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.

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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legs9

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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

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Amigurumi Lessons – creating simple doll

By now we have talked about rounds, cylinders and coins, some of the basic and fundamental shapes you need to know how to crochet and understand how are done if you wish to make your first amigurumi doll.

Now it’s time to crochet those pieces and see how they work together.

The major problem most of you have is not being able to draw your idea to keep it as reference and guide to your work. It doesn’t have to be the drawing, you can find inspiration from clip art pictures online, maybe you liked some plush at downtown shop, or you have a photo of one old doll or toy from the childhood you would like to make. Important is to have an idea on what you wish to make, and to work that idea in details before actual crocheting part starts. Best way is to draw a sketch. It is not essential, but is good way to start.

I hardly ever work with colors when drawing, and most of them are just lots and lots of basic shapes joined together (same as you need for crocheting, so use basic shapes for your sketch as well), and that way I know in advance what I am after. While making the sketch your ideas on what shapes you’ll start and use will grow, and while sketching write them down a side as notes.

Here is sample of simple sketch I make for my designs. Based on this I make notes on how I expect my work will go. This one was done in tiny little notebook I always keep by hand, but for more detailed work I have big sketch book with all the notes written on sides and across the sketch. AmigurumiBB

Important is to help yourself with anything you can. So use all your resources and make preparation before you start to crochet.

To show that you can make your doll for stick man drawing, in the FB group I made this little girl based on which I finished this lesson on basic amigurumi shapes. Stick man drawing is not detailed, but again, can help you guide through your work. And you all know how to make stick man drawing, right?

So let’s start with one simple like that!

stick man drawingIs it getting easier? From this simple drawing everyone of you can do, now we know what we’ll crochet in order to create a little doll.

And with color or two, I wish my doll to look like this!

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Based on what we learned so far, we know how to make rounds to make the head. We can try endless options. Don’t be afraid to try different options for each of your dolls. Experiment! It will not be successful work every time, but from trials and fails you will learn.

With rounds we will star the legs, but then after creating feet (shoes looking bottoms) we can decrease evenly just a little to make the right width for legs we can carry repeating till the top, or as long as we wish our legs to be long. Another option is to make simple cylinders. Will show you the samples later.

Arms, same as legs. We can work them as simple as plain cylinder shape from bottom to top, or we can add little round on the bottom to form hands.

On below photo you can see options on how to make legs and arms. As we are still on basic shapes, and even increasing and decreasing, both, the arms and legs are done same way. If they have larger roundish end on the bottom, it is even on all sides. It is increased evenly, repeated rounds are done 2 times for each of them (but you can work as many as you wish, and that depends on number of the stitches you will use), then increased slightly, but enough to reach the number of stitches I needed for arms (6) or legs (9).

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Body! Body can be done several ways. In this description I will mention only two of them as they are probably the most common and most of you will go after them in first trial. So let’s see what difference each of these two options I decided for are.

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Both bodies are the same length. From above photo you can clearly see the difference. One has more repeating rounds in the middle, but ends short with even decreasing on every second round. While second sample has less repeating middle rounds, but to reach same length, instead of every second, I decreased evenly on every third round.

For my stick man drawing I decided to use upper sample. No special reason, simply thought it’s slimmer and with extra edgings I had in mind on adding to collar and sleeves, the second one will make my doll look chubby.

Now that you have prepared your drawing, and started to make samples for your doll, let’s put pieces together to see what we might expect doll will look like when done.

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I crocheted options for legs and arms. It is more to show you what you can expect from your basic crochet elements and your first doll. If you ask me, I like both of them!

Both ways, simple cylinder legs and arms or those with little roundish ends look great for on this little doll.

But as I am working after my sketch, my doll will have round ended legs, but her arms will be simple and straight. As said earlier, for body shape decided to go after first sample, one that ends more slimmer way.

Sorry I forgot to mention my pattern on this doll’s head. I make dolls for some time now, and for me is not easy to go and make just ball looking head. I think it is because I like to challenge myself on every new project.

The head I made for this doll, I tried to simplify BB dolls head. I just love wider cheek area on doll’s head, and so far you could notice that on almost all of my dolls. I like that smiling expression doll can make without mouth on and that is what these wider cheek part of the head does (at least I see it this way).

So let me explain how I made this round head, BUT…..if you are making your own doll for the first time, try to come up with round shape of your own. Make your own lovely doll you can share with your friends and public. You can do it!

Started with 4 sts in MC

then increased all stitches for 2 rounds, or until I reached 16 sts round. From this round worked on even increases until 32 sts round.

32 stitches round repeated 2 times. Then evenly increased by 4 stitches around and reached 36 sts.

36 stitches repeated 2 rounds. Then evenly increased by 4 stitches around and reached 40 sts.

40 stitches repeated 2 rounds. Now I increased evenly around by 10 stitches and came up to 50 sts round very fast. (this is where I made head wider and made my lovable cheek area 😉 )

50 stitches repeated 5 rounds. I wanted to finish with flat bottom and to reach that I used 10 even decreasing stitches on each of the next 3 rounds

Last one closed evenly to 12, as 12 was the count number for my neck. This way when I sew body and head together they will fit perfectly stitch by stitch.

Now that we have crocheted all doll parts and know which ones we will use to make our dream doll. It is time to decide where we will make color changes. This is where your sketch will help again.

For this part, on how to decide where to add colors I didn’t make any photo, nor I can say more. This part is something you have to make. This is part is what making your doll unique. So take your time to count rows, observe your plain crocheted doll and decide where to add colors in order to create sleeves, shoes, dress…

This is still the most simple way of making your doll! when crocheting the body, leave front loops free to attach and crochet the dress, collar, sleeves, shoes, socks…. anything you wish to add.  Plan in advance.

I am talking about this prototype doll, because this is the way we do in FB group. We start with simple doll. And this is the most simple one one can do. First doll needs to be made plain. No eyes, no colors….simple head and body. From there we go further. First step is to add the colors and add clothes, arrange and position eyes and decide on hair. Second step is making the doll, based on all of the information gathered and decided. As you need to know how to crochet the round, the same way you need to know where to add eyes or wish round to leave free loops for the dress later. If you are starting to crochet dolls, these are all the steps you need to take before you actually make your first doll and write your first pattern.

After this basic doll, and basic pattern, we can continue to expand our knowledge and upgrade to more difficult shapes, and work at all.

Hope this Amigurumi Philosophy didn’t turn me in boring philosopher 😀

For any questions, please feel free to write and ask. I do apologize (again) for all the mails I answer late, but really, really, I have little free time left.  I do answer all of your mail, and again, please be patient; I will get back to you with reply, soonest I can.

If I forgot to mention anything in this part and you think is important and not to be excused, please feel free to point it out and let me know.

For the end let us see how my stick man drawing looks when finished.

Doll from stick man drawing AmigurumiBB

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:

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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