I love crochet challenges. Crochet challenges have been lobbed at me from family, friends, the kids at work and me. A recent challenge came from my hubby. He is a graphic designer and has many samples of products he’s worked on laying around. One of his current projects included a cute toy called Eli the Firefly. His client is a dentist who created a book and a plush lighted toy that inspires kids to brush their teeth properly. Hubby asked if I thought I could recreate the toy in crochet. As if there was any doubt, of course I could! What kind of question was that? And if so, would I? He thought it would make a nice gift for his client. It was a fabulous idea and I accepted the challenge.
This is a sample of Eli that shows what he looks like.
I shouldn’t have been so hasty in proclaiming my crochet powers. Upon initial inspection, the project seemed easy. Once I got a good look at Eli, I wasn’t so sure I could pull it off. I knew I could do the body but the head and the face! I was having second thoughts. This was a true challenge. Never daunted (I was very daunted!), I went for it.
As usual, I took a few days to ponder the best strategy for making the head. He has bumps and protrusions I needed to emulate and wasn’t sure if I should try to make it in one piece or as multiple pieces sewn together. My next thought was about how I was going to get the nose to stick out. Next, I rummaged through my yarn stash looking for the right colors. I found several promising ones and ran them by hubby to get his approval. They weren’t exact but they were pretty darn close.
Proportions are important. That’s what makes things look like they’re supposed to. I started with the body and worked my way up. My version came out bigger than the original but it looked right. Then came the head. I made two separate pieces with some increases and decreases. It was a lot of hit or miss with a even more doing and undoing trying to get the proportions right. Finally got something I could live with but it came out huge! Way bigger than the body. I finished it anyway but I wasn’t happy.
Then came trying to recreate the face. UGH! I couldn’t get the eyes to my satisfaction after several attempts, but again, I had to move on at some point.
I kept staring at them both and it just didn’t look right but my hubby was very excited about it. I kept looking at him sideways, thinking, how could he like it! It was terrible! And I certainly couldn’t put that big head on the too small body. I ripped back the blue and purple part of the body and made it bigger. The head was still too big so I buried the head at the bottom of my crochet bag. I started over with the head hoping to get a much better result.
The second head was done in the round and in one piece and it did come out smaller but now I felt the re-worked body was to0 big! I almost ripped it back again to make it the original size but hubby kept telling me it was fine so I left it alone. The second head was too flat in the face so I made a second piece and fitted it as a nose. I tried new things with the eyes and was still unhappy with them. Oh well, I sewed them on along with the teeth and attached it to the body.I experimented with the ams and legs to get that rounded look and played around with different ways to make his hands and legs. The tooth and wings took me few tries too but I was satisfied with those. It all took me longer than I had anticipated, what with all the ripping back that was going on but he was finally finished.
I handed him (below) off to to hubby, sad that it didn’t look like Eli as much as I’d hoped it would. He, however, was ecstatic with it. He loved it. I kept grilling him on whether he thought his client would like it or would he think I had desecrated his creation. He assured me he would love it. He delivered it soon after and he let me know that his client was surprised and genuinely loved it. That made me feel great!
You would think my journey with Eli was done but there was still the situation of the disembodied head at the bottom of my bag. I couldn’t just leave it there with no body. I had learned many things from that first attempt. Everything was made a bit differently the second time around. I was much more satisfied with the overall results. The second body fit the first head much better. The second toy was much larger than the first.Not sure what I’m going to do with this second doll (below). I hope my hubby can give it to his client again. Surely he wouldn’t mind having a second one. 🙂
He’s so much bigger than the original source but they get along great!
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