Scrap Sunday: Yarn doll

When I created that big mess with my unwound skein of wool over Christmas, I suddenly remembered the yarn dolls we used to make in school.

As I then had hours of fun (well, not exactly hours and not exactly fun, but hours of fun sounds better) making some with my children and nephew and nieces (well, my daughter and my niece only, but a big crowd sounds better) using a model I had found online, I decided the world (well, not exactly the world, but you know by now how this works) is in need for not only a simple blog post on Scrap Sunday but also a tutorial (I am considering to post this again on Tuesday for Tutorial Tuesday) how to make a yarn doll.

To be honest, I don’t quite remember how we did this, I think not like the ones that I found online, so this is about my version plus what I have seen online and how a dear friend of mine used to make them (just the inspiration, I am far to lazy to even go and get the yarn out, let alone the camera)

All you need is scraps of yarn, scissors and something to wind up your yarn depending on the size of your doll (a book, a postcard or simply your hands).

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Then, you wind the yarn around a book for a slightly bigger doll or a postcard or even just your fingers. The latter will result in a tiny strand of yarn (especially if you were using a child’s fingers), this would be good for the arms of the second type of dolls.

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Carefully remove the book, making sure the yarn doesn’t collapse to a big mess. Tie a knot around the top to keep everything together and a round head.

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Cut the whole bunch through opposite the knot to get open ends. You could do this at a later stage but I find it a bit easier.

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Tie a knot around the whole bunch close to the top to form the head. You want a nice round and fairly firm shape. Not like in the next picture, that wasn’t mine  🙂

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Separate the ends into 4 portions to form arms and legs.

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Tie knots around those 4 portions, leaving the legs longer than the arms.

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Cut the ends to get neat feet and hands. Done.

WollpuppeA08I am not sure if this is how we did it, I have this vague memory of a pompom in connection with the doll. Maybe we used a pompom as a head. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

The versions I found online, use a separate strand to make the hands. So you will need a shorter one than for the body. You could do this by wrapping it around your fingers.

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Bind off both ends for the arms and put the whole thing aside for a moment.

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Make another doll body as before and bind off the head. For this model, I did not tie a knot at the top to keep the bunch together. As you can see, this results in a slightly floppy head.

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Slide the arms through the body, just under the head.

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Bind the body strand off, just under the arms to form the torso.

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Form two legs and bind them off at the end.

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Cut all the ends open to get neat arms and hands.

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You could as well make a “skirt” version instead of the legs by not separating the strand. Another variety would be to pleat the strands. You can play with colours, having mixed strands or keeping them in one colour, using contrasting yarn to bind off the body parts. Oh the possibilities are endless. As I said. Hours of fun on these cold cold days.

My friend told me they made octopuses. One big head with 8 pleated legs. (Or arms?) The queen of yarn dolls. I might make one one day. But not today.

 

 

 

 

Scrap Sunday: Christmas Crackers

I guess I should apologise for what you are about to read, I have been stuck at home with two sick children for a couple of days now and we are watching a lot of fairy tales, so please forgive me 🙂

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess. Well, probably more of a queen since she was married to a king and the mother of two beautiful, clever and well behaved children, but she certainly looked like a young beautiful princess, who happened to be also extremely clever, witty and kind-hearted.

The queen and her family lived on an island where the sun always shone far away from her home country somewhere in the highest mountains you could possibly imagine.   During one particularly hard winter there, the queen decided to travel home to help her family who lived on top of a very high mountain.

The beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen did not want to come empty handed and in countless sleepless nights she created very useful little gifts for all the members of the her family.

After a few weeks of preparation, she, the king, the little princess and the little prince set off  in their golden carriage drawn by twelve white horses  and after days through wind, ice and snow they finally arrived on top of the mountain.

The parents of the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen could not believe their eyes when they opened the door of their little wooden house and her daughter stepped in with lots of presents in her hands. Rapidly, they called all of the queens brothers and sisters, their partners and children to celebrate the family reunion. The mother of the queen hustled into the tiny kitchen and started to cook a beautiful meal, her father lit the fire and everybody gathered around the big table to enjoy the meal together. And it was a miracle, the food came out of the tiny kitchen on big plates which never got empty!

The beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted prin queen handed each one teir  handcrafted, extremely useful gifts, beautifully wrapped in something she called “cracker” in the language spoken by the indigenous people on the sunny island.

Everybody got a beautiful crown made of the finest and most delicate paper and a little written thought to cheer them up.

All the children got little toys, something that they had never even heard of, let alone owned.

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For the adults, she had chosen more practical things to help them through difficult times, for example magic wands for her sister and sister-in-law, both mothers of young children,IMG_0826

a portable milk frothing device for her brother-in-law, a coffee connoisseur,

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practise nappies for her brother and his partner who were expecting a child,

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and the probably most challenging to be executed by the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen : a working satellite for her brother, a sage (not the plant, the wise man of course) who has given the world the knowledge of befriended location determination

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The presentees were gobsmacked yet not surprised by the creativity and the skills of the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen and just did not know what to say, they had never seen such refined technology and did not even know how to use some of these items. But they were overflowed by gratefulness and the evening ended in lots of laughter, tears of joy and an amazing firework display in the clear sky mirrored in the peaceful white blanket that covered the mountain that night.

And the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen knitted happily ever after.

 

Scrap Sunday: urgently needed or another cheat scrap sunday post

The good thing about scrap Sunday is that suddenly I seem to be going away for the weekend a lot. So from that point of view the challenge has been a huge success. From the quality of posts probably not. But I do not have to read them so never mind 🙂

This time I am enjoying the lovely English coast, I finally had a proper Cream Tea (lovely but I did fancy the children’s selection with brownie more) and I had lots of time to knit hats for the shop whilst worrying about the content of this scrap post. I did consider to take a picture of the 5 cm long crochet chain which I found in my bag. My daughter had made it. She isn’t even 5 so hasn’t got enough patience to crochet anything longer than that, but it is still a wonderfully useful example of how to use up scrap yarn 😉

But yesterday morning said crochet genius woke up with a stiff neck and was crying and sobbing a lot (I guess mainly out of irritation)

So I wrapped a muslin square around her neck (I knew I should pack some of these incredibly live saving pieces of fabric in our suitcase) and quickly knitted her a sort of neck warmer during the drive to our outing. I had to finish the last few rows on board of the old fashioned steam train which seemed a very good knitting location anyway and she was ready to enjoy the fresh sea breeze 🙂

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I put it over the muslin square as it is a bit wide for the neck. On purpose, as I am planning to  open the cast off and continue it into a hat or actually … maybe I will make it even a little bit longer and keep it as neck warmer and maybe add a lining .

So technically it is once again not a scrap project but I did use less than a ball and it is still better than a 5 cm crochet chain 🙂