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Old-Fashioned Yarn Dolls

October 25, 2009

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

My daughter started making yarn dolls last summer after seeing one somewhere or other. Now we have yarn dolls hanging around the house in various spots and I love them. I thought I would remind you of or pass on this fun little project today. It is perfect when you have a tiny bit of yarn left over from a project that isn’t really enough to be knit up into something else.

Yarn dolls kind of remind of scarecrows in a funny way which is perfect for this time of year. They could also make a great yarn-y ornament for your Christmas tree. Your yarn dolls could be cute tied on the top of a smartly wrapped present or on a gift bag handle. That would add a handmade touch and a little character to any gift. Better yet if you are a yarn shop owner, yarn dolls in Spud & Chloë sprinkled around the shop or in an eye-catching display of some sort would be a fun way to show off our mod color spread to your customers! Cute.

Let’s get creative and have a little yarn doll fun.

Colors in the Spud & Chloë Sweater yarn from left to right are as follows: Firefly, Pollen, Ice Cream, Splash, Moonlight and Grass. Make a doll yourself or grab a nearby child (the willing and crafty type) and let’s make a yarn doll together. It only takes a few minutes to start spreading the smiles. My daughter helped me make this bunch of dolls up today.

We made our yarn dolls out of Spud & Chloë Sweater, but you could use Fine or Outer, too. The dolls would end up different sizes which would be fun. A tiny doll out of Fine would be wonderful. I’ll try that next.

I use my Pom Tree set at 3 inches (in the photo it is set at 1 inch) but a piece of cardboard cut to 3 inches in width would work just as well. You need a scissors and a yarn needle, too. You can order a Pom Tree here. I have no affiliation of any sort with Alice (the inventor and seller of the Pom Tree), I just think it is a really cool tool.

Now the Pom Tree is set at 3 inches between the dowels. Wrap your yarn around the dowels about 100 times. This doesn’t matter so much to be exact. For example, for the yarn doll in the Splash colorway I just used up the rest of the yarn I had.


With a length of yarn, tie a knot tightly toward the top to make the head of the doll. If you are using a Pom Tree you will now slide the doll off of the dowels. If you are using cardboard you will slide the wrapped yarn off before tying off the head.

Now take another cut length of yarn, about 8 inches long, and thread the end on a yarn needle.

Pull the length of yarn on the yarn needle through the center of the head and tie it tightly with a knot at the top of the head. This length is the hanging loop so tie the ends into a knot.

Cut the loops at the bottom.

By the way, if this doll was made in Ice Cream it would look like a ghost right now. You could glue on a couple of tiny google eyes and have an instant and easy Halloween decoration!

I don’t count the strands to make the arms, I just separate 3  groups of strands to form the two arms and the body. You can just eyeball it. It’s just a yarn doll for goodness sakes:)

Cut another length of yarn and tie it tightly around the body of the doll to make a waist.

With two more cut lengths, tie the arms to make wrists. Trim all of the ends from the ties or any strays to make things even. Now, one version of the yarn doll is left with a skirt like the one above.

The other version has the skirt divided into two parts and then tied again at the ankles to make legs. We made both kinds of dolls.

So nothing too serious today, just a little yarn doll fun to share with you. This is a good project to get even really young kids involved with yarn. Even if the little ones can’t tie they could pick colors, wrap the yarn, put a finger down to hold the yarn while you are tying knots in various spots and of course, all kids love to hang the finished yarn dolls around the house.

One trick I have for tying the knots tightly is to wrap the yarn under twice instead of just once before pulling it up tight for the knots. This makes it hold better. Give it a try!

Have fun.

One more quick thing, the Ravelry link for the Outsider Mittens is here if you want to check it out.

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