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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Knitting big and knitting little

I finished my youngest sons's socks and here they are. Yes, I know the stripes didn't turn out exactly the same and this was me really trying.

He will be happy with them this way and will probably lose one pretty soon and wear it with an orphan from another pair I knit.

More organic this way.

Having a party for him here today, and as there will be a few folks, I am ordering in. Birthday boy's choice. I am suppose to phone up the Jerusalem Cafe and say the guy who loves fava beans wants enough food for a party.

We should be good and if he doesn't dig up the front lawn to put in a garden so I will be food sufficient things should go as planned.

Seriously, he has put in several gardens of his own and can grow anything. None of his vegetables ever have so much as a bug bite in them. This green thumb thing, which I don't have, is no joke.

Some people can just grow anything. He hovers and I think that helps. Those plants know he is watching them every second so they are careful.

What makes a 26 year old kid garden?

Your children always surprise you and that's the best part.

Whenever I finish a pair of socks I am left with a small ball of sock wool. I have saved many of these and even went so far as to download a patten for knitting little tiny squares that would, in about a century, become an afghan.

I can kid myself a lot but even I could see this was never going to actually happen.

But that still left me with a huge collection of sock wool scraps.

Then it hit me and I remembered the "Bag 'o Barbies" I picked up in Florida for $6 for the little girls.

Now I am fully aware of the gender issues involved with Barbies. I know more than a few mothers of my daughter's generation who have banned them and I see why.

I really do.

There is the giant boob issue (although the new Barbies have gone down a couple of cup sizes) and the fact that she represents a woman who is largely over involved in her wardrobe ...

However I wonder if those who have banished Barbies ever really played with them.

Ken was just a prop.

Someone to walk across the floor in little bouncing steps to say in a fake low voice "Barbie let's go on a date" and then went back into his Ken coma.

Barbie always replied to this invitation with "First I have to change."

That was it. 

It was all about changing Barbie into different outfits. It was all about the clothes.

Yes Ken was just a prop and if he hadn't had that one line to give Barbie a reason to get dressed up there would have been no Ken. I suspect he knew this.

It was Barbie the original single girl with her huge suitcase of clothes. All coordinated, all accessorized.

As one of four girls I have serious Barbie playing experience. 

We had tons of clothes. The best ones were from an elderly aunt or cousin on my mom's side who for some reason sent us once a huge shipment of knitted clothes. These were the best. The clothes bent, which Barbie's arms didn't, and they were easy to take on and off. No struggling with tiny snaps or pulling on a tight fishtail evening dress over those curvy hips.

I have to insert here that my dear mother made one giant mistake in her life, and I hope she still regrets it.

Somewhere along the line she decided we were too old to play Barbies so she gave away a highly developed now vintage collection that I am sure, if she kept it, would have bought us a condo in Florida.

I am still most mad about that red velvet flared coat with the matching pill box hat and matching shoes and purse. If I had a real sized outfit like that I am sure I would wear it every day and was confident when I was eight that I would grow up to do just that.

Side story. 

My daughter had her Barbies and inherited her mother's love of accessories. That aside one of most exciting moments of raising the current birthday boy was when, as an infant, he once opened his mouth when I was changing him and stuck out his little pink tongue on the end of which was a perfect little Barbie doll champagne glass. We had been wondering where that had gone.

Back on topic.

Barbie doll clothes are the answer, a fairly realistic answer in my view, of what to do with the left over sock wool.

See I have already started.

Through Raverly I have discovered a completely out of control Swedish site of hundreds and hundreds of free Barbie knitting patterns.

Check out the accessories page.

Not to be believed.


annie said...

Kaffe Fassett designed a perfectly beautiful vest that was multicolored, a bit like flame stitch needlepoint. Too fiddly for me even though I wanted it. Might be a way to use up leftovers.

Lady V said...

Thanks for that link to the Barbie clothes. Your son will love the socks. I would.

Anonymous said...

I learned to sew making clothes for my Barbie doll. What wonderful memories. ;)

Lois K

Bunny said...

Loved my Barbie and it was a total fashion thing for me. I never had or missed Ken. I just dressed up Barbie. My youngest daughter and her BFF would literally play on the back porch with their Barbies for hours. Then again, they had a Barbie pool, and a Barbie house, and a Barbie...................

KathyS said...

Barbie wasn't invented when I was a little girl and my daughter wasn't doll-minded. Now I have a grand-daughter who has dozens of Barbies. I'm in Barbie heaven. I made a Vogue wardrobe of Barbie clothes for her birthday. Thank you so much for the link, knitted Barbie wardrobe coming up for her next birthday. Loved the multicoloured socks.

gwensews said...

The socks are super! I personally, like mis-matched socks, and there is a company that makes them that way. Same colorways, but different in pattern. I think mis-matched socks are so fun!

LinB said...

When I was young, if Barbie's head came off, you just popped it back onto her neck and went on as if nothing had happened. When my daughter was young, if Barbie's head came off, you could jam it back onto the stub that was left, but it left the doll essentially neckless. Once, when friends from Wisconsin visited us in Georgia, we found a Barbie head in the sheets of their bed. It was christened "Beelzebub Barbie" and spent many years back-and-forth in the U.S. mails between our families.

patsijean said...

With my mother, it was not Barbies. It was 1: a comic book collection given to me when I was in 2nd grade (1950-51), at home for the school year with rheumatic fever. Thrown away. 2: my Rocky and Bullwinkle lunch box and thermos, thrown away in 1964 while I was in my Junior year of college because it was taking up room under the kitchen sink. Putting it in my bedroom was not even consider. They are so rare that not one is known to be in existence now. I fussed about that one for years.