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Wintery Nesting Dolls

Hook three-dimensional Russian folk art dolls.

By: Carol Koerner
Photography by Carol Koerner

From left to right: Grandfather Frost, 20"; Snow Maiden, 12"; and Snowman, 8". The dolls are hooked in #3-cut and some #4-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Carole Koerner, Bethesda, Maryland, 2016.

This just-finished set of Russian style dolls is the second set of dolls I’ve hooked. After completing my first set of three-dimensional dolls—the traditional babushka matryoshka dolls with simple scarves on their heads and flowers on their bellies—my daughter challenged me to construct the dolls that would actually nest inside each other. These dolls do just that!

The dolls in this set are large: 20", 12", and 8" tall. They were modeled after three Russian folk tale characters: Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost; Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden; and a snowman. Ded Moroz, a legendary Slavic character, makes his rounds every New Year’s Eve. He’s accompanied by his companion, Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden, as they bring gifts to delight the children of Russia. The Snow Maiden is the immortal daughter of Frost and Spring. Although she can live forever, she is not able to experience love. In order to find real love, she has to sacrifice her immortality. And so at the first sign of spring, she melts away.

Carol Koerner is an artist who began hooking in1996. She dyes her own wool to achieve her preferred style of vivid colors with strong contrasts. She specializes in still life images and portraits and is currently experimenting with monochromatic subjects.

This article excerpt is from the November/December 2016 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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Excited to try the nesting dolls


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