I haven’t crocheted a doll or bunny in quite some time. It was long overdo. Christmas projects in the fall and blanket projects since the beginning of the year have taken a priority, and the dolls and bunnies have been on the back burner … not completely out of mind, just not in the forefront.
I’ve been noticing a number of dolls with crocheted or embroidered eyes. Some are crocheted with embroidery floss or fingering yarn and are then sewn or glued onto the doll while others are embroidered directly onto the face.
I had my doubts that I could actually make eyes like that. I’m not particularly good at embroidery. In fact I’m pretty pathetic with an embroidery needle. Therefore, I reasoned, like many frustrated perfectionist types, “If I can’t do it perfectly then there’s no point in doing it at all!”
Such a defeatist attitude!
But I’ve seen several dolls recently who don’t have “perfect” eyes and I thought they were quite adorable. Maybe even I could pull something off that wouldn’t be too embarrassing!
Which brings me to … Miss Raspberry Ann.
She’s about 8 1/2 inches tall (21.5 cm). And she’s the first little doll I’ve made with embroidered eyes. If you look at them closely you’ll notice they’re crooked. But so is her smile and her ears.
No one is perfect. And Raspberry Ann is definitely not perfect. But she’s OK with her imperfections, such as they are.
Her shoes and socks are part of the feet and are crocheted directly onto the legs.
Usually I crochet panties onto the torso as well but I forgot to this time. It had been so long since I had crocheted a doll that it simply slipped my mind. Not to worry. I crocheted some bloomers to wear under her dress … for modesty’s sake of course.
The dress and bloomers are based on Beth Webber’s Simply Ami’s wardrobe designs from her blog, By Hook By Hand.
Raspberry Ann’s head is movable and she can sit too. These techniques of construction I learned from Beth’s blog. Scroll down the left sidebar to find links to her free patterns. I am continually inspired by Beth. She has taught me so much about the art of amigurumi doll making.
Raspberry Ann’s hair was very simple but it did take some time. I crocheted a wig cap of 11 rounds following the pattern for the head and in the final round added the curls.
The curls are made by working a slip stitch and then chaining a length. Then beginning in the second chain from the hook crochet either one or two single crochet into each chain until you’ve worked back to the beginning. Slip stitch into the next stitch on the wig cap and repeat the process. Varying the length of the chain and the number of single crochet stitches worked in each chain determines both the finished length and curliness of each curl. Work as many curls as you want in whatever position you want them.
For the bangs I chained 6 and worked 2 single crochet in each chain. For the ponytail curls I chained 30 and worked 2 single crochet in one chain and 1 single crochet in the next and followed that sequence back to the beginning. I didn’t want those curls to be quite as tight as the bangs. Her ponytails have 7 curls, each one worked in a separate stitch on the final round of the wig cap and the bangs are made up of 15 curls. I tried the wig cap on her head repeatedly while working on it to check the placement and length of the curls.
At the back, I worked (sc, ch 2) in each stitch for several stitches which added a little texture and then continued on to the next side repeating another set of curls, finishing off at the bangs where I began. I made sure to leave a long tail to attach the wig cap to the head. I then pulled the curls together into ponytails and tied them with crocheted “ribbon,” a simple chain knotted on each end to secure it.
It’s really a simple process. You decide the number and placement of bangs and curls and how long and how tightly curled you’d like them to be.
Once the wig cap with curls was finished I sewed it to the head. That was a bit fiddly but if you keep going in and out of the holes none of your stitches will show. A longer sharp needle works better than a blunt tip tapestry needle.
I hope this all makes sense.
No one is ever too old for dolls! Don’t you agree?