In 2014 I knitted a little bag that turned into a doll’s cradle for a friend’s granddaughter and decided that the time had come for my own granddaughter to have one.
The pattern is free on Ravelry and is designed by Frankie Brown who has a whole host of free knitting patterns. It’s so well designed and fun to knit. I decided I wasn’t going to buy any more wool so had a good rummage and managed to put together enough scraps to make this one.
The cradle itself is clever. It looks like a cradle, but converts to a little bag which is extremely portable. Perfect for taking out in public.
As I used scraps of yarn I think some of my knitting wasn’t to the correct gauge and I felt that the bottom was a bit big, so I blanket stitched a piece of craft foam to it to give it stability. No photograph for some reason!
The pattern includes the cradle and a very cute sleeping bag with a pillow, which is gently stuffed. You can see below the stages from cradle to bag, it’s easy to fold up the sides which then become the top. The drawstring is made from knitted i-cord.
Finding a 5 inch doll was much harder. Toy shops don’t sell them so I had to resort to online shopping. I found this little Berenguer doll on ebay. She’s fully jointed and totally adorable.
Berenguer dolls have been made in Spain by the same family since the 1940s. They come with all sorts of expressions and skin tones. I love the fact that they really look like babies, even the skin folds are realistic. There is a rather wonderful video showing how they are made on their website.
I couldn’t hand her over naked so I fashioned a nappy out of a piece of white towelling and some velcro.
It’s a bit big, but it’s easy to get on and off, which I thought was important. I might make one out of a piece of finer fabric next time.
As I mentioned, Frankie Brown has a large number of patterns on Ravelry, some of which are for these small dolls, so I downloaded them. They are all knitting patterns, of course, but very cute. The first one I’ve made is the “Mini doll bedtime” pattern, which does include the sleeping bag that came with the cradle pattern. It uses 4ply wool and a 2mm needle, so is fiddly, especially when sewing up.
I used some sock yarn from the Bendigo woollen mills which gave me the correct gauge. The fit is so good, given the size and minimal shaping. The wool itself knits beautifully with wonderful stitch definition.
Believe it or not, both sides of this suit were made from the same ball of wool. I think the small size of the pattern pieces has exacerbated the different tones in the wool, giving me a colour blocked effect.
The three yellow buttons are very small and were bought by my son when he needed to replace some small yellow buttons on something. He bought a bag of 200, used two and gave me the rest! It’s nice that three are going back to him in this form.
I added a mini bear from A Sewing Life, as I thought it would be a fun touch. The bear is tiny but is probably still a little bit big. It won’t be lost quite as easily though.
Suffice it to say that Miss G loves her cradle bag. Apparently she takes the nappy off and makes her mother replace it all the time. I will have to get a video of her rocking the baby, it’s so adorable. However I do have a photo of her nursing one of my dolls, which must be more than sixty years old!
She has moved near us and loves the local park. There are cars on the other side and she does like cars, so took off for a closer look. I’d like a raincoat like that!