Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year, New Post!

Happy New Year!!!!  I can't believe we're in 2013 already, and I can't believe how long it's been since my last post...  Actually I can; I've been so caught up with a house move and returning to work in November after four years as a stay-at-home Mum that I haven't really put time aside for blogging.  Of course I've carried on crafting, but I've just been too lazy to dig out my camera and charger to take photos!

Christmas is almost over (it's not over until the Epiphany as far as I'm concerned) and the decorations will be coming down on Sunday. Every year, I let the children each choose a decoration for the tree.  This year the girl chose a little Kokeshi doll.  Not the most traditional of choices but it's so cute that I agreed to it.   She was not a happy bunny when I told her the tree and decorations would be coming down she requested 'but not my Mummy Doll' (I've got black bobbed hair so I guess it does look a little like me) so I decided to crochet her her own little Kokeshi doll =)


Why not make your own one for Chinese New Year (yeah yeah, Kokeshi dolls are Japanese but it'd still look cute for Chinese New Year) which falls on 10th February this year? I made mine using various oddments I found.  It doesn't really matter what type of yarn or hook you use provided you use a combination that produces a tight piece of work because it won't look very nice if the stuffing shows through.  I used a 4mm hook with yarn that knits to 4mm needles (but you may need a smaller hook as I crochet quite tight) and my doll stands 14cm tall.  This project is worked in continuous rounds starting with a magic loop.  See my tutorial on working crochet in continuous rounds for more details.

What you'll need:
  • Yarns in main dress colour, black for hair, ivory for skin and various scraps of yarn for embroidery detail.  I used a bit of gold fingering to add a bit of sparkle
  • Crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • 2 safety eyes (optional).  These plastic eyes that can be bought in a number of sizes really add to the professional finish of your toy.  Make sure to insert them securely.  If you are giving the toy to a baby, you may prefer to embroider the eyes
  • Small piece of plastic that can be cut with scissors for reinforcing the base (a clean piece of milk bottle 5x5cm approx is ideal)
  • Small ball for adding weight to the base (optional) 

Techniques used (UK terminology):
  • ch: chain
  • dc: double crochet (US single crochet)
  • slst: slip stitch
  • inc: work 2 dc into next stitch
  • dec.  You can use dc2tog, double crochet 2 together: insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop (2 loops on hook), insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.  If you prefer to use invDec, invisible decrease: then hook through front loop only of next two stitches, yarn over, draw through loop (3loops on hook), yarn over and draw through 2 loops (2 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through both loops on hook
  • back loop only
  • working in continuous rounds.  Unless otherwise stated, all parts of toy are worked in continuous rounds

Hair:

The hair is constructed of four black pieces: two overlapping circles (one larger than the other to create a 'side-parting') and two small balls for buns.

Circles:
Make two

Round 1:  Ch 2 and work 6 dc into 2nd chain from hook (or work 6 dc into a magic circle) [6]
Round 2:  Work two stitches into each stitch round [12]
Round 3:  (1 dc, inc) x 6 [18]
Round 4:  (2 dc, inc) x 6 [24]
Round 5:  (3 dc, inc) x 6 [30]
Round 6:  (4 dc, inc) x 6 [36]

For the smaller circle, work two rounds without shaping and fasten off.  For the larger circle, work five rounds without shaping and fasten off.  Leave long yarn tails for attaching to the head.


Buns:
Make two


Round 1:  Ch 2 and work 6 dc into 2nd chain from hook (or work 6 dc into a magic circle) [6]
Round 2:  Work two stitches into each stitch round [12]
Round 3:  Work 1 round without shaping
Round 4:  Dec x 6 [6]

Close the hole and leave long yarn tails for attaching to head.


Head:

Round 1:  With ivory, ch 2 and work 6 dc into 2nd chain from hook (or work 6 dc into a magic circle) [6]
Round 2:  Work two stitches into each stitch round [12]
Round 3:  (1 dc, inc) x 6 [18]
Round 4:  (2 dc, inc) x 6 [24]
Round 5:  (3 dc, inc) x 6 [30]
Round 6:  (4 dc, inc) x 6 [36]
Rounds 7-13:  Work 7 rounds without shaping [36]
Round 14:  (4 dc, dec) x 6 [30]
Round 15:  (3 dc, dec) x 6 [24]

If you are using safety eyes, insert them now between rows 13 and 14 before the hole becomes too small.  You may want to position the hair on the head to help you decide where to insert the eyes.

Round 16:  (2 dc, dec) x 6 [18]
Round 17:  (1 dc, dec) x 6 [12]

Fasten off but do not close hole.


Body:

Round 1:  With dress colour, ch 2 and work 6 dc into 2nd chain from hook (or work 6 dc into a magic circle) [6]
Round 2:  Work two stitches into each stitch round [12]
Round 3:  (1 dc, inc) x 6 [18]
Round 4:  (2 dc, inc) x 6 [24]

Round 5:  Work 1 round without shaping, working into back stitches only (This produces a ridge so the doll has a 'base') [24]
Rounds 6-7: Work 2 rounds without shaping [24]
Round 8:   (3 dc, inc) x 6 [30]
Rounds 9-20:  Work 12 rounds without shaping [30]

Before starting the decrease rounds, trace the bottom of the body onto a piece of thin plastic (I used a clean takeaway container):

Insert the plastic disc into the bottom of the body:

Inserting the disc into the base of the body ensures it stays flat after it is stuffed.  You could also add a
plastic bouncy ball to provide extra weight to the base.

Round 21:  (3 dc, dec) x 6 [24]
Round 22:  Work 1 round without shaping [24]
Round 23:  (2 dc, dec) x 6 [18]
Round 24:  (1 dc, dec) x 6 [12]

Fasten off but do not close hole and leave long yarn tail for attaching head.


You have now finished making all of the components of the doll.  Stuff head and sew on hair and embroider a smile.  Stuff body and attach the head to the body by aligning the stitches - both openings have the same number of stitches.


You could leave the doll plain, but I received strict instructions from a certain bossy four year old to embroider cream flowers on her dress!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Crafty Mama, This the best pattern! Just finished making my first Kokeshi doll and your pattern made is so easy. She turned out lovely.
    I even embroidered some flowers on her dress!
    Thanks again. S. Ritter, San Antonio, TX

    ReplyDelete