Thursday, 20 March 2014

Meet Oscar

I collect dolls.

There I've admitted it.

I also have quite a collection of inexpensive teddy bears, although I do have a huge replica Steiff bear that was bought for me for my 50th birthday. I have some very expensive, very lifelike dolls and I have some cheap and cheerful vinyl dolls, including Cabbage Patch Kids and play dolls. I suppose they are my substitute children now all mine are grown and, just like I used to do for my kids, I sometimes knit for my dolls.

This is Oscar. He's a 15inch, all vinyl, anatomically correct African boy. He cost me £20 from Ebay and I also got an Asian girl doll at the same time. Unusually for this type of doll he and the girl both have a full head of lifelike hair which is why I bought them as I don't care for bald-headed dolls.

 As you can see Oscar is now sporting a nifty hand-knitted, all-in-one with a pointed pixie hood. Oscar is very pleased to be finally wearing this garment since he's been lying around in my bedroom stark naked since before Christmas waiting for me to finish off his clothes. I finally sewed it all together and knitted the front bands a week ago, and then it got left again while I hunted for suitable buttons that wouldn't cost the Earth. Why, oh, why do I never have just the right sized buttons in the correct colour in my button tin? Anyway, my local wool shop came up trumps and I paid just 48p for the 4 buttons; the wool for the all-in-one was from my stash. 

Oscar is very cosy in his new clothes and now his adopted Asian sister would also like something warm to wear as well. I'm currently working on the second of a pair of socks for my mother-in-law as Mother's Day gift, and when they're finished I'll look through my collection of  vintage doll's clothes patterns and make her something pretty.

I do have pangs of guilt about spending money and time on making things for dolls when there are real kiddies out there who need clothing, but I do also make things for charity although the cost of postage makes it very expensive to mail things off nowadays. It cost me over £9 to mail a few bits last year for KAS (Knit a Square) and nearly £6 to send some teddies and cloth bags for the Teds to Zimbabwe Challenge. It makes me wonder if its worthwhile when that money could simply be donated instead.

I wonder if anyone else on here collects dolls or teddies/soft toys or am I the only one who has never grown up?


  1. Guilty as charged. I have a few dolls and my daughter has lashings of teddy bears. We have a chaise lounge (it won't let me write it) filled with bears and dolls. My latest acquisitions were three toddler dolls that look like mine did. I hadn't thought to dress them.

    1. The main reason I collect the cheaper dolls is so that I can dress them. I also have some life-sized collectable vinyl dolls by Masterpiece Galleries. I have one the size of a 4-5 year old child. They all live in my bedroom well away from our 2 kitties who would chew the fingers and cover them in fur.

  2. Maybe you could knit for local charities & so be able to keep knitting, keep donating & avoid postage. Yes, postage rates are a great consideration these days, aren't they? A few suggestions for charity knits below, but ring first to see if they do take knitted goods & if they have special considerations which are best to know about before you cast on. Good luck.

    Homeless shelters - hats & scarves.
    Local hospital, - children's ward may take knitted teddies (Teddies for tragedies site for patterns), maternity unit for baby clothes, infant burial gowns, special care baby unit for preemie size items (caps, not bonnets - health & safety).
    Old people's homes - lap blankets, bed socks.
    Some police forces accept Teddies (teddies for tragedies pattern), family protection units give them to child witnesses /victims.
    Women's Aid /refuges accept lap blankets as many women have only what they stand up in on arrival, & an Afghan /lapblanket is one size fits all, & shows that someone does care.
    Operation Christmas Child - shoe boxes full of goodies for deprived children abroad, are always glad of top up items for their boxes so you don't have to fill a box, just keep knitting & give the knitted items to an organiser in your area. There are strict rules here so that an item does not make the whole lorry load get stranded at customs, so no hand knitted stuffed toys (they have to have European CE mark, as may be flammable or used for drug smuggling), no clothing (it's a gift, not an aid parcel) however hats, mittens or gloves & scarves suitable for ages two to fourteen are always welcome, as are knitted glove puppets (they have no stuffing). Look on their website for patterns & ideas @

    I'm sure other people will have ideas too, maybe a google search will throw up some more knitting opportunities in your local area. I know that many charites like knitted goods to be in acrylic as it's washable & non allergenic, cheaper for knitters too.
    I often pop by your blog, & enjoy reading it. Why not knit for your dolls, it's a hobby after all. It seems a nice balance to kinit some things for yourself or family (or dolls) & some for charity. This has turned into a long reply, hope it's been of some use! Best wishes, Vee x

    1. Thank you for your lengthy reply. Lots of ideas there. For some reason I never really considered contacting my local hospital or old people's homes,but I will now. I usually find out about charities online through sites such as Loving Hands, but they are national so that's where the postage issue comes itno it. I love knitting baby stuff and also blankets so that would satisfy both of those interests. I generally knit in cheap acrylic anyway, especially for my dolls so I don't feel guilty about spending money on them. I'm glad to hear you pop on here to read my witterings, it's great to meet you. Love, Helen x

  3. I send to KAS but within a group which means we have to fundraise, it can be a right pain. The postage cost so much. I have a friend that belongs to several groups so I knit things and give them to him and he gives them to the right people. I begrudge giving Royal Mail more money!

    1. Hi, Bridget. Unfortunately the only group I know of close to me meets on a Tuesday morning at the same time as my slimming club, but it would be nice to craft with others and share the cost of mailing items. The Royal Mail's latest price rises and their new size/weight categories make sending all but the smallest, thinnest parcels exhorbitant. At Christmas it would have cost over £12 to send a few bits to DH's mum so we went with another carrier for half the price. Vee, who left a comment above, had suggested finding more local charities and I think that's the way I'll go. There's an Age UK centre in town so I might contact them to see if they require any knitted or sewn goods, and also the local hospital.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.