Book Review: "Babes in the Wool" by Fiona MacDonald - Amazing Dolls to Knit

by KathleenDuffy

Here's a book that shows you how to knit really glamorous, contemporary dolls. They really are stunning - a far cry from the traditional knitted doll. I'm hooked!

To be honest, I was never really a ‘doll’ person, but Fiona MacDonald's "Babes in the Wool" has changed all that. I'm a convert! These dolls really are ‘babes’! They're trendy, attractive, up-to-date and - most importantly- really easy to knit!

Looking at the pictures you might think they are quite difficult to construct - but actually, this isn’t so. The author makes everything easy to understand, going through the construction of the body parts bit by bit with easy-to-follow, clear instructions.

All the clothes are up-to-the minute trendy, and very quick and easy to construct.

And isn’t the hair fabulous? Well - it’s easily done!   There’s a rooted method which involves the simple use of a crochet hook with spectacular results, or the use of fake hair by stitching.  And the clothes are stylish but again, simple to knit.  

Two Sizes of Doll to Choose From

There are two sections in the book - the first is for smaller dolls (19 ¾”, 50cm high) with a simple nose structure, whilst the second gives more complex instructions for sculpting a more life-like nose and these dolls stand at 23 ¼”, 59cms high. 

The front is different to the back in these larger dolls, giving a more sculptured appearance to the body and they also have a thumb!  (Handy for when they have to apply their nailpolish!)

Create Your Own Character Dolls!

Use the basic pattern and then just use your imagination!

The beauty of these dolls is that you can use the basic elements to create your own dolls.   I was devastated when The Killing  (the Danish TV series) ended, but I comforted myself by knitting my own Danish version Sarah Lund doll using the basic small doll version from the book and adapting the clothing. 

Sarah Lund doll I wanted this doll to look like a specific, recognisable person so I cheated.  I took a picture of Sarah Lund (Danish version)from a magazine and cut out the eyes, mouth and eyebrows and carefully glued them onto the face, then varnished them. Obviously this is a doll for an adult! 


Bradley Wiggins doll

For my Bradley Wiggins doll I used the larger version of the doll.  

Bradley is a cycling hero, winner of the Tour de France and Olympic gold - so  this was a present for my son's birthday as he is a keen amateur cyclist. 

 I've still got to make the gold medal and ribbon and the trainers!

The dolls are quick to knit up - I suppose it took me about two days to produce the finished object in my limited spare time.  A quick knitter could make one in a day.  

I used inexpensive double knitting wool (also known as 8-ply or light worsted) and ordered the polyester fibrefill from the internet.

You can buy Polyester Fiberfill online

Fairfield Crafter's Choice Fiberfill ...

This is a brilliant book which I would highly recommend to all knitters who want to knit unusual, quirky items.

And unlike many knitting projects - there’s never a dull moment with these Babes in the Wool!


Updated: 07/13/2013, KathleenDuffy
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BrendaReeves on 03/14/2013

Thanks, maybe I'll give it another try.

KathleenDuffy on 03/14/2013

Hi Brenda - Yes, it's quite a manouvre. I didn't sew up the neck and shoulders fully until I had turned the torso inside out, which left room to turn it right side out. With the arms and legs I turned them right side out by gently pushing the inside out very slowly and carefully with the blunt end of a pencil. I know what you mean - it's a bit tricky.

BrendaReeves on 03/13/2013

Kathleen, I have the Babes in the Wool book. I knitted the body, but then I couldn't turn it right side out, because it was knit so tight like the author says to do. What was your experience?

KathleenDuffy on 03/13/2013

I'll check that out!

Ragtimelil on 03/13/2013

I have an article on needle felting a pumpkin. It's just an introduction to needle felting.

KathleenDuffy on 03/13/2013

I've never done needle felting! What is it? Sounds interesting.

Ragtimelil on 03/13/2013

these are Cool! I've done needle felted dolls but never got into knitting them, These might be worth trying!

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