It’s been about two years since I knit this, so this post is going to be based off my notes and my memory. If I knit another one and find errors I will correct them.
First of all, this post is not a pattern. It’s a summary of what I did to convert the Dolphin Bay Eyelet Baby Top from the Naturally Caron site to fit an adult 42cm slim mini ball-jointed doll (specifically a Resinsoul Mei, default single jointed body). You will need to have a copy of the original pattern for this to make any sense at all. It’s free, go get it.
I used extra fine crochet cotton (#30 I think, I lost the label years ago), 000 (1.5mm) and 00000 (5/0, 1mm) needles. The final gauge in stockinette after blocking and plenty of wear is about 6-6.25 st/cm or 151/4-157/8 sts/in
[And now I’m going to quietly freak out about knitting about 61-63.5 sts to 4″/10cm….]
Step 1: Convert the lace yoke pattern for the smallest size to be knit in the round rather than back and forth. The pattern is well written and this should not be too difficult. Note that I also changed the k3tog to sk2p.
Step 2: Using your larger needles cast on 128 stitches (8 repeats of the lace pattern) and work rounds 1-14 of the yoke pattern.
Switch to your smaller needles and work round 15 and then four rounds of k1, p1 ribbing and bind off loosely. Check that the yoke fits on your doll’s neck before cutting the thread.
Step 3: With your larger needles and starting at one of the purl to knit transitions on the cast on edge, pick up 40 stitches across three knit and two purl segments of the yoke for the back.
The above photo may help make that more clear. This was taken after the following two steps were completed.
Step 4: Make short rows as follows to even out the back so it’s straight across. When the instructions say “turn” use whatever method you like, I used Japanese short rows, then knit or purl back to the end of the row. Close any gaps as you pass over them.
Step 5: Cast on underarms and pick up the front. The underarms are “middle of the row” cast ons, so use whatever method you prefer for those. I generally use the crochet cast on, but knitting on or the cable cast on would work just as well. I would avoid the thumb cast on because it can become very loose and this will be the finished edge of the armhole.
Cast on 10 stitches for the underarm
Pick up 40 stitches for the front as for the back, placing markers after 12 and 28 stitches (16 stitches between markers).
Cast on 10 stitches for the second underarm and join to work in the round.
The start of the round is now the middle of the second underarm that you cast on (left underarm).
Knit 16 rounds. This should be right at the fullest point of the bust, the back will be lower than the front.
Step 6: Work short rows for the bust. Again, use whatever method you like and close the gaps as you pass over them. After turning continue to the next line of instructions.
Knit to the second marker, turn
Knit to the end of the round
At this point the front and back should be even and the bust should be covered.
Knit 12, place marker, k16, place marker, knit to the end of the round, closing the remaining short row gap.
You should have something that looks similar to the above image at this point.
Step 7: Do waist decreases.
Knit to 2 stitches before first marker, k2tog, knit to second marker, slip marker, ssk, repeat for the second half of the round.
Knit 3 rounds
Repeat the last four rounds.
Work the decrease round once more.
Knit 20 rounds.
Step 8: Do hip increases. I mirrored my m1 increases, right leaning at the first and third markers, left leaning at the second and fourth.
Knit to the first marker, m1, slip marker, knit to the second marker, slip marker, m1, repeat for the second half of the round.
Knit 3 rounds
Repeat the last 4 rounds three more times (104 stitches)
Step 9: Knit the hem lace pattern. There are 8 repeats per round. Every row is shown in the chart.
Bind off loosely in pattern.
Weave in ends and block.
Blocking this can be a bit challenging. Mine is knit in cotton so I wet blocked it, laying it flat and tugging the hem and shoulders into shape. I rolled up a bit of paper towel to fill out the bust area as it air dried.
I think, if I were doing this now, I would do the same until I was in the middle of the 20 rounds at the waist and then knit the hem pattern from the original baby top, adapted as needed, up to the waist and then graft the two parts. I like the top down construction for the ease of fitting the bust but I suspect the bottom up hem lace would look better.