The Story of the Tiny Stocking Caps and Poor Evelyn Who Made Them…

You might have seen these little stocking caps for sale in my store.

Well there’s a story behind these hand-knitted miniature stocking caps. I don’t knit, but I can tell you a little about the woman who did make them. Today I want to share what I can of her sad story.

I was driving around Twin Falls, Idaho (a town near where I live) this past spring, and I saw a sign in front of a church that said, “Crafters’ Rummage Sale and Exchange.”

On a yellow background, we see a grey table top with a church in the far background. The grey tabletop sports fabrics, embroidery floss, scissors, paint supplies, thread, a pin cushion, a basket of yarn, etc... and the text reads as follows: "Do you have old fabrics, yarn, and crating items you'd like to exchange or sell? The church is having a crafters' rummage sale and exchange! Come check it out!" with the largest text stating "Crafters' Rummage Sale and Exchange!"
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Of course I couldn’t pass up the chance to see what was being offered at this “Crafters’ Rummage Sale.” At the very least, I thought I could exchange business cards with some of the other crafters.

In the church building, they had set up booths for crafters, many of whom were simply trying to de-stash their craft supplies by selling rolls of fabric, bags of buttons, skeins of yarn and embroidery floss, etc…

I approached one booth, where a lady had mini quilts and pre-cut quilt squares spread out or folded on her booth’s table, among other bits and bobbles.

In a very block-format style, an artist has created an image of a woman standing at her craft fair booth, holding a clipboard. Behind her is a modern art wall or a modern art style quilt hanging on a wall. In front of her is a semi-circular table loaded with craft supplies: folded fabrics, fabric quarters, patches, ribbons, strings, and rolls of fabric. Behind her and to the left is a set of shelves. On these shelves are multi-colored boxed, bagged, and canned objects.
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On a rack that was sort of hidden behind her table I found a bag of teeny-tiny, hand-knitted stocking caps in a variety of colors.

I thought they might fit dolls like Barbie and smaller, but I wasn’t sure.

“Are these for sale?” I asked.

A digital bag with handles has been manipulated to show a variety of tiny miniature hand-knitted stocking caps in a wide variety of colors, as if these hats are all inside the shopping bag, but clearly this image is digitally enhanced, created using the "frames" feature in Canva.
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“Oh, those? Yeah, I guess. I’m not sure what to charge for them though.”

“How does two dollars sound?” I was thinking I would buy just one hat for that price.

“I didn’t make them,” the lady said, “Evelyn did. And we were in charge of going through her stuff — you know, her estate — so I just sort of brought them along today, but I didn’t know if anybody would even want them.”

I stood there, sort of dumbfounded. The woman in the booth must have assumed I was a member of their church and knew who Evelyn was. But I wasn’t a member of their church, and I didn’t know Evelyn.

The way she talked about Evelyn was sort of demeaning though, and I wondered why the woman in the booth would assume that I would share such a low opinion of her. Did every member of this church talk about Evelyn that way?

It sounded like Evelyn had died. But what was her story?

Was she a relative of the lady behind the booth, or just a fellow church-member who’d entrusted this woman with her belongings after she’d passed?

Had Evelyn been a hoarder, and this lady was resentful for being in charge of the estate after Evelyn’s death? Or was Evelyn her mother-in-law, and perhaps the two of them didn’t get along?

I imagined Evelyn living out a lonely existence, with no one coming to visit. In my imagination, she sat in her fluffy chair, knitting tiny stocking caps for a project no one would ever learn about.

A woman sits in a turquoise blue chair, her legs crossed, knitting a tiny stocking cap. At her feet are two balls of yarn.
Please visit for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

Clearly Evelyn had spent long hours making these tiny stocking caps. There were about a hundred of them in the bag.

But the woman in the church rummage sale booth was very nonchalant about this bag of little hats in a lovely variety of colors. I wanted her to show some respect for Evelyn’s hard work.

The stocking caps were so tiny! So small! Each of them would fit on the end of one of my fingers!

A woman's hand is held up in front of a purple fabric background. On the tips of each of her fingers is a hand-knitted stocking cap. I will describe each stocking cap from left (on the thumb) to right (on the pinkie finger): far left is a black stocking cap with a white pom-pom on top and a folded, short cuff. Next is a green hand-knitted stocking cap with a cuff; next is a burgundy-colored stocking cap with a cuff; next is a navy blue stocking cap with a cuff and a pink pom-pom on top. On the pinky is a yellow hand-knitted stocking cap with cuff.
Please visit for free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorial videos for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

“These little hats must have been a true labor of love,” I said.

But the lady in the booth didn’t seem to care one whiff about them! “Yeah, I don’t know what she thought she was going to do with these things. What a waste of time, making a gazillion of them for nothing.”

Determined to honor the memory of Evelyn and all the work she had put into these tiny stocking caps, I asked, “What sounds like a good price?”

“You can have the whole bag for ten bucks. I just want rid of them.”

I bought them on the spot, determined to make something wonderful with them, to honor Evelyn’s memory. Even if she had been a hoarder, every human life is important to God.

Evelyn’s hard work wouldn’t go unnoticed!

Within a week’s time, I found a little Remco I Dream of Jeannie doll at the Goodwill, and thought, “This doll will fit in Evelyn’s little hand-knitted hats.” And I made this little dress and coat to go with one of them:

The image shows a Remco I Dream of Jeannie 6 inch doll (comparable to Topper Dawn dolls and Palitoy Pippa dolls) wearing a similar stocking cap, to show what size doll can wear this little hand-knitted stocking cap. The text reminds you that this is just an example; the doll, the dress, and the coat are not being sold. It also says, "see description for color verification." In other words, the color the doll is wearing may not be the same as the color you are planning to buy.

You’ll see this image in my store, where I’m trying to sell some of Evelyn’s hand-knitted stocking caps.

But I’m not sure I’m marketing them well.

Tomorrow I’ll do a blog post, where I’ll ask your opinion about some of the different ways I’ve thought of marketing these little hand-knitted hats.

I’d love it if you’d help me brainstorm ways to honor the memory of Evelyn by getting her little stocking caps into the hands of people who will love and adore them, respecting all the hard work Evelyn put into them.

The image shows a blue, hand-knitted stocking cap with a folded brim and a little blue pom-pom at the top of the hat. The Chelly Wood dot com logo appears on the image as well.

I can’t be sure that Evelyn is someone who lived alone and had no family to visit her; I don’t know if she was a hoarder; I don’t know much about her at all, only that she made a plethora of tiny doll-sized hats, and that a woman at a church rummage sale in Twin Falls spoke of Evelyn with distain and sold her bag of tiny hats to me with an attitude of “Good riddance!”

However, I did get the impression that Evelyn has passed away, and no matter who the crafter is, no matter how they lived their lives, the objects they made by hand should be honored with the respect deserving of any human being.

I intend to turn Evelyn’s creations into something memorable, in honor of the woman who made them.

Side note: Evelyn is a pseudonym I used to protect the identity of the crafter about whom this story is written.


Have you been browsing through my doll clothes patterns, but wishing a certain pattern was slightly different? If so, my Creative Spark class, “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” may be just what you need to make these patterns into the pattern you see in your mind’s eye.

I also have a class called “Design Your Own Doll Pants Patterns from Scratch.” In this class, which costs only $19.99, you will learn how to create your own pants patterns, including leggings, fly-front jeans, elastic-waist pants, and overalls.

With any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.

It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So go check out my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link!

In this image, we see a smattering of tools that will be needed to take the Creative Spark course on doll clothes pattern alterations with Chelly Wood. The items include the following: a doll, a ruler with metric and imperial measurements, a pencil with an eraser, graph paper, patterns that don't quite fit your doll, fabric, craft felt, ribbons, elastic, and post-it notes or scratch paper.
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6 thoughts on “The Story of the Tiny Stocking Caps and Poor Evelyn Who Made Them…

  1. It is nice of you to share the story. I, too, was once told that some miniatures I thought were great were just “a waste of time.” I am sorry you can’t share the woman’s real name, but at least you are giving recognition to her accomplishments, and sharing so that others can enjoy her work.

  2. Chelly, are you going to sell those little hats, I think they would look darling on barbies.

    1. Yes, I’ve put a few of them up for sale in my store. I’ve found they’re a bit tight on Barbie, but they look good on smaller dolls like vintage Skipper, Topper Dawn dolls, Pippa, Chelsea, and other very small dolls.

    1. But if you wait a little bit, Jeretta, I will be posting a larger quantity of these little stocking caps for a reduced price. That will make the shipping charges more reasonable.

      That’s sort of the problem that this week’s blog posts about Evelyn’s creations have been addressing.

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