this is a very simple project. all it requires is yarn, scissors, and the knowledge of a basic knot.
my dad used to make these yarn dolls for me. i have very fond memories of the times that he would randomly decide to make me one, and i would sit patiently and soak in every step. i kept each yarn doll. i would pretend they were a family that went on many adventures throughout my bedroom. i recently began making them for my own children. they love them the same way that i always had. i hope you and your children/grandchildren enjoy them too.
1. the first step is to simply cut many strands of yarn approximately the same length. the photo above shows (from left to right) a ground of 40 strands about 24", a group of 20 strands about 18", and a group of 20 strands about 12". you can do any number of strands and any length you like. i personally think that 40 strands about 12" makes a very nice doll. then cut 7 extra pieces of string around 6" or so.
2. the second step is to take one of those extra pieces of string and tie a knot in the center of your long strands. i like to keep the strands on this knot long to make the next step even easier.
3. step three is to take hold of your knot and smooth down the yarn so that it looks like a nice long tassel.
4. for the fourth step you take another one of those extra strands and you make another knot 2"-3"(whatever looks about right to you) below the previous knot. that's the head of your yarn doll. now, go ahead and trim the ends of your knots from here on out.
5. separate the arms from the body. now you can either be really precise and count out the strands for the arms of you can just kind of eyeball it. either way works fine and both are quite simple. the doll above started out as a group of 40 strands.... so folded in half becomes 80.... i separated 15 strands for each arm.... so 30 total strands used for the arms and 50 remaining for torso and legs.
6. take one of your extra strands and tie a knot a few inches below the neck, once again, whatever looks right. voila! torso.
7. too make the arms you simply tie off each of the groups you separated for the arms. i usually just make them approximately the same length as the torso. trim your fingers and (if you haven't already) go ahead and trim those extra strands at the top.
the pictures above and below are what two year olds do to yarn dolls (my two year old anyway). it took her seriously about 30 seconds to annihilate that poor doll.... sheesh!
8. you guessed it.... the legs! now i'm pretty confident that you've "got it" at this point but i'll continue just for kicks. you separate the legs evenly and tie them off... whatever length looks about right. you can count them out precisely or just eyeball it. now trim your toes and that's it!
my layla likes to spruce hers up by adding hair and a face. love.
i think i could learn a lesson in patience from this girl. she has become an expert in putting this sweet baby to sleep. ollie will cry and it doesn't rattle bee one bit. she just calmly whispers "it's ok hunny, go to sleep." while holding her close and patting her back until ollie finally gives in. then she calls "mooom, she's asleep!" what a big help she is! i am one lucky mama.
there were some succulents desperately in need of a transplant. they are feeling much better now. eislee really enjoys anything to do with dirt or sand (in this case both)... ollie wasn't quite as excited but she got through.
life is still going at a lightening fast speed around here, but oh i am really enjoying these quiet mornings with just two.
i love how this started as a tiny little getaway one summer and has grown into this wonderful annual family gathering, each year bringing more people. what fun! my pictures don't even come close to doing it justice. there were many people... so many children!
sun, swimming, family, good food, creative play... can't wait until next year!
beautiful scenery, the gentle sounds of a flowing river, a delicious picnic, easy conversation between good friends, watching our children excitedly explore the natural world around them.... it all adds up to a wonderful day at the river.