Wednesday, November 1, 2017

CAL doll Greta - free crochet pattern, PART 3 - BODY AND HEAD

I've decided to share with you the body and head part of this doll before I work them myself, because I see you are so eager to finish. I will also share during the next days the shoes and dress pattern. However, I will only share tips and technique of assembling the legs and hands to the body only when I will be able to photograph the process properly. Either you can be patient and wait for me, or find your own way to assemble, but keep in mind that my way is not the same way as the designer's way, Petus Ochoa. You may find her two videos for working the body and head here and here

Let's proceed!

Using underwear color,
R1. 6sc in magic ring
R2. 2 sc in each sc (12)
R3. (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4. (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5. (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R6. (4sc, 1V)x6 (36)
R7. (5sc, 1V)x6 (42)
R8. (6sc, 1V)x6 (48)
R9. (7sc, 1V)x6 (54)
R10. (8sc, 1V)x6 (60)
R11-R16. 60sc (60)

Change for skin color:
R17. 60sc in BLO (60)
R18. 60sc (60)
R19. 28sc, 1X, (4sc, 1X)x5 (55)
R20. 27sc, 1X, (3sc, 1X)x5 (48)
R21. 48sc (48)
R22. (6sc, 1X)x6 (42)
R23-R30. 42 sc (42)
R31. (5sc, 1X)x6 (36)
R32-R33. 36sc (36)
R34. (4sc, 1X)x6 (30)
R35. 30sc (30)
R36. (3sc, 1X)x6 (24)
R37. (2sc, 1X)x6 (18)
R38. (1sc, 1X)x6 (12)
R39-41. 12sc (12)
R42. (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R43. (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R44. (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R45. (4sc, 1V)x6 (36)
R46. (5sc, 1V)x6 (42)
R47. (6sc, 1V)x6 (48)
R48. (7sc, 1V)x6 (54)
R49. (8sc, 1V)x6 (60)
R50-54. 60sc (60)
R55. work a custom no of sc - until you are ahead the 23 sc on which will be performed the 8 decreseases for shaping the face (for me, it worked first with 13sc, then with 22sc - you might end with a different number. In order to approximate where your decreases will be worked, guide yourself by the SHAPE OF THE BODY you have by now.) - after that, work (1X, 1sc)x4, 1X. Mark the beginning of the next row in the next sc. (You might also want to remember to stick a plastic rod or a wire frame, if you want it to be poseable, inside the body up through the neck and head, before finishing and filling the head).
R56. (1sc, 1x)x3, 46sc (52sc)
R57-61. 52sc (52)
R62. 46sc, (1V, 2sc)x2 (54)
R63. 1V, 2sc, 1V, 51sc (56)
R64. 56sc (56)
R65. 14sc, 1X, 24sc, 1X, 14sc (54)
R66.  (7sc, 1X)x6 (48)
R67. (6sc, 1X)x6 (42)
R68. (5sc, 1X)x6 (36)
R69. (4sc, 1X)x6 (30)
R70. (3sc, 1X)x6 (24)
R71. (2sc, 1X)x6 (18)
R72. (1sc, 1X)x6 (12)
R73. 6X
Fasten off.

You might want to decorate the face and add hair before the assembly. At least, this is how I advise you to do it. First, you might want to shape a little further the head - I use for that the photo tutorial provided by Tiny Miny Design here - but I do the shaping BEFORE attaching or embroidering the eyes and mouth, not after! Then, ou may use painted eyes (find a tutorial for this here) or embroider the eyes (use this very good tutorial, if you don't know yet how to embroider eyes on a doll). 

As for the hair, last time I used wool hair. I attached it only on the extremities of the head, marked priviously with pins, like in the picture bellow.


As usually, if you find any mistakes in the pattern, signalize them in a comment and I will fix it as soon as I can. Have fun!

This article is printer friendly. Search for the print button at the end of the article.

Please make sure you read the first part of the amigurumi tips series - how to read the patterns proposed on this blog, before you proceed to making this doll.

If you want to post photos of what you've created following this CAL, there is a group dedicated to Papillon en Papier artwork - Papillon en Papier Wonderland. Join to keep up with my work and CALs.

Find the first part of the CAL - the hands, here.

Find the second part of the CAL - the legs, here.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pikachu girl - free crochet doll pattern

I am very happy to finally present you my Pikachu girl, following a free pattern by Handmade by Mrs Owl, Milena Sova by her real name. She has a youtube channel where she presents her doll patterns and not only - she also shares tips, advises and all sorts of secrets related to crochet and how to design a doll or an amigurumi.

I find her work not only amazing, but also perfect - perfectly designed, perfectly documented and perfectly presented. I couldn't ask for more and, besides, all this knowledge she offers for free! She is filming her tutorials in russian, but she added subtitles in english to all the videos, for a worldwide reach. 

I must admit that, at first, I was circumspect about working my dolls wrong side out. But luckily Milena succeeded to convince me to overcome this aspect, and here it is, my first doll - the Pikachu girl. She was worked with Alize Bahar for body and Catania Originals for clothes and accessory, using a 2 mm Clover Amour hook. She is approximately 32 cm tall and is wearing painted eyes and wool hair. I am so in love with the result! How do you guys find her? :)

Check more photos of Pikachu girl in the facebook post.






Saturday, October 21, 2017

Little honey bee - free amigurumi pattern

Knottellaa is a dollmaker that I admire very much. She even has an exclusive page for sharing her knowledge with the world, Knottellaa Academy. Unfortunately, her master classes are only in arabic...  Even so, I've been quite happy to discover that earlier this year she broadcasted a live video on facebook, featuring the making of "a mistery doll". Which was this very little bee, and I must confess it is really the most wonderful amigurumi I have ever made by now!

I've been struggling almost an entire day to keep up with Knottellaa (because I hardly understand arabic), and meanwhile I took notes, which I share with you bellow. The truth is the world needs more cute little bees like this one :)


I worked with Catania Originals cotton yarn and a 2 mm crochet hook. By the way, I use a Clover  Amour hook and I'm totally in love with it! It's worth all the money!

Body and head

R1. (in black) 6sc in magic ring
R2. 6 sc (6)
R3. 6V (12)
R4-R5. 12 sc (12)
6. (in yellow) (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R7-R16. (alternating black&yellow) 18 sc (18)

Fasten off, change for cream/off white.

R17. 18sc (18)
R18. (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R19. (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R20. (4sc, 1V)x6 (36)
R21. (5sc, 1V)x6 (42)
R22. (6sc, 1V)x6 (48)
R23-29. 48sc (48)
R30. (6sc, 1X)x6 (42)
R31. (5sc, 1X)x6 (36)
R32. (4sc, 1X)x6 (30)
R33. (3sc, 1X)x6 (24)
R34. (2sc, 1X)x6 (18)
R35. (1sc, 1X)x6 (12)
R36. 6X

Fasten off.

Cap (in yellow)

R1. 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2. 6V (12)
R3. (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4. (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5. (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R6. (4sc, 1V)x6 (36)
R7. (5sc, 1V)x6 (42)
R8. (6sc, 1V)x6 (48)
R9-R16. 48sc (48)
R17. (4hdc in one sc)x8, 4slst, (4hdc in one sc)x8, fasten off.

Buns (yellow)

R1. 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2. 6V (12)
R3. (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4-R6. 18 sc (18)
Fasten off.

Hands: 6 sc in magic ring, 36 sc around, in spiral.

Antennae: 4 sc in magic ring, (working wrong side up, in spiral), 28 sc.

Small wings

R1. 6sc in magic ring
R2. 6V (12)
R3. (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4. (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5. Left wing – 1 sc, (1V, 3sc)x3, [1hdc, 2dc, 1hdc] in one stitch, (3sc, 1V)x2, 2sc
Right wing - 1 sc, (1V, 3sc)x1, [1hdc, 2dc, 1hdc] in one stitch, (3sc, 1V)x4, 2sc

Big wings

R1. 6sc in magic ring
R2. 6V (12)
R3. (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4. (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5. (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R6. (4sc, 1V)x6 (36)
R7. Left wing – 2sc, (1V, 5sc)x3, [1hdc, 2dc, 1hdc] in one stitch, (5sc, 1V)x2, 3sc
Right wing – 2sc, (1V, 5sc)x1, [1hdc, 2dc, 1hdc] in one stitch, (5sc, 1V)x4, 3sc

The rose is also a free pattern, courtesy of Happy Berry Crochet. I used this pattern to embellish also my little snail girl.

I hope you will enjoy making this little adorable Honey Bee! You can publish your creations on the exclusive facebook group, Papillon en Papier Wonderland. And I can't wait to hear your opinion on Little Honey Bee's walk through the park!






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Please make sure you read the first part of the amigurumi tips series - how to read the patterns proposed on this blog, before you proceed to making this doll.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

CAL Doll Greta - free crochet pattern, PART 2 - LEGS

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Please make sure you read the first part of the amigurumi tips series - how to read the patterns proposed on this blog, before you proceed to making this doll.

If you want to post photos of what you've created following this CAL, there is a group dedicated to Papillon en Papier artwork - Papillon en Papier Wonderland. Join to keep up with my work and CALs.

I am astonished about how this CAL was received - with so much enthusiasm and excitement! Therefore, I didn't want to delay too much the posting of the second part, so I worked hard to finish my little legs in order to share with you the next stage of this CAL. The hard part is that I work on two dolls at the same time, but I know that eventually this work will pay off and these dolls will become my two wonders!


Let's proceed with the legs!

The video for making these legs is found here.

Unlike Petus, the designer of this doll, I chose to reinforce my doll with copper wire. If you choose to use it too, you should curl the wire at the ends, just like we did with the hands. However, at the closing end, this curvature should be bigger, as illustrated in the picture bellow (g). Also, don't be afraid to use "men" tools, the name by which these pliers would be more familiar to most of you :) I use it to pull easier the needle through the work, when I want to hide yarn ends inside the body or when I embroider the eyes, but also to shape the copper wire.

I added two extra rows and knees to the original legs pattern :)

In "sock" color (white, in my case):

R1. 8ch, start in second chain from hook, 3sc in same ch, (return) 5sc, 3sc in same ch, 5sc (16)
R2. 3V, 5sc, 3V, 5sc (22)
R3. (1sc, 1V)x3, 6 sc, 1V, (1 sc, 1V)x2, 5 sc (28)
R4. (2sc, 1V)x3, 7sc, 1V, (2sc, 1V)x2, 5sc (34)
R5-R7. 34sc (34)

After R7, because I'm planing to make a different shoe model than the original, I inserted plastic soles  (cut to measure) inside the bigger feet (picture (a)), so that the doll will stand by herself even when not wearing shoes. For smaller feet this step is not compulsory, as the original pattern for the shoes (which I will post in the next stage of the call) does include using plastic soles.

R8. 15sc, (1X, 1sc)x5, 1X, 2sc (28)
R9. 4sc, 1X, 1sc, 1X, 6sc, 6X, 1sc (20)
R10. 1X, 8sc, 1X, 2sc, 2X, 2sc (16)

At this stage, you should insert your copper wire and begin stuffing the feet (picture (b), (c), (d)).

R11. 16sc (16)
R12. (3sc, 1V)x4 (20)
R13-R14. 20sc (20)
R15. (4sc, 1V)x4 (24)
Finish off. Keep the yarn end on the outside, if you want to make a crochet border to the sock. At this stage, legs should look like in picture (e).

In skin color:

R16. 24sc in BLO (24)
R17. 24 sc (24)
R18. 6sc, 1V, 2sc, 1V, 14sc (26)
R19-22. 26sc (26)
R23. 7sc, 1X, (1sc, 1X)x2, 7sc, 3V, 1sc (26)
R24. 26sc (26)
R25. 7sc, 1V, (1sc, 1V)x2, 7sc, 3X, 1sc (26)
R26. 26sc (26)
R27. 11sc, 1V, 14sc (27)
R28. 27sc (27)
R29. 12sc, 1V, 14sc (28)
R30-R36. 28sc (28)
R37. 7sc, 1X, (4sc, 1X)x2, 7sc (25)
R38. (3sc, 1X)x5 (20)
R39. (2sc, 1X)x5 (15)
R40. (1sc, 1X)x5 (10)
R41. 5X
Finish off. Hide the yarn end inside the body.

Sock edge: Using the yarn end left outside after finishing the sock, work in front loops of R16 around the leg - 2sc, (3ch, 2sc)x11, 3ch. Cut yarn and finish off.

Bellow there are some photos I took during the legs making process.


This is your finished little leg. Should I remind you how the finished doll, following this pattern, is likely to look at the end? :)


Find the first part of the CAL - the hands, here.

Find the third part of the CAL - the body and head, here

Friday, October 13, 2017

Amigurumi tips part 3 - dolls hair and eyes

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There's a wide variety of solutions that you can adopt for you crochet dolls. From accessories to their appearance and clothes, they can be personalized beyond imagination, however you must know that choosing the right hair and eyes type is just a matter of personal choice and it's also part of the game. Yes, I look at doll making art with child eyes. How I wish now I knew about this art when I was a child! But I have now the chance to return to those feelings by making crochet dolls. I just fell in love with them and can't help myself but trying as many patterns and solutions as I can! And slowly, coming out with my own doll models...

Today I'm going to talk about different types of hair and eyes that I've been experimenting with in my dolls, and also about future perspectives.

1. HAIR

What I tried so far is:
  • viscose hair (artificial silk), attached strand by strand to a crocheted cap - it was very time and energy consuming, so not planning to retry this version, however I have documented the process in the photos bellow.
  • crocheted wig - I used it in Alexa doll, tutorial by Petus Ochoa and notes by me. But there are a bunch of variants that could be tried, and I find some of them very nice looking too. I would opt for this version of wig particularly if I was to make a doll meant for a baby - it will maintain its shape / style in time better than any other version.
  • wool hair - I bought some wool yarn, not very homogenous, though (it contains some very thin parts across the lenght, which I tried to place away from the surface of the head) - I used it in Alesia and Laura dolls (Greta CAL model). I only attached the strands around the head, then secured them in a bun. I also took some pictures of the procedure - firstly, I marked the line where I wanted to plant the hair around the hair using some pins, then I started to attach the yarn.

What I plan to try:
  • I have bought some artificial doll wig hair, which is sold by meter, in different lengths of hair, straight or curly - they are attached to the doll head in spiral around the head by sewing or gluing, directly to the head or using a detachable cap (which can be, in turn, a textile mesh or a soft plastic / glue hardened piece of elastic cloth or mesh). You can find a tutorial about this attaching procedure here.
  • I also have found artificial hair accessories in regular stores, such as hair extensions and elastic bands which contain strands of artificial hair attached to textile cords, similar to the wig hairs specified above.
  • I plan on making some yarn wigs, which are often used for Barbie-sized plastic dolls. For this procedure, it is generally used acrylic yarn, but as far as I understand, it would not allow you to obtain longer than about 10 cm wefts. For longer wefts, I think I will return to viscose, even if it's heavier. Bellow this paragraph you have some youtube references for obtaining yarn wefts for doll hair.
  • alpaca hair - well, this might be a little too expensive for my budget...
  • felting wool hair - I already bought some strands of such wool, but I find it quite fragile, so if you too plan to use this kind of hair, you should know that it can easily break if pulling just a little. But the styling you can obtain is amazing, and, for instance, Alyona Dudakova makes an amazing job on her elves. 
  • simply yarn hair.
  • of course, there are also already made hair wigs on the internet, but they come in specific sizes at enormous costs :)
  • ribbon hair: I found some tutorials herehere and here.
There are various artists proposing tutorials for yarn wefts and, subsequently, doll wigs. Here are just a few:

2. EYES

I've tried by far four types of eyes: 
  • safety eyes: these are standard hemispheres, with a safety joint at the back. These are the type of eyes used in regular plush toys, very safe for small children. There are clear versions of safety eyes, which you can customize using ceramic or nail paint. The only inconvenience is that you have to plant the eyes during crocheting, in order to attach the safety pin on the inside of your work. These eyes appearance can be improved by adding a layer of felt underneath, like I did with my first doll, using Tini Miny Design toturial.
  • embroidered eyes: from my experience, this works best on unmercerized and unsilky cotton. For instance, my favourite yarns for doll body are Catania Originals and Alize Bahar yarns, but these are not appropriate for embroidered eyes. The technique works fine, perhaps, with acrylic yarn too, but since I don't use acrylic, I couldn't say. Also, I find using a curled needle compulsory for embroidering the eyes.
  • painted eyes: this requires painting the eyes on a piece of cotton fabric, then securing the painting with one or two layers of varnish (or you can use nail polish). However, if you are using fabric paint, I don't think the varnishing step is compulsory. The other option I tried is acrylic paint, and it worked marvelously.
  • custom made eyes: I found some thin plastic boards in the hobby store, from which I detached, using a puncher, small circles. I subsequently painted these pieces with ceramic black paint, but nail paint would work just as well. In the end, I just glued them to the toy.
Planes pattern by Marika

There are, however, other ways to obtain custom eyes, so I also plan to try sculpting them with Fimo or another type of clay, for instance.

In the end, I have three questions for you:

1. What is your favourite type of doll hair?
2. What is your favourite type of doll eyes?
3. Which of the techniques presented have you already tried?

If you have information about other types of doll hair and eyes that could be used, please share your knowledge with us. Your welcome!

Check the other parts of Amigurumi tips series:

Part 1 - Reading and understanding crochet instructions proposed by Papillon en Papier

Part 2 - Check the yarn, choose the hook, tension and stuffing

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Amigurumi tips part 2 - check the yarn, choose the hook, tension and stuffing

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I learned it the hard way. I don't know why, but even in paid patterns nobody will emphasize such stuff, which in the end turns out to be way more important than you all think it is! I will therefore present the following 3 tips, on the example of my Rita bunnies.


The first detail I observed about amigurumis that I made some years ago is that I under-stuffed them... I remember, at the beginning, reading some article about stuffing, which recommended something like this: "you need to be careful with stuffing, you can easily over-stuff your creations, which is not desirable". Therefore, fearing not to over-stuff, but also taking as a guide the plush toys we all have around the house, I decided to stuff them just as much as they seemed to need at the time... which proved lately to have been the wrong choice.

The truth is - there is no such thing as over-stuffing with amigurumis. The stuffing will get loose in time, even if the toy is just resting, like my Rita bunny did on our couch. Imagine what it would happen if your kid played all day with a toy, that you would have to wash, eventually, several times in a year!

Even with wired dolls, I like to stuff around the wire a lot more than they recommend in the tutorials. You will develop, eventually, a sense about just how much you need to stuff your wired dolls, with each doll you create.

Tip 1 - always stuff as hard as you can all your amigurumi creations! 

The second thing I used to do wrong is using the same hook number as I used for normal (clothing) creations. It is definitely recommended to always use a smaller hook than the smallest recommended, such as to obtain a tight crocheting - it will become, eventually, looser.

In the image above we have, from left to right: one bunny worked with 3.5 mm hook, 3 years ago, washed and restuffed; one bunny worked with 3 mm hook, tightly, yet not tight enough; one bunny worked with 3.5 mm hook, restuffed after 3 years. All these bunnies were worked using the same yarn, Catania Originals, which I found, meanwhile, that it is best to be worked with a 2 mm hook.

Tip 2 - choose the smallest crochet hook you can use with a certain yarn!

The third and maybe most important aspect - always verify the quality of the yarns you use, in terms of wash-ability... I was very disappointed to discover that some of the embroidery floss I used for my Rita bunny and her brother are color bleeding... Staying on the couch, Rita has developed a dusty look, which not only didn't whiten, but also became a mess of colors after washing...

Notice in this picture the traces of color bleeding on the white material, on the left bunny's belly. Also, the light is reflected evenly on all the bunnies. However, only the middle one is lighter. This is because there are less and smaller holes in his body. On the other bodies, the stuffing revealed through the holes isn't reflecting the light, thus the body appears less highlighted.

Tip 3 - test your yarn, and especially dark colors, for color bleeding!

I learned all these things during the last year, firstly by mere observations, then by volunteering for Octopus Romania. This is an international project in which volunteers crochet small octopuses for preemies that need to stay in hospitals for long periods of time, away from their mothers. Because of the tentacles resembling the umbilical cord, babies get attached to the toy, and not only there is less risk of getting disconnected from the monitoring devices, but their blood circulation, breathing and general health are also improved.
The Octopus Romania project banner. Photo by W Stronę Zdjęć

I strongly advise you to get in touch with your local community of volunteers for The Octopus Project. You don't know yet just how many stuff you will learn by volunteering for a few months for this project. Unless you get a few octopuses rejected, you won't understand the importance of the features I highlighted in this article. Anyway, I hope at least that these tips will improve considerably the quality of your amigurumis.

Link to the first part of the amigurumi tips series - reading and understanding the crochet patterns proposed by Papillon en Papier.

The bunnies in this article were worked using a Lalylala pattern+the free Easter bunny mod on her blog.

Check the other parts of Amigurumi tips series:

Part 1 - Reading and understanding crochet instructions proposed by Papillon en Papier

Part 3 - Dolls hair and eyes

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Amigurumi tips part 1 - reading and understanding crochet instructions proposed by Papillon en Papier

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I am a fan of simple, understandable within few words, crochet instructions. With intricate designs, such as the doll body, for instance, you need to maintain focus on the final number of stitches you will have on each row.


1. How to follow my patterns

Bellow is the list with the most important terms that I use in my free amigurumi patterns, own or translated / modified (the numbers highlighted in fuchsia are just examples):

  • 2sc - two single crochet (one sc in each of the next 2sc)
  • 2dc - two double crochet (one dc in each of the following 2 stitches)
  • 2hdc - two half double crochet (one hdc in each of the next 2 stitches)
  • 3V - 3 increases (2sc in each of the following 3sc - 6sc in total)
  • 2X - 2 decreases (decrease is when 2 neighbor single crochet become 1 single crochet. In the example, 2X means two decreases performed one after another - so instead of the following 4sc on the previous row, you will have 2sc on the current row)
  • 3inc - perform a specific number on increases (in this example case, 3) on a row, regardless of the position of these increases
  • 2dec -  perform a specific number of decreases on a row (in this example, 2), regardless of the position of these decreases
  • (20) - inside the parentheses at the end of a row there will always be the number of stitches you need to have on that row - in the example, 20 stitches.
  • BLO - back loops only 
  • FLO - front loops only (learn how to work in back or front loops only from youtube).

Occasionally I use instructions made of two stages, such as:

1. 6sc in magic ring
2. 20sc - you will continuously work 20sc (instead of 20 there can be any other number), only one sc in each sc ahead. In the example, you will end up with 3 rows (18sc)+2 more sc. I find this easier to follow that regular instructions (that use rows) in case of thin parts - fingers, arms, antennas etc.

2. Working in spiral and rounds

You need to know that, generally, all amigurumis are worked in spiral. However, there are occasions that require working in the rounds (either you will end the row with a slip stitch and continue working around, either you will return, working from the other side on the previous row - as the pattern states).

3. Right side vs wrong side of the work

There are crocheters that prefer working on the wrong side of the work. This is especially available for doll bodies that are worked with very fine yarn and crochet hooks between 0.5 and 1 mm, because the crochet body worked in spiral curls naturally with the wrong side out and is easier to work it like that. But there is also another reason behind this choice - the wrong side of the work is flatter, so the doll body will have a smoother look on the outside. I, for instance, prefer working with the wrong side out only on very thin parts (with a thickness ranging from 3 to 5sc). 

4. Color changing and finishing off

You can find plenty of information on color changing on the internet. Just google or search on youtube "color changing in crochet". The articles and videos you will find include the invisible color changing. I like best one method in particular, that I use not only for color changing, but also for finishing up almost every piece of crochet that I make. I illustrated it in this picture (pictures 1 to 6). 

5. Recommendations

First thing I recommend is to try a simple amigurumi pattern, with full instructions (not simplified as the ones I use). You will get familiarized with the terms, with how increases and decreases work and how to, basically, follow a pattern. Only after that you will be able to try more intricate designs, such as the ones I propose.

Second thing I recommend, whenever you don't understand a term or don't know how to perform a certain stitch, try first to find out a solution on google or youtube. I utilise general terms that are used in crochet, that can be looked up easily just by writing along with them the keyword "crochet". For example, if you don't know how to work an invisible decrease, look up for "invisible decrease crochet". If you really can't find a solution for the problem you face on google, contact me and I will happily try my best to help you. 

Third, I recommend you take the pictures of the finished parts/dolls as a reference for what you should end up with. This will prevent you sometimes from asking really silly questions :)
________

There will be a series of articles on the amigurumi subject. Next time I will write about the things that I learned the hard way, so stay tuned!


Check the other parts of Amigurumi tips series:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

CAL doll Greta - free crochet pattern, PART 1 - HANDS

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Please make sure you read the first part of the amigurumi tips series - how to read the patterns proposed on this blog, before you proceed to making this doll.

If you want to post photos of what you've created following this CAL, there is a group dedicated to Papillon en Papier artwork - Papillon en Papier Wonderland. Join to keep up with my work and CALs.

As I said before, I kinda fell in love with this doll, Greta, designed by Petus Ochoa. So, while working in parallel on two dolls using the same pattern, but different kind of yarns, I thought - why not organizing a Crochet ALong, or CAL on short, with you? I think it would be so much fun! 

So, for the beginning, we will start with the hands. First of all, let me share the list of materials you will need for making them:
  • cotton yarn; I used mercerized Alize Bahar yarn, with a 2 mm crochet hook, and Super Must Have from Wool Warehouse, which is also mercerized, but has an unmercerized look (it is matte, unlike Bahar, which has a silky look). Super Must Have is a chunky yarn, but I managed to work it using a 3 mm hook.
  • copper wire; I got mine from electric wires, by detaching the plastic cover with a cutter. Unfortunately, I haven't found a smaller thickness than 1.5 mm in diameter, but recently I found a resource in copper wires used in piano chords - these range from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm. Choose the wire thickness in accordance with your doll size.
  • stuffing; I use a local romanian brand, which seems like a genius invention for toys stuffing - Superball® - it is made of tiny stuffing balls which help maintaining the toys shape in time. I recommend you find a similar brand to use for your toys.
  • needle, stitch marker (may be a small safety pin).

Terms and definitions:

sc - single crochet
V - increase
X - decrease

Let's get started!

I advise you to also take a look at the video on these hands made by Petus Ochoa, the designer of this doll - even if she is speaking Spanish, the images are self explanatory.

Start with the fingers (after each finger you will cut the yarn and finish off, except for the fingers mentioned on the hands instructions):
(a) make 3x2=6 fingers by this pattern:
1. 5sc in magic ring
2. 15 sc, working in spiral around the first 5sc (3 rounds)
(b) make 1x2=2 fingers by this pattern:
1. 5sc in magic ring
2. 12 sc working in spiral
(c) make 1x2=2 fingers by this pattern:
1. 5sc in magic ring
2. 10 sc working in spiral

Create the hands:
R1. (the first stitch on R1 for each finger is the first stitch after the last stitch performed for making it, work in spiral)
- for right hand, prepare 3 (a) fingers) and one (c) finger, then make a (b) finger, but don't cut the yarn at the end! At the end of the 12 sc, make 3 more sc, then, working with a (a) finger at a time, only perform 2 sc in each of the first two (a) fingers, on the third (a finger), work 5 sc (all around the finger), then returning on the first two (a) finger, work the remaining 3 sc in each, and another 2 sc on the (b) finger. You will have performed 20 stitches on this row. With the next stitch, you will begin R2, mark the beginning of the rows from now on.
- for the left hand, prepare 2 (a) fingers, one (b) finger and one (c) finger, then make another (a) finger and don't cut the yarn. Make 3 more sc on this finger, then attach, performing 2 sc on each, two (a) fingers. Last, attach the (b) finger and perform 5 sc around it. Return on the other two finger performing the remaining 3 sc on each, and finish with 2 sc on the starting (a) finger. You will have performed 20 stitches on this row. With the next stitch, you will begin R2 - mark the beginning of the rows from now on.
R2-R4. 20sc (20)
R5.
- for right hand, 8sc, attach (c) finger with 3sc, 9sc (20)
- for left hand, attach (c) finger with 3sc, 17sc (20)
R6-R8. 20sc (20)
R9. 10X (10)
It would be useful to perform the "inserting the wire" and "stuffing of the hand" stage after a few decreases, during R9. Use the image bellow to shape the copper wire - approximate the length of the wire skeleton by the size of your obtained hand. Use a waterproof adhesive tape to secure the ends of the wire.


Continue with the arms (still working in spiral):
R10. 10sc (10)
R11. 2sc, 1V, 3sc, 1V, 3sc (12)
R12. 12sc (12)
R13. (3sc, 1V)x3 (15)
R14. 15sc (15)
R15. 6sc, 1V, 5sc, 1V, 2sc (17)
R16-R18. 17sc (17)
R19. (2sc, 1X)x4, 1sc (13)
R20. 13sc (13) 21. (2sc, 1V)x4, 1sc (17)
R22-R28. 17sc (17)
R29. 6sc, 1X, 7sc, 1X (15)
R30. (3sc, 1X)x3 (12)
R31. 6X

Cut the yarn end, leaving a long tail. With the needle, finish off and hide the yarn end inside the arm.

This is it! Enjoy your little pair of hands until the next stage of the CAL! :)


As a reminder on how it would look like at the end, bellow you have one of the two dolls that I already have done using this pattern - her name is Alesia.


Find the second part of the CAL - the legs, here.

Find the third part of the CAL - the body and head, here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Snails and mushrooms - free amigurumi patterns

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The first to take life were the mushrooms - I started making them as soon as I heard that Iulian Tănase, a writer that I admire, was to release a new book related to snails. Then I bought the book. And only after that I started working on the snails - Prince Snail and Zuza, his (girl)friend. I decided to leave them, in the end, eye-less partly, because, even if I normally prefer all my dolls to have eyes, they look very cute as they are, and partly, because I was afraid to spoil their beauty with some animation-style eyes, which might not have been in accordance with their romantic style... You also helped me take this decision by expressing your opinion on my post in Amigurumi dolls facebook group.

The mushrooms and the shell of the snail are taken from a russian website (designer Anya Kirdyasheva), but I translated them in english for you. The body of the snail is designed by me, in accordance with the final dimensions of the shell. Please, take care that I only present the denomination of the stitches, informations on how they are worked can be found plenty on google and youtube! I hope you enjoy making these items!

...But first, let's admire a bit the photo-shoot that just happened in the garden - in my own fairytale, Zuza and Prince Snail decided to get married. They hired me as their photographer and only called the two mushrooms to be their witnesses. The bride bouquet was an autumn leaf, which she shared (instead of champagne) after the ceremony with her newlywed.





Terms and definitions:

sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
inc - perform as many increases as indicated, wherever you choose on the row
dec - perform as many decreases as indicated, wherever you choose on the row
V- increase (2sc in the same stitch)
X - decrease (1sc in two stitches)
BLO - back loop only
(...) - at the end of the row, you must have ... stitches on the respective row

1. SNAIL

The snails were worked using Catania Originals cotton yarn and 2mm crochet hook. They measure approximately 6x8cm (without the horns). I inserted copper wires (2mm thick) into the snail body, as it is indicated in the sketch that I made for you, bellow. The horns were covered in yarn using fabric glue.

BODY
R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: 6V (12)
R3: (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4: (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5-R7: 24sc (24)

Insert the horns, curl the ends as pictured above, then cover the horns in yarn. Wait for the glue to dry, then stuff the head and continue working. Stuff the body a bit as you advance. Insert the body wire after you finish and stuff the head.

R8: (2sc, 1X)x6 (18)
R9: (1sc, 1X)x6 (12)
R10: 5X, 2sc (7)
R11-R13: 7sc (7)
R14: 2inc (9)
R15: 9sc (9)
R16: 2inc (11)
R17: 11sc (11)
R18: 2inc (13)
R19: 1inc (14)
R20: 2inc (16)
R21: 2inc (18)
R22: 18sc (18)
R23: 2inc (20)
R24-R31: 20sc (20)
R32: (1X, 3sc)x5 (15)
R33: 6X

SHELL (in BLO)
R1: 5sc in magic ring (5)
R2-R4: 1inc on each row (8)
R5: 8sc (8)
R6: 1inc (9)
R7: 9sc (9)
R8: 1inc (10)
R9: 10sc (10)
R10: 1inc (11)
R11: 11sc (11)
R12-R26: 1inc on each row (25)
R27: 3inc (28)

Don't cut the yarn, turn along the front loops, slip-stitching to the peak – I worked my slip stitches not in a normal way, but from top to bottom. When reaching the peak, cut the yarn, leaving a long tail which you will pass trough some of the slip-stitches in a straight line to the bottom. Stuff the shell, then pull tight the yarn tail – the shell will curl by itself. Secure tightly. Shape the body such that it is a bit flat on the portion when the shell will be placed. At the end, I glued my shell to the body carefully, using fabric glue and some pins until the glue dried.

For the girl, I realized three little roses using 0.75mm hook, embroidery thread and this free pattern. I also worked two double and two single leaves for the crown. I attached these flowers to the head using fabric glue.

The mushrooms were worked with Drops Paris and hook 2.5 mm, tightly.

2. BIG MUSHROOM



It measures approximately 11x7 cm.

HAT
R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: 6V (12)
R3: (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4: (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5: (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R6-R9: 5inc on each row (50)
R10-R12: 50sc

LEG
R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: (1sc, 1V)x6 (12)
R3: (2sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4: (3sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5-R8: 24sc (24)
R9-R10: 2dec on each row (20)
R11: 20sc (20)
R12-R13: 2dec on each row (16)
R14-R16: 16sc (16)
R17: we turn and work 32 hdc or dc (as you prefer) on front loops only of the previous round (2hdc or dc in each front loop), starting and ending with 2sc (or 3sc, if you choose dc). Return to the normal direction of working.
R18: work your sc in the remaining back loops of previous round, performing 1dec (15)
R19: 1dec (14)
R20: work your sc in back loops only, performing 6inc (20)
R21-R25: 6inc on each row (50)

I embroidered the specks on the hat, then shaped my mushroom by hand, inserting a wire to secure this shape, I stuffed it as much as I could and then I glued the parts one to another using fabric glue. I did the same with the small mushroom.

3. SMALL MUSHROOM



It measures approximately 3x6 cm.

HAT
R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: 6V (12)
R3: (1sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4: (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5-R8: 24sc (24)
R9: (4sc, 1X)x4 (20)

LEG
R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: (1sc, 1V)x6 (12)
R3: (2sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4: 2inc (20)
R5: 20sc (20)
R6-R7: 2dec on each row (16)
R8-R9: 16sc.

Embroider the specks on the hat, then glue the two parts together.