Lucia is ready to meet her new Mommy this year for the holidays. What a joy this dolly was for my hands to make. She is made of all of so many of my favorite things. Keep reading if you want a very long, detailed description of my process as I created her! If you don't care to read, no worries! The pertinent info is that she will be in my Etsy shop on Friday, December 1, at 9 AM MT. Lucia measures approximately 13.5", just the right size for small ones to cuddle, though I recommend her be given to a child of at least five, due to small parts and pieces.
Of course, as we all know, to start with, her body is stuffed full of soft, fluffy, sweet smelling, versatile wool, something that as a knitter I can never get enough of. And as a dollmaker, I love it just as much in its unspun state, because it is the perfect thing to make dolls huggable, lovable, warm, and lifelike.
For Lucia's hair, I used something new to me- Teeswater locks, that I sewed into a long weft and crocheted into a cap to fit perfectly on her head. And, Teeswater locks have now been added to my list of very favorite things. So bouncy, so curly, so resilient, so irresistible, so playful.
You must know that before I even started this doll, I had already knit that cranberry red elf cap that you see there. That cap was the germ of the idea that put the whole picture of the doll in my mind, even though I didn't have the complete picture yet until sometime yesterday afternoon. All I knew for certain was that I must make a doll with blond curly locks- I could picture them perfectly framed with the hat around a pixie-like face.
While making the doll, I commissioned my sister Amy to make a simple linen dress and apron, which I knew I wanted to embroider. Yeah, I think I've been bitten by the hand-stitching bug...this is one of those situations where Pinterest either helps or makes you go insane, depending on how you look at it! So, so, so, so, SO much inspiration there. At least in the case of creating Lucia, it was more helpful than anything else, since I knew she must have cranberry red Christmas roses on her dress, and I couldn't remember how to stitch a rose.
So, about Lucia's delicious little sweater you see there: I've been seeing bobbled sweaters everywhere lately- ravelry, pinterest, instagram, and they are always just so cute and playful looking! I thought a doll sized one would be wonderful, and I had the perfect speckled yarn that reminds me of stark birch trees in the middle of winter.
About the linen dress: I hand dyed the fabric using brewed coffee! Dyeing with a natural dye was another first for me, and something I thoroughly enjoyed, and it added another of my favorite things to the creation of this doll, coffee! To add to the vintage-y and cozy feel, I crocheted a removable collar out of cashmere that looks great with the simple style of the dress, to make it just a bit fancier, or can be worn with the sweater. And, I knew I wanted to add a handmade lace edging as well, using, again, more cashmere. The softness adds warmth to the dress, and contributes to the classic, time honored style of her clothes.
The apron needed just a few roses and simple snowflakes and it was just what I pictured in my mind's eye.
I thought all that remained was the shoes, so I crocheted two cranberry red boots that button, to match that gnome-like hat. When I put the entire ensemble together, I was pleased as could be. But I couldn't get something out of my head. Here at Christmas time was a doll with a beautiful plain linen dress that only needed a red belt to transform the doll into St. Lucia for St Lucia's day on December 13. No, I don't celebrate it, but I read Kirsten's Surprise growing up, thank you very much! How I longed when I was little to have an all white night gown and act out the story! I had lovely, fuzzy, red suri alpaca yarn that went beautifully with the entire ensemble, so I decided to make a skinny scarf that could double as Lucia's belt, and I couldn't believe how that red scarf tied the entire doll together. I finished it around midnight, when the Christmas lights in our house were all aglow, and she looked absolutely magical in that dim, cozy setting.
And now for the last step, her name. Sometimes when making a doll, a name comes to me before I even get started, sometimes its in the middle of the process, less often, it isn't until the very end that a name is decided. While making her, I kept turning names over and over in my head. I almost named her Christmas Rose, but wanted her to have a more versatile everyday name. Well, you may have guessed that as I finished the red scarf for her belt, right near the stroke of midnight, that her name became Lucia, and I think it suits her perfectly.
I have one more thing to add, that I wasn't able to get an entire picture of- that little bit of embroidery that says "peace" is on a lovely little linen drawstring bag that you can put Lucia in to keep her dust free, or she can store her accessories in when it turns summer, or can be used for multiple purposes, I should think. I couldn't give you an entire shot, because I am waiting a few more hours for my disappearing ink that I use when stitching to disappear! However, I couldn't resist showing you that little bit of stitching.
Well, if you have really read this far, congratulations- I enjoyed sharing the process with you. I love to talk about all things crafty, though I suppose I can wax on for way too long... And, oh this sweet girl Lucia- I love being able to share her with you as well!