the finest Merino sheep in the world.  These sheep have without a doubt the softest and finest wool of any breed.

Then, we have possums which are incredibly horrible and destructive pests. Don't be fooled by this cute photo:

Here is their true nature: 

They are New Zealand's greatest threat to our natural environment and there's absolutely nothing cute about them.  

They do have only one good aspect: when their fur is spun with Merino wool, it produces the loveliest and softest knitting wools imaginable.  I would like to knit something for myself with this yarn but it's very expensive and it would take many skeins to cover me!

The following photos show garments I knitted using this knitting wool.

A while back I knitted this for Armand and he has worn it in a photo on an earlier posting.

Cardigan side

Jumper side

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I knitted these for Hans.

Cardigan side with cables

Jumper side with cables

Jumper side

Cardigan with vintage buttons and tussy mussy

Front of jumper with cables down the centre and along the sleeves

Cardigan side

The top-down raglan sleeve pattern is very popular because it is so easy to make.  The only fiddly part is the sewing-up of the arm seams.  I vary the collar sometimes so that the front-to-back has a turtleneck.  I never pull a garment over the head of a doll so the back must always open up, allowing the garment to be slipped on up the arms.  This works out well as it provides 2 garments in one - a jumper and a cardigan.

My apologies that some of the photos are a bit dark.  The colourway is heathered with black which at times makes it difficult to get the light to bounce off the fabric.  It can also obscure the cables which is why Aran patterns are done in light colours. I noticed that the clarity of the photos depends on which monitor I view them.  I hope your monitor shows clearly!