Monday, September 14, 2009

Esperanza Rising - Yarn Doll

While I was contemplating my failure to crochet anything remotely resembling a blanket, I decided my meltdown deserved a String Doll.

You remember on the train north, Esperanza had meltdown about the third-class carriage, and not wanting to share her doll with the other little girl? Esperanza's mother defused the situation by making a Yarn Doll for the other little girl. That action gave Esperanza time to recover herself, and start thinking about others for a bit. Maybe I need a bit of time to recover myself.

I enlisted my coworker, Library Lady, to help. This is definitely a two-person project, at least at the very beginning. (You can see Library Lady on a regular basis, over at our Books, Movies and Events blog, Bookin' Las Vegas, and at our Reference Resource blog, The Librarian's Brain, where she's called Dewey Diva. She has great hands for making dolls!)

I started with pulling out some kid's acrylic yarn in fun colors. and hijacking Library Lady's hands.

I counted to fifty, just as Esperanza and her Mom did on the train. Library asked me if there was some special magic to fifty wraps. I wasn't sure, but decided to have absolute faith in Esperanza's mom. She seems like such a sensible and wise lady!

I secured the top of the doll's head (put a tie around one end of the loops!) and released poor Library Lady. She really wasn't quite prepared when I said "Hey Library Lady, can you help me with something???" Since I didn't tell her WHY I was wrapping her hands in yarn, she was somewhat skeptical.

I used one of the ends to make the doll's head (tied a very firm knot around where the neck should be located), and tied another knot a little lower, to create the body. I left that second knot a bit loose to start with, because I was going to release some of the yarn from the lower tie, to make the arms.

Now it was time to cut the bottom loops. Securing the top of the head and the neck are really important! If you cut the bottom loops before that, you end up with loops EVERWHERE. (Don't ask me how I know.) Trust me on this one. Secure the head and neck first!. Once the bottom loops are cut, I can pull out strings to braid for the arms. I used six strings for each arm, and did a normal braid for the arms.

See? Here her arms are materializing out of the chaos of loose yarn ends. She's already starting to look a lot like a doll!

You don't have to do this, but I like to. I made my doll legs. After the arms were done, and I tied the tie at the bottom of the body really firmly, I took nine strings from the center inside of the skirt for each leg, and braided legs. These won't show on a general basis, but I like to know my doll can get around if she needs to!

Trim the ragged ends of Dolly's arms and legs, give her a bit of a gentle shake to settle everything into place, and I have a doll!

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