MUAR: Unable to reunite with her loved ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a 13-year-old student here has knitted lion dance dolls as gifts for her father and grandparents, who are overseas.
Chung Hwa High School student Tsai Yi Ting said it took her about two months to finish knitting the dolls from scratch.
“This year’s Chinese New Year is a unique one as we are separated in three locations – my father is in Guangdong, China, where he works, my grandparents are in Taiwan whereas my mother, brother and I are in Muar, Johor.
“I decided to make them gifts to show how much I miss them. The last time we met in person was during the previous Chinese New Year, ” she said in an interview.
Yi Ting said her mother purchased three types of yarn for her
to make the dolls, and she added other embellishments to make the dolls look lively.
“Compared to the dolls I stitched last year, I made fewer mistakes this time round so I was able to complete them within two months.
“The biggest challenge when knitting the lion dolls was the back part as I had to keep the spine straight while stitching the rest of the body.
“Even if there was a slight mistake, I would have to take it apart and restitch it, ” she said, adding that a lot of patience and concentration was needed for the craft.
The Form One student said completing the dolls gave her a huge sense of accomplishment.
“I am happy that my gifts made it safely to my father and grandparents. My 78-year-old granny even posted a selfie with the lion doll on her Facebook, ” she said.
Tsai first took up crocheting with her mother about three years ago.
Although she found it difficult to learn the techniques at first, her interest in handicraft motivated her to keep trying.
After watching online tutorials and reference books, she slowly developed her own crocheting techniques.
“I made my first crochet coasters last year and presented them as gifts to my teachers for Teacher’s Day, which made them very happy.
“My mother and I also knitted 40 colourful face mask extenders for medical frontliners in July last year to show our appreciation to them, ” she added.
Tsai said she had also made other items such as handbags, cup holders, photo frames, bottle carriers, hair clips, dolls and small purses.