Please meet Sigrid. Oh, you guys. This was probably the funnest doll making project I have ever undertaken. The gem of the idea of Sigrid came to me about a year ago, when I knit with Lettlopi, which is made from Icelandic sheep's wool, for the first time. This yarn is used to knit traditional Icelandic sweaters, which are generally yoked sweaters, with stranded color work. This yarn is absolutely ideal for stranded knitting, since it is quite "sticky", and the strands hold together well. On top of that, the colors are absolutely hazy and beautiful and blend like a rainbow. This is fairly thick yarn, and Icelandic sweaters are known for being very warm.
When knitting with this yarn, my thoughts turned to doll making, and I wanted to make a doll who I thought must live in Iceland, in a house with a sod roof, with goats grazing on the top of the roof, in a beautiful valley beside the sea. Of course she would have a beautiful, warm sweater knit with traditional Lettlopi.
Well, Sigrid. I have seen dolls with joints at the knees and elbows. Furthermore, I have been experimenting a great deal with making some of my dolls double skinned. It is quite the challenge, indeed, but makes the limbs so much smoother, and more sturdy. Well, a few weeks ago, I spent the entire day sewing, and at the end of it, I had made a doll leg. The most beautiful doll leg I had ever made. I sewed the first leg with a joint at the knee. I loved the way it bended and moved. Then, all of a sudden, it occurred to me- place a second layer of skin fabric over the top! I immediately realized how lovely it looked- covered the joint seams perfectly, kept the leg from bending to the point of looking hyper-extended (we don't want that!), and gave a beautiful knee that I made rosy colored with blush. I showed that leg to everyone. I was so proud of it. I've never made a doll leg so...so...leg-like.
I followed the same technique with the arms, giving her both wrists and elbows. The joints can be bent and moved as much as desired, but because of the underlying skin fabric and seams, they will stay as sturdy as they are now.
Now on to her head. I have heard of doll makers including armature. I am not ready yet to use it throughout the entire body (that day may come), but I adore the idea of making the head and neck bend. To me, those poses are what give the doll the most like. Looking up at you, body. Looking down, shyly. Gazing out the window. Reading a book. Nestling down onto her elbows. I love this so much that I think it will be a pretty consistent thing with my bigger, more detailed dolls.
As for Sigrid's face- You guys, it is a little intimidating to create a doll head that is significantly different from what you have done for years. Not only did I do some very significant face sharing, but those eyes- I wanted to try a totally new eye shape that made her look like she was squinting happily at me. I sewed different eyes and eyeshapes...4 times. Finally I found an eye that I loved.
To add to the pose-ability, I weighted her feet and body. The extra weight helps her hold her poses better. And the posing...is there anything this doll cannot do? I could play with her all day long. Really. Actually, I think I have done that. She looks good in every outfit, in every pose. Every hair style- her hair is commercial mohair weft. This is so much sturdier than alpaca. It can be braided, and brushed, and ponytailed, and bun-ned, and I've heard, even curled (this is not something I have ever tried, though, so I cannot recommend it personally).
Yes, all her knitwear is made with that wonderful yarn, Lettlopi. I made the yoke sweater based on traditional designs...but when I got halfway through the body, on a whim, I decided to give the sweater lined pockets. who want cold hands??? I'm so glad I added this extra (nontraditional) touch. Her hat is cabled, and her shoes are crocheted, and they button.
For warmer days (yes, Iceland has those!), she has a sunny yellow sundress and navy pants, and a Liberty fabric (always Liberty, always...) shirt, as well as a cute little head/neckscarf, sewn in the same fabric. Each piece coordinates wonderfully, and she actually has a significant number of outfit choices.
Sigrid ended up being around 21" tall. She is recommended for an older child, but for anyone who loves pretending with American Girl Dolls or similar, I can promise you will absolutely adore Sigrid.
I put so many hours of love into this doll. I can't charge by the hour for this girl. But it was a beautiful learning process the entire way. I am pricing her at $550 + shipping, and I truly hope she can find a wonderful home. Please contact me if interested, and she will very soon be listed on Etsy as well.
Okay, thanks for reading Sigrid's story!