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Dolly dallying

My doll making started in 2017, thanks to Roald Dahl. And my daughter, Hannah. I was trying to come up with an idea for a hand-knit gift for her. She was already the proud owner of four or five mom-made sweaters and I figured it was about time for something different. Knowing she is a Roald Dahl fan, I thought I would recreate one of his characters as a doll, and eventually came up with Fantastic Mr. Fox. Ah, he was so much fun to make, and I really enjoyed the details required to replicate the book's star. But of course, Mr. Fox really missed having his loved ones around him, so over the course of the next months, his family grew.

During the summer of the same year, our friends from the Netherlands came to visit for a month, including Oma and Opa, their two girls and their partners, plus two meisjes, Sophie and Evy. As a treat for the girls, I made them each a wee fox, using Fox in a Flowery Frock pattern by Julie Williams. Not only were they a big hit with them, it also inspired them to learn to knit during the visit!

To that point, everything I knitted had been a BIG project: sweaters, jackets, shawls, blankets.... But realizing that my loved ones were weighted down with the fuzzy fruits of my endeavours, and seeing the joy in the faces of those who received the knitted gifts, I thought I might continue the toy trend. My daughter, Hannah, had been reminiscing about a beloved childhood book series called Ivy Cottage by EJ Taylor. In passing, she suggested that I could make dolls that look like the main characters, two adorable dolls called Violet Pickles and Ruby Buttons. A seed was planted.

Our copies of the books had long since disappeared, but thankfully there were many images available online of the pair. No patterns were available for these characters, but I searched out doll patterns with similar body shape (Lola by MagdaLaine), and clothing design and adapted them to replicate Violet and Ruby. In the meantime, I found copies of each of the books in the series at online used book stores around the world and voila - Hannah's Christmas present was complete. And that was the beginning that eventually blossomed into Crickle Pickle Knits.

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