Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ood Pants, Take 1

In an ongoing attempt to preserve my sanity, I decided to take a break from the Ood mask. I finally finished the main body of it, but I need some time to decompress before I embroider and crochet features onto it. To fill that time, I have been working on a pair of pants for the Ood to wear. It was a fairly simple knit; it only took a few days to complete.

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For this project, I used pattern 967 from the Sticka till Barbie website. I liked this pattern because it looked great on the dolls in their pictures and matched the aesthetic I was going for. I used my new set of 2.00 mm double pointed knitting needles and black size 10 crochet thread to create them. The weird thing about using the tiny new set of needles is that I felt like I would bend them in my hands. They’re just so dainty! They’re made of aluminum, so the chances of me bending them were nil. Still, it seemed like more of a concern with this pair of needles than with the slightly larger plastic 2.25 mm needles I had used to make a pair of pants for Ken. I also believe the stitches are noticeably tighter and just look better than the previous pair of pants I made. It simply amazes me how much the size of needles can affect a finished piece, even when that difference is a fraction of a millimeter.

Overall, using the DPNs was very easy for this project. In fact, it had an advantage over regular needles. When I had to knit the second leg, I kept the first leg on one needle and picked a new needle out of the package to knit the second one. I didn’t have to slide it onto a holder! This saved me a fair amount of time and frustration. With these needles, I rarely had a problem with stitches falling off of either end. I really like these new needles and plan on using them for more projects moving forward.

Even with awesome needles, the actual knitting part was frustrating at times simply because of how tiny everything is. Doing a pearl increase with the dainty needles is the very definition of frustrating. It happened four times, and each time was incredibly hard to get right. I had a minor problem at the beginning of the first leg when I twisted a stitch at the end of a row; luckily it wasn’t noticeable after the piece was sewn together. I also ran into bigger problems towards the end. I forgot to properly secure the final stitch when I first cast off, so while handling the piece I unraveled half of the cast-off row. It was a pain to fix and took over half an hour because I had a terrible time seeing which way I needed to knit/pearl each stitch. Not all of the stitches were straight on the hook, so I had to make sure that I was picking up the correct side of each loop or it would have made the top row look wonky. This was tedious and time consuming. After doing that, I thought it couldn’t get any worse. Oh, how very wrong I was….

Once I finished casting off, I sewed the pants together with a tapestry needle. When I was finished sewing, I realized that I had made a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad mistake. My cast-off row way too tight. It was so tight that it barely had any stretch to it. I couldn’t easily fix this because I used the loose end to sew from the back of the pants and down one leg – it would take hours to work the end back to the top without ruining the piece. I briefly considered cutting a stitch on the top row and just rejoining a new piece of thread for a looser row, but this seemed dicy. What if I dropped a stitch? What if I cut into the row below? With the sewing already finished, I couldn’t risk ruining the entire piece. I felt like a total novice for not noticing it. I know better than to cast off so tightly, but I think that I was so frustrated from the previous mishap that I let the cast-off get away from me. I tried to stretch the pants, but it was futile. The thread would break before it fit over the hips of either Ood doll. For a moment, it felt like I had put in all that effort for nothing.

Then I remembered that not every doll has hips like the belly-button type of Barbie. I looked through my dolls, and I was encouraged to find a few that these pants do fit. They fit the Disney Rapunzel and Merida dolls that I have. Both dolls have a smaller body, smaller thighs, and smaller hips than the Barbie dolls. The tight cast-off barely fits over Merida’s thighs, but it is a good fit on her waist once the pants are on her. Rapunzel is slimmer all around, and this causes the pants to try and slip off. I think that they are a better fit for Merida, overall.

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Besides the fact that they don’t fit the Ood dolls, I’m not sure that I like these pants for an Ood. They are right against the skin of the Disney dolls, and I’m sure that they would be snug on the larger Barbie dolls. The pants from the Ood pictures I am basing the dolls on depict a roomier leg, so I may have to make my own pattern. I looked through some of the patterns on the Sticka till Barbie website and they all seemed to be the similar to this pattern of pants with only slight variations – often just the color. I think I will make my own pattern for these pants and post it here on the blog. It will be fun to do a knitting pattern for once! That is the one silver lining from this hot mess of an experience.

That is it. I spent a ridiculous number of hours making a pair of pants that don’t even fit the doll I intended them for. Just my luck! Even with the problems I encountered, I feel good about where I’m taking the Ood. Considering the style, I probably would have made a new pair of pants if they had fit, so it isn’t that big of a loss. Plus, I have a cool new pair of pants for the princess dolls to wear as they blaze new trails. It could have been worse. My next update will be about the Ood mask. I will buckle down and finish the first one over the next few days, and I look forward to sharing the journey.

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Who Will Join the Oodkind?

Today was a rather slow day, so I decided to get all of the dolls out to decide which one will become an Ood. Crocheting the mask has hit another road block, and I need a good distraction from that frustration. I also think that it will be better to decide on a doll now so that I can make 100% sure the mask will fit. Honestly, I am amazed by how much size varies between different dolls. This will also give me the freedom to make other pieces of the outfit as the mask continues to frustrate me. Overall, a good direction for this project to go in.

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Originally, I played with the idea of using a cheap generic dolls. You know the type; they have hollow plastic bodies and badly rooted hair. I thought about using them because this doll will be completely covered in clothes and a mask, so you won’t be able to tell what type of doll is underneath. Then I remembered that I have more than enough quality dollsI could use. I can always switch out which doll later on, if needed, so I may as well go for a nicer doll to begin with instead of settling for a lesser item. That led me to look through all the dolls and pick out who would be the best candidate to become an Ood.

As I started looking through dolls, I realized that some of my dolls have more problems than I realized. I found two dolls with head issues, and I chose them for this project. Since the Ood doll is designed to wear a mask, they’re the perfect choice. I decided to create two Ood because I am creating my own pattern for the mask. This means that the first mask will be a prototype and the second will be the final product. This will give me the opportunity to make an Ood with white eyes and one with red eyes. It will be fun opportunity for two dolls that I would not have otherwise used because of their defects.

First we have what I believe is a Teresa doll. I think she is a Teresa doll because of her brown hair. I looked at some Nikki dolls with brown hair, but the nose doesn’t match. This makes me fairly confident in saying she is some type of Teresa doll. She has the same sized feet as the 2006 Beach Glam Barbie I used for Cofelia. However, every beach glam Teresa doll I could find was wearing blue earrings. This doll has no earrings or holes near her ears where earrings were pulled out, so she isn’t a Beach Glam doll. I have no idea who she is beyond just a Teresa doll. She has a 2003 head and a 1999 body, so she is a fairly new doll. Any ideas on who she looks like is appreciated.

**Update**
After talking to my friend Gwendolyn, this doll has been identified as Barbie in a Mermaid Tale Teresa. This doll has the large feet, no earrings, and the same hair. Thanks Gwen! I couldn’t have tracked it down without your help.

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As you can see, her big problem is that somebody took a Sharpie marker to her face. I tried cleaning her with soap, a magic eraser, and some goo-gone, but it didn’t fade the stain at all. Since the stain is right next to her lips, I don’t want to use acetone for fear of wiping away her lipstick. At first my inability to clean her was disappointing, but I am making the best of the situation. She has knees that snap into 3 positions and five points of articulation. Overall, she is a nice doll for this project.

The other doll I chose to join the Oodkind is a Barbie doll. Which one? Your guess is as good as mine! She is an unknown Barbie doll with a 1998 head and a 1966 body. Her arms have articulation at the elbow. and she has a nice hair color. It isn’t the platinum blonde that you see with most dolls; it is a more natural blonde color.

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It is a bit hard to see in the picture above, but her big flaw is her hair. I believe my baby pulled the hair right out of her! I don’t remember buying any dolls with this type of problem. To be honest, it is something I normally would have passed on if I had noticed. I am not at a point where I want to consider rerooting hair. Considering she made her way into the mix, she was a natural pick for this project.

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She also has a slight bend in her right foot. It isn’t as obvious in the pictures, but it is more pronounced when you’re holding her. It isn’t a big enough flaw that I feel like it needs repairing, but I may try a hot water technique for bending it back just for the experience. We shall see! I’m not sure how ambitious I am about it at the moment, but it is a possibility.

I don’t remember exactly where I bought these dolls. I know it was a thrift store, and I also know it wasn’t GoodWill because they don’t have a price written in marker on their feet. I believe these were among the earlier dolls that I found before I started blogging. Sorry that my memory is failing me! I am usually fairly good at remembering where I got dolls and how much I paid. Based on my habits, I can tell you that each doll cost less than $1.00 and were bought second hand.

That is it for today. I feel good about having the dolls chosen for this entry in the blog. Now I know that I can make clothes for them. Luckily, both are the belly-button type of body, so clothes should transfer fairly well between the two of them. I will continue working and re-working the mask, and I do plan on releasing the pattern so that any other ambitious crocheters can make one, too. Keep your eyes out for the next update!

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It’s Raining Men

I hit the jackpot! I feel like the planets aligned and somebody smiled down upon me from on high when I went into town yesterday. We had errands to run, and while out and about I went to two thrift stores. At the first one, I found a modern Ken doll. At the second, I found two vintage Ken dolls and a random generic guy doll. The best part? I only spend $2.25 on the four of them. Score!

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I will start with the first Ken. I went to the thrift store on base, and while there I browsed their Barbie area. They had some new dolls for the first time in weeks! Most of the new ones were vintage dolls with stains or flawed limbs, but hiding at the back of the drawer was a blonde Ken doll! He even has a complete outfit and shoes. I was so excited! I bought him for $1.50 and I thought my day couldn’t get any better. It almost makes me forget about the Headless Ken incident. Almost.

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He isn’t perfect. It looks like somebody tried to pain his lips and nails, but I feel pretty good about my ability to clean him up. Worst-case scenario, I will have to do some repainting on him. As for his identification, it gets a bit tricky. According to Kattis Dolls, this doll is a generic Ken from a 2007 mold. He didn’t have a specific ‘identity’ beyond things like Prince or Groom. This is a bit of a bummer, but in a way it is a good thing. I can reinvent him into whatever I want. What an exciting prospect!

After spending the day in town, we stopped at my favorite thrift store downtown. While there, I managed to find three more male dolls! Best of all, they were only $0.25 each. Seriously! I spent less than a dollar for these guys. I am just so excited that I managed to snag them. You see, when we first got to the store I spent half an hour in the car while my daughter to napped. After she woke up, we went into the store and started shopping. As I was looking at a jogging stroller, an employee came over with a big trolly of toys for the toy area. Right on top, there were some Barbie dolls. Much to my surprise, three were male! Another lady found the brown haired Ken first, but she put it back after examining him and I snagged him up (more into that later). I am so happy things worked out so well. If she hadn’t been napping, we may not have been there as the employee was bringing out the dolls. It is so exciting when timing works out! Luck was really on my side that day.

The first of the three dolls I found at this store is a generic male doll. For some reason, his face reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch. I don’t see any marks that say who he was made by or when he was created. The pain on his face is very faded, and it is something I will need to repaint before he becomes a part of the blog. Still, I am glad to have him onboard. With the right repaint, he could be any number of exciting people from Doctor Who.

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The next doll I bought there is a blonde Ken doll. He looks vintage! I say that because of his weird head and his lack of a year on his head. His looks remind me of a Goomba from that awful live-action Super Mario Brothers movie. His body mold is stamped with 1968, and according to Kattis Dolls, he is a MOD Ken. This means that he was made sometime between 1968 and 1976 for any number of sets. He may be a Malibu Ken; he certainly does resemble the 1974 Malibu Ken pictured on the Kattis Dolls website (as well as others I saw with an image search). He is wearing a yellow outfit that matches his blonde hair and bright smile. I wasn’t able to ID the outfit, but I am glad that he did come with such an interesting outfit. Overall, he rocks!

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The final doll I found at this store is a brunette Ken. He also looks like he has the MOD Ken body and head like the blonde doll above. He comes with a pair of swimming trunks and a bath robe . The robe has seen better days, and so has the doll. The first flaw I noticed about him was a dis-formed foot, but once I got home I realized that his torso had popped out of its joint. No wonder the other lady didn’t want him! He certainly has more flaws than most dolls, but not as many as that Aladdin doll I saw last month. I see his potential, though, and I don’t regret buying him in the slightest. We’ll see if I can rehab him and get him to a usable state. The way I see it, I can’t break him anymore than he is already broken, so I can do some new techniques. I have heard that putting the body in boiling water makes it easier to pop in broken joints. I may try that or just using a hair dryer to fix his body. As for the problems with his chewed-up features, I have heard of people using liquid vinyl (for fixing boats) to do rehab. I don’t know if I’m that brave, but it certainly is something to consider. Even if it is a hot mess, it would make an amusing blog post.

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In the trolly with the guys, they had a few generic lady dolls that I didn’t bother with. There were also three damaged Barbie dolls in the mix – they all had bite marks and puncture wounds like a cat had clawed and bitten them. While I may overlook some flaws with the guys, I have higher standards for the gals because I see them fairly often. I may not have gotten any of those dolls, but, overall, I consider it a winning day because I found these guys.

In other news, I have been making solid progress on the Ood mask. I have been using two different dolls while sizing it – my red haired Barbie and a generic doll without markings. I will go into more detail in another post, but for now I will say that I have to make an entirely new pattern. This will make it take longer than making somebody else’s pattern, so be patient with this one. I am getting frustrated, though, so I may make other parts of the outfit as I continue to fiddle around with it. I’m sure I could knock out a pair of pants in a day or two….. Eh, we’ll see what happens. I also need to decide on a doll to use for it before I start on clothing. The fit varies depending on the body type, and knowing my luck I would make an outfit to fit the belly-button type and end up choosing one with an older body.

That’s it! Like the title says, it is raining men here at Barbie Who! I am very excited that the number of male dolls in the collection has tripled. Tripled! I just can’t believe it. I have been collecting dolls from thrift stores for about a year now, and this is the first time that I have found more than one male doll in a day. They may have a few flaws, but I can work with that. I am very excited for the future possibilities these dolls bring with them. Now I feel obligated to make a gentleman be the next entry on the blog. The only question is who….

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Third Time’s a Charm

For the third doll, I am recreating an Ood. Surprised? So am I. I wanted to make Donna, but my white crochet thread is MIA and I refuse to buy a new spool. It’s just the principle of the matter. Instead, I decided to go with a cool alien from one of my favorite Donna adventures. The Ood are an alien race from Doctor Who. They are telepathic and have two brains – one in their head and one they carry in their hands (the hindbrain). Humans enslaved the Ood to do general house tasks in the 39th century; they did this by removing their hindbrain and replacing it with a translator sphere. For centuries humans believed that the Ood were docile and offered themselves into servitude, but in reality their temperment came from the removal of the hindbrain. This also disabled their telepathic abilities, which caused their normally white eyes to turn bright red. The humans believed that the resergence of red eyes was a disease, but the Doctor and Donna were able to uncover the sad truth about Ood enslavement. Thankfully, with the Doctor and Donna’s help, the Ood were returned to their home planet to live in freedom.

The cool thing about the Ood is how they are a modern addition to Doctor Who. They made their debut during the reign of the Tenth Doctor and have popped up occasionally in other episodes since then. While many classify them as bad guys, I consider them more misunderstood. I feel like the humans were the bigger villains during their main episodes and the Ood were just standing up for themselves.

My favorite Ood episode has to be Planet of the Ood. The episodes starts off with the Ood looking like the villians, but it turns out the corporation is the real monster because they lobotomize Ood before selling them as servants. It also has a particularly touching moment with Donna – she first thought that traveling with the Doctor would be nothing but fun and adventures, but she realized that bad people still existed and did terrible things on a terrible scale at all points in history. I think that this realization is something that most people go through at one point in their lives. In the end, the Doctor and Donna save the day. The Ood are freed and sent back home, the evil head of the corporation is turned into an Ood, and Donna decides to continue traveling with the Doctor.

I haven’t decided what doll I am going to use for this Ood. I think that I will use one of the generic dolls I have around the house. I would hate to cover up the face and hair of a good Barbie doll, so I will go with one of the other dolls that I’ve picked up. One thrift store I frequent has the uncanny ability to package a nice doll with a generic one; it is brilliant on their part, but it has given me 4 or 5 dolls that are made from hollow plastic that I hadn’t planned on using for the blog. I will look at the prospective dolls and decide which one to use after I do some preliminary pattern scouting. Body shape does play a big part in making these clothes, so I will try to go with a doll with the body that best fits the pattern I want to use.

To create this Ood, I plan on modifying a human-sized crochet face mask I found on Pinterest. Sizing it down should be interesting; I just hope that I won’t have to start entirely from scratch when making it. It just depends on how well my smaller materials match the pattern. The Adipose sized down very well; the only change I made was in the arms and legs. Still, this a mask is quite the different fish from a plush. Luckily, I am fairly good at free-hand crocheting when needed. It should be interesting to see how it goes! In addition to the mask, I will also have to make the hindbrain and a black outfit for the Ood to wear. I am not sure what type of accessory I will make for my Ood just yet; I believe I will watch an episode or two of Doctor Who before deciding.

This should be fun! I am hoping that it will go rather quickly since I am crocheting the mask. I haven’t decided if I want to knit or crochet the outfit yet. Hopefully I can knit it! I really want to test out my new set of 2.00 mm knitting needles. I plan on browsing the Sticka till Barbie website to see if anything strikes me as Ood-like; if not then I will probably crochet a pair of pants and modify the Pea Coat Pattern to fit an Ood. That being said, it will likely be a while before I make my final decision on the outfit. Right now, I am focusing on choosing a doll and making the mask. Until next time, cheers!

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Supplies Shopping

Today was a pretty good day! I went into town for a doctor’s appointment, and while there the kiddo and I went shopping. I have to make the best of the long drive, after all.

I wound up going to a few thrift stores, but we didn’t find any new dolls. My husband thinks this is a good thing, but I was bummed. I had such good luck finding dolls last year! Where are they hiding in 2015? One fun thing we did find were a few board books. My daughter enjoys looking at the pictures and having me read them to her. I was happy to find something she gets so much joy from. The books kept her occupied as we ran errands in town, and that alone was worth the dollar we spent on them. Plus they will continue to entertain at home. Everybody wins!

My last stop of the day was to the hobby shop. I spent waaaaay too much time just browsing the shelves for fun new things. I was very tempted to buy a yarn winder. I keep seeing them on Facebook and everybody seems to love them. I couldn’t really justify spending $50 on an accessory, so the yarn winder is still on the shelf. However, I did spend $4 on a new set of knitting needles. I wanted to buy a standard pair of 2 mm knitting needles, but the smallest size our local hobby shop carries is 5 mm. Luckily, they did have a set of double-pointed needles in the size I need. Because the things I create are generally small, I don’t see the DPNs being a problem. The needles I bought are made out of aluminum and are in a fun red color. I can’t wait to break them in!

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I plan on using point protectors if my work slides off. Right now, I don’t have a set that will fit well on these tiny needles. It is on my wish-list for the next time I made it to the hobby shop. Now that I have a proper set of needles, I really want to knit something with them for the blog. I have been looking at different knitting patterns, and I am very close to deciding on the next doll for the blog. I have narrowed it down to two candidates. My first choice is to do Donna in her wedding dress, and right now the only thing keeping me from choosing her is my inability to find my size 10 white thread. I found some size 30 white thread, but I can’t see myself making something that large with such fine thread. If I don’t find the proper thread by tomorrow, I will just go with the other option and wait for the thread to turn up on its own. Trust me, nothing makes a lost crafting item appear than moving on to the next project. Anyways, I will make a decision and post my plans very soon. Until then, cheers!

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