Studying with Julie Arkell in Denmark

I was incredibly fortunate to get to study again with Julie Arkell in Denmark. The course was very similar to the one I did in France two years ago. That time, Julie Arkell showed me how to knit dolls’ clothes – not with a pattern, but by knitting a little, holding it up to the doll, and then making adjustments. With this approach you can knit any garment for any weird-sized-and-shaped doll. Since then, I’ve tried knitting for my dolls with rather mixed results. Although I understood the principle, it hasn’t worked very well for me. So this course was a good opportunity to really try and nail it.

However, you should have seen Julie’s face when I asked for her suggestions on how to knit a cardigan for Siamese twins.

Julie Arkell Course-3

Luckily, she did eventually come up with an idea, and it worked out beautifully.

She showed me a new way she knits hoods for her dolls. I was inspired by her recent crows to make this Scavenger figure. Inside its belly is a bottle that washed up on the beach in Thailand, found by my excellent-scavenger-girlfriend Paula, and a little frozen Charlotte doll I’d made.

Julie Arkell Course-1

I made this cat too. No knitted garments for her, as it turned out.

Julie Arkell Course-2

On the second day of the workshop I realised that if I really wanted to nail the knitting thing, I’d have to knit a onesie. So I quickly added a fourth doll to my collection, inspired by one of Julie’s very sweet figures who wears a onesie. This added a fair bit of pressure to my schedule as I raced to finish everything before the course was over. I JUST made it – except for the actual onesie! In the last hour, Julie gave me instructions for how to go it alone.

And then I did, by myself, and I was astonished to see it turned out fantastically.

Onesie Boy-1

My four little creatures then travelled with me right across Norway. At every destination, I’d take them out of my case to avoid them getting squashed, and so create a small art display. It felt very charming and companionable, having them there, watching over me day after day.

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