The Final in sight

Who’d have thought I’d get here?

After four years I’m near the end of my degree, and I think I’m ready. I’ve one project left to do and ten weeks to get it done. My final project… Dolls.

Yep, I started University loving making dolls and tried hard to do something else, but I’ve realised the thing I love most it doll making.

The plan is to make a series of dolls made with natural materials and as locally sourced as possible.

I’m looking at 8 dolls each based on a character in Yorkshire and representing one of the smaller attractions in our stunningly beautiful county.

The dolls are:

A train driver to represent the Middleton railway which is the longest running railway in the world and five minutes from my house.

A terrible knitter of dent for the terrible knitters (terrible meaning great!) and the dent museum

A Morris dancer and perhaps visiting a local Morris dancing team

A farmer from the Meanwood valley farm

A coal miner (hmmm, this is still to be thought out)

A cobbler, actually a clog maker from Wakleys clogs

A fisherman from Scarborough

That’s seven for those who are thinking I’m missing one! Yeah, I might make two Morris dancers ‘cos you can’t dance alone!

Today I did some initial sketches of the dolls, here’s one

I also started on the pattern for a flat cap…

Problems I’m having are:

Trying to choose the yarn I’m going to use.

I want a local breed sheep and ideally I’d like a yarn that’s produced in Yorkshire. I also wanted to keep with one brand of yarn, but so far searches haven’t brought up a wide enough variety of colours in what I’m after. Plus, since tradition is to make dolls out of acrylic yarn and scraps I can’t find a pale flesh colour in pure wool. I’m going to have to dye some of the wool myself.

Also finding the money right now to pay for the yarn I need, that’s a wee problem, but I’ll find a way.

So, I’ll try and keep updating everyone on what I’m doing, I’m terrible (as in terribly bad) at keeping written research so I’m hoping the blog will be my written research.

Feel free to ask questions or comment.

Published by bettyvirago

Betty Virago is an award winning textile designer. Based in Yorkshire, England, and known for her Northern Folk dolls and the Quilts of Hope project.

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