Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Preparation To Doll Making and Falling In Love

It's funny how one thing often leads to another.  This past month I was to make preparations for my doll making adventure.  Fabric was purchased and the pattern was copied onto card stock for ease of repeated use.  If like me you have wondered why Waldorf Dolls are so expensive...it is because of the materials used to create them.  100% cotton knit, Wool Stuffing and lovely soft mohair yarn for the hair, no polyester fiberfill or fabric would do.
My Sister-In-Law raises sheep and she generously offered to send me a fleece to create the wool stuffing.  Sounds fun, wash a little wool and have some stuffing...yeah right, that's what happened.  The wool arrived about a month ago in a box, I peaked inside and promptly closed the box!  That wool was dirty, this would be a project for another day!  The box was taken to the basement, out of sight out of mind.  Every trip to the basement was a reminder of my task needing to be done.  I recently had some foot surgery and was told to stay off my feet and keep the foot dry.  Why is it when we are told not to do something, the thought of doing something opposite seems so enticing?  That wool was calling my name, so I began reading about the washing process and watching youtube videos....it all seemed very doable and not as scary as I thought.
I brought the box outside, sat up a table and chair to begin the cleaning process.  The fleece had been skirted which means most of the raggedy edges and poo tags had been removed.  What it does not mean is, that all of the hay bits, chaf, ticks, burs, twigs other poo tags and items you would find in a barnyard had been removed.  Those were there all mingled in with the wool, did I really want to do this?
 Yes I was determined I would clean this fleece, muck and all.  I sat there picking up a handful of locks and began the process of removing what I could, it was a beautiful day and really not a terrible job.  What I did not expect was my mind began to wander, the fleece was full of lanolin and felt so good on my hands and the smell....well, surely it must be what heaven smells like.  I was head over heals in love with my task at hand.  It took me 2 days to pick through the fleece (the box weighed 11 pounds).
The washing process involves using HOT water and soaking, more hot water, more soaking and lots of rinsing.  Yes,  that water is as dirty as it looks in the photo!
After rinsing I took the fleece out to dry in the sun.
It is amazing how much cleaner it is!  There are still small bits of hay they call that "vm" or vegetable matter.  I was so caught up in the whole process I called my SIL and told her I would be buying a spinning wheel next!  I did pay a visit to a nearby fiber store The Woolery and sought some advice on fluffing up the wool and removing the remaining vm.  That conversation led me to purchasing hand carders and a drop spindle.
I have been carding and rolling up rolags of wool for using with the drop spindle.  My resulting yarn is a bit lumpy but I was assured with practice it will smooth out.  I still have small bits in the wool and have read Wool Combs will remove all the vm. The wool combs are expensive so I am thinking of making my own, that will be another post!  
So, the idea of doll making, lead to the pattern/book buying, which lead to the fabric buying, which lead to the wool stuffing need, which lead to a generous gift from my SIL, which lead to studying, which lead to finding heaven in a box of  dirty wool, which lead to  HOT washing and very red hands, which lead to drying on a screen, which lead to a trip to the fiber arts supplier, which lead to wool carders and a major crush on a spinning wheel and some wool combs, which has lead to me drop spinning every day...and all I began wanting to do, was make a doll!!!

Love to all,
Deb

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Doll Making Together

The Puppenmitmacherei (doll making together) has begun.  You will find more information and other participants on Marie Gold's Blog and Nature Children.  The first month we are brainstorming and have been given some questions to think about.  The questions and answers are to help us find the doll that is living in our heart....the doll we will create during these upcoming months.
This process is new to me...the thought process.  I usually jump right in without considering if what I am creating is actually from the heart....from my heart.

Question One:  What interests me about doll making in a group and what do I want to learn?
I have already learned to stop and consider what is I want to achieve.  There are so many different ways of creating and I have always heard 2 heads are better than one so a group environment should be a wealth of information.

Question Two:  What is important and what makes a doll beautiful?
I have a pinterest board Waldorf Inspired Dolls which allows me to collect lots of inspiration and ideas.  It also allows me to notice what features I am drawn to and like.  Most important to me would be that doll is huggable easily loved, no hard edges or stiff attachments.  Beauty is in the face, the eyes and a sweet simple mouth.  No need for a big smile as not all of life can be handled with a smile.  A simple expression that allows for secrets to told and hearts to be poured into.  We all need someone that will listen.

Question Three:  Who am I sewing the doll for?
That is an excellent question....I have no little ones here and no grandchildren on the way.  I often think of those children that have no one that they can call their own.  I guess this comes from volunteering in the school system as my children were growing up.  I saw children that were hungry for love and attention, those that their face lit up when they were noticed.  I guess I am sewing for a child like that someone that needs a friend.

Next we are to consider if we will use a pattern or create our own.  For me I will be using the book:
Simple Cloth Daisy Dolls.  Marie Gold did a review of several doll making books...this one seemed to be perfect for me.
So my notebook is out and I will be giving this new adventure much thought and planning.

Love to all,
Deb
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