One of my co-workers had finished two small crochet squares at work that she abandoned in our unfinished pieces box. She was learning to crochet and had picked it up pretty quickly. I asked her if she was interested in making one of our rag dolls and she gave it a try. I don’t think making toys is her cup of tea so she didn’t return to the project.
I had finished making all the promised dolls I needed to make and saw those two lonely squares just sitting there begging to become something (or someone :-). I asked them (I speak to my pieces all the time) what they wanted to become and they both said they heard a lot of the girls mention the Little Mermaid. Perfect! Those two little squares would become the Little Mermaid.
I picked them up and noticed that one was smaller than the other so I added a few more rows to it. I wasn’t sure what hook size my co-worker used and she couldn’t remember so I just grabbed a G hook. After I finished, I realized the G hook was probably the wrong hook but it didn’t really matter. It’s a toy and no one would notice. The square wasn’t as wide as the other one either but I keep telling the kids the squares don’t have to be perfect. I don’t want them obsessing about a perfect match and that being why they don’t finish their own doll. So I didn’t obsess about it either and went with what I had. When done with the doll, I could also use it as an example of how the doll could still look good even though the squares were slightly different in size.
I made the face, sewed my pieces together with a whip stitch, leaving an opening for stuffing, stuffed it, then sewed it closed. Next came the red hair. This project got so much attention from the kids, boys and girls alike. Before I said anything about what it was supposed to be, they kept asking me if it was the Little Mermaid. I was glad they were recognizing her. It meant I was on the right track.
For the body, I opted to crochet in the round versus doing the rectangle/square body rag doll. A square head with a round body sounded interesting to me. I did a little shaping with increases and decreases in strategic areas. when I got to the bottom of her tail, I put three double crochet in each stitch all the way around. In the next round I did two double crochets in every other stitch around. I then flattened out my body and the increases at the bottom fanned out. I whipped stitched the tail closed and then wrapped some yarn in the middle of it to create a more fish tail look. I stuffed the body and attached it to the head.
The arms came next. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a square, fold it over and sew it up the sides or crochet them in the round. I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to do it in the round. A small arm in the round is a little more taxing on my hands than whipping up a square so I went for the square. I did want fingers so I added those too. My arms ended up looking pudgy and short but I just went with it. I made a purple top for her but she still didn’t seem complete. I made her a little tiara and added more red hair. Some of the girls kept asking me if I would give it to them or hold it until they made it to prize box. I said no, this one wasn’t for anyone in particular so she would go in the prize box immediately. One little girl was already at prize box and hadn’t picked out what she wanted yet. So, the Little Mermaid went to her.
She was so excited to get her. She and her friend braided and unbraided her hair. They made her accessories that matched her top and tiara. That was my favorite thing to see. They are two of my better crocheters so it was wonderful to see them excited to make the doll more things to wear. The owner of the doll made her a little purple purse! I was so proud of her. I was really happy that they were getting such joy out of her. I wanted to take some pictures of the doll before she went to her new home but I knew there was no way she was coming home with me so I could use my good camera so I had the girls help me do a photo shoot with my phone. They had fun helping me out.
All in all, she was a successful project. 🙂