I have a super cute giveaway going on over on Facebook that I thought I’d mention on here as well, in case you didn’t see it. It goes until tomorrow morning – so not much time to enter. The giveaway is for two adorable Piccolina dolls, with the intention being one for you and one for a friend. To enter, head on over to our Facebook page! Good luck!
Hello everyone! We’ve had a few new knitters join us here at Bamboletta – there is something about a doll in a sweater that is extra sweet. We noticed that there are many patterns available for our larger dolls (see Knitting Directory) but nothing for the smaller, Cuddle Dolls. I asked Julia to make a pattern up and write it out so that we could share it with you all. I can’t think of a nicer project to start off a Fall knitting season with! Happy Knitting! For the pattern, click Bamboletta Cuddle Doll or Baby Sweater .
Christina and Julia
I did a Doll Type Blog post about a year or so ago but, since then, we have added in a few more doll types. We’ve been asked what the difference is between them all so I thought I’d explain.
This was the first style of doll I made over 10 years ago! This body type is based on traditional German dollmaking patterns (which is what the Waldorf Dolls are based on). The body is sewn with cotton for it’s ‘skin’ (which comes in all the way from the Netherlands – specially milled for dollmaking) and then the doll is stuffed with wool. It’s luscious hair is made with wool, mohair and alpaca yarns and can be styled in many different ways (here’s our YouTube channel for hair styling ideas) The doll is stuffed quite firmly and the limbs don’t ‘bend’ at first, over time the arms and legs loosen up so the doll can eventually sit but she’ll always be ‘hug ready’! She stands 15 inches tall and is good for 3 and up but this age range is debatable. Some wee kids LOVE the big dolls, the heft of it can be very comforting. These dolls take us about 10 – 12 hours to make. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes. They cost $240 – $260 (depending on extra’s in hair or outfit).
So, this is a teenier version of the Classic Doll measuring about 10″ tall. Made with all natural materials and all that good stuff. This is a traditional Waldorf style doll with the body shape – arms outstretched for lots of hugs. This doll seems to be good for little ones, ages 1.5 – 2 ish, or for kids that love little things! These dolls take us about 6 hours to do from start to finish. They come with a simple outfit and underpants but no shoes. They cost $130.
This doll was created for children (and their moms) that wanted a softer, more bendable doll. They measure 15″ tall (and fit the Classic Doll clothing). We developed this pattern to have movable limbs, it’s perfect for tea parties. These dolls also have very cute feet (unlike our Classic and Little Buddy dolls who have the rounded foot). This doll would be good for ages 3 and up, but, again, it’s a personal preference for the child. Like the other dolls, the skin is made with that fantastic cotton ‘skin’ and stuffed with wool. Did you know that wool is absolutely amazing for children? It’s naturally antibacterial, warms to the touch and absorbs scent so the doll smells like ‘home’. These dolls take us between 10 – 12 hours to create. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes. They cost $240 – $260 depending on the outfit and hair.
This doll was inspired by our seamstress Nicki’s childhood doll Pippi. We loved Pippi because of her size and her long-ish floppy legs. So, we made a Bamboletta version. She’s a bit like a small version of our Sitting Doll but there are some differences. She stands 13″ tall, is ‘thinner’ then our regular dolls and has longer legs with feet! She is made with the same materials as all the other dolls. I think ages 2 and up would be good ,but, again, totally subjective. This doll takes about 7 – 8 hours to make. She comes with an outfit (2 piece), underpants and crocheted or felt shoes. They cost $155.
Ah, the Folk Dolls. These are my personal favorite. We wanted a taller doll and I sort of made this doll to be like an homage to dolls of my past. More traditional in the clothing, hand knit sweaters and dimpled ankles, knees and elbows. The arms on these are differnent as they hang down as opposed to outstretched like the rest of the dolls. Their limbs are very moveable and they are so nice to pick up. These dolls are 18″ tall . The more I am around them the more I think they are like an adult’s doll. Not that little ones can’t play with them, but these seem to have something about them that makes me think this. They are made with the same goodness and care as our other dolls and take about 12 hours to make. Ages 3 and up. $295.
These sweet wee dolls measure 9″ tall and are a condensed version of the Cuddle Doll. Currently these dolls are only available in our store or at markets. We only make a few of them at a time so it’s easier for us to sell them this way. Wool and natural materials, of course. $95
You can’t help but sigh a little when you pick up one of these dolls. They are SO sweet, from the curve of their little backside to the sweet little cap of hair – love through and through. Made with all natural materials these dolls are very slightly weighted with Rose Quartz pebbles. I chose this because of the calming properties this stone is said to have. The dolls have a little cap of hair, a diaper, sleeper, hat and sweet little swaddling blanket to cuddle with. Ages 1.5 and up.
So, there they all are! I hope this has been helpful to you. One thing I do recommend for people with small children is that they tie the long hair back or braid it until the child is ready to play ‘hairdresser’. It’s made with natural materials and some shedding is to be expected but this will stop as the yarns age a bit and will ‘felt up’ a little. It’s kind of like natural hair when it’s freshly washed and is all fluffy, it takes a bit of time for your hair to calm down. Natural dolls have a feel of their own and will age with your child and hopefully will be passed along to their child! I feel VERY strongly about using natural materials hence the price point (as well as the labour put in between all of us sewing mama’s!). If you are interested in learning more about the philosophy and use of natural materials, I wrote a blog post here about it.
Thank you so much!
We are holding another Piccolina workshop at the studio on September 13th. We had one a few months back and had such a great time, it was amazing to see our participants bring their dolls to life! We will work on assembling a doll, so this isn’t a workshop where you will be learning how to make a head or stuff, all that is done for you. Here we will be sewing the doll together, putting on the hair and then sewing on the face. I’m really hoping to some how take this workshop on the road somehow .. I’m going to try to figure out a Vancouver date by the end of the year.
So, the details, it’s on Saturday the 13th from 10-5. We will provide lunch and snacks and tea (of course!). The workshop includes all your materials and when you finish your doll you get to choose an outfit for her. Myself, Brandi and Shauna will be there with helping hands, so please don’t worry if you don’t have any sewing skills, you will be just fine!
We only have a few spots left and you can register HERE. Hope to see you there!
We had some pictures taken last fall by the lovely Devon Gillott. Hands at work, always busy at the Bamboletta studio.
I hope everyone is keeping well. I’m shifting some stuff at the studio so that I will have more time to blog and I am really looking forward to it. I miss writing and chatting on here. It crazy how fast time goes by!
This is my Nonna, she is my original doll sweater knitter. Her knitting slowed down for a while but she is back in action, something which she is really happy about.
We get the most lovely emails from people telling us about how our dolls have inspired them to pick up the needles and knit for their dolls or dust off the sewing machine and start making some outfits. Being a bit of a spark for someone’s creativity makes me incredibly happy and honored. I believe we need creativity in our lives, as much as air and food and water. To me, creativity connects us into something – that timeless bliss – be it when you sew, or knit, or give your fridge a really good clean (I did this today – so satisfying!). Creativity is such a loaded word – people often connect it with something artsy – but I really think it’s anytime you are in the ‘zone’.
Any ways, enough of my musings. I recently found out about this whole wide world of knitters for doll stuff – it’s amazing! I did a post asking people on Facebook for their patterns and knit goodies so that I could comply a directory of sorts. We get asked from customers where they can find patterns so this is an easy place to point them.
Some of these are free, others are paid for. I’ll tell you another thing that makes me happy – that there are people out there creating income for themselves by selling stuff for our dolls. Bamboletta is like a flower or something that sends off thousands of seeds and ,to me, blooms with creativity.
*If you knit and have patterns available/knitted goodies for sale please email me at email@example.com and I will add you in!*
First off, Brandy Fortune’s book!
So, this should keep you busy for a while! Next Directory I’ll create is a Doll Clothing pattern one.
Happy Knitting Everyone!
We are very honoured to introduce to you our guest blogger Laura, mother of sweet Amos, a boy you would find impossible not to fall in love with. Laura and her beautiful family are local on the Island with us, as well as new friends of ours! We were first brought together through a photo she posted on Instagram a couple months ago (oh, how we love the power of social media) and her blog ‘Little Feet in my House’ and story touched us so much we had to learn more. She wrote a gorgeous entry about her son and his special bond with his Little Buddy friend…
Thank you Laura, from the bottom of our hearts. We’re blessed to start to get to know you and your family and to have you open our eyes up to the world of your darling son Amos.
A few years ago, our lives were turned upside down and inside out with the birth of our special little guy. Amos Abraham was born one quiet, spring night. His peaceful and serendipitous arrival into this world gave nothing away of the turmoil we had felt the previous weeks. We knew he was a boy. We had just learned he had an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, otherwise known as Down syndrome. We knew he also needed surgery to correct his bowel, or he would not survive. We knew we weren’t allowed to bring him home for weeks.
We knew a lot of painful, heavy and difficult things.
What we didn’t know was how fiercely we would love him, and how powerfully his presence in our lives would change us.
There’s something so incredibly loving and nurturing about watching this in any child, but in particular observing this in a very special little child. Seeing our Famous Amos connect with something, anything in this way–is just such a pouring of sweet salve onto a mama’s spirit, and it is one I am so incredibly grateful for. Christina and her team at the Bamboletta studio bless families and children young and old over and over and over with these beautifully handmade, heartfelt little creations.
I’m so incredibly thankful to have found not just a toy, but a friend. A friend that my little guy will play with, even if it is only for moments at a time, a friend that my little guy will interact with in a way that so closely matches my interactions with him, or daddy’s interactions with him. And to see him be so sweet, and tender, and gentle with this little toy–his little friend, well that’s just a gift that’s too sweet for words.
Thank you, Bamboletta. Thank you for all you do.
Bamboletta, you bless us. You bless us so.
To learn more about orphans with special needs waiting for adoption, check out these wonderful organizations.
National Down Syndrome Adoption Network
and waiting children, in our own province.
Adopt a Waiting Child, British Columbia.
There is always more we can do, more we can give, and more we can pray for. Perhaps you are feeling called to give more of yourself, your time, your heart, or opening your family to one or more of these waiting children. (thank you).
I’m so excited to announce we will be holding a local workshop! It will be on Saturday July 5th right here in our studio at Whippletree Junction, near Duncan. This workshop will be a ‘Make A Piccolina’, so, you will be assembling a doll, choosing it’s hair and sewing it on, sewing on your dolls face and then choosing the outfit. This is not a ‘how to’ sort of thing – we would need DAYS to cover things like making heads and stuffing! We will spend the day together, it will be myself, Shauna and Brandi. We will have tea and cookies (obviously!) and a nice lunch (all provided). The workshop will be from 10am to 4 or 5pm. This is our first one so we aren’t exactly sure about times.
This workshop will be available to local people ONLY. I am saying this because, like I said previously, we aren’t exactly sure about timing and if there were ferry’s booked and such I’d hate for you to feel rushed. I am almost certain we will be holding more workshops in the future. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS! I just need a tad of flexibility with this one, hence, local only.
If you are interested please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will take emails until 10pm PDT tonight. I will contact the ‘winners’ (for better lack of a word) on Saturday and then you will have until 10pm Sunday the 15th to pay. We have room for 10 people. Please do not comment on this blog that you are interested in a spot!
So – here are the details
Date: Saturday July 5th
Time: 10am – 4/5/6pm – keeping this sort of open
Where: Bamboletta Studio, Whippletree Junction, Duncan (we will give driving instructions in the email)
Cost: $250 Includes all materials (including a dress for your Piccolina) and snacks and a lunch made by Brandi (she is the best, really!)
So, we will see how this goes down, we have ideas to maybe one day make this workshop mobile and travel around and hold workshops in cities .. it’s a dream and I hope one day I can announce something like ‘NYC – Brandi and I are coming to see you!’. We’d be like traveling, doll making gypsy’s!
A few years back I did something called ‘Blessings Dolls’, where we had people write in and nominate someone they thought deserved a doll. This person (child or adult) could be in a situation where a doll is not feasible, or maybe they are having a tough time or maybe they are just awesome and deserve some love. I haven’t done them for a while and since then we have given our ‘booboo’ dolls (these are the dolls I used for Blessing Dolls) to various local charities and hospitals, as well as to communities in North America that have been devastated by natural disasters.
I’d like to do Blessing Dolls again. We have a bunch of booboo dolls here and they really need new homes and would love to find someone to love. So, until June 23, please write in your nominations. We only have so many dolls so we can’t help everyone. What we will do is choose half the people randomly and the other half by who we feel is deserving. We aren’t sure how many dolls yet as we are still working through them.
So, to nominate someone please email us a bit about them to email@example.com . Please do not leave a comment below – it’s easier for me to keep everything in one place! On June 23rd, I will email the people who will be receiving dolls to get their contact info and mailing address.
Oh, how I love to do this. My heart is going to burst and I feel so grateful to be in this position to be able to make someone’s day. Much love to you all.