In my last post I wrote about the Little Women dolls I’m making for my sisters this Christmas and shared with you all the very bald mock up I had made of Beth March. Well, I’m happy to report that she finally has hair! YAY!
(Click to enlarge images)
I’m still learning how to do the hair for these dolls, so it definitely isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with how it looks on the Beth mock up so far! I may tweak her hair a little bit more, but so far so good, especially for a mock up!
As I had mentioned in the previous post, Carol of eVINTAGEpatterns (who I bought the Little Women pattern from) recommended using wool roving for the hair of these dolls. Since I have a pretty bad sensitivity to wool, I did a lot of research to find out how to make this more friendly to my wool-sensitive skin, since normally I can’t even touch wool without itching for hours and feeling terrible. So after all that digging and reading and learning about microns and different types of wool, I knew that a 19 micron wool roving would probably be the safest bet for me, since it is said to be soft enough to wear next to your skin without causing itchiness.
I then spent a ridiculous amount of time looking around trying to find the best places both in my city and online to purchase some 19 micron Merino wool roving. Anyone who reads this blog won’t be surprised to hear that I dawdled over the decision for quite awhile, since I tend to be indecisive about most things and take a lot of time before diving into anything!
Well, three days ago I sent a message to Lucie of lululalaine on Etsy and asked her some questions, since I had decided that I wanted to buy the wool roving from her, but wanted some information since I’m completely new to using it and had no idea what quantity to buy or anything like that. She answered quickly and let me know that 1 oz of her 19 micron Merino top roving should be enough for 4-5 dolls. I decided to buy 2 oz of the chocolate/chestnut brown and 1 oz of corn/dijon yellow, and placed my order immediately after reading her response!
Lucie was so sweet that after I placed my order, she said she would send me a sample of her blonde roving to experiment with too and asked if I had felting needles – which I didn’t, and since I’m new to wool roving, hadn’t even thought about! She offered to send me some complimentary felting needles as well, which was absolutely amazing of her and so incredibly kind!
Since Canada Post is currently undergoing rotating strikes which has been effecting mail delivery for quite awhile now and packages have been getting held up for days, if not longer, I was expecting this package to probably end up arriving later than Etsy originally predicted (November 27th was the original delivery date predicted by Etsy, which then changed to the 24th). I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when my package actually arrived yesterday afternoon, after Lucie had mailed it just the day before! I have never gotten a package that quickly before, let alone during a postal dispute!
So to break down just how quickly this package arrived (because I’m a nerd and was also SO thrilled and impressed):
I ordered my roving Sunday (the 18th), Lucie mailed it on Monday (the 19th), and I got it Tuesday afternoon (the 20th), so it arrived 24 hours after it was shipped. Amazing! Seriously, mailing a letter to someone within my own city can take a few days, getting a package in 24 hours from another Province (Lucie is based in Quebec) is unheard of – unless you pay a ton of money, and even then there’s no guarantee, at least in my own personal experience! No disrespect to Canada Post, but they are not the most reliable mail delivery service, and are seemingly always either on strike, threatening a strike, or doing rotating strikes, etc, so getting a package this fast is mind blowing, especially during an ongoing dispute, as I said, and I really, really appreciated it, especially since I have a bunch of these dolls to make before the holidays!
Wow, I probably spent way too much time talking about shipping, but all things considered, the speed was (and is) definitely an important factor for me and was super impressive and very much appreciated!
(Click to enlarge images)
The wool came well packaged, with each item packaged individually, as you can see. And Lucie actually sent me three wool samples, two felting needles and a felting pad, which I must add was before I ever mentioned anything about running a blog or the possibility of writing a review for it – Lucie is just that sweet, helpful and kind!
The wool is so incredibly soft and fine that it didn’t effect me at all, which was AMAZING since I typically have so many problems with any type of wool! What a revelation! I thought I’d never be able to wear or handle wool without being in complete misery! This may sound weird, but touching it reminded me of petting my cat – super comforting and so soft! Seriously, I could sit and pet this wool to relax. Because I’m clearly really, really weird and have issues.
I immediately started to work on Beth’s hair, and while it will take some practice and work to get it just right, I’ve always struggled with making hair for the dolls I’ve made, no matter what medium I’ve used to create it, so that wasn’t due to the roving, so much as my difficulty with creating pretty hairstyles for the dolls I make in general!
Working with the roving is honestly a joy. The chocolate brown I used for Beth’s hair is so gorgeous! I really love this colour, the corn/dijon yellow and the sample colours Lucie sent! It was really relaxing, quick and easy making Beth’s hair with the wool, which was great beautiful I usually struggle over doll hair for way longer than I probably should. I threw on a podcast, started experimenting, and was done in minutes! Next time I’ll probably take a bit longer, just to experiment more and really give myself a chance to enjoy the process, since I was actually sad that it took so little time because it was so relaxing to do! No worries though, I started sewing the next doll to keep up the happy, relaxed mood and I’m looking forward to using the roving again to make the hair for all the rest of the dolls!
And in case you are wondering if the felting needles came in handy – yes they certainly did! I decided to try them out while working on Beth’s hair, poking one of them into the wool after sewing it down just through the centre part. The felting needle actually worked the wool into her little stuffed cloth head! I’m sure that will be no surprise to anyone who has needle felted before, but since I hadn’t, I was amazed and excited to see this! And at the risk of sounding like a total weirdo for the second or third time in this post, I actually got a lot of joy out of repeatedly poking the doll in the head with a needle, it was such an oddly satisfying thing to do!
Notice how I switched from calling the doll Beth to calling it “the doll” just there? That’s because I feel like a bit of a monster calling a doll by it’s name and then saying I enjoyed essentially stabbing it in the head. But I did, I really did. I don’t know what that says about me, but probably nothing good, so we’ll move right along!
As I was saying, the felting needles definitely come in handy for creating the doll hair (and were enjoyable to use) and I totally recommend them if you make these dolls (or any cloth dolls for that matter) and use wool roving for the hair! For reference, Lucie sent me two felting needles, a purple tipped #38 triangular needle and teal tipped #38 twisted needle and I experimented using the twisted needle on Beth. The felting needles also came with a wonderful little sheet of instructions and safety tips, which was definitely appreciated, especially since I’m completely new to this!
Now that I’ve been experimenting with the wool and needles and this 19 micron Merino has opened up the once closed world of wool to me, I really want to try needle felting, which is a craft that I’ve been interested in for awhile now but thought would be impossible for me to attempt due to those pesky wool sensitivities! Yay for being able to play around with new crafts! Images of homemade needle felted Christmas tree ornaments are dancing through my head right now…!
I’m definitely going to order from Lucie again the next time I need wool roving! She has so many gorgeous colours that I’d love to play with but sadly didn’t have an excuse to purchase this time around! Not to mention her needle felting kits, mixes and tools, or the amazing works of needle felt art she creates! Seriously, there is so much to love and now that I’ve tried the wool and am getting excited about this new (to me) world of needle felting and the possibility of actually being able to work with wool for the first time in my life, I want to buy up a ton of stuff from this shop – it is only my strict budget that is stopping me from placing another order immediately but I’m hoping to make another purchase very soon!
The beautiful quality of the wool, the excellent customer service and the unbelievably fast shipping makes lululalaine a joy to do business with and I can’t recommend this shop highly enough!
What about you guys? Have you ever used wool roving or tried needle felting? What crafty projects are you working on? Do you think I’m sick in the head for getting enjoyment out of stabbing a doll? I’d love to heard your thoughts in the comments! 🙂