This past weekend was Memorial day and I decided to push the envelope and try something new. The chosen destination for my staycation was doll making!
Most people who know me know that I crochet is not my first fiber language. I learned how to crochet about five years ago but quickly moved to knitting since the patterns seemed to move me more in knit than crochet.
A few months ago I came across an amazing doll designer Yolanda Jordan of My Pretty Brown Doll. She is an amazing doll maker who makes custom dolls for children of color, and, I of course wanted to get a doll for my niece. Then I saw that Lion Brand Yarn had released a line called Skein Tones (available in our shop) which is a play on skin tones. It's a line inspired by another brown doll maker named Aniqua Wilkerson from My Kind of Thing.
These two discoveries had me so excited about the possibilities of doll making that I decided to take it on for myself. Both of these designers make dolls that resemble loved ones, so I chose my mom. First up on the staycation itinerary, YARN! Skein tones has a variety to choose from, from very dark to very light. I chose Mahogany.
Next on the agenda, crocheting my first doll. I purchased a crochet doll workshop from My Pretty Brown Doll. It was originally a live course but it's now available as a recording on Facebook. You can purchase the pattern for the doll separately if you don't need the handholding but this was definitely helpful for me. I couldn't believe how quickly I was able to progress from this. I worked on my doll on Sunday and was able to complete the head, limbs, and part of the body.
There were a few things in my journey that were critical, I mean CRI.TI.CAL! First, you must use a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of your row. I use these cool Clover Split Stitch markers that seem to work better for Crochet. They aren't locking, so you can quickly remove and reinsert at the end of the row.
Second, I learned how to count my rows and my stitches. This may seem like an obvious statement, but I really didn't understand how to do this in crochet before. This simple skill helped me from creating a lumpy beast instead of a cute plushy.
Lastly, have the right tools ready. I realized that I didn't have the right color for my hair (gray and black for Grandma), I needed felt for the whites of the eyes so I had to embroider the whites, and good crochet hooks. I like these ones by Prym because they are ergonomic and my hands get tired easily. Besides being comfy, they are pretty and color coded. These puppies are pretty popular apparently, so they are on backorder. I will have them in stock by mid June if you would like some!
Next Week I'll share my assembled and finished product. I have yet to take MPBD's afro hair class and I need to find some doll clothes. And of course, I still need to put the motion activated voice box in! Stay tuned :-)