Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Ava

This beautiful doll is my second attempt at making a Waldorf style doll. The first one came out OK and sure is cute but there were definitely some mistakes. After consulting with a professional Waldorf doll maker, I had a better outcome for this doll. She was named after a special little girl who who fell in love with her. When that little girl is old enough, she will get one of her very own! I can't wait to make it.

This doll, our Ava, was made for my little girl who snuggles up with her every night. The dolly is allowed to have a modeling job on the side when my little one is at camp or school but otherwise, Mommy needs to keep her hands off. My daughter may only be 5 but she is sure of what she wants!

If you are interested in making a Waldorf style doll, I encourage you to try. It does take some doing and there is definitely a learning curve but the reward is a great big smile on your child's face. I made my first doll with a kit from Weir Dolls and my second with materials from that site but a slightly different method.
1) I rolled the head like a snowball instead of stuffing it like a pillow as the directions called for.
2) I machine sewed more on the second than the first.
3) I found some beautiful yarn at a local yarn shop for the hair on the second instead of using worsted wool.
4) I crocheted a cap for the head, hand sewed it on and then attached the individual strands of hair to the cap by doubling them and looping them around the crocheted stitches. I like this version of hair the best because it can be styled in many ways, oh and I like to learn new crochet techniques as I am more of a knitter than a crocheter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Waldorf Dolls, Sweaters and Shoe tying

I have recently discovered Waldorf dolls through my friend who owns Millie’s Dollhouse. She makes the cutest dolls and they sell quickly! I love them to distraction and can’t wait until I can purchase one. In fact, I love them so much that I have been inspired to knit all sorts of things for these dolls, starting with cardigans. I have had so much fun playing with patterns and yarn and, oh, the choices!! I’ve always loved sock yarn, I but I’ve never really felt pulled to knit socks. There is nothing wrong with knitting socks, I just haven’t felt the need to. Perhaps it is because I have this sneaking suspicion that if I start, I’ll never stop. So, what to do with all of this gorgeous yarn? You see where this is going don’t you? Yes, I knit these little jewels of “sock” yarn, 100% merino wool to be specific. I love the colors, the fiber and I am so inspired. There is nothing better on a rainy day (and there are plenty at this time of year) than a cup of tea and turning some beautiful yarn into something cute! Can you tell that I’m really enjoying this new venture? I have even found a wonderful community on facebook that is dedicated to all things Waldorf called Gals and Dolls. I could spent hours reading posts and checking out the Etsy stores of doll makers and other knitters. In fact, I have.

My daughter is loving this new venture too because her dolls get all of the prototype sweaters, skirts, headbands and purses. Let’s just say that some of the patterns coming out of my head work better than others. She is also enjoying that fact that more dolls will be coming into the house. I’ve told her that she can play, gently, with the new dolls but that they will need to be “working” dolls from time to time when Mommy needs a model for a photo shoot. She seems alright with this arrangement since most of my photo shoots are while she is at school and not playing with her toys anyway.

So what does all of this have to do with shoe tying? Yesterday I blocked out a whole afternoon to teach my daughter to tie her shoes because I thought that, even though she loves velcro shoes, she should know how to tie shoes with kindergarten fast approaching. It turns out that if you teach your child to knit and then to tie her shoes the shoe tying lesson takes all of three minutes. We had all kinds of time yesterday afternoon for fun stuff!