Today I have the day free to spend upstairs in my studio for the first time in weeks. Late last night I snuck up there and pulled out a bunch of patterns and laid them on the floor and on my desk. Some were crochet, some knit, some fabric, some stitched. Talk about a way to drive oneself crazy!
But the one pattern I kept picking up over and over again was for a little knit Waldorf-style doll.
What is a Waldorf doll?
They have been around for generations. They are a small handmade doll, generally knit, but they can also be made from a very soft cloth, or a pillow case. The material they are made from is usually a natural fiber, such as wool.
They are crafted very simply, using traditional doll making techniques which originated in Europe.
Waldorf dolls, are based on the principals of Waldorf Education, which seeks to enliven a child's imagination. For that reason the facial features on these dolls are intentionally simple - some even have no facial features at all. This allows a child to use their own imaginations, they can imagine their dolls, awake or sleeping, happy or sad.
These little dolls ( 9-10 inches) are wonderful first dolls for babies and toddlers, but they are also becoming very popular for children of all ages. Soft dolls and hand made dolls such as the Waldorf- style dolls are back in vogue.
I have had a pattern I found on the Internet years ago, of a cute little doll, designed by Beth Webber. It is knit, using a worsted weight yarn, and Mohair for her hair. She is knit on 2 needles, in one piece. Its a simple pattern, even a beginner knitter can do this one, just knit and purl.
It's a great way to use up small balls of yarn, and the patterns for her clothes are also on the web site, which require only basic knitting skills.
There are also crochet versions out there. They are just as cute, and just as easy to make, but I think I am going to stay with the traditional style doll this time around.
You can find images and all the patterns for these sweet little treasures on the website below.
If you have little ones in your family, make some - I'll bet they would love them - in fact, I know they will.