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Good knitting karma - a review and giveaway!

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.Purl_Kamibashis_650  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 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:, 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 pageKamibashi

"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 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 discussion announcing this giveaway by 9pm PST, April 30th, 2011.  The discussion is in the Fans Group at:  ONE post per person, please.
(If you are not yet a member of, consider joining!  And please join the Fans Group in 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, 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!!



those are really cute and i just love the little redheaded purl


These are gorgeous! I love that I can match my friends' personalities to different dolls, I'll definitely be buying these soon. The purl doll is gorgeous - and as a natural brunette with red hair (at the moment anyways!) I'd love to win either. Thanks for the chance to win.

Jennifer Lucas

Oh my gosh! I don't think I have ever seen anything so cute! I love Purl, but I also love "Old Bella" who makes sure your life is filled with fun folks and wild times! How great! I would love to win Purl.


Seamus the sheep is very cute!


I have never seen anything like these. The purl doll is beautiful as well as Cirene the butterfly. Stunning! I would love to win a string doll. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.


Not surprisingly, I simply love the little bat guy near the middle. These are adorable. My cute radar is also very active, and these set it off in a big way.


OMG! How adorable are these! I'll have to run over to their site and droll (got a cloth ready to clean up my keyboard!)!

I love the little blond!

Thank you so much for sharing these with us! I'm a "cutie" lover too!


Too cute for words! I actually have Little Prince!! Read my post on Ravelry to near the story....who knew!?! I could sure use Purl's charms!


I love them! I have a roller-skating one, but a knitting one would be right up my alley (surprising, right?). Purl on!

Theresa Pearson

There's just no way to pick a favorite. Of course, Purl would be that special secret friend in the knitting basket - there to commiserate with you when you've discovered that dropped stitch 4 rows down. Maybe she'd tell you the secret to fix that stitch you knitted when you should have purled. We can all use a pocket-sized friend from time to time.

Leyla Navab

OMG! ALL of the dolls are adorable! I want them all!

Michelle T

Those are adorable! Seamus the Sheep is awfully cute, but I don't know that I could pick just one favorite!


I absolutely love the black haired one!!! she's so cute i love all of them sooo much. i really need the luck of the charms since I'm a teen knitter and tend to make mistakes!


OMG, these are just so adorable! My fave is cutie is Purl! :D

Kimberly R.

I love these dolls - they are so very cute!!! My favorite is the blond Purl :)


I need Purl to watch over me as I knit and protect it from kitty when I lay it down. What a fabulous creation. Thanks to you, Chris and Kristen for bringing these dolls home to all of us.


I like red-headed purl. :-)

Phyllis Fricks

All these little dolls are so adorable. Someone's idea certainly turned into a profitable creation. It is hard to choose which one to get, as they are all personable. I was looking for a Hairstylist dol, but didn't see one, so I'm going to settle for the "Purl" ones.

Cindy Smith

I've admired these for a long time...they are adorable!

Susan Sanders

I like the sunflower girl!

Kelly Vriezen

My nerd daughter would just LOVE Dr. Atom and Coral the scuba diver!
Purl is adorable and I think they would be great conversation starters about knitting if I wore her while "out and about". I look at everyone as just "knitters-to-be!"!


So precious! I received one as a gift years ago, but Purl had sharp plastic needles. It looks like they've switched to flat-tipped wooden needles, which won't get caught on things.

Deborah Rboerts

I absolutely love the diversity of these string dolls and the slogans that accompany them are "spot on!" I can already see which ones i will buy for little Holiday gifts. Deborah


What wonderful creations!! These cute little dolls are very inspirational. I have some worry dolls that I have crafted for the little people in my life. My daughter has just learned the art of crocheting/knitting and these little adorable dolls would inspire her to continue learning. Thank you for bringing this craft to our attention.:)

Devi leonardini

They are too cute!! Hope one comes to live with me!!


I've loved these dolls since I first saw them at the games store my son goes to, but these knitting ones are my new favorites!

Linda Scott

Oh! Adorable! My favorite is The Enforcer... what clever use of findings. :)

L. Schulte

I think super cute is not even enough cute to say about these. I would see one doll and say that is the one I need and then one more would come up. I really like that they are helping out others also with the sale of their dolls and they are fair trade.


These are simply wonderful - how do you pick a favourite?! Seamus the Sheep is my fav because he's like the sheep we have on our farm: cute and fluffy. Thanks for sharing these with us.

Joan Siegel

They are adorable and I think that the brown haired one looks the most like me!


Too cute! It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be. My fav is the knitter for obvious reasons. Thank you for letting us know about these dolls.


I love, love, love dolls and I love knitting equally. But I sure could use some good knitting karma.


These absolutely adorable!!! I would love to win the blonde Purl for my 6 year old granddaughter whom I am teaching how to knit now - I was that age when my grandmother started teaching me! Traditions must be carried on! Thank you for the give away!

Pamela Fertitta

I love the blond with pink knitting because I am blond and I love pink!

Anne Perkins

The dolls are great especially the Red Head which, of course looks most like me. =)


I love Purl! I also like Dr Atom and Chakra--I need all the energy I can get!


Love these dolls. I have 3 already a devil, a pumkin and the queen of hearts. Did not know about the knitting gals, LOVE!!! Hope I win so I can expand my collection!

Michelle Miltiades

Purl is just too darn adorable for words! I'd love to win any one of the them.


Not only are the dolls cute, but the sentiments are fabulous. There's something for everyone and for every occassion or event. What great gifts for personalized emotions or personalities! I was amazed when I looked up the Kamibashi site how the dolls are made and the intricate care taken with each one. What a great charm to have for knitting or anything else! I'd love some of these characters!


These are so cool! We have a few different Kamibashi dolls. My daughter loves them, but I never knew they made knitting ones! Thanks!

Lynne Campbell

These are just super-adorable, and obviously chock full of good knitting mojo! The little brown-haired one is my fave, as I'm a brown girl myself, but I never could resist a redhead either, and everyone knows blondes have more fun...

Shoshy Roback

I love that these dolls represent Karma! I am a flight attendant and could use good Karma on my trips! I love them all but purl or angel is cute.

Denise Royal

These are great!!!

Sandy Ho

I am totally impressed by the creative energy that goes into creating these different dolls. After looking at the site, my fave is "Twinkle". They are all darling though, and I would be happy to own any one of them,


The purl doll is cute and Cirene the butterfly looks like something my niece would love. I love that the dolls represent Karma.

Carol Roper

I love the Purl doll, as it depicts me. I have long hair and you can usually find me with knitting needles in my hands. So I would love to win

Be Well
Carol R


It is so easy to fall in love with these dolls, and so hard to pick just one favorite! I love AstroNeil, Napolean, Little Princess, but my top pick is String Blade!


These are too cute! I've always loved handmade dolls, and one depicting knitting is just an added bonus. Purl is of course adorable, but I also really love Isabelly in red/gold. Just darling!

Jan Walsh

One cannot be a knitter and not love Purl!

Janice Van Arsdol

This little dolls or so cute,Purl in paticular. If I don't win one I'll purchase one. In fact I'll buy one now!


So so cute! I like the stringasaurus and the little rollerskating girl.

Beth Duggan

LOve them all. Besides Pearl I like the one on the site called Twindkle who sprinkles enchantment throughout your life... how cute.

Janey W

Hard to pick.
I would really like the Ganbare Bear - because of what it is supporting. But that is only going to be shipped until April 25th, which is before the end of the contest.
And I should want Purl - because of my less than stellar knitting. Not dropping stitches in the future would allow me to knit a lot faster (with less frogging).

But I've fallen for the Red Devil. So that's my final answer.


These are sooooooo adorable, I want one soo bad and then my list goes on asto whom I can gift these adorable little creatures to. Hello credit card, got to get some of these. They truely make you smile and the different ones are so inspiring.gush! gush


I'm torn between Lola the Librarian and Purl(with brown hair).They are truly adorable

Timber-Gray Draper

I love the tiger one because the face is so wonderful!
They are so wonderful and amazing, I'd love to have the tiger protecting my knitting


They are so cute ! Simply love Purl because it never fails I lose a stich and always have to back track! LOL!!!!Maybe she can catch it for me next time.

Cindy Ward

I have owned Warrior Woman for at least 5 years. She is an often-needed reminder to me to choose my battles wisely! I know she would love for Purl to come live at my house to keep her company! ... Cindy


Love the Purl Doll with the brown hair, shes so cute. I really nned someone to wath over my knitting so i'll stop dropping stitches!


These dolls are the greatest. I love the fact that they use mostly string. Who would figure out something like this while looking at a piece of string? That is so clever and creative.
My favorite, on the website is Seamus the Sheep. As a knitter, I have a special liking for sheep, and Seamus the Sheep is so fluffy and cute.

Laurie Kivi

My favourite is Cirene the butterfly! too cute!

Catherine Lott

I too have a very strong radar for very cute little things!! My favourite ones are Medusa and Purl.


I think it's a tie between Purl and hte Witchy Woman. They're all so cute it's hard to choose.

Bethany G.

I collect butterflies, so I adore Cirene! But I also absolutely love Susie Survivor too! I'll definitely be ordering some of these - it seems like there's one to fit each of my friends!

Thanks for bringing this great product to our attention!


I'm "slightly" obsessed with cute robots, therefor loving the KamiBot!

Caitlyn Alan

I love these knitting dolls! Naturally, I'd love to have the blonde, since I resemble her... I've been carrying Vincent (who looks like Van Gogh, complete with sunflowers in hand) to inspire creative genius for about a year now, and he's held up remarkably well on my battered keychain! :) A true testament to these dolls' workmanship.


I love those little dolls.. I have yet to get me one,so maybe this is my opportunity. They look like the perfect knitting companions. I never win anything ,so maybe I will this time.


OMG!!! They look like so much heart and soul are put into each one!!! i love them all.

Anne Pugliese

I wonder if they'll be using some of their profits toward relief for the stricken areas of Japan? These little dolls would make great package ties for your favorite knitter come the holidays, I can't believe how many there are to choose from....


Deborah Mindick

Hey! you always manage to find the neatest little gadgets, fun things, useful tools, and just great items to make us crazy knitters smile! I love the
little blondie because she is knitting with my very
favorite color - PINK! Keep up the great finds!


these are adorable! i love tiny handmade things like this..resembles amig!


These are adorable and so clever! I love tabitha, the free spirit


These are SO cute!!! I love Tabitha, Pacho and Coral! I also love that they donate to various charities. Thanks for running this contest. I'd love to win one of the little Purl dolls... especially the blonde one!

Teresa Hemphill

I love them all but I think the Purl doll is my fav!

Darlene in North GA

I like the little Cupid doll. Reminds me of my son who loved to make bows and arrows. He even fletched them himself with feathers he would find.

I think the cutest ones are Purl. She's adorable.

Angelina Glass

absolutely love them!!!!
my fave is Lt. Ryder
as my hubby is in the ARMY
AND I have adopted several soldiers at
these would be wonderful to send to them!!!

awesome givewaway!!!
(and thanks for the gift ideas!!)


i have brown hair so i like the brunnette one!
i drop stitches all the time so one of theese would certainly be helpful!


So cute!! Impossible to pick just one favorite. Great little gifts or package tie-ons.


So cute! I love Lola the Librarian!

Beverly Elrod

They're really cute. Besides the three here, I like the big sunflower one and the parrot. I think I do truly have a bit more fondness towards the parrot.


Can't wait to get a moment to spend time looking at all they have to offer.

I would love to get Purl just on name alone! I can use her help as I have some lace projects to start as bridal gifts and I'm sure she would ensure a great on-time outcome!

Leslee Ramirez

I could have used these on my last project! No fear though, I have at least 100 "want to do's" saved on my computer and a pretty good stash, so bring their little karma my way :-)


Too cute! I can't narrow it down to one - I'll be needing 3-4 of these cuties!


Oh my goodness they are all so cute. I love the little brunette. Mostly she most matches me. :o)


Absolutely adorable, love these!

Lou Glaub

These are soooo cute! Would definitely catch someone's attention when I am knitting out in public. And who knows, might actually inspire a new knitter!

Melissa Underhill

I love the snowflake one! great for this neverending new england winter! :)

Tish Painter

I love this idea... each one of the Purl dolls is so cute! I would never loose my knitting mojo again! I love the red haired doll... but as my daughter is blonde, I am not picky. ^_^


YOu can't expect one favourite- there are sooo many cute dolls there. My kids would snavvle Twinkle, Stringasauras and Kamibot but I think that the Moody Cow would be good for me! ;)

BJ Anderson

adorably cute!


I bought two for my kids last summer and I really regret not getting one for myself.


Adorable dolls. I've never seen anything like them. I would love to own one.


I'd never seen these before. They are too cute. I love the little angel. She is my favorite! I'm going to pick up a couple as gifts. Wish they has a nurse.

Jasmine Hodges

Oh! I saw a couple of these at a Otakon last July and I regretted not buying them. They are so adorable!


They are all very cute. I can't really decide on a favorite, but I do like Dr Atom and Coral.

Cindy L

My favorite is Twinkle, because she has purple hair like me.


These are adorable. Off to the website for some shopping! The knitting redhead is my favorite, since knitting is my favorite pastime and I'm a red head!


Cute, cute, cute, cute!!! Who could pick just one?

Josie Haynes

These dolls are really cool!! I would find it hard to stop at just one :)

AnDy Horne

Agreed on the cuteness factor. Had purchased one several years back as a gift for my daughter (I believe it may have been an angel, though cannot find her in the line-up) -- should have bought one for me too ...

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