There are many ways to crochet toys and all manner of crochet doll patterns available. The crochet doll patterns you'll see here blend solid technique and attention to detail in order to produce dolls that are truly unique. Ahead you'll learn some of the materials that you'll use for the patterns on this site, a couple of the techniques you'll want to master before you get started, and some tips for making your crochet doll really special.
Assemble Your Materials
What Kind of Yarn to Use
Many crochet doll patterns will call for dk weight yarn. This yarn could also be called light or light worsted. Many crafters like it for light sweaters, garments that will be worn against the skin or toys like the ones found in these crochet doll patterns.
As for color and fiber type, you should always start with what is specified in the crochet doll patterns but then let your imagination run free. Since the internet and your local craft shop both offer a world of supply options, you may choose to switch a doll's skin, hair or eye color. You can make their clothes in different fiber types to suit your needs.
Just be sure that if your doll will be washed, you keep the fiber types the same throughout. You can use different fibers, such as cotton or polyester for clothes and accessories that will be washed separately, but you should always make an item that will be assemble together out of the same type of fiber. This way, if you wash your item, it will shrink (or not) the same amount for every part. The alternative is to provide washing instructions for cold water.
What Tools to Use
The tools called for in most crochet doll patterns are the same. The most important tool you'll use is a crochet hook. You should select your hook first based on the size called for in the pattern. Do a test to make sure that the size hook you use, together with the type of yarn you've chosen produces the gauge called for in the pattern. Every crafter uses a slightly different amount of tension, so if your test swatch turns out smaller or larger than the gauge, you may need to adjust to a larger or smaller hook size.
Two of the other most important tools that should be listed in crochet doll patterns are a small pair of scissors and a yarn needle. The scissors will just be used for cutting small pieces of floss or yarn and finishing off your project. The yarn needle may be used for many tasks including assembling doll body parts, sewing up clothes, and embroidering the facial details seen in these crochet doll patterns.
Finally, there are an assortment of smaller and less frequently used tools that you may still find useful. These fall in the "optional" category and can include stitch markers, stuffing tool, a regular sewing needle and thread. Stitch markers can be found in a variety of types, but the most useful are those that just latch on and are made of a single smooth plastic that won't snag your yarn.
A stuffing tool is especially handy for filling down to the bottom of long arms and legs frequently found in crochet doll patterns. No need to buy a special tool though, a knitting needle, old chopstick or wooden kitchen spoon may work just as well. A sewing needle and thread can be used for sewing up the top and bottom of stockings or inner stuffing bags before you close up your doll. While not strictly necessary, it will help keep your stuffing where you really want it to be.
What to Fill it With
Again, with the options of the internet, you can choose either synthetic polyester filling or natural fiber like cotton or even bamboo. Keep in mind the materials that you used for doll itself and the amount of shrinkage that you can expect from both that material and the filling if the doll will be washed. It is highly recommended that you keep the filling and structural materials consistent. Depending on how you want your finished doll to sit, stand or move, you may want a dowel for the neck and coated wire for the arms and legs.
Techniques to Master Before You Start
While there are a few crochet doll patterns that are worked as a single piece, most are done as a group of parts that are then assembled together. This makes the crocheting easier, but can also present more opportunities for poor workmanship to creep in. It is assumed that you already know a few of the basic crochet stitches, like single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), and half double crochet (hdc). The following techniques are necessary for making a doll, like this Nathalie Doll with Denim Accessories more true-to-life.
*Magic Circle - A magic circle is the best way to start the ends of all your arms, legs, head, and anything with a round center. It allows you to pull the center loop fully closed with no hole in the middle. For stuffed projects, this is essential for making sure that you filling doesn't work itself out of the ends.
*Increase & decrease - An increase is used to add shape to circular crochet. It adds stitches to your work by putting two stitches in the same stitch of the round below. In contrast, a decrease will reduce the number of stitches. In order to work an invisible decrease, you will pull up a loop in two successive stitches, yarn over and then pull through all three loops together. These techniques combined will help add more realistic curves to what would otherwise be shapeless tubes.
How to Make Your Stuffed Amigurimi Truly Amazing
There are a few things can help take your crochet toy projects to the next level. These steps will help ensure that your toys get loved and appreciated.
*Keep Tight Tension - When you take a look at this Melissa Crochet Doll, you may notice the stitches in broad, even strips. Her face looks regular with no gaps or holes, her dress looks like a piece of cloth and there are no visible holes in her arms or hands. You can not see the colors of the doll through her clothes or the stuffing through her crocheted skin. This doll was crocheted with even, tight tension. When doing this, it may be a little harder to work your crochet hook through the stitches on the round below, but a clean looking finished product will be worth the extra effort.
*Stuff Lightly and Evenly - If you want your doll to move, you'll need to use a little less stuffing. If you're using wire for the arms and legs, consider wrapping the wire with cloth or women's pantyhose first and then stuffing the appendages lightly around it as you go. This will help keep your arms and legs full, mobile, and yet still keep the wire and stuffing from working its way out through small gaps in doll that gets heavy use.
*Keep Your Body Symmetrical - Use Stitch Markers and References - The crochet doll patterns seen here will give you instructions for the placement of arms, legs, and facial features. In your finished piece, you may decide to make changes but be sure to keep your body symmetrical. Use stitch markers and row lines whenever necessary to make sure that you are not putting one eye higher than the other or the nose off-center.
*Take Time for Details - One of the things that makes handmade toys really special is adding lots of small details. This Louise Doll has rich brown eyes in multiple hues, an adorable flowered headband that matches the flowers on her dress and shoes, lacy ruffles on the neck of her dress and hem of her shorts, and even a basket of flowers that she's gathered. These little details make this pattern, and the finished doll top-notch. Be sure to leave time to add them in your finished crochet dolls.
While there are many ways to make a crochet doll, there are some important steps for making the dolls you find on this site turn out beautifully. Using the right materials, having the right tools and techniques, and paying attention to the many little details will help turn your doll from drab to fabulous.