Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lets make ringlets!!!

Lets make thick ringlets!
If you would like to make thick ringlets
like the ones I have made in the pictures above
this is how I did it, and you can do it too!
What you will need:
*Hairpin lace loom
*2 skiens of yarn, I think Red Heart works great for this but I also really like the soft feel of I Love This Yarn. I always experiment with different yarns.
*A sewing machine that you are okay sewing yarn on and it has to be one in which you can lower the feed dog (is that what it's called?) and take off the pressure foot.
*HEAVY weight needle for the machine. You will be sewing a somewhat thick amount of yarn and believe you me, it will snag and break that needle.
*Dual Duty Coats and Clark HEAVY thread in a color that matches close to the yarn you are using. I am going to use a contrasting thread so that you can see where I have sewn.
This is what you do...
First adjust your hairpin lace loom to the width you would like your ringlet to be.
Next start wrapping two strings of yarn around the loom. You want this thick so make sure to push down as you go. By the time you get to the other end, or the length you would like your ringlet to be, you want to have as much yarn on the loom as possible without overlapping.
Once you are done wrapping clip your yarn and take your loom to the sewing machine. Make sure your pressure foot raised and taken off, also make sure the feed dog (is that what it's called?) is lowered. Now sew down the middle going very slowly and making sure not to snag your needle. I have my stitch length set at 0. Once you get to the other end, turn and then sew back up. Once you are done clip the ends and tie them off.
Now it's time to take the yarn off the loom so take off one end of the loom and slide the ringlet off. It should start to twist on it's own if everything went as planned. All you have to do now it help it along a bit and twist it as much as you would like. You can leave them more spiral or twist them up good, it's all up to you!!!
Happy Ringlet making!!!

Wouldn't you like to make these curls?

I call these pencil curls, even though they are made with dowels and not pencils. I suppose you could make them with pencils if you truly wanted to but I do think dowels are the more practical choice lol.
I posted this procedure to make curls last year some time but while re-doing my blog the first time I wiped out quite a few posts, the pencil curl post being one of them, and I thought it would be nice to re-post the tutorial.

There are many successful ways to make curls, this is just the method which I developed that works best for me with the longest lasting results. Back when I figured out how to do these curls I didn't know about the online doll making clubs nor did I have any patterns that would teach me. I desperately wanted to learn how to make yarn curls without using the method of crocheting so my trial and errors began.
Now, I will tell you that I did know one person who did not make dolls but did hair makeovers on them whom figured out how to make this style of curl before I did (as I am sure many others in the doll world had as well) but she would not give her secret and I fully respected that, besides it made me work hard to understand how the whole process worked which in my thoughts contributed to my road to becoming a better doll maker.

Okay so enough of the jibber jabber.

What you will need:

*Two skeins of acrylic yarn (I prefer RedHeart for this) You can use two of the same color or two different colors. I have pictured examples of both.

*A large amount of dowels, 1/4 inch or smaller in width (too large will result in loose curls) and approx. 12 inches in length. I buy my dowels in 3ft lengths at Wal-Mart then snip them down to 12 inch pieces. If you want to use the larger 1/4 inch size you can buy bags of dowels at Wal-Mart in the wedding cake section already cut in 12inch lengths.

*A large GLASS baking dish



*Oven Mitts

*Timer (or something to watch the time on)

*** Lots of patience and free time while watching TV (this is for the winding, unwinding, and cutting)

This is a super easy process BUT it does take a lot of time if you are wanting to do a nice full head of hair. I would say that the two sweet faces I pictured above took around 180 wrapped dowels or more. Yikes, a lot but so worth it! I bake 60 dowels at a time so that the heat spreads evenly.

Get your yarn pulled out and tie the end of the two strands onto the end of the dowel then start to wrap the yarn tightly around the dowel pushing up as you go and making sure not to twist your strands. You want to tightly wrap as much yarn as possible on the dowel but make sure to never overlap the yarn. It needs to stay single layer. Once you are at the end of the dowel snip the yarn away from the skein and then tie off the yarn on the dowel and sit it into the baking dish.

Do the above step to the next 59 dowels (or however many you choose to make each round)

Next preheat your oven to 325. Actually ovens and such vary so it may be anywhere between 275-325. You do not want it too hot or it will discolor the yarn but too low will not give a strong enough curl. Put your dowels in the glass baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes. Pop on your oven mitts and take the dish out of the oven and let the curls cool off. Do not touch them or the dish until all is cool. This may take a good while.

Once the curls are completely cool to the touch it's time to unwind them off the dowels. Pull them all off and then you are ready to cut them into the length you would like. For the all over curls I usually cut my curls into threes. Play around with lengths though, it's such fun!

Once you get all the curls cut and ready you can sew them onto your dolls head and make any style your imagination can come up with. This is a long process but not a hard one and it's so worth it in the end!

While this recipe may not make your tummy happy it's sure to be candy to the eyes once you see it on one of your dollies!