For those who read my post on crochet/yarn hacks, you know I wanted to make a crochet caddy. The sad truth is that there are many, many things that I want to make that get forgotten or, due to lack of hours in a day, never get made. But this is a post about what did get made so, YAY!
I guess I really was pumped up about that post because, not one, but two crochet hook caddies was born and are already in use. There was the added desire to have something pretty to store my new Clover Armour crochet hooks I got for my birthday.
At this stage (below), this one was in two pieces, the outer bottom and the snug upper layer. There was no top and it looked pretty nice but I wanted to give the hooks more separation.
My co-worker and dear friend has gone off and left me to go back to college in another state.😔
I’m so sad she’s gone but supportive of her decision and extremely excited about her new adventure. Working with her made my job such a joy every single day. Her last day was also our last day before our holiday break. I wanted to give her a gift that was both a Christmas gift and a going away present. I hoped to make something special that would let her know how much I would miss her.
I thought about the different things I could make but in the end, it had to be a doll. Although I make and have made a variety of things, I’m a doll maker at heart and I couldn’t send her on her journey without her very own doll. But it had to be SPECIAL. Not Continue reading →
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.
Now that the school year is coming to a close, I’ve stopped taking requests for making rag doll characters from my students (I don’t want that kind of pressure!). I still find myself itching to make something, as well as continuing to crochet to encourage them to continue crocheting. When they see me crochet, they almost always ask if they can crochet too.
I decided to make crochet doll that would represent our after school program (World Academy). I wasn’t sure if the doll was going to be a toy the kids could play with or a decoration for our room but the kids, mainly the girls, kept asking me if I was going to let them play with her.
I got to work figuring out what she would look like. I wanted her to represent all of us in the program and she was loosely based on me. The staff wears a World Academy t-shirt as part of our uniform. I have several colors but the one I was wearing that day is a bright pink and we had pink in our cupboard so pink was the choice for the shirt. I was going to give her blue pants (I’m always wearing jeans) but the kids wanted a skirt so she got a skirt. I gave the doll brown curls made out of spirals. The kids pointed out I had black and white hair, not brown! They didn’t even comment that my hair is definitely not curly.
I have two more dolls I want to make at work before the end of the school year. I’m hoping they’re my last two student requests. I guess I should say I’m planning to stop at these two dolls because the request never stop coming. But I might get suckered, I mean convinced, to do more. 🙂 One is a Mario rag doll from Super Mario Brothers. I’ve been putting off doing this one because it seemed more complicated. Not the doll itself but getting the face and the hat just right so that it looks like him. The other request was for a Spiderman doll and I almost started on that one because it’s not that hard to make it LOOK like Spiderman even if it’s not perfect. But I put Mario off too many times and I finally went for it.
I looked at different sources to find a look I wanted to work with. I actually combined different looks from different sources. I used Minecraft versions, Lego versions, and the actual image from the game. The trick is to go as simple as possible, at least with these dolls because the idea is to get them done quickly while still clearly recognizing what they are supposed to be. If the child doesn’t think it looks like the character, then they are disappointed. So far, I’ve been pretty successful with student happiness but this one had me worried for some reason.
The progress so far.
I thought a lip on the cap would make it more recognizable.
The emblem had me worried but the kids knew what it was right away. Phew!
Not sure this looks like Mario but the kids seem to think so.
One of my students requested a Minecraft doll called Memyselfandpi. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s really called but he said it was a Youtuber character. This all went over my head but I looked the character up to assure him and myself I could make it. This is what he looks like:
He looks an awful like Steve from Minecraft to me 🙂
Very easy to do. Basically, he looks just like Steve but with a different color shirt and what appears to be a Rubic’s Cube on his hands. But I wanted to try something new with these dolls so I shook things up and made him with Tunisian crochet. I love Tunisian crochet and the ability to make fabric that looks like knitting. I thought it would look good on this character. Here’s what I came up with:
The hands didn’t turn out exactly right but I think it was close enough for this round. I keep all the little scraps of yarn we collect at work so I used those to make the different colors on his hands. Since they would be hidden, I made individual cross stitches and tied them up with a double knot inside.
My student (and his dad 🙂 loved him so I was quite pleased with the result.
One of my kinder students wanted a Mario Minecraft doll. What?! There’s a Mario Minecraft doll? Sure enough, I found an example of this character doing a google search. Where would I be without the internet to help me out! (clueless I’m sure LOL)
That character is a bit more complicated so I’m spending some time contemplating how best to approach that project (while my student is in the background asking me if I’m done already!). In the meantime, I’m finishing up a rag doll style mermaid. The head is made up of two abandoned square pieces made by a co-worker. I hate wasting anything so I took this time to work on something other than Minecraft and turned the head into a wannabe Ariel from the little mermaid. I’m working the body in the round instead of my rag doll motif of rectangles and squares. Should be interesting: square head and round body. Hey, it’s my doll and I can do whatever I want. 🙂 I will post pictures when I am done, even if it looks wonky.
So, I wanted to finally make the second doll dress my sister wanted for her baby doll. When she asked for it, I told her sure, sure, no problem. What I didn’t tell her was that I had permanently crocheted the other doll dress onto the doll. I do that sometimes when I know that someone isn’t going to take the dress off of the doll. In retrospect, I should not have done this with this doll. So instead of telling her that in order to make her doll a new outfit, I might have to destroy the old outfit to get it off, I just agreed to make a new one and in secret, hoped I could figure out a way to get the old outfit off without ripping it to shreds. I realized this was a bad plan from the get-go but there was a chance, a possibility, that I could gently undo something that would allow me to take the old dress off and then redo it so it could be removable. If that were the case then I didn’t have to tell her anything :-).
So one day, when I went to pick up my son who had spent the night at her place, I arrived early while she was at work. I snuck into her room (the door was open so it wasn’t like I was breaking in) and grabbed the doll and inspected her carefully. I was in luck! The top opening of the dress had been large so I had crocheted a slip stitch all around it to tighten it up and then wove in the ends. It was in a contrasting color so it was very easy to pull out the slip stitching.
I was able to easily remove the slip stitch row around the neckline.
I was then able to pull off the dress with ease. By the time my sister got home, she found me happily working on her doll’s new dress and I didn’t have to admit to anything :-). I just told her I had to undo the slip stitch and that I would fix it later.
I got pretty far on the outfit by the time I had to leave but I was coming to realize very quickly that I was going to run out of the green yarn I was using. She wanted most of the dress in green with a little yellow. I didn’t bother telling her that I couldn’t find that same color yarn anywhere. So….she gets this!
Yes, there is a little more than just ‘a little’ yellow. I’ll probably be working on a third dress soon 😉
Today one of my second grade students asked me if I would sit with her and teach her to crochet her own doll. I know she doesn’t have the skills yet to start a doll as she still doesn’t have the fundamentals down. Unfortunately we don’t have much time during the week to just sit and crochet but I told her that on Friday we could find time to do it (since we don’t do homework that day).
When I got home, I was thinking about how they all want to make dolls because they see me doing them. Very few (only one actually) ever reached the point where she could make one that actually resembled a doll. I definitely want them to feel like they can reach the goal of making a doll. I thought maybe they could try making squares and rectangles that we sew up to make rag dolls. The ones that move beyond chains (many are happy to make chains all day long 🙂 eventually learn to make squares and rectangles so that will be my next project with them. I have a fourth grade student who does single crochet pretty well and this project will be right up her alley. She’s always very helpful with the other students who are just getting started, especially the younger ones. Often, when they can’t get the mechanics of doing a chain, she is able to teach them how to do it in her own way. I love how patient she is with them and they love it as well. I think she will be excited about making her own doll and then she can show off her work to the other students. That’s the best part! 🙂
I will make a rag doll out of squares and rectangles myself as a prototype and see where that leaves us. I think they will be excited about being able to make something even though it’s not exactly what they had in mind. I am very excited myself to give this a try. I will post photos of my first attempt as well as photos of the students’ finished results in a future post.
So I finished making my sister’s baby doll. I promised I’d make one for her and then made the Elsa doll instead. There is a bright side to waiting, though (at least that’s what I keep telling her). I practiced some techniques on Elsa that helped me with this doll. I’m getting better at making fingers, for one, and I tried my hand at color work instead of a hair cap for another.
I believe all my dolls to be special but since this one is going to my sister, I wanted to make sure she is worthy of going to her. This one is truly a labor of love since she is going to someone I really, really love. Continue reading →
I’m so glad I’m steadily crossing off projects from my to-do list. I just finished that doggie sweater I promised my daughter ages ago. It’s the first one I’ve ever made and I used one of her doggie’s favorite sweaters as a guide. I started and ripped back about five different times. I tried different ways to make it work until I arrived at something I thought might work. I’m not very happy with the end result. It came out a little off but I guess that’s to be expected on a first attempt (although I’m not sure I’m going for a second attempt). I’ll probably try a pattern next time (if there is a next time). It came out a little bulkier than I had hoped. We tried it on her pup and at first he seemed reluctant to move. I think it was too heavy. Eventually he seemed comfortable moving around in it.
She says he’s always cold and it’s definitely a warm sweater. She seemed to like it. We’ll see if he likes it after trying it out for a bit. I told her that if he didn’t end up liking it, I’ll turn the sweater into a doll. I’m already thinking up ways to add arms, legs, and a head. 🙂
If I do make another one, I need to make a few adjustments. The middle part of the chest area needs fewer rows. The length of the back area behind the the neck needs to be shorter and I definitely need to use a thinner yarn that drapes better. For this sweater, I was just trying to work out the mechanics of it. In future sweaters (if there are any), I would like to try different designs and color combinations. Well, I guess it sounds like I’m going to try it again. I hate feeling like the project was a fail. The only way to get rid of that feeling is to make one that turns out right. Her dog is going to end up with 50 sweaters. LOL!