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.

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.


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 :)
There are various artists proposing tutorials for yarn wefts and, subsequently, doll wigs. Here are just a few:


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. 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)
- 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.

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


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.

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

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.


It measures approximately 11x7 cm.

R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: (1sc, 1V)x6 (12)
R3: (2sc, 1V)x6 (18)
R4: (3sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R5: (4sc, 1V)x6 (30)
R6-R9: 5inc on each row (50)
R10-R12: 50sc

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.


It measures approximately 3x6 cm.

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: (4sc, 1X)x4 (20)

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.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Muneca Alexa / Alexa doll - free crochet / amigurumi doll pattern

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Muneca Alexa was the first doll I tried from Petus youtube channel. She is a mexican crochet doll designer, but unfortunately her channel is only in spanish, for the moment. So I asked for her permission to post the notes I've been taken while working on her dolls, and she agreed! So, here is the first pattern I will share with you, but take good care that it represents my own interpretation, and may not contain as much explanation as her videos! So you better take a look at her video instructions too :)

Alexa doll - english instructions

ch - chain
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
V - increase
X - decrease
BLO - back loop only

I worked with cotton yarn and 2.5 mm crochet hook for the doll and for the cat, so the doll is approximately 24 cm tall. For the dress, I used a smaller hook, but you might want to use a bigger hook, especially if you're using a thinner yarn, like I did!

1. LEGS (work in spiral)

[in blue]
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)

[in maroon]
R7: 36sc (36); we prepare a plastic disk with the same diameter as the blue disk obtained earlier.

[in blue]
R8-R12: 36sc (36); we introduce the plastic disk into the shoe.

[in skin color]
R13: 5sc, 13X, 5sc (23)
R14: 8sc, 3X, 9sc (20)
R15: 6sc, 4X, 6sc (16)
R16-R30: 16sc (16)

[in blue]
R31: [in BLO] (7sc, 1V)x2 (18)
R32: (2sc, 1V)x6 (24)
R33: (3sc, 1V)x6 (30)

R1: Around the base of every sc on round 31, work 18 sc (18)
R2: (1sc, 1hdc, 2ch, 1hdc in second ch from hook, 1sc - in same sc, skip 1sc)x 9 picots

Shoe strap:
14 ch, return with 13 sc, finish.

2. BODY (work in spiral)

[in blue]
R34: We connect the legs in the center with 6sc, then we crochet around 48sc (48)
R35-41: 48sc (48)

[in skin color]
R42: [in BLO] 48sc (48)
R43-45: 48sc (48)
R46: (6sc, 1X)x6 (42)
R47-48: 42sc (42)
R49: (5sc, 1dec)x6 (36)
R50-52: 36sc (36)
R53: (4sc, 1X)x6 (30)
R54-R55: 30sc (30); we start to fill the doll body and place the plastic stick/copper wire in the center.
R56: (3sc, 1X)x6 (24)
R57-R59: 24sc (24)
R60: (2sc, 1X)x6 (18)
R61: (1sc, 1X)x6 (12)
R62: 6X (6)
R63-65: 6sc (6) (you may want to make just two rows with 6sc…)

3. ARMS (work in spiral)

R1: 6sc in magic ring (6)
R2: 6V (12)
R3-R5: 6sc (12)
R6: Cluster of 3 hdc,  secure cluster with 1sc, 11sc (13)
R7: skip 1ch, (1sc, 1X)x4 (8)
R8: (1sc, 1V)x4 (12) – we introduce the wire
R9-R17: 12sc (12)
R18: (1sc, 1X)x4 (8)
R19: (1sc, 1V)x4 (12)
R20-R27: 12sc (12)
R28: 6sc, 6hdc (mirror for the other arm)

We attach the arms to the body...

4. HEAD (work in spiral)

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: (7sc, 1V)x6 (54)
R10: 54sc (54)
R11: (8sc, 1V)x6 (60)
R12-R18: 60sc (60)
R19: (8sc, 1X)x6 (54)
R20: 54 sc (54)
R21: (7sc, 1X)x6 (48)
R22: (6sc, 1X)x6 (42)
R23: (5sc, 1X)x6 (36)
R24: (4sc, 1X)x6 (30)
R25: (3sc, 1X)x6 (24)
R26: (2 sc, 1X)x6 (18); we fill the head and we leave room for the plastic stick / copper wire. We embroider the eyes and the other features, we prepare the hair...
R27: (1sc, 1X)x6 (12)
R28: 6sc (6); connect head to the body...

5. HAIR (work in rows)

R1: 20ch, return
R2: 6sc, 12hdc, 5ch, return
R3: 3+12hdc,  6sc. Repeat until row
R35: 3+12hdc, 6sc. Fasten off really tight, by passing the yarn through the extreme waves of hair.

Pig Tails:
31ch for the short ones
41ch for the long ones, return
2sc in each ch, return
2sc in each sc

6. DRESS (you might want to use a bigger hook, work in rows)

R1: 31ch
R2: 30sc (30)
R3: 1ch, (1sc, 1V)x15 (45)
R4: 1ch, 45sc (45)
R5: 1ch, 6sc, 6ch, skip 10sc, 13sc, 6ch, skip 10sc, 6sc (25+12)
R6: [in BLO] 37sc (37)
R7-R15: 37sc (37)
R16: [in BLO] (4sc, 1V)x7, 2sc (44)
R17: (5sc, 1inc)x7, 2sc (51)
R18-R19: 51sc (51)
R20: (6sc, 1V)x7, 2sc (58)
R21: 58sc (58)
R22: (7sc, 1V)x7, 2sc (65)
R23: 65sc
R24: [in BLO] (8sc, 1V)x7, 2sc (72)
R25-27: 72sc, fasten off.

Using contrasting colors, in the front loops on rows R6, R16 and R24 we work clusters (2dc, 2ch, 2dc) in same st, skip 2st, repeat – it will result 13 clusters on row R6 and R16. We repeat this for 5 rows, on the last row work 7 sc on each 2ch space.

The cat is a free pattern, which you can find here. I wired all the 4 legs, so it can attach to Alexa's arm. If you want to see more photos of the finished Alexa, check my facebook page post.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New logo / visual identity by Liloobox

I've been dreaming about this kind of logo since a long time ago. I wanted something playful, colourful and striking, in the same time. I wanted it to reveal, in part, my personality. I linked it, as you can see, to my pets, which I love both. But especially my white cat :) So, after all, Lia didn't have much choices but to make two versions of the logo. Which turned out to be multiple versions, and I'm so, so happy that I can play around with them!


I ordered this logo during the spring. It was ready in time to release it for my birthday, but I felt it wasn't quite the moment to reveal it back then. Meanwhile, I'm still on a tight timetable, but I have big plans about my handmade direction. Just one hint - The Octopus Project, which I helped settle down this year in Romania, helped me see this direction. I learned so much during the six months I prepared all the rules for manufacturing the octos. Things I wouldn't have found otherwise, or it would have taken me much longer if I was to find them in any other circumstances. I am thankful for this opportunity and I hope to be able to volunteer again soon for this beautiful project.

In order to motivate myself during the next part of my handmade adventure, I also established a facebook group, where you can follow my updates in more detail than on any other social media place that I own. I also intend to use this group as a motivation to grow strong and beautiful, surrounded by friends and people who would like to encourage me all the way round, and to give back from my own experience to people who wish to pursue the same path. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Instrucțiuni pentru realizarea unei caracatițe pentru prematuri potrivite firului Catania Originals

Acesta este un pattern simplu, pentru o caracatiță uni (într-o singură culoare), cu ajutorul căruia poți începe să lucrezi caracatițe pentru prematuri fără a-ți face griji în legătură cu dimensiunile finale, care garantăm că se vor încadra în cele prevăzute de regulament! Dacă vei respecta tensiunea de lucru și firul indicat, vei obține caracatițe de dimensiuni mici - a mea are, spre exemplu, 16.5 cm în circumferință (5.25 cm diametru) și aproximativ 6.5 cm înălțime. Tentaculele, ca de obicei, 18 cm în extensie maximă. Pentru a avea succes, singura condiție este să pui în aplicare toate tehnicile și trucurile indicate în secțiunea de tips&tricks de pe blog!

Câteva detalii tehnice:

Croșetă: 2 mm
Fir: Catania Originals
Tehnici utilizate:
- yarn under (yu), yarn over (yo)
- lucru în spirală
- atașare piesă de fund prin croșetare
- închidere invizibilă a lucrului
- descreștere invizibilă (invisible decrease)
Termeni: pentru a vă putea descurca și cu alte patternuri pe viitor, vă las aici descrierea în limbile engleză și română a câtorva termeni specifici croșetatului, de care aveți nevoie pentru a putea citi și înțelege instrucțiunile de mai jos:
- magic ring (mr): cerc magic (cm)
- chain (ch): ochi de lanț (ol)
- single crochet (sc): picioruș mic (pm)
- front loop (fl): bucla din față (bf)
- back loop (bl): bucla din spate (bs)
- single crochet 2 together (sc2tog): descreștere

Instrucțiuni (Rx – rândul x; la sfârșitul fiecărui rând aveți în paranteză numărul de ochiuri pe care ar trebui să le aveți pe respectivul rând):

1. Piesa de fund
Tehnica YU.

R1: într-un cm, lucrați 6 pm (6)
R2: 2 pm în fiecare din cele 6 pm de pe R1 (12)
R3: (1 pm în primul pm, 2 pm în următorul pm)x6 (18)
R4: (câte 1 pm în primele 2 pm, 2 pm în cel de-al treilea pm)x6 (24) Tăiați ața și închideți folosind tehnica închiderii invizibile.

2. Corpul
Tehnica YU.

R1: într-un cm, lucrați 6 pm (6) (creșterea) R2: 2 pm în fiecare din cele 6 pm de pe R1 (12) R3: (1 pm în primul pm, 2 pm în următorul pm)x6 (18) R4: (câte 1 pm în primele 2 pm, 2 pm în cel de-al treilea pm)x6 (24)
R5: (câte 1 pm în primele 3 pm, 2 pm în cel de-al patrulea pm)x6 (30)
R6: (câte 1 pm în primele 4 pm, 2 pm în cel de-al cincilea pm)x6 (36)
R7: (câte 1 pm în primele 5 pm, 2 pm în cel de-al șaselea pm)x6 (42)

R8-R16 (9 rânduri): câte 1 pm în fiecare pm (42)

R17: (câte 1 pm în primele 5 pm, descreștere - 1 singur pm lucrat prin bf a următoarelor două pm)x6 (36)
R18-19: câte 1 pm în fiecare pm (36)
R20: (câte 1 pm în primele 4 pm, descreștere)x6 (30)
R21-22: câte 1 pm în fiecare pm (30)
R23: (câte 1 pm în primele 3 pm, descreștere)x6 (24)
R24-25: câte 1 pm în fiecare pm (24)

3. Atașarea piesei de fund

Aceasta se face prin executarea unor pm prin ambele piese – corp+piesă de fund. În total, vor fi executate 24 pm pentru a închide corpul. Înainte de închiderea completă, puteți completa cu umplutură în zona de închidere.

4. Tentacule 
Tehnica YO.

În continuare, vom realiza tentaculele astfel: 1 pm în următorul pm, apoi
Primul tentacul: 50 ol, întorcându-ne de-a lungul lanțului, începem în cel de-al doilea ol de lângă croșetă și executăm câte două pm în fiecare ol (98 pm).
(Executăm apoi câte 1 pm în fiecare din următoarele 3 pm, apoi din nou 50 de ol, pe care ne întoarcem și executăm câte 2 pm în fiecare ol, începând cu al doilea ol de lângă croșetă)x7
Executăm câte 1 pm în următoarele 2 pm.

Tăiem ața și încheiem lucrul folosind tehnica închiderii invisibile (pașii 1-6). Tragem ața prin interiorul corpului, apoi tăiem excesul.

ȘI GATA! FELICITĂRI! Ai finalizat o caracatiță cu 8 tentacule, ce poartă tocmai din acest motiv numele Octopus în limba engleză! Un prematur se va bucura cât de curând de ea dacă alegi să o donezi în cadrul proiectului Octopus România – Caracatițe, prietenii prematurilor!

Linkuri utile: 

- Grupul facebook a voluntarilor:

- Pagina de facebook a proiectului:

- Pagina web a proiectului:

Tehnica închiderii invizibile a lucrului

Tehnica atasării piesei de fund prin croșetare

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pattern Alien Octopus (varianta plată) - valabil pentru firul Catania/Camilla, lucrat cu croșeta de 2.5 mm

În timp ce noi născoceam varianta hibrid (cu corpul cusut) pentru a ne ușura munca și a limita șansele de a avea neconformități ce țin de siguranța prematurilor în caracatițele noastre, fetele din UK se gândeau și ele la o variantă mai accesibilă, ce nu doar că necesită mai puțin timp, dar este și mult mai sigură, întrucât nu conține umplutură - ”flat octopus” au numit-o, deși nu are decât trei tentacule!

Ce am făcut eu mai jos? Am croșetat (relativ) după varianta lor de pattern, doar că, în loc de 3 tentacule, eu am lucrat 5, pentru a o face mai ”bogată”! Voi puteți, însă, lucra mai puține sau mai multe, după preferințe (în limita a opt tentacule). Țin să precizez că, spre deosebire de UK, noi vom merge doar pe varianta cu două discuri croșetate împreună, pentru a minimiza riscurile legate de ascunderea capetelor de fire.

Să purcedem!

Deși am schimbat culorile de mai multe ori, am lucrat în spirală și am utilizat tehnica închiderii invizibile a lucrului (pe care o voi ilustra și în poze). Începând să lucrez cu o altă culoare, am început cu standing single crochet. Am lucrat, ca de obicei, cu tehnica nou învățată și obligatorie pentru corpul tuturor caracatițelor noastre - yarn under.

R1: cu negru (Catania), 7 sc într-un cerc magic (cercul l-am strâns mai târziu cât de tare am putut și l-am securizat cu mai multe noduri realizate cât mai la baza firului) (7);
R2: 2 sc în fiecare ochi (14);
Am tăiat apoi firul negru, am închis lucrul invizibil și am reînceput cu alb (tot Catania).
R3: (1 sc în primul ochi, 2 sc în următorul ochi )x7 (21) (nu contează în ce loc atașați noua culoare);
R4: (2 sc în primul ochi, 2 sc în următoarele două ochiuri)x7 (28);
Am tăiat firul alb, am închis invizibil, apoi am reînceput în culoarea principală (Camilla, în cazul meu) - începeți în primul ochi dintr-o succesiune de două ochiuri care fac parte dintr-o creștere!
R5: (3 sc în următoarele 3 ochiuri, 2 sc în următorul ochi, )x7 (35);
R6: 1 sc în primul ochi, 2 sc în următorul ochi (4 sc în următoarele 4 ochiuri, 2 sc în următorul ochi)x6, 3 sc în următoarele 3 ochiuri (42);
R7: (5 sc în următoarele 5 ochiuri, 2 sc în următorul ochi)x7 (49);
R8: 2 sc în următoarele 2 ochiuri, 2 sc în următorul ochi, (6 sc în următoarele 6 ochiuri, 2 sc în următorul ochi)x6, 4 sc în următoarele 4 ochiuri (56);
R9: (2 sc în următorul ochi, 7 sc în următoarele 7 ochiuri)x7) (63).

Aici m-am oprit, fără să tai firul, și am brodat conturul ochiului și o gură, folosind cotton perle (atenție, verificați firele pe care le folosiți înainte la temperaturi mari, pentru a evita efectul de ”color bleeding” - amestecare a culorilor!). Am securizat broderia cu multe noduri pe spate. Apoi am lucrat spatele corpului, după aceeași schemă de mai sus, utilizând același fir (Camilla), dar practic puteți reveni la Catania sau folosi orice altă culoare vă place (nu trebuie să fie aceeași culoare cu fața).

Ați observat poate că nu am crescut după același pattern ca în cazul corpului umplut. Am ales să distribui creșterile pe fiecare rând decalat față de anteriorul rând pentru a obține, într-adevăr, un disc rotund, și nu unul hexagonal! Cum am procedat? M-am folosit de rândurile impare (cu număr impar de ochiuri la final) și am plasat creșterea în mijlocul grupului de sc simple (nu dublate, ceea ce înseamnă o creștere).

Am suprapus apoi cele două discuri (nu vă speriați dacă sunt un pic vălurite) și am început să le croșetez împreună folosind în continuare firul folosit la realizarea feței, utilizând sc, fără să mai cresc.

TIPS: Corpul vălurit poate fi corectat cu ajutorul fierului de călcat!

În continuare, vă explic schema de lucru pentru varianta cu antene, dar voi puteți sări peste acești pași dacă doriți ca alien-ul vostru să fie altceva decât Howard :) Puteți să lucrați mai multe antene, dacă simțiți nevoia. Printre variantele alternative acceptate se vor număra cea simplă, FĂRĂ ANTENE, și cea care va conține mici petale realizate cu dc, variantele FLOARE și MEDUZĂ - pattern-urile urmează să fie create și pentru aceste variante.

R10 (rândul de închidere): croșetând prin ambele discuri, am realizat 10 sc, după care am realizat PRIMA ANTENĂ - 10 ochiuri de lanț, dc în cel de-al treilea ochi de la croșetă, sc în jurul ultimului dc, 7 sc în următoarele 7 ochiuri de lanț. Am revenit pe discuri și am lucrat 7 sc în următoarele 7 sc, apoi am început A DOUA ANTENĂ (am lucrat-o identic cu prima). Revenind pe discuri, am lucrat 22 sc în următoarele 22 sc, după care am început să lucrez PRIMUL TENTACUL - 50 de ochiuri de lanț, pe care vă întoarceți cu câte 2 sc în fiecare ochi, începând de la al doilea ochi de la croșetă, obținând astfel 96 de sc, apoi sc în următoarele 3 ochiuri)x4. După ce terminați primele 4 tentacule, îl executați și pe ultimul identic, continuând înapoi pe disc cu restul de sc până la finalizare.

Am încheiat tot invizibil, trăgând capătul aței prin interiorul celor două discuri. Dimensiunea finală a jucăriei este de 7 cm diametru. Dimensiunile acceptate sunt între 6 și 9 cm diametru!

În ansamblu, varianta aceasta, neconținând umplutură, este mult mai sigură și mai ușor de întreținut/curățat decât cea cu corp umplut (fie el croșetat sau hibrid), iar în plus față de aceasta, nu trebuie să ne mai facem griji atât de mari în privința tensiunii de lucru - recomand totuși să folosiți aceleași croșete cu două-trei numere mai mici decât este indicat pe eticheta firului ales, să folosiți în continuare tehnica yarn under, să folosiți pași mici pentru broderie sau atașarea oricărui accesoriu plat și, mai ales, să puneți multă dragoste în toate creațiile voastre destinate suflețelelor aflate la început de drum. Sunt sigură că prematurii vor simți această dragoste impregnată în jucăriile pe care le vor primi!

Numai bine și spor la lucru!

LE: Varianta ”dreamcatcher”, realizată cu fir Denim (conține doar 9 rânduri, același diametru de 7 cm, croșetă de 2.5 mm, broderie realizată în punct-lănțișor ):