All together now: make your happy sound. Like you’re 5 and expected that your grandmother was going to knit your “lovies” the backpack and pillows you asked for (and received) but then she knit this too. It’s Frankie Brown’s Cradle Bag.
The pattern is free and includes the cradle, with its combo sleeping bag, and attached pillow. Here’s one of the best parts of this:
You pull up on the cradle sides, gather the cords together, and your doll is packed up and ready to go. As with all Brown’s patterns, this one’s a freebie. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn. I used Sandes Garn’s “Smart,” a washable wool. I’ve not used this yarn before. It feels great and worked up very nicely.
I had trouble finding a quality 5 inch doll. I purchased my Berenguer Itty Bitty 5 inch baby doll from this Etsy seller. I am tickled with the Cradle Bag and with the quality of Itty Bitty.
Clearly, she needed some itty bitty clothes.
This is Frankie Brown’s freebie Mini Doll Summertime, wearing the hat from the companion rompers included in the same pattern.
I knit mine in Kate Davies Milarrochy Tweed. I bought these colors of this pricey yarn for a special project that didn’t work. But I’ve had fun using small amounts of it in other projects.
This next one is from the same Mini Doll Summertime pattern. Brown calls them “rompers.” Same hat as the red one, but I added a band and a tiny knitted flower. I knit this set in Brooklyn Tweed Peerie. These tiny outfits use so little yarn that I was able to knit them in small amounts of leftovers from other projects. You need about as much yarn as you’d use in the heel of a sock!
Rather than make two straps and fasten them in the back with a small sew-on snap, as the pattern directs, I decided to criss-cross the straps in the back. Then I sewed them both to the ribbed band. Why? I didn’t have any small snaps. My hack makes it harder to dress the doll. But my granddaughter quickly figured it out. You put the feet in first, bring the dolls arms down next to her body, and then the arms go through the straps easily.
Next up Itty Bitty is modeling a heavily modified version of Angelica Dress for 5″ doll by Taffylass. The original is cute, but the size was coming out way off for me, even when I went down a number of needle sizes. The hat is Joyce Summers freebie Sun Hat for 5-inch Doll. The white and yellow are the same yarn as the Cradle Bag. And that green is a bit of Plymouth Yarn Superwash Merino DK.
Here’s the same hat knit in the Plymouth Yarn superwash.
These little bits are such quick knits that even a blind follower knitter like me is tempted to experiment. The diaper cover is my experiment. It worked out just fine. I cast on 24 stitches in the round. Then I knit 3 rounds of k2, p2. In the next round, I knit 4, made 1, around the round because Itty Bitty is fat, fat the water rat. I’m sorry, I meant to say that Itty Bitty is chubby. Then I knit 5 rounds. In the next round, I k2 together, k 3 all around the round to the last 4 stitches, k 4. For the top ribbing, I K1, p1 for 3 rounds. I reversed direction and bound off loosely, knit wise. To create the leg holes, I just stitched through the middle stitches at the bottom of the ribbing.
So far, the knits were easy and not really fiddly. These last two were admittedly fiddly, but I like them best of all. This one is Frankie Brown’s Mini Doll Bedtime. My granddaughter reached for these first off. She seems quite taken with these pjs. They are knit in Wobble Gobble SW Merino Fingering Weight.
Brown is really a major knitting talent. And her doll outfits are just the tip of a very big iceberg. This next set is from her Mini Doll Wintertime pattern. It’s a frilly skirt and hat in Socks that Rock leftovers and a sweater in Peppino by Rhichard Devrieze.
Here’s a look at the whole set. You’ll see me experimenting with a pair of underpants. And there’s a pair of pants too.
And, finally, one more look at Frankie Brown’s sweet cradle bag.
My dad might have said it’s “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” What’s the greatest thing before sliced bread, you might ask? The expression derives from a 1921 advertising campaign for Wonder Bread that bragged it was “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.” Somehow our collective brain thought that funny and transposed the expression from wrapping bread to pre-slicing it. This little cradle bag is an old idea. Maybe it helped a child occupy themselves when they needed to be quiet. Like in church. My granddaughter thinks it’s…the greatest thing. Period.