I think I have been writing this review for.ever but thing is, I almost wanted to use the entire line of yarns before I wrote it "properly". I know, I am being pedantic again. I am, of course, talking about my product review for DollyMo. In case you have been hiding under a rock and don't know anything about them, DollyMo is the joint venture of Kamrin and Debbie, two doll makers who went about creating a wonderful yarn for to be used as hair for doll making.
These yarns are such a joy to work with that it becomes almost redundant to enumerate the qualities of the product. I guess, in my opinion, the beautiful natural shades they come in and also the new "brushability" factor are two of its main winning characteristics.
Originally I had used their initial line called Brushed Chunky Mohair (composition 84% Kid Mohair, 8% Wool, 8% Nylon as a binder) yarn which came in 50 gr balls and were the perfect amount for my rather large doll heads back then, with a little bit of extra yarn left in case I wanted to add pigtails or something; which I never did and ended up with smaller balls of mohair I didn't know what to do with. The yarn came in the most beautiful natural shades, and was easy to achieve a very full looking cap and extremely soft to the touch, due to the kid mohair content. Albeit I found that another brand gave me a longer staple and the doll was able to have longer hair style without the need of adding individual strands. This mainly due to the fact that I do not brush my doll caps with a metal-bristle comb but instead used a different technique taught to me by my friend Juliane, teacher and dollmaker extraordinaire of Froken Skicklig dolls.
Now, their newly released line, called DollyMo Wool Brushable (73% Wool, 23% Mohair, 3% Nylon as a binder), has different more vibrant colours, two beautiful brown shades (it seems very hard to achieve nice shades of brown but these ladies have done it) and two beautiful copper tones (my favourites) now in 30 gr. balls. With my tension and my small crochet hook (2.5 mm) I am able to fill a doll head of about 14" circumference with no problem, and still have a little left over (just in case). I can really notice the difference in performance of this new line and attribute it to the different content of wool versus mohair. This new yarn can be brushed extensively and the hair really grows, it is a joy to watch the hair doing that. It is still very soft but this added bonus of being able to brush it and turn the cap with longer hair is a bit of a miracle and only a doll maker knows what a beautiful thing this is.
You can see the difference between Joni, which wears DollyMo for hair, and Ninu, which wears Dream Mohair for hair. Joni's hair turned out so long without any brushing at all, that I was able to give her pigtails with no problem. Ninu has a very full head of hair as well, but her mohair cap will need wear and several more years of brushing and play before she can sport Joni's hair style. Ninu is not jealous, don't you worry about it, she sleeps all day and has no need for pigtails yet.
Just this last Christmas, one very anxious Mom wrote me in a bit of a panic when after adding yards and yards of regular knitting lace mohair to her daughter's christmas doll and still looking quite empty, she couldn't figure out what was the matter. Using mohair that has been spun for knitting instead of the one made for doll hair, can be quite a disappointing experience. For one, the yarn doesn't have the staple needed to give you a realistic look, and you will need ridiculous amounts of it to make a full-looking head, which can pose other messy issues like tangling and matting. Of course, in a jiffy you can use whatever you have at hand, but if you want professional results and long-lasting wear: use materials intended for doll making. Period.
Overall I strongly recommend the new line, and while I haven't used all the wonderful yarns Debbie sent for me to use in order to make an informed choice, I am looking forward to placing yet another order from them. I feel it is so valuable to have doll makers behind DollyMo, who understand the needs one has and have struggled and gone through the process of creating a yarn that we can all use and make beautiful dolls with. They really understood what was needed, and have tried to supply all makers of dolls with a very reasonably priced alternative, especially to those of us who like to make dolls with natural hair shades and love the traditional look of a brushed mohair cap.
I wish they keep expanding their colours, to add more subtle shades, but for now I am extremely happy with the ones they have, some traditional and some pretty vibrant for the kiddos that love their dolls in bright colours. While I don't make baby dolls that often and prefer my larger dolls to have rapunzel-esque manes of hair, I do enjoy playing with the soft halo of hair that you achieve when you use DollyMo for your doll's hair.
I still have quite a few shades to go through, so expect some more dolls from me with this pretty hair option. If one of your 2014 plans is to make a doll, or a second or a third, I would highly recommend trying the traditional and beautiful look of a mohair cap. There is something so simple and stately about a doll with this kind of hair. And now, I must go and fiddle with my sewing machine who wanted to play some pranks on me today and almost brought me to tears. In times like these, I turn to my faithful hand-sewing tasks or crochet hooks, or even some trusty knitting needles, to teach her a lesson. Thank you for coming to read my first product review. Stay tuned for the end of the month, when I will publish a post with some more doll making info, links and other news. Stay warm (unless you live in Australia/Tasmania!).