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This weekend we went to a reenactment of the Battle of Great Bridge (which occurred early on during the Revolutionary War).  Sharkbait and Chickadee being old hands at “making popcorn”  (our description of musket fire in Civil War reenacting) stuck their fingers in their ears for every volley and hollered “HUZZAH!!” like champs when the battle was through. Chickadee also had a load of fun in the kids tent where she got to make a bookmark of her name out of hotchpotch alphabet charachters (you can find examples of the alphabet online, and there’s even an app for a memory game based on them that benefits the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), taste some hasty pudding (yuck) with molasses (yum), drink wassail tea*, and make yarn dolls (instructions coming up).  She also got to be the littlest infantryman and drill (she can bayonet charge with the biggest of them, lol) and she visited the reenactor’s camp where she got to check out a reproduction hornbook, from which she would have learned her ABC’s were she a colonial kid.

*The (quite yummy) Wassail tea recipe is on the munchkin’s blog, at the end of the post under “Mommy Notes”, but I’ll be adding it to the upcoming Yule preparations post as well.

Making a Yarn Doll 

A couple colors of yarn (we used one for the body, one for the arms/torso, and one for the hair
something about 6-8 inches long to wrap the yarn around
yarn needle (optional, but it makes some parts easier)
cloth scraps, buttons, ect (optional for eyes, clothing, etc)



Wrap the yarn around your 6-8 inch long object until you have about a handful of yarn. Its hard to say how much to use…if you decide to braid the arms and legs, you need less, but if you are making a dress with the yarn, it looks better with more.  Either way, you should be able to tie it off pretty tight to form the parts of the body.

When you are done, tie off what will become the “top” of the doll so youhave a loop of yarn like so:


To make the arms, wrap a separate, thinner section of yarn (we used the width of our guide, but you can use the length and trim the “hands” if you prefer).  The other choice is to wrap the arms, which makes them a bit pose-able, as we did (you can leave the hands as loops or trim the arms), or to braid them (the arms can be trimmed to the length you want).


Tie off the head, insert the arms and cut the loops on the bottom.


There are two methods to make the bodice/torso. For the first, you just tie off the torso under the arms (its the technique that the website linked in the first step uses). For the second, you wrap the torso, which forms a bodice (its a bit like making an ojo de Dios, in terms of the pattern it forms for the bodice).


Add the “extras”–hair, eyes, skirt, etc.  For hair, take a loop of yarn for the hair, and cut it at one end, then tie it at the middle through the top of the head. For eyes (this is where a yarn needle comes in handy), you can tie and trim a piece of another yarn color, or you could sew in buttons.  A skirt or apron can be made from fabric scarves, as can a kerchief.