We all love to have good karma, so why not carry around a charm that bestows great knitting karma on us AND is adorable too!
I happened across these Kamibashi dolls while browsing in a gift shop while I was on vacation last December. They first caught my eye because they were cute (yes, I have a very strong radar for cute things!), BUT also because I could tell they were hand crafted and looked really unique. And then, I found that one of these dolls was specifically for knitters and I fell in love!
Turns out, there's a whole great story behind these dolls too.
"Kamibashi" means paper bridge in Japanese.
Apparently, a husband and wife team, both university teachers who were living in Kyoto, discovered this craft of making string dolls and decided to create and bring a whole line of them into the U.S. through many boutiques and online. Their creative execution of them is really well done!
The dolls that I discovered are part of their "String Doll Gang". Their Kamibashi.com site sells the full selection (over 100 different dolls, including special holiday ones!). The site also has a lot of other great hand crafted charm-like products.
Ok - back to the String Dolls in particular. . . love them! They are a "Gang" of 2 to 3" tall dolls hand crafted in string and fabric. Each has a truly unique character and purpose. They can be used as key chains, bag charms, for collecting, etc. The ones shown above and that I fell in love with are called "Purl". Her mission tag says, "Purl makes sure that you never drop a stitch." How awesome is that!
So, we (thanks, Natalie, who helps me out with stuff like this!) contacted Chris at Kamibashi, and he kindly sent me some to review and giveaway.
I'll be keeping the black-haired one, as it looks most like me. The others are equally well made, super detailed, and just so sweet.
Don't you just love them? I hardly need to "review" them, as I was already sold on them when I noticed them at the gift shop. You can see the wonderful detailing in the photos here. They are just so charming.
I will add that the Kamibashi company has a lot going for it too. They are hugely creative in all the dolls and other charms that they make. Read this page: http://www.kamibashi.com/artists/stringdolls/, and you can see the whole process of how a string doll is conceived and born! AND they use fair trade practices and employ women in the rural areas of the North of Thailand to hand make each of these dolls.
There are so many other String Doll designs, it will be hard to select your fave. Here's a snapshot of part of their site, and this is just the String Doll Gang page.
"Lady Liberty ensures that you have a warm welcome wherever you go"
"Cupcake reminds you to savor the sweet moments in life",
"Titus the Tiger teaches us that we are all unique individuals who deserve respect."
And so forth! You'll just have to visit them at www.kamibashi.com to see all that they have! Oh - and did I mention that these string dolls are only $10 each?
OK, enough of my raving, and now for the giveaway details. I will be giving away 2 Purl Kamibashi dolls at the end of April.
To enter this contest, please do ONE or BOTH of the following:
1) Leave a comment on this post by 9pm PST, April 30th, 2011. Tell us what you think of these dolls and which one is your fave. ONE comment per person, please.
2) Post in the Ravelry.com discussion announcing this giveaway by 9pm PST, April 30th, 2011. The discussion is in the SweaterBabe.com Fans Group at: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/sweaterbabecom-fans. ONE post per person, please.
(If you are not yet a member of Ravelry.com, consider joining! And please join the SweaterBabe.com Fans Group in Ravelry.com too!)
I'll randomly choose 2 winners, each to receive one Purl doll. Sorry - I will be randomly selecting which hair color doll to send the winners. Dolls can only be sent to U.S. and Canadian addresses. Thanks!
And thank you, Chris and Kristen, the founders and owners of Kamibashi.com, for sending us these dolls!
May 16th Update: AND the winners are. . . Lu R., who commented here on 4/19, and Mary, who commented here on 4/2. You've both been emailed and the "Purl" dolls are on their way! CONGRATS!!