One Piece Doll

One piece doll from head to toes!doll finished

As announced few weeks ago, it is time for little lesson on how to make doll in one piece.

There are several ways on how I do it. In this, first lesson will try to show you, which I find, the easiest way on making such doll.

It is started from head and worked downwards.

This simple way can be adjusted and worked few different ways, but this post is on showing you the basics and giving you ideas on what you can do, and how it can be done when crocheting doll in one piece.

I didn’t try to write the exact pattern, but rather tried to show you the way, leaving you to try and work your own one piece doll.

It is very simple and I am sure after reading this post and seeing all the photos you will know your way and will be able to make you doll from the first try.

So how it is done?

As always, you have to have general picture on what size or kind of doll you wish to make. Size is more important, I think, because the size of your doll will determine number of stitches used for the head, arms, body and legs.

Before you start, think of what size doll you wish to make. Try to remember some nice patterns you worked on before or doll’s you liked to make, and based on that, write down these, approximate parameters.

  • how many stitches you will use on widest round of the head,

  • how many stitches you think on working for the arms

  • do you wish your doll to have improvised thumb or you’d like to make fingers instead

  • how many stitches you think on making for the body

  • what shape your wish body to be (oval, cone looking…)

  • how wide you wish your legs to be

  • do you want doll with feet…

Important is to have idea on size of the head compared to the body.

In my case, I like making smaller size dolls (around 25 cm, 9.8”), with big heads compared to their bodies.

I know it must sound to much to think about before starting your doll, and for some must seem pretty terrifying but it is not so.

Imagine your doll, write what you think is important for you and start. Once you’ll have the work in front of you and all those stitches to count and work with, will be easy as breathing 🙂

You’ll see!

As said at the beginning of this post, the work is started from the head and worked downwards.

Making head

Remember that you’ll need to add all featured on the head before starting to work on neck and further down.

If using safety eyes:

Add eyes as you go. If you are not sure where to place eyes, I suggest you stuff the head first, check how different sizes work with the head you made.

Place them different positions and see where you like them the best. You wish to make nice looking doll, without mistakes, so take your time. There’s no rush to place eyes that will completely destroy the look of your doll. Or to choose different size. Not stuffed head looks different from stuffed one. You are designer now, and you need to decide how your doll will look.

Once you are sure with where to place the eyes and which size to use, take the stuffing out, place eyes on, and stuff again.

Now you have doll’s head looking exactly as you imagined, right!? 🙂

Head

You can embroider nose and lips. Try to add as many details as you wished there would be on the head.

Done and moving forward.

Make sure head is stuffed nice.

Making neck and shoulders

After you finished with head and decreased to certain amount of stitches for the neck, repeat one or two rounds to make neck visible.

After neck is done, continue evenly increasing each round for that many rounds until you reach, at least, the same stitch count as used at repeating middle rounds of the head (in most cases these are the widest rounds of the head as well).

In my case, those counted 48 sts.

My neck was 12 sts wide. After neck was made, I increased each round evenly (using 6sts increase count) until I reached round counting 48 sts.

Important, when working at doll in one piece, is to plan your stitches in advance. That is why I told you to think before you start, on how wide you wish your body to bee, arms …

You need to know approximate size(s) in order to increase to right stitch count where needed (as in this case was increasing to shoulders width. Shoulder round will soon be divided into three parts. Two for arms and one for body opening.

neck and shoulders

Making arms

We increased to shoulders. At this point, you can repeat this round one or two times. Repeating round will give you nice round shoulders and will keep your arms closer to the body. Will also circle this shoulder part nicely.

I haven’t repeated this round, and later you will see how arms on my doll are flying away from the body. It is charming for such small dolls, but if you prefer arms closer to the body, repeat shoulder round two times before proceeding with making arms.

It is time for some stitch count. Time to mark stitches where arms will be created.

Do not cut yarn . Secure the last stitch while stitches are counted and marked for the arm openings.

Flatten the shoulders or upper body part. Flat sides have to be parallel with front and back face, while corners of this flatten piece will point to the sides of the head.

Look at photos for better understanding.

Now count both sides, of this flattened shoulder piece, even number of stitches for doll’s arms.

In my case. My shoulder round was 48 sts. On each side I counted 9sts (for each arm). Marked them all, for easier crocheting later.

Same way count your stitches, mark first and last stitch of each arm opening.

arms2

arms

As you have marked your stitches for arm openings, start working on first arm, or one where your last stitch of previous round was made.

Now this might sound confusing, but I have to mention it…

Depending on how you flattened the shoulder piece, your last stitch might end up on body opening instead on arm. In that case, make the body first, and then return to finish with arms. Nothing to worry about! 🙂

Whichever part you make first, or whichever order you choose to do is the right one. You can work body first and then make arms, or in my case arms first then body. You can even work arms at the very end, after body and legs are finished. Marked stitches are there. All you need to do is to work them in rounds, and in that many rounds as wished for arms length.

In my case, arms are done first, so let’s see what happens next.

Continue working where you last round ended and work in rounds. Make sure to connect both sides, or both of the marked stitches for each of arms.

Suggestion:

when connecting sides, I like to slip stitch and pull that stitch a little in order to bring sides very close to each other, in order to avoid wholes where connections are made.

If you choose not to, and wholes show later, you can always sew them closed with same color yarn, so no biggie, just my suggestion.

Once first round is closed and prepared to work in rounds, work as many rounds as you wish for your arms to be long.

Depending if your arms will be finger-less, with improvised thumb or with all 5 fingers made, make sure to make them appropriate size.

I know that many of you will wonder, on how to determinate arm length. I have no idea what to tell you on this one! 🙂 Really, I have none!

And again it depends on what you like, what you wish to make.

I can tell you what I like and how I count most of the times.

Like said, I like heads to be bigger compared to the body. If the head counts 20 something rounds, I like to keep my body few rounds shorter, and at least 3 increasing rounds less wide. Does it make any sense to you? That is when it comes to body.

For example, if my head was 48 sts wide, I like to keep widest body round at 30 sts the most.

If head was 20 something rounds long, I will try to keep body few rounds shorter (that would be 16, 17 or 18).

Arms and legs, most of the times, will try to keep same length as body. This is nice ratio, and you can try working with one like this on your first doll.

Now, let’s get back to our tutorial and see how arm is done and looking so far.

I’ve decided to make hands with improvised thumb.

After reaching the wrist length, I increased one round to fist width and on next round added cluster on the inner side of the arm (or the side closer to the body).

The same way you can make fingers. Sharon Ojala @ Amigurumi To Go has great tutorial on making fingers this way, towards the fingertips which will help you greatly if you decide to make fingers on your doll.

Here is the link with the pattern and video to check it needed

http://www.amigurumitogo.com/2014/02/crochet-doll-fingers-tutorial.html

Arm3

Arms3

One done. Don’t forget to stuff it before making last round and closing. Fasten off leaving tail for sewing last round closed. Hide end inside the arm.

Prepare for next arm.

This time, we have to attach the yarn. I like to add it on one of the stitches on the back side of doll. This way, if I make them “not so nice” they keep hidden on the back 😀

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Once attached and first round closed and prepared to work in rounds, work the second arm same way as first.

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Both arms are done!

Here you can see how arms are “flying” away already. Missed to make one or two repeating rounds on shoulder (what I mentioned and talked about earlier).

Before continuing stuff head, neck and shoulders well. It will be very hard to add stuffing to these areas later.

Making body

body

Now there is body opening that needs closing and finishing.

In my case, my body opening remains with 30 sts around.

Body2

Whichever stitch count you decided to work with, connect all of the remaining stitches left for the body and work the body desired shape and length.

I decided to work on simple cylinder shape with slight decrease on the bottom. My whole body was made with 30 sts in each round.

I planned to make legs 12 sts wide. In order to reach this count I decreased on second last round to 24.

Count in advance. Know what your leg count will be, and plan your body ending and last round in advance.

Body3

Making legs

Body is finished and some more stitch count are required in next step. We need to make openings for legs, or to divide last round into two openings with same stitch count each.

You can do this two different ways. The most simple way is to count equal amount of stitches each side (and again flatten the body piece, edges facing sides, while flat sides facing front/back of the head).

Mark first and last stitch of each leg and simply continue by working on first leg, or the one where your last stitch on the previous round was made (this way you don’t need to tie off).

Legs hug stitches closure

As you can see from above photo, this way is very simple. Each leg will be simply connected by one stitch in the middle and continued downwards in rounds.

This method is really the easiest, and the most simple one, and I am sure you won’t have any problems making it. The above connection I like to call hugging stitches connection. Nice and easy way to make legs on small dolls with few stitches on each leg.

I decided to work different way. One I like to call bridge connection.

Bridge connection leaves space between legs which is much better for bigger dolls, long legged dolls or dolls you make with more than 12 sts in each leg round.

Let’s see how the bridge is made.

And again you need to count. The bridge will determine how many stitches you wish to increase or decrease for the legs (depending on stitch count you have on the last body round).

How is that?

For example; My last body round ended with 24 sts count.

I like to make legs 12 sts in a round each, but I also want to make this gap between legs.

I decided that 3 sts between each leg is nice gap to leave. That means I have to take off 3 sts on front and 3 sts on the back of last body round (front/back= flattened sides of body piece). Taking off, is working them into bridge and closing them this way so they can’t be worked on when I start on with legs.

So where and how to add those 3 sts back?

We will add them over bridge, making bridge 3 sts wide and 3 sts long.

Wide side is our front and back, but long (depth) side where we will make new stitches for our legs.

This way you can make bridge longer, shorter, wider, more narrow….adding or decreasing stitches this way Hope it makes sense 🙂

Once stitches are counted, slip stitch to first of your bridge stitches (either side, back or front) and work as many rounds as you wish to add or decrease for your legs.

As you can see, I worked 3 stitches each side, and worked them for three rows.

Legs bridge connect

Once you made your bridge, cut off the thread and sew it over the marked bridge stitches opposite side

Legs bridge connect2

Bridge is done and we can start making legs. At this point stuff the body nice and firm. It is very important to stuff it best possible now. It will be very hard to add stuffing later.

Legs bridge connect3

stuff body

As you can see, I didn’t fasten off the yarn. I used small amount of other yarn for the bridge. This way I tried to keep my work of one piece doll really, as much as possible, one piece.

It also looks nicer not to keep attaching yarn all the time. No matter how neat your work is, good eye can always tell where work was fastened off and started again.

And I like to keep my work as clean and as neat as possible.

Legs

legs2

Whichever way you decided to make your openings for legs, it is time to make them.

Work one leg at the time.

Make them desired length. Decide in advance how you wish to make the feet. Simple cylinder ending, nice round, improvised feet or complete feet with all toes on….

legs3

I’ve decided to go for middle solution, and make nice round improvised looking feet.

I know many of you will wonder how to shape feet working backwards, or from top to toes. Well…you work backwards! 😀 And I am not joking!

For example, if you have nice foot pattern you worked on earlier, but worked from bottom up, you can simply use that same pattern to make your foot, but this time using the pattern backwards.

Let’s say your pattern was like this:

(using Fairy doll’s leg pattern)

R1: 6 Sc in magic ring (6)

R2: 2 sc in each st around (12)

R3: *2sc in one st, sc1* x6 (18)

R4: 18 sc

R5: dec6, sc6 (12)

R6: dec3, sc6 (9)

What you will need to do is work backwards and instead of starting at R1, you’ll start at R6 (if your leg stitch count is 9. If different from 9, adjust the stitch count accordingly, it is easy, you’ll see).

In this case your backwards work would look like this:

R1 inc3, sc6 (12)

R2 inc6, sc6 (18)

R3-R4 sc18

R5 (dec, sc) x6 (12)

R6 dec x6 (6)

Hope it makes sense. When working backwards, for increase work decreasing stitch and vice versa.

For small feet, you will never go wrong if you will simply increase 2-3 rounds  over 2-3 sts each, and those stitches have to be centered in the front part of the foot. Will explain it little bit more further below.

To make sure doll’s improvised toes will point front, you need to count stitches again. And again some flattening the pieces.

Prepare your leg for foot making. Flatten the piece, but this time flattened sides, facing body sides, while edges are facing back/front

legs4

This front edge you see on above photo is crucial. This is where increases need to be centered in order to face foot right direction.

For the most simple foot shaping, like earlier said, increase this front edge of doll’s leg by 2-3 sts for two or three rounds. This is the most simple way for all of those who dislike counting stitches by number (not good if you wish to write the pattern though 😀 In that case you will have to make sure and count exact number of stitches on each round, as count exactly where these increases will be made. For your first trial, simply flatten the bottom of leg piece like shown on photo above and for each of the next 3 rounds, increase top two to three stitches. This way doll’s foot will grow longer and foot will form.

Once increasing rounds are done, repeat round or two to shape the bottom of your leg before starting to decrease.

legs5

I like to make my first decreasing round in the back loops only. This way bottom of the foot folds nicely and stays flat.

legs6

Before working last decreasing round, stuff leg nicely. Finish last round, tie off and sew last round closed. Hide yarn inside the leg.

legs7a

One leg down. One more to do!

Working on remaining stitches on the body, work them all in round the same way done for first leg.

legs8

legs9

legs11

doll finished

And doll in one piece is finished.

Add her clothes, hair and prepare for playing 🙂

one piece doll by AmigurumiBB

I know this was very, very long post….hope you enjoyed it and hope you learned something new.

Also hope I have covered everything so you can start making your doll in one piece right away. In case you’re missing any info, please feel free to write and ask.

I will try to make next tutorial on how to make one piece doll from toes to head soon.

Like said many times during this post, think in advance. Plan your stitch count and know what you’ll do next. I hope all the photos I made will help you enough to overcome all doubts when making your first one piece doll.

Looking forward to see your one piece dolls soon. Many of them!

Thank you all for you time with me today.

Hugs,


Vanja

Ella The Rainbow Princess

Hello dear friends,

after long and very hot summer, I have returned with Ella The rainbow Doll.

Las week I had friend over for a visit, who came with her 6 year old daughter Ella. After I showed Ella my crocheted dolls collection she had hard time deciding which one was her favorite. So I offered her a deal.

I told her I would make her the most special off all dolls, doll she dreams of. In order to make her wish come true, I asked I gave her colored pencils and markers and asked her to draw such doll. Told her to take her time, to take some time thinking and when completely sure to draw her dream doll.

After a while Ella came with this drawingDSC_0002-001On the left side of the drawing you can see tarantula, while on the right side, giant African millipede is crawling. I keep few of such lovely creatures (many of you will have goosebumps hearing this 🙂 ) as pets, and Ella loved seeing them. She was specially fascinated by giant African millipedes and their size, as well as hissing Madagascar cockroaches who hissed at her every time she came near.

Now I had the drawing and next day had to start making this lovely doll we named Rainbow Princess.

As with starting any other doll, important is to know which shapes to use, where to start, and  to prepare your material in advance.

I finished this lovely princess in one day. It was wonderful experience and so much fun to return to childhood and create something so simple and something so extraordinary and beautiful as Rainbow Princess Ella had drawn. Colors she has chosen, the way she put them together. High heel boots in orange color that were must have…. and so many other details that were so much fun to make.

I remember, when I saw the drawing for the first time, my first thought was “oh, nooooo”… for the open mouth with tongue showing. I was so worried and thought of ways making such mouth without many complications while crocheting.

At the end decided to simply draw the mouth using textile paints and apply them as more as drawing than to fill each stitch with color trying to make them as perfect as possible. At the end it worked nice (so I think).

On what I came up and how I crocheted doll after 6 year old Ella’s drawing is here:

thaa-dhaaa….

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At the end Ella was thrilled with her doll. Do you know what amazed her the most?

Those criss-crosses you can see in front of her dress, and off course, high heels on doll’s boots 😀

If you have a little child or grand child and you don’t know what doll to crochet for them. Ask them to draw doll they’d like to have, and simply make one.

Same as your child has drawn in simple way, you crochet that simple. Keep an eye on details and colors. Those are important. If you make or fail the shape of head, or body, or make legs little shorter or even longer, child won’t notice that.  On another hand, don’t forget to add details as fingers, use exact colors on locations your child drawn them, if doll has eyelashes, add them, if there is one single polka dot on drawn dress, don’t forget to make it on your doll too. Those little things are what children won’t forget and will check your work to see if it matches their drawing. I warmly recommend you try this, making a doll or toy based on your child’s drawing. Happiness when they see their dream doll come to life, is priceless.

Really hope you like little Ella The Rainbow Doll. If you wish to make doll based on your child’s drawing but not sure where to start, feel free to write and I will try to help you.

This is not the only project I’ve done this summer. I was not near PC and internet each day, but whenever I had little bit of time (and when it was not hell hot), I did work a little.

In the following weeks there will be several patterns I’ll share for free and sale.

Some of them are:

Flower Fairies

Flower Fairy by AmigurumiBBLiz the Goth dollLiz the Goth doll by AmigurumiBBOne piece dolls work in details( project)…general information will be shared here, but on actual project we will work through FB group.

Will be exciting with lots of news coming up. If you had hot summer, cool down in the following two weeks, gather your yarn, sharpen your hooks and get ready to start the new adventures with AmigurumiBB 😀

Thank you all for your time stopping by and reading this post. Hope you’ve enjoyed Ella the Rainbow Princess.

Till next time,

hugs and love

Vanja

How to make body, arms and legs…the basics

From head, round and oval shapes which we use to make one, this week we can move to rest of doll’s body parts and shapes used to create them.Basuc doll shapes

Looking at picture, it looks so easy and simple, right? It is that simple as it looks!
And you still wonder why can’t you make your own doll?
Lets see if this lesson will help.

As you could see from above picture cylinders are the shapes used to create all other body parts, beside the head.
I find cylinders brothers of round shapes. Either they are older (wider)  taller from our round, or are younger (more narrow) taller from our round.
What that means?
The way we started the round is the basic of any other crochet piece we’ll work on. It is always the magic ring or the chain. Magic ring will shape your ends in more round shape, while chain will create oval start and oval shape of your work.
How you start will be the base and will lead your cylinders to grow:
slim and tall ones will be the ones you start and don’t increase or increase one round and continue with repeating rounds for desired length fat and short or tall ones, will be the ones you will work same as round shape, or oval, but then instead of making round, and repeating middle session for few rounds, for the cylinder you will have to go double and more (depending how long one you’re making and what it’s purpose will be).
Cylinder shapes are used for arms, legs and torso.

When making arms and legs in simple cylinder shape it is very simple task to do. With just few stitches and repeating rounds you will create little arms and legs in no time. Here are few samples I made, different stitch counts, but yet tried to work through all of them we used in our first lesson. On this photo I skipped 3 and 4 stitches, as they are really rarely used for arms or legs. Three stitches in repeating rounds are very difficult to work, almost impossible even for experienced crocheters. Four stitches are not impossible to make, but are rarely used and I skipped them gladly. Four stitches and long repeating rounds of them are used when making tails in small amigurumi animals, or, sometimes, when making fingers on your doll’s hands.

On below photo I made 10 repeating rounds of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 stitches I started in magic ring. Difference is obvious and for such a small pieces there is not much to say. These are all suitable for small doll arms and legs. Adjust the length by repeating rounds and you will have your doll arms and legs done in no time.

(for cylinders 8, 9 and 10, I actually started in ring with 4, 6 and 5 sts; increased first round to desired number of stitches and continued with repeating shape. That gives me possibility to close magic ring nicely).

DSC_0003

Let’s see what happens with the torso. Torso will require few more increasing rounds and let us see what is happening with cylinder shape there. Same method you can implement if making bigger doll and with it bigger arms and legs.

Torso, together with head, makes one of the largest body part. We will not use blue prints of human body and actual proportions to make doll’s torso, but we have to picture and decide of it’s size, compare it to the head before we start crocheting. For that, the best is to keep picture or drawing of a doll you wish to make. This way you can keep track of what you’re doing and test your progress, compare it with your design as you go. You don’t have to be good at drawing, simple sketch will be enough. Maybe your hand doesn’t cooperate with the brain and eyes when drawing, but based on this drawing your brain will cooperate with you work and make things much easier for you. Give it a try. Draw your doll the best you can and try to follow it as you crochet.

For torso, same as for arms and legs we will use cylinder shape again. I made two little samples I started with 6 stitches in magic ring. One is done with 10 repeating rounds between increasing and decreasing ones, and second with 15 of them. In between I placed round little one, with just 5 repeating rounds so you can compare the sizes.

DSC_0002

I can’t give you magic formula on how wide and how tall to make doll’s torso. This is what makes all this designing and crocheting interesting and diverse.

My lessons I started with rounds and ovals or the head shapes, as most of dolls start from the head. Once you have created and have size of the head you like, the rest of body parts will be easily made in order to match you head the way you wish.

For creating body, same as with arms and legs, make a base. Increase several rounds, but keep in mind not to make body larger than the head. If using same stitch count as one you used when making the head, stop increasing at last two rounds. This will make your body fit nicely to your doll’s head. This is some ration most designers use when making “normal” proportion dolls. I say normal as there are chibi dolls with extremely big heads and tiny torso, arms and legs, dolls in between chibi and normal, normal ones have head somewhat bigger but still remind on traditional doll shape… Whatever doll you will make, keep in mind to make body less wide than the head.

Even though the simple body can be done with easy and simple cylinder shape for most of you it will not be satisfying. Then these tall brothers we work on will call few relatives for help.

And so they come, relatives

cones!

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Simple cones will make nice ears to your animal toys, but you will hardly use exact cone shape on your doll. Instead you need to understand how they are created and how to add them into your work.

Cones are done by simple, even increasing or decreasing round followed by one, two, three and more repeating rounds.
On what stitch number you use when increasing or decreasing, followed by how many repeating rounds you work, will determine how narrow and how fast your cylinder will be, and what shape it will get.

On above photo I have made cones with one repeating and two repeating rounds in between even increasing rounds. Cones are started (from left to right) with 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 stitches in the magic ring.

If you increase or decrease each round your crochet work will have the shape of round, same beginning or end we talked about in our previous lesson. It will be nice and round. Adding round or two rounds in between each of increase/decrease, you can shape your work to more cone looking piece.
It is still simple shaping, but this way you can form chest and neck area more narrow, or play with shape of your head, arms or legs.

There is no formula or recommendation on how many repeating rounds to use in between your increasing or decreasing rounds. This really depends on what you are after.
If you are novice and just learning how to make a doll, and wish to use cone shape to finish your dolls body, use the same stitch count on decreasing rounds as you used for increasing ones when starting the body. Count rounds!!! That is essential!
Compare the body length to your head (assuming you have done the head first). You don’t want body to be too long. If you are working after blueprint (picture or drawing, try to make comparison based on that). Taking all these parameters in mind, count how many rows will you come up with if you repeat one round in between each decrease, and how many will give you two repeating rounds.
These all matter and these are all the things you have to be aware of and pay attention to when making your doll.

Below are few photos to show you what will happen with your round or cylinder when decreasing on top of your work. I tried to join two crochet pieces, round and cylinders adding the cone on top of them to show you what you might expect from your work. But to get familiar and to understand exactly what are you doing, you will, again, need to practice.

DSC_0003-001 On above photo you can see what will happen if you start decreasing and repeating one round after you repeated only 5 rounds of the middle part. This example shows work  started with 6 stitches round and 6 stitches cone.  This would make nice body shape.

DSC_0004 Above photo showing little round started with 6 stitches, 5 repeating rounds in the middle and cone with two repeating rounds between decreasing rounds (of 6 sts). What do you think? If you ask me, I think it is too long on top.

Lets see how it works on cylinders we previously made:

DSC_0001DSC_0005-001

Each one works fine, don’t you think? At the end, all will depend on the size of ones head and the rest of the body (arms and legs) but 1 decreasing round with one repeating looks very nice to start with when learning the basics.

Just to compare, I added 2 repeating round cones to same cylinders.

DSC_0002-001DSC_0006

Same as with round, even here the top seems too long.

But this is not all. All above examples showed you when you try to finish one piece from cylinder to cone shape using same stitch count on decreasing rounds as you did with increasing ones on the bottom.

Don’t forget that you can mix and match all of them. You can start with 6 but gradually change to 8 and finish with 4 stitches decreases in cone. Or any other way using any other stitch count in your work. This was just one little example on how it looks when 6 sts round shape and 6 sts cone work together.

And again I remind you to practice! This is the only way to get to understand all this and understand your work.

By the end of this week I will try to finish one simple doll, based on these first lessons we made, to show you on exact doll sample how it all works. While working and showing you on doll sample will tell you more about round shapes used on doll’s hands and how to make them. Feet and shoes we’ll leave for some other time. For now we keep on the simple!

Until next lesson keep on practicing and happy crocheting!

Understanding Round and Oval Shapes (in order to create head)

Understanding Round and Oval Shapes

(in order to create head)

There is no animal or doll toy without head. Understanding and learning how to make one is essential when creating your toy.

This simple round shape used to create head, as all of amigurumi elements, also has endless possibilities.

You can make simple sphere. With simple one you can never go wrong. You can make wider top and slimmer bottom or vice verse. You can make it squarish looking or go some three edges weird shape if creating one alien.

Many possibilities and you are not sure how?

Let me know if you’ll find out how, after this lesson!

This lesson will talk about basic round and oval shapes made with even increasing stitches to form the shape’s width and even decreasing stitches to close it.

Most commonly used are spheres. Specially common are spheres starting in magic ring with 6 single crochet stitches.

Why is that so? Let me show you on examples:

DSC_0001

As you can see from above photo, I have crocheted several different rounds. Each one I started with different stitch count in the magic ring, increased evenly for 5 rounds, then repeated last round stitch count for the following 5 rounds and evenly decreased in order to close.

Increases are made in orange colored yarn for you to see what is happening in each work.

If you ask me, I like all of them, even the rounds starting with 7 or 9 stitches that are not in this photo but I included them in this lesson as well.

All of the rounds increase nicely and all are creating nice rounds to start with.

I am sure you will agree with me.

Now let us see how they look from the side view.

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Aha! So that is the difference!

Can you tell?

Depending on how many stitches you use to start with, it will apply to your work. The less the stitches, the narrower the work. More stitches you start with, the faster you will reach desired width.

The more stitches you start with, the more repeating s in the middle rounds you’ll need to do in order to reach nice and round shape.

By now you can guess why is the 6 stitches in magic ring very popular (5 sts as well). They find themselves in the golden middle.

So why to bother talking about all other possibilities?

They all matter and are all important. Furthermore, you need to understand all of them in order to make your head desired shape.

Each one of them talks different story and will make your work look just the way you imagined. Many times, you won’t find yourself satisfied with simple 6 increasing rounds on top and decreasing to close. Many times you will need narrower head on the bottom or in the middle or longer neck to create…

That is why all these stitch counts matter and are important for you to understand.

Let us talk a little about each one of them.

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3 sts start/inc/dec

Very rarely used, but is nice for small works and cone shaped heads for example. It will always have this pointy, sharp end because of only three stitches used in the magic ring. Increasing/decreasing will go slow. 3 stitches each round is not much, but remember and use it if you are looking for something pointy on top. Middle part, if done will make this cone looking beginning start to look as spindle-shaped. Not the round shape but nice one to use for small heads, flower buds…

3 sts inc/dec are great to form edges on your head. Adding them inside you work will shape your head little bit better and give nice edges touch. For example, try adding them right after you finish creating your top of the head, and use 3sts increase to form the forehead and back of the head. Or use it around nose area two even increases on sides and make one just above where nose will be. This will make your nose pointing more. These are just few samples crossing my mind as I write.

4 sts start/inc/dec

I love this one! It makes great squarish looking shape, specially if you add chain in the middle of increasing stitch. That chain points your increases and nicely forms the shape of a cube or rectangular.

Great stitch to use when forming the body (and we will talk about it more in our advanced lessons).

Making roundish shape as seen on above photo samples is something to use if 3 is to narrow and you are not looking for a round shape as you would reach with 5 sts.

If looking for a square head to make, use this one as your guide and don’t forget the chain in the middle of each st when increasing! 4 is great to use on the bottom if you wish to make fine looking neck. Great as well to forming heads middle….

Make sure to make a sample and try it on. I am sure you will be pleased with result.

5 and 6 sts start/inc/dec

Placing 5 and 6 sts together as they give very similar results. They will both create nice round top and nice round end when closed. For as simple round and sphere go after these two options. Many will always got after these two, as are simple to count and work with.

7 sts start/inc/dec

Very rarely used, but again great one in my opinion. Many times you will not be satisfied with 6 sts to work with and 8 will be too much. 7 can be added and used as great alternative.

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8, 9 & 10 start/inc/dec

Large number of stitches used in the start create wide rounds quickly. These are specially useful when working with thin yarns or thread. They provide faster development of your top of the head and make your work much easier.

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Like I said. Creating the head is not just making the sphere. Above we mentioned basic rounds you can use in your creations. But, there are some other options as well.

What if you start with 10 sts in the magic ring, increase evenly few rounds and start decreasing and closing your work with just 5 even decreasing each round?

What if you start with 4 and change your mind to close with 8 or 10 sts decrease?

Everything is possible and you can work either way. From above mentioned basic shapes and stitches used, you can make a mixture of all and create something extraordinary.

That is why you need to practice. You need to get familiar with the shapes and understand what happens with each of the stitches used.

If you are really keen on learning I suggest you make samples, like I did for this lesson, for your future reference (or until you become familiar with the work) and use them as your guides when creating your own toys.

On how to count rounds and knowing how many you’ll need in order to reach desired shape I will talk more after we finish all of the basic lessons, but for now can tell you to make these samples and simple measure the round height in order to calculate approximate number of rounds needed in your work. Like I said, use samples to guide you. Measure them, observe them, make two three with different round counts and write notes. This is how you will learn.

Keep your notebook and pen at hand. Write down what you do. You will need to calculate stitches all the way, but all these little troubles are worth it. Making something of your own is priceless.

Now let us return to making rounds using different stitch counts and different increasing/decreasing counts.

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As you can see from above photo, this little ball I started with 10 sts in the magic ring, but finished with 5 even decreasing on each round (the photo is up side down).

As a result, I had just few increasing rounds and reached 40 sts round count very fast. Just three rounds needed to reach 40 sts. Repeated 40 sts for 5 rounds and then started to decrease evenly (but this time 5 sts decrease). This decreasing took me double the rounds than increasing, but as a result my doll would end up with nice longer chin and neck area.

Vice verse, if I started with 5 sts, I would end up with nice round and deeper top of the head, but there would be no chin or neck space at all. Head would be cut on the bottom sharply (because of sudden 10 sts decrease).

The same way you can use any of the above mentioned stitch counts in order to create special effects.

For now practice with these simple shapes. Even increasing/decreasing or different stitch increasing/decreasing on top and bottom. Find the one you like the best. Write it down as you first head pattern. You will have one part of your toy done!

Dear friends we are not done yet!

We haven’t said anything about head shapes starting with chains! Or famous and lovely ovals!

These shapes are pretty awesome, but very rarely used in the Western countries. Our Chinese and Japanese amigurumi artists are using these shapes very commonly. I think we, “wild West” people are little lazy to count when making these oval shapes!

Oval shapes are wonderful for animal heads, rug doll look-a-like crochet dolls, baby rattles and baby toys….And are not difficult to master!!!! So don’t be afraid to take your hook, pen and paper and try making oval shaped head or body on your own.

I have prepared few of basic patterns you can use.

You can increase more on sides or more on the corners (depending what are you after, depth or width of the shape). But try working on them! You will be surprised how beautiful they are and how beautiful shapes they create.

For this purpose I have made one sample.

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On above photo, you can see round and oval shape. Round is made from 6 sts started in the magic ring, while oval is made from 6 chains. Both are done in rounds.

When making ovals, specially if making one that will be worked together and continued work with the body work in closed rounds or rows. Meaning, ch1 on beginning, and sl st to chain made in order to finish the round. This will keep your work straight.

For small elements, ovals done in rounds work fine.

As you can see from the photo, oval is increased only on sides. Evenly, each row, but on sides only. This makes it much wider than regular round shape.

In the next photo are three samples. Round, round started from chain (but continued with increases and decreases as worked in round) and oval with side increases (decreases) only.

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They are all lovely, don’t you think? And all can be used for something different.

One thing you have to remember the more chains you use to start with the wider the work will be (no matter how you will increase).

This starting chain is forming your shape and width of the head.

Here are few of the oval patterns you can practice on:

ch6

R1 sc4, 3 sc in last ch st, work around chain, sc3, 2 sc in the last (12)

R2 inc, sc4, inc x3, sc4, inc x2 (18)

R3 sc, inc, sc5, (inc, sc) x2, inc, sc5, inc, sc, inc (24)

from here continue on your own…

each red marked sc, increase by 1, each blue marked stitches increase by 1

Your next round would be as follows:

R4 sc2, inc, sc6, (inc, sc2) x2, inc, sc6, inc, sc2, inc (30)

After you reach desired width, stop increasing and continue with repeating stitch count rounds.

My suggestion is to work in closed rounds or rows.

Each round start with ch and end with sl st to that chain.

  • The same way you can start with chain 9

sc in each sts until you reach the last chain stitch. Make 3 sc in the last, continue working around the chain. Sc next 6 sts and inc or make 2 sts in the last ch stitch. This way you will create first round of 18 sts and in start make your work wider. Following rows continue based on instructions given above.

  • Or start with chain 12, crochet as explained above and start with 24 stitches in R1.

Those were ovals started with chain and increased by 6 stitches evenly on each side.

Here are examples on how 4 increases can be done.

Ch 9

R1 sc7, 2 sc in the last ch st, continue working around chain, sc7 (16)

R2 inc, sc6, inc x2, sc6, inc (20)

R3 sc, inc, sc6, inc, sc2, inc, sc6, inc, sc (24)

R4 sc2, inc, sc7, inc, sc4, inc, sc7, inc, sc2 (28)

continue the same way increasing red and blue by 1 and green by 2 sts

Here is another 4 inc example:

ch9

R1 sc7, 2 sc in the last ch st, continue working around chain, sc7 (16)

R2 inc, sc6, inc x2, sc6, inc (20)

R3 inc, sc8, inc x2, sc8, inc (24)

R4 inc, sc10, inc x2, sc10, inc (28)

continue increasing each round and changing red marked stitches by 2

Your next round would look like this:

R5 inc, sc12, inc x2, sc12, inc (32)

If you have some you came up on your own, post it in comments under Lessons Page and I will add them in this post as well.

By now you learned about classic rounds and different stitches you can start them with. Classic rounds that can be worked with different increases and decreases on top and the bottom. To them you can implement and work with ovals as well. All together will help you make your desired shape.

There is only to make conclusion and leave you practice on heads until next week when we will talk about cylinders (open, closed…) and their uses for arms, legs and body.

Make a simple drawing of the head you would like to do and try making one using these simple basics.

For now make just a head.

Wait for the body to start with until we finish the lesson of basics on increasing and decreasing in order to form the shape other than round or oval.

Hope you have enjoyed and more important that you have learned something new.

See you next week with new lesson