For anyone who read my recent article in ‘Piecework’ about Charlotte Bronte making the clothes for an employer’s dolls’ house dolls… this would fit the original dolls we documented, there…


Check out my patterns or links to them on

where you can find me as Penelopespider:


and also in our Etsy shop:


Occasionally, I will put a free pattern here.  You can also search my archive of blog posts (or find links on Ravelry pointing to the relevant posts) where there are some free patterns.

COMING SOON:  Alex’s Gansey pattern;

Lansallos pattern (first published in ‘The Knitter’);

Hetty the Hap Shawl  (first published in ‘The Knitter’).



I occasionally publish pieces about historical dolls (usually wooden or cloth, 19thc).  So,  for those dear Readers who enjoy such things….

Hitty Aethereal Dress

Here’s a quick pattern for a dress for a 6″ doll, based on genuine Victorian lace edging (so the skirt is knitted sideways…)  You can do this beaded, or unbeaded and use up any oddment of laceweight you may have lying around.

For anyone who read my recent article in ‘Piecework’ about Charlotte Bronte making the clothes for an employer’s dolls’ house dolls… this would fit the original dolls we documented, there.  (This pattern would work well for a ‘Hitty’ style doll or a repro of a Grodnertal or similar 19thC doll of roughly 6″ in height).

You Need:

1.75mm needles

Tiny crochet hook to bead the yarn as you knit (or thread beads on yarn before you start)

Glass/pearl/Swarowski/semi precious beads

Laceweight yarn  (I used YarnAddict’s Pure Silk, but any laceweight would work).



For this dress, the skirt is knitted flat and seam sewn up when you’re finished knitting.  The bodice and sleeves are knitted in the round.


When completed, I mounted the skirt on some contrasting backing fabric (I used lightweight dark blue linen). This is optional.


This dress fits my beautiful Wanda Harrigan Hitty.

Lace is quite stretchy so this should probably work for most six inch-ish modern or antique Hittys, Mason-Taylor reproductions, or similar.  I knitted the waistband in ribbing to make it look more fitted.

You could always decrease a couple of stitches at the waistband if you have a slender Hitty, and increase in the final round of waistband before starting Chart B, if you want a more fitted look or have a slimmer Hitty.





CO 22 stitches, loosely. Leave a long tail (around 12”) so you can use this to sew up the back seam, when you’re finished knitting.


Work Chart A (Victorian zig zag lace) til you have 12 points. I knitted a bead into the tip of each point (ie: Bead final stitch in row 8).

CO loosely


Continue to randomly bead the bodice and sleeves or not, as you prefer.


Chart A

Hitty Aethereal Chart Zig Zag Lace




PU 64 stitches evenly across top (straight) edge of skirt.

Row 1: (K2 tog) to end row [32 stitches]

Join in the round, PM

Work 4 rounds in K1, P1 ribbing


Bodice pattern:

(Stocking st on right side)

Row 1: K

Row 2: K

Row 3: K2, * YO, K2 tog, K1; rep from * to end round

Row 4: K


Repeat bodice pattern til you have 3 full pattern repeats, ending with round 4.

Now work flat.

Next 2 rounds: garter stitch (Purl both rows)

Work 1st 11 stitches.

Place central 10 stitches on safety pin/waste yarn – these will later be the front neck of the bodice.

Place last 11 stitches on safety pin/waste yarn – these will later be the second sleeve.


Returning to your 11 sleeve stitches – Make 6  [17 sts]

Join in the round.

Work 1 round purl.

Work two complete repeats of Bodice pattern, as above (8 rounds)

Work 3 rounds garter stitch

Cast off loosely.


Make second sleeve to match



PU 10 stitches waiting for you.

PU 32 stitches across bodice sleeves and back   [42 sts]

Work 1 round knit

Work 1 round purl

Work 1 round knit

Cast off loosely.



Weave in ends and use long tail of cast on to sew up the back seam in the skirt.



CO = cast on

PM = Place marker

PU = Pick up



One reply on “PATTERNS”

Lovely pattern and website. BTW I have tried to get a copy of your book ‘River Ganseys’, but with no luck so far. I’d love to get a copy of the new 2nd edition. Is it ready for pre-order yet or am I too late?


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