Guest Post: Having a Doll of a Time

Hello, all! It’s Bri again, you’re friendly social media consultant/crocheting guest blogger. And today I’m here to talk about my greatest triumph of my crocheting life: figuring out how to make dolls.

My friend Adrienne, who I mentioned in my last post as the girl who taught me to crochet in the first place, can make these beautiful crocheted dolls, most often designed to look like popular Disney characters. Unfortunately, by the time I was a competent enough crocheter to attempt them myself, we were several states away in college, and so I had to fend for myself, because one can only make so many scarves and hats.

The first thing I needed to figure out was how to make a closed pattern- as in, unlike a hat, there isn’t a big hole. That meant I had to puzzle out how to, essentially, reverse the current pattern I was using for circular hats. While you’re giggling at my not-reading-instructions struggle, keep in mind that I only know how to do two crocheting stitches- single and double. The two simplest, most basic stitches.

Eventually, by skipping every other stitch when adding a row, I figured out how to at least mimic closing a spherical pattern, and in my triumph created this cute little snowman.

Pretty impressive, eh? I basically used my knowledge of making hats and just did it on a smaller scale, dropping stitches to close the different sections of this little guy. I used cotton balls to fill him up. But that was pretty easy- most people will excuse a lumpy snowman. Not so much with dolls.

Making dolls wasn’t too much harder, although I had to be more careful with how many stitches I was dropping or picking back up, especially when I made it to the skirts. I’ve yet to come up with a pattern of added stitches that I’m happy with to create a real-looking dress (that isn’t just straight down, like this doll’s I made to look like the Doctor Who character Amy Pond in her wedding dress.)

For the arms on these dolls, I’m essentially using the same hat pattern as on the head and body, but with a smaller crochet hook and less stitches per row. Instead of chaining five times before looping back through to make the pattern circular, I chain three times, and only have three to four single or double stitches per row.

This second Amy Pond doll I made to replicate her outfit in two episodes last season (I know, I’m kind of obsessed) is the only one so far that I made legs for, and as you can probably tell, they look a little strange. That’s my biggest problem with my dolls- connecting appendages like arms and legs in a way that doesn’t look too sloppy. If anyone has any suggestions, by all means, please let me know.

Hair is pretty easy, especially if the yarn I’m using for it is thick, like this great crimped yellow. The thickness and texture of that particular yarn hides the skin-colored gaps between strands much easier than the burnt-orange I used for my Amy’s. For them, I just had to use more.

"great crimped yellow"

So to summarize: using only double and single stitches and my knowledge of making hats (by adding and dropping specific numbers of stitches on specifi c rows), I managed to create fairly- decent looking dolls. I’ve still got a ways to go if I want to market them like Adrienne has, but for having 16 years less experience than her, I think I’ve done pretty well.

Bri blogs and makes videos regularly on her website, and tweets way too much. She is now a sophomore at Pacific University in Oregon.

Reader question: What was your most successful “experimental” project?

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