Dolores van Hoofen and her Transatlantic Travel Ensemble – FO Review

It was Marilee’s posts about her own Dolores that got me wanting to do my own. Reading those Dolores posts back in 2018 who would have thought that 4 years later I’d get to meet Marilee (and her Dolores) in Wisconsin with other blogging friends! Commenting on those Dolores posts was the start of a great friendship, pretty incredible when Marilee is in Alaska and I’m in the Scottish Highlands.

Now Marilee’s Dolores has a fabulous wardrobe of outfits, but for me in the UK it seemed perfect that I pick the Transatlantic Travel ensemble for mine. My thanks go to Bonny (of BonnyKnits) for allowing me to get Dolores kits posted to her in Missouri and to Sarah (of Mildly Granola) for giving the kits a lift to Wisconsin. It was a team effort getting her to me. Makes her even more special in my eyes! She will forever remind me of my US blogging/knitter friends.

Dolores has asked me to let everyone know it’s spelt Dolores, never Delores.

Details

Patterns:

Dolores van Hoofen by Franklin Habit (Kit was available from WEBS in USA)

Transatlantic Travel Ensemble by Fiona Ellis (Kit was available from WEBS but they seem to be out of kits at the moment and just have some outfit PDFs).

(1st links are to my Ravelry pages which have yarn details.)

Yarns:

The kits came with the yarns required and patterns Hopefully they will re-stock the kits and there’ll be more fabulous Dolores sheep out there. The kits contained:

  • Valley Yarns Valley Superwash (white x 3 (50g) and black x 1 (50g)) for Dolores, her hat and stripy shawl)
  • Sunglasses!

  • Valley Yarns Huntington (grey x 1 (50g)) for skirt, jumper trim and neck thingy
  • Tahki Yarns Donegal Tweed Fine (red x 1 (50g)) for jumper and neck thingy
  • Wellington boots!

Cost:

Dolores kit $37.99

Transatlantic Travel Ensemble kit $22.39

Total (excluding labour but including postage on both kits to a friend in the US) = $67.39, which at the time of purchase was £53.38.

Timeline:

Started Dolores 9th September 2022, finished 5th January 2023

Started outfit 1st October 2022, finished 1st January 2023.

Pattern summary

Overall Dolores was fun to knit, her outfit was a little less fun but I think she looks fabulous and I’ve learned a few new skills, including how to sew front, back and arms of a jumper together with the help of Marilee.

Dolores was a pretty quick knit on the body but the limbs are a bit fiddly if you aren’t great at using DPNs. The tail is double knit and that’s my first time using that method and boy it seems so simple now I want to make a bigger project using it.

I made errors galore in knitting her and the outfit but I’ve left them in, for example one of her legs has one less stitch circumference, I forgot to cast on her jumper front and back pieces with the contrast colour. I intentionally skipped doing the cables on the back piece and just used moss stitch for part and then switched to garter stitch to make it even quicker. Her skirt has slightly too many stitches, there are other errors but I won’t list them all. No one is going to see her back. Hopefully no one will look up her skirt either as sewing on her legs is a bit messy.

The instructions are really clear with circumference etc. I wasn’t quite sure how dense to stuff her although they do give you diameter sizes for her different parts but I feel since stuffing her I could have fit more in to make her firmer but she’s pretty cuddly (not fat) already.

The pattern is clear, the errors are all my own carelessness.

The only thing I really don’t like is her pillbox hat…so I turned it inside out and it’s now a beret!

Yarn Summary

The white and black yarns had a good twist and are plump yarns so she is soft and squishy feeling.

The grey of her skirt was a very splitty yarn and one I wouldn’t want to use again. I pressed it with the iron, steamed it and it’s still curling a fair bit.

The Donegal Tweed is spun very finely and a single so can snap if pulled too much when sewing pieces together. It looks great though I think.

There is a small amount of each left but not a lot of wastage, I could potentially use the leftovers to make her something else…cross strap handbag maybe? Of maybe a bobble hat. I may add more hair curls down the back of her neck so will keep that just in case she complains about feeling a draught 😂

Photo Gallery

Today the weather is miserable with very dark skies, high wind and rain so only indoor photos possible and I’m too impatient to share her with you to wait for better weather.

14 comments

  1. Your Dolores is just adorable! I am so glad that you finally have a Dolores of your own, and also that we are friends 🙂 Maybe someday we will be able to get together again. And we will have to bring our Doloreses!!

    Liked by 1 person

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