My grandmother was very artistic. She could take any image at all and copy it perfectly. She used to lament because she couldn’t draw out of her imagination, but truly could copy anything perfectly. It was a staggering talent and one I always admired and secretly wished I had.
But it suddenly occurred to me a few months ago that I have her talent, just in 3d form. I can take a photo of anything and copy it in knitting. I’ve made Ludo from Labyrinth, GIR from Invader Zim, most of the creatures from Where The Wild Thing Are, Daleks and K9 from Dr Who, even an SLR and an anotomicall correct heart. It’s like a puzzle, to figure out how to knit them, but I love it.
Truth be told, I wanted to keep them all. But instead they starred in Totem and then were sent back home to Mrs Page.
I wanted to make her something special as a present, and I couldn’t think of anything better than knitting her a version of her Domestic Gist peg dolls.
The ‘type’ effect on the dress was created by using a normal yarn in a sepia/gold colour for the paper and a thin black crochet cotton together. She leans a little because of her dress, but I don’t mind that.
One of the things I love about a stash is that I can rummage around in the 6 clear plastic boxes of yarn (organised by colour) and knit this entire doll from it. Even the pearls came from a stash – I find a lot of broken jewelery on the ground which I collect up and take home.
The stuff I find mostly falls into three categories:
and playing cards.
It’s a strange but ever growing collection of Found Objects which all reside in glass jars on my shelf. I dive into it about once a week to deck out dolls or add them to artworks.
Speaking of dolls and Totem, I made another portrait doll to give to my exceptionally hard working and devoted producer, Simone Collins. Simone was really pleased when I gave it to her. The doll is wearing a shirt based on one of my favourites of Simone’s shirts she used to wear when I was working with her. One of the things I love best about the doll is it has Simone’s earrings. Simone wears flesh tunnels through her ears, but the prettiest ones I’ve ever seen, they’re black with sparkly diamonds around the circle. Portrait dolls are all about showcasing a few particular visual traits of the person you’re portraying, so I knew that Simone’s earrings would be really important to this doll. Luckily I found little circular black beads with diamantes around their edges in my local bead shop. Not perfect, but close enough to suggest Simone’s jewelery. She even commented that the doll had her earrings! So that was nice.
I love when presents are so perfect for the recipients. Makes me so warm inside!