Here I am sitting at Bintliff's which is, according to my son Blake and me, the very best breakfast place in Portland. My arms are adorned with Stulpin, which are European knitting garb intended for either your forearms or your legs. We had two guests from Germany staying over in our Airbnb room and I was knitting knee socks as we chatted over the breakfast scones in the studio. One of the ladies wondered if I could make the socks without feet. It took us a while to figure each other out, what with her not so good English and my much, much worse German, but we managed. The results are these Stulpin, which are now with her in Munich keeping her forearms, or her legs, warm through the cold European winter.
This is a closer view of them showing the little mock cables that I put on my particular version. I will post a pattern on Ravelry and on my Etsy site if you want to make them exactly like mine but if you are a sock knitter almost any rib like pattern that you would use on socks will work nicely. Color work might not be stretchy enough for arms and legs, particularly if you have working class calves like mine.
This is Samahra's Doll. Her parents Tiffani and Yuri came to see us at the Airbnb room that we have here at the top of the stairs and saw one of my dolls while we were having breakfast in the studio. After they returned home Yuri sent me some wonderful photos that he had taken of my studio and also a request that I make a doll for Samahra. He sent me some photos of Samahra herself so that I could do justice to her lovely face and cornrow braids and this is the finished product....just in time for Christmas. This photo is taken in the kitchen in my pot of sage and parsley, which seemed like a good idea at the time but has resulted in some flare on the lens. Nevertheless it is a good shot of the dolls little face.
And here is a beautiful picture that Samahra's parents sent to me of her pretty face after she had opened her Christmas present. It was a wonderful post-holiday surprise for me to receive the e-mail from Yuri and Tiffani with these pictures attached. As you can see Samahra knew exactly what a Christmas doll needs most, which is a loving welcome to the family hug. I really focus on creating dolls that feel at least as good as they look and it appears that for Samahra it was a successful effort.
Tiffani and Yuri also sent me some pictures of Samahra before I started her doll so that I could see the way her mother braids and arranges her hair and try to duplicate that for her. So Samahra's doll as cornrow braids attached to a crocheted cap and the braids can even be rearranged a bit so that they tie at the side or the back. Samahra was evidently quite tickled with the braids. I also really concentrated on giving the doll big dark brown eyes, a wide button nose and a full rounded mouth so that she would have a family resemblance to Samahra.
I really enjoy making the dolls, but I particularly like making them for a special child. This was such a fun project for me, and seeing the photos from Christmas morning made the whole thing even more meaningful.
If you would like to stay with us this is the room we rent via Airbnb. I would love to see you and give you a tour of the studio, some quality time at the knitting table, some scones and warm drinks.