I first became acquainted with working with fleece many years ago. Honestly, looking at those long yellowish somewhat aromatic (in a sheepy kind of way) curls it is difficult to imagine it as hair on a doll. But the first step is to pick the fibers apart separating them to let any solid pieces of debris fall out. This separation of the fibers also lets the soap and hot water get between each fiber to clean and lift out the greasy lanolin. So today, picking it is. Taking a large curl in my hand I started to tease the fibers apart. Soon I was in my picking rhythm. Repetitive, soothing, mindless. With no effort at all a pile of curls turned into a pile of picked wool. Ready to be washed into Grandma hair whiteness on another day.
I suppose I could just buy some wool already washed and sew it onto my dolls. But it wouldn’ t look the same. It wouldn’t feel the same. And that is what makes each doll so special. The fact that they really are made 100% by me. From their woolen hand washed hair to their hand stuffed (and, yes, I make the stuffing too) toes they are truly one of a kind. And one of a kind is really what being hand made is all about.