Wire armatures

So, now that I’m the other side of major surgery and apparently the minor diety who had a bucket list of plagues for me, I finally got back here. So yay! It wasn’t a year and a half this time 😀

As far as what i’ve been up to- well, I made a cover for my well worn and well loved chair (don’t like how it turned out really, no pics!), and some hats for a friend of my mom’s. (How many requests have you had so far this year, fellow knot makers? I’ve had four.. and it’s February). I also had a bag full of body parts-

okay, doll body parts, but still.. kinda creepy. I’ve finally settled on a pattern I like (here)- with some adaptations because honestly I can’t do a doll and not at least give it thumbs. It just bugs me, you guys!

This is one of the most solid patterns I’ve found for the kind of dolls I want to make and it solved some issues I’d been having. It created a few others (no thumbs!) but I found workarounds for those. However, it did not solve the floppy head problem.

For those of you unfamiliar- crochet dolls.. well they’re soft. And mushy. They’re nice that way, but I’ve been asked over the years to find ways to make the necks stiffer. I’ve tried a couple of different things- stuffing a dowel between the head and the torso doesn’t work so well, however doubling up on the yarn and making the neck a little wider did help some. But I’ve never really found anything that really set well with me.

The aforementioned book mentioned wire armatures to make the doll poseable. I searched the internet to learn how to build one (thanks internet!)  and then went and bought some wire. The book calls for 8 gauge I think and I could only find 9 gauge at the local national chain building supply store. By the way, if you decide to do this- just ask them where they keep their hanging wire for photos- chances are you’ll find this stuff there and without the utterly mystified look when you ask them for “wire to make an armature with.”

Onto the good stuff. I brought it home and if I’m being honest it sat for a few days while I played through Fable III again (achievements, yo!). But.. yeah I got the time so here we are.

First up- the initial figure- let me apologize for the blurriness of some of the pics- I usually take a couple just to make sure at least one is clear, but I was so excited to get this posted that I forgot on some:

wire 01

That’s the basic armature and all the bits that went into yon doll. It’s made from two pieces of wire- very basic. I folded the ends back in on themselves so that even if they do poke out they’re not likely to hurt anyone.  I think for the next set of dolls I’ll actually intentionally put in a space for the wire arms. As you’ll see, that was the hardest bit of all of this.

Aww.. look at the Blair Witch figure trying on its human suit

Silly arms. Easily the worst part of this.

This doesn’t remind me of anything violent at all.

I’m including this just to prove I can take non-blurry pictures. Also, it looks like a doll now, mostly!

This is the basic process., I think you can get the idea of how it works from the pictures alone. And wow did it make a difference when I was done- no more floppy head and the whole structure just felt.. better. Stronger. The only downside I could see is getting poked by a wire. I have yet to decide if this is a design flaw and I’ll have to head back to the drawing board because of it. I really don’t want it to be. I’m going to talk with other moms and see what they have to say.

Here’s the final result. Oh and i”m not done with the Kool-Aid dyes just yet. After I was done with this (and wiring up four other dolls) I took some of my recently washed fleece and dyed it with two different colors. Results… later.

Just the strings to snip and this one’s ready for the next stage.

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