Monday, September 19, 2011

wrap and tie a prairie yarn doll

Brief Description: These kinds of rag dolls were made by American settlers. They have an old-fashioned charm. My daughter took this one as soon as it was photographed.

Supply List: 
  • One skein of yarn if it is bulky and soft
  • scissors
  • small piece of cardboard
  • scrap fabrics and lace trims
  • needle and thread that matches the yarn

Twist the yarn around a notched piece
cardboard, first one way, then another.
Soon you will have made a tight ball
the size of my doll's head, approximately
one inch in diameter. This solid
ball will add weight and substance to
the doll. I want this doll to stand
up to a three to five year old's rough play.
Use a large book to twist the yarn around
repetitively (about 35 times) until
there is enough yarn to create a full
body with. My book measured
approximately eleven inches long.
After removing the yarn from the book carefully
tuck the ball of yarn beneath it. Pull the yarn
over the "head" and tie around the bottom with more yarn
to create the neck. Then thread a long needle
with matching thread and sew in and out of the head.
The thread should disappear into the yard but
if you continue to do this the doll's
head will become firm and compact.
Run your fingers through the yarn body and
clip the looped bottom apart. Gather up the
yarn ends and trim these ends off evenly.
You will need to repeat the third step above
(about 17 times).Tie off the yarn edges.
Braid the yarn to create the arms.
The braid is shown above
along with the yarn doll body. Divide
the doll's body in two even sections
and then position the arms between the sections.
Wrap more yarn around the doll body
to create a waste just below the doll's arms.
Thread a needle and sew in and out of the
waste, the wrist joints, and arms of the doll.
Sewing ensures these ties are firm and will
stand up to rough play.
Now you are ready to dress your prairie doll.
I gathered and sewed onto the body a skirt.
I added a lace shawl and mop cap.
Additional Suggestions: Yarn dolls are dressed in a variety of ways. Scarecrows and clowns are popular costume choices. Some crafts people prefer just to leave them without clothing as well.

photographs and written craft pages copyrighted by Grimm 2011 

Want something more contemporary? 
SoCraftastic makes a octopus doll from yarn.

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