Friday, July 20, 2012

Waldorf Doll Head Made Easier with Wool Yarn

I don't usually permit myself to get stressed out about the children's birthdays and the resultant parties--it's tacky, in my opinion, to play the put-upon drama queen about something that I, myself, chose to make a big deal out of--but nevertheless, this has been an unusually stressful week or so. The kiddos are again testing the boundaries with schoolwork, I haven't been feeling well (cancer or allergies?), most of the homeschool playdates and groups that make up my social network have been canceled because of this heat wave we've been having, my treadmill is busted, one of my best friends has the audacity to be planning an imminent move AWAY from me, the water heater is also busted, blah blah blah, which means that the fact that I do most of the kids' birthday prep and much of the party prep without assistance is, frankly, stressful this week.

And yes, I WOULD like some cheese with my whine. Brie, please, because since my treadmill is busted, I might as well give up entirely.

I've been making Willow a Waldorf doll, one that I needed to have finished for her by her birthday, and whose outfits I needed to sew up and photograph and review by this weekend for Crafting a Green World. I'm glad that I'm getting a Waldorf doll made for each of my daughters, since I've always wanted them to have one, but I'm also quite glad that after Willow's doll, my Waldorf dollmaking days will be over until I have grandchildren--I'm finding Waldorf dolls to be a fussy project, and the embroidery and hand-sewing are not my specialties.

Thank goodness this Waldorf doll has been a little simpler to make than the last one--between the two, I discovered this method of using wool yarn to form the doll's head, instead of wool roving, and it's a terrific trick!
I'm using stash wool yarn from Knit Picks

starting the ball

The ball of yarn should measure 10" circumference
 It was a GREAT tip, making the process of forming the doll's head so much less fussy and time-consuming. I also tried to tie the inner head strings using the same yarn, to make it sturdier than it was when I used thread--
--but that was a mistake. I'm using a light skin fabric to match my daughters' complexions that they inherited from their father (you can't tell from photos, but I'm darker than Matt is, especially in the summer), and of course the blue showed through.

I also shouldn't have wrapped the wool yarn ball quite as firmly as I did, because I don't think that I was able to get as much definition with the inner strings as I could with the roving, but I think it made up for it in the fact that the head itself is much firmer, and so I think it still looks better and has a more pleasing heft: 

Now, I don't want you to get me wrong with all the griping--yep, this doll project is fussy, and time-consuming, and challenging, but it IS do-able. In addition, a handmade Waldorf doll, even springing for a store-bought pattern and doll-full of wool roving, is vastly cheaper than a purchased one, and both my kiddos, even at the ripe old ages of six and (gasp!) eight, LOVE their dolls, which I honestly don't think they'd do if I'd simply handed them a store-bought one. So, make one! I've even got a Waldorf dolls and dollmaking pinboard that I'm still adding to, in direct contradiction to my claim that I'm not going to make another one for many, many years. 

Okay, now I'm off to start making Willow's treasure map brownie cake, and to see if she's still pitching a fit about her report on Indiana (in response to my insistence that several random facts strung together does NOT a report make), and to put the skull crayons in the oven to melt down, and to mow the lawn, and to find the face paint...

...or maybe I'll just take a shower, then get drunk and eat brownie batter.

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