Making Yarn Dolls
Watching 12 Years a Slave the other night (have you seen this movie? Hard to watch and absolutely riveting all at the same time), I was struck by the simple dolls a child was making of plant fiber. It reminded me that I am long overdue with introducing my granddaughter to fiber crafts that don't involve knitting. This busy 8 year old of mine wants to knit and thinking about her active personality, I want her to learn about fibers and how they can be used without the actual process of knitting. I want her to love the fiber and finish a project in the same sitting.
And I suggest that to you, too.There are so many things that can be created with fiber and they don't need to involve knitting. Have you tried anything such as this basic yarn doll tutorial from littlehouseliving.com. It is a very simple doll and gives one the chance to learn about the fiber.
I have never been a doll maker but have dabbled with many fiber frolics. Are you someone who can perhaps can sew (green, green, green with envy as sewing machines and I are not on the best of terms!!) or create hand crafted dolls? Quite often I hear from customers that remark how wonderful some of our fibers such as unicorn snuggle would be for doll hair. Go beyond the ordinary and create doll hair that is as unique as the child you will give it to.
I am really amazed with the options for making dolls and the creative ideas out there is mind boggling. What a wonderful gift to use as a decoration for a baby shower present or to decorate a young child's room. I decided to explore etsy.com for patterns....whoa! Try either of these etsy links for knit yarn doll patterns and crochet doll patterns. The possibilities are endless and how cool is it that there is a doll pattern for just about any theme or style that you are after?
As a librarian, I have had many encounters with Curious George and the man in the yellow hat. I am sure you have seen or perhaps made a sock monkey.They don't always follow this traditional look above. I have selected this link to sock monkey patterns courtesy of Craftsy.com to give you thoughts of ways to meld sewing, knitting and other crafty skills to create a swingin' in the trees cool sock monkey adding our unique fibers.
I may be a bit prejudiced as I am totally in love with the Atlantic Ocean. Where I live in coastal Maine, the sea is a deep green most days and a raucously unpredictable friend at all times.The weather on the end of my peninsula is like no where else. I watch the weather online and then have to remember that I live where the sea literally readjusts what the weather will be. Today, it is sunny with high winds and white caps.How do those ocean creatures survive?
I digress because I am passionate about the sea but speaking of sea creatures....I absolutely love this drawing above by Tammy Wetzel called Electric Octopus. And here is a video about making octopus dolls and will be making this with my grand girl on her next visit. Sarah Lynn Tea of SoCraftastic begins her video about making octopus dolls with a recommendation of using a super bulky yarn.
Sarah Lynn is so right. A thick and bulky fiber will work up more readily to create an octupus with large head and eight braided legs. The possibilities are endless with the bulky yarn we have here at Darn Good Yarn. Would't this be an adorable use of some of our sari silk ribbon, too? I see wildy exotic octopi in my future, a family of them for sure!
Speaking of bulk yarn, Maggie shared with me some of her doll creations above. Aren't they amazing? The purple doll's hair, clothes, and scarf are all made from Darn Good Yarn materials; the hair is thick and thin wool, the dress is sari silk, and the scarf is banana fiber. We keep finding more and more uses for our fibers and dolls are just one aspect of using fiber and not necessarily knitting or sewing!
Have you read All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka? A delightful picture book sharing the unique shade of people and the planet we live on. Whether a beginner or expert, create a doll as unique as the world we live in. Begin with fiber that has a global impact.
Darn Good Yarn is proud to be a globally conscious company that gives more that 600 women in India and Nepal the opportunity to have steady work which enables these women and their families to live better lives.Learn more about Darn Good Yarn and our purpose. And then, have a ball with a doll!
- Nicole Snow