I’ve created all kinds of dolls over the years. I’ve even attempted a life-size doll (which is still missing legs). I’ve made small dolls too, but never a tiny doll. Well, I pulled out a ball of cotton thread that was lurking in a yarn drawer and thought it was about time to try it. I’ve been seeing these really cute miniature dolls created by other crocheters that have inspired me. I pulled out a C hook and went for it. Continue reading →
Picture it, three small children, smitten with half of a life size doll. I finally attached arms to my doll and three of my Kindergarten students couldn’t stop hugging her and dare I mention, one of them couldn’t stop kissing her. The doll is a bit heavy because I stuffed her body with rags but that didn’t stop them from picking her up and squeezing her (and kissing her). Continue reading →
I mentioned in a previous post that I was crocheting a life size doll of myself at work. Alas, I had to place it on the back burner in lieu of other, more pressing projects. Well, it’s day has come! I will not pick up any other projects until that doll is done. So I in that spirit…
I resumed work on the head. My little minions (Kindergarteners) couldn’t help themselves from helping me work on the doll. I had completed the head and had embroidered the face, using their suggestions of course. It was ready for stuffing.
Before I stuffed, I had to get up for something and left my work on the table. I can see all of you shaking your heads thinking to yourselves that I was asking for it. I see no pity in your eyes. I did indeed ask for it. I came back to a student running around with his hand in the opening of the doll head, using it like a puppet. A long string of yarn was tailing him around the room as it unwound from the ball of yarn. I quickly had him bring it back. Luckily, I had my stitch marker in so it didn’t unravel.
Can someone help me run around the room? I’m bored.
Now that she was rescued, it was time for stuffing. They love helping me stuff so I let them Continue reading →
I have always been partial to mermaids. I love mermaids and I often wished I could be a mermaid. I love stories and books about mermaids and I’ve even written stories and poems about mermaids. Don’t run for cover! I wouldn’t subject you to my mermaid writings. This is a blog about crochet after all. I WILL subject you to my mermaid inspired crochet. 😉 I’ve made four mermaid dolls (two were cute but the other two were questionable).
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’ve been crocheting for a long time and every now and then I stumble across something new that totally excites me, inspires me, or just makes me extremely happy. Here are the top five things that blew my mind when I discovered them. I know these things have been around forever but at one time they were new to me and I’m so happy I found them.
1. Tunisian crochet
I was looking for a phone case idea (a very long time ago) and found a pattern for a really cute one but it looked knitted. I had just learned how to read patterns but the pattern looked completely foreign to me. Even though the pattern said crochet, it wasn’t any crochet I knew. I liked the case and it said crochet so I was determined to learn its language. It said it was done in Tunisian knit stitch so I looked it up and the heavens opened up for me. I was frustrated with knitting and abandoned it but still liked how it looked and this type of crochet was beautiful and allowed me to pretend I could knit. I’ve been Tunisian crocheting ever since and I absolutely love it!
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.
Although this holiday season has been very busy, I somehow managed to get some crochet done. I worked on small projects I could finish quickly but that still brought me much joy.
I wanted to crochet some gifts for some friends but I needed to whip them up quickly, like due the next day kind of quick! As always when I am in a crunch, I scoured the internet for some speedy ideas. I found these cuties on Pinterest and knew I could make them fast and without a pattern.
Many years ago, before I ever made any of my own dolls, I stumbled across this doll pattern. I fell in love with it immediately and copied it right away. Although I had been crocheting for years, I had just recently taught myself how to read patterns and I definitely wanted to make her. I never did attempt the full pattern but instead, it served as a constant source of inspiration. I believe I embarked on my journey of doll making because of that one picture that captured my imagination. I referenced it often. I would often go back to the pattern to figure out how to do things on my own dolls. My first dolls were made with those rounded arms and legs. I could never get the hair quite right like in the picture and it goaded me into seeking out tutorial on how to make the hair look nicer on my creations.
So for today’s Freebie Friday, I thought I would pay homage to what started my love affair with crocheted dolls. I’m surprised it’s still available after so many years but I’m so glad it is. 🙂
As a bonus, here is the first site that truly helped me figure out how to get the hair looking like I wanted it to look. When I found it, it was like opening a present on Christmas day. Up until that point, I couldn’t figure out how to get the right look for my dolls. They would always end up needing so much yarn that they become super top-heavy. And they STILL looked like they needed more yarn to cover up the bald spots. I have since tried out different techniques for hair but this one saved me much frustration at a time I needed help!
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the new doll I made but decided I wanted a Christmas theme going. I went through my yarn stash hoping to find something sparkly or shiny in red. I found something shiny and thick in purple instead. It seemed festive so I grabbed it.
Next, I couldn’t decide on how I wanted the hair to look and the more I stared at the unfitted doll, the more I wanted her to have a hat. I made the hat first (before adding hair) and made it poofie. I definitely wanted a pom-pom. That’s what made it festive for me. I wanted to add a white fringe to it that looked fluffy and tried many different yarns. I made and unmade the fringe over and over until I found a yarn I thought worked with the purple yarn, the hat, and the doll. By the time I finished the hat and placed it on the doll, I liked it and now I’m not sure if I want to add hair.