As always, May is a busy month in the garden, on the bike, and around town. So is the end of April, for that matter, with the result that the only crafty goodness I have to show off is for the Kokeshi Doll Swap.
These Kokeshi Dolls are my first attempt at amigurumi. (Yes, they're crochet.) They're posed in front of a copy of the Hiroshige woodcut of the Nihonbashi [Bridge of Japan], the traditional kilometer zero of Japan, which seems like a good place to start a journey to one's swap pals.
Kokeshi are Japanese dolls similar to clothespin dolls – the traditional medium is wood, often brightly painted and waxed; the traditional form, a head and body, no arms. Like many folk craft items, kokeshi have lingered on in a world of mass production and nostalgia, only to be appropriated and transformed into collectible objet and museum pieces. Most kokeshi are demure girls, although there are the whimsical exceptions.
I received adorable kokeshi from my swap pals still standing. Thank you, YarnSniper and listeningmoth – for those who persevered, the swap had a sweet conclusion. When one is all dolled up, one needs a suitable place to go, so I took them to the the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC for the Vogue Knitting spring show. They were a hit when they joined the queue to get in.
Left to right: Tall purple by YarnSniper, mini and medium by listeningmoth, small red by yours truly. Now that I see listeningmoth's I think my kokeshi would benefit from cough neck reduction plastic surgery.
In case you're wondering, the dolls were posing in front of the Lion Brand lion. I would never make such a thing of my own free will, yet I'm strangely glad such examples of the craft and such crafters exist. As for amigurumi, the very thought used to make me shudder, but who knows? I may crochet more stuff.
As for the fashion show, it was wonderful – there's simply no substitute for seeing the samples in person modeled by "real people" (VK staff) of different body types and ages. But more on that in a later post.