Small dolls cardigan knitting
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Knitting for small dolls which are 1/6th scale, such as 9” Kruselings, 8” MiniAmigas and 11½” Barbies, is a very good way of using up leftover (or abandoned) yarn from knit or crochet projects. If you’ve ever knitted then it’s very likely you’ll have some wool at the back of a drawer or cupboard. The projects shown in this post use anything between 5 and 10 grams of double knit yarn. To give an idea of how much that is, the photo below shows 2 balls that together weigh 9.47 grams.

I recently rediscovered knitting, finding it to be a great way of not using my iPad of an evening while watching (or listening to) the TV. I can listen quite easily and with the summer months spent mainly outside in the garden, I got completely hooked on listening to audio books. Consuming books though earbuds completely eliminated any guilt I would have had if I’d sat, reading a hard copy. Anyway, if my garden needs tidying, I can’t sit out there to enjoy a book when I see the jobs that need doing.

So I started with the leftover yarn in my knitting bag and played around for hours trying to work out the best way to knit a small doll’s jumper. I didn’t have a pattern and eventually (thanks to YouTube) I’d worked out how to knit in-the-round. That was a complete game changer for me as I’d always knitted separate pieces and sewn them together. That’s fine for human size pieces but I was attempting 1/6th scale, first with double-knit yarn and then with three-ply crochet thread.

I progressed to knitting in-the-round from the hem up to the neck, followed by picking up stitches for the sleeves and then knitting those in-the-round. It looked OK, but it wasn’t the look that I was after. I didn’t want sleeves that stuck out at right angles from the shoulders, like the photo shown below.

I recalled how Fair Isle sweaters were knit from the neck down and so next I set about attempting this instead. There was plenty of trial and error before I worked out how best to increase neatly in stages. Once I had figured out the amount of stitches needed at the neck and then the body, I worked out when to increase and what to do for the sleeves. By this point I had lots of hand-written notes so I could remember what I had done, rather like an experiment but not so formal.

After several attempts, my experiment was complete and I had knitted my doll’s jumper with long sleeves in both double-knit yarn and 3-ply thread. I then used the same technique to knit a longer jumper for my Kruselings, followed by short sleeved versions. My mind was dizzy with all the possible variations.

Then I adapted the pattern to make a doll’s cardigan for knitting on two needles, with knitting in-the-round for the sleeves only. Doing this in both double-knit yarn and 3-ply thread, it showed me how different yarn affects the sizing. This can be seen in the photo below.

Here’s how knitting the dress version compares in double knit and 3 ply thread.

Unable to find a suitably sized knitting pattern for a basic jumper or cardigan (that fitted sixth scale dolls) I typed up all my notes, knitted everything again taking pictures of my knitting and created two knitting patterns. I’m happy to say that these are available to purchase as a pdf download from my website.

If you fancy having a go at reducing your knitting scraps and knitting for small dolls, then here’s the amount needed to get started;

3-Ply Decorative Thread
  • Long Sleeve Cardigan or Jumper – 7 grams
  • Short Sleeve Jumper – 5 grams
  • Tunic Dress Long Sleeves – 9 grams
Double-Knit Yarn
  • Long Sleeve Cardigan or Jumper – 9 grams
  • Short Sleeve Jumper – 7 grams
  • Tunic Dress Short Sleeves – 11 grams

It’s hard to judge the amount of wool needed but I had already invested in pocket weighing scales. These are perfect for knowing what my finished garments weigh for postage costs but now they also weigh my wool!

If you don’t fancy knitting for your own small size, 1/6th scale doll then please take a peek at the knitwear in my shop, listed in the Separates category. I’m delighted that what started as a way of not using my iPad in the evenings has ultimately produced the content for two basic knitting patterns, one for a dress/jumper and another for a cardigan. Even more delighted was I when I realised my creations also fitted Barbie, which makes my knitting pattern quite versatile.

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