Friday, July 31, 2009

Basic Clothing for Free Spirit

The first clothing patterns I'm going to upload for the Free Spirit Amigurumi doll are for two different bodices and underwear. With these basic patterns, you can make tops, pants, dresses, just about anything. The two bodice patterns have instructions for making combinations (a type of underwear that combines the top and bottom, hence the name).

Side to side bodice pattern

Link bodice pattern

Underwear pattern

These garments are all made with size 10 crochet thread and a size 5 or 6 steel hook. Enjoy making these outfits, and coming up with designs of your own :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free Spirit Amigurumi Doll Pattern

One of the things I've really wanted to do with this blog is to share some of my crochet doll patterns with other dollmakers and crocheters. Now that I've figured out how to link to a PDF file, I have the pattern available for my Free Spirit Amigurumi doll available.

Free Spirit Amigurumi Doll Pattern

This is a free pattern, you may make as many as you like and even sell them. I would ask that if you do sell them, you include my name as the designer of the pattern. This pattern is for the doll only. Soon, I will have available clothing patterns for her as well. The pattern is for this doll:

I also have some picture tutorials to go with this doll, since the PDF file only has the photo of the completed doll. The tutorials are located here:

I would be happy for feedback, since I am the only one proofreading the instructions, and I hope you enjoy making this doll. She is simple, cute, and a lot of fun :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Making Eyes at You

I just discovered how easy and fun it is to paint your own eyes! I purchased several packages of 12mm clear eyes from CR's Crafts, and used acrylic paint that I had on hand.

I even painted dots in one pair of eyes :-) I'm not at all adept with a paint brush, but if you use a very small brush and a small amount of paint, it is easy to paint your own eyes.

My thanks to Michelle at Suncatcher Eyes for her tips on how to paint your own.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've been working on a crochet doll design inspired by the doll Blythe. For those of you unfamiliar with Blythe, here is a flickr link to lots of photos of this rediscovered darling:

It has taken several tweaks to get the pattern to my satisfaction. The picture below shows from left to right three iterations of this design. Jasmine with burgundy hair was my first attempt. Sophia in the center has better looking legs and a more defined body, but I thought she was too skinny. BleuBelle is the final iteration; her head is a bit bigger and she has a slightly fuller body. After I've proofread this pattern (that is, made a few by carefully following my own instructions) and I figure out how to link to a PDF file, I will make this pattern available here.
I also plan to create a number of outfits for this doll, an example of which is this '60's look with bell bottoms and tunic top. Since I don't own a Blythe, the dimensions of my doll are probably not the same, but then, this is a doll inspired by Blythe, but not meant to be a crochet copy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wig Making

Wig Making!

One of the things that seems to daunt a lot of dollmakers is making the hair. This is one of my favorite parts of making dolls. The personality seems to lite up with the hairstyle: demur, vivacious, thoughtful, sassy, whatever. I use a crochet wig cap for all the doll hair that I do, and it yeilds a great head of hair, without worrying about the scalp showing through. I have a tutorial I can share for doing this; although the model in the tutorial is a Waldorf doll, I use this very same technique for all my dolls.

The tutorial is here:

And some examples of doll hair are:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Remembering Apollo

"We choose the moon"

40 years ago today men first step foot upon the moon. I was 12 at the time, and know exactly where I was, and remember the fuzzy video transmission, and Walter Cronkite. It was an incredible event for all mankind; probably one of the few events of the 20th century that will be remembered 500 years from now.

Welcome to By Hook By Hand

I wanted to create a place where I could share some of my doll designs, mostly crochet. My Grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about 10; it was the best gift I've ever been given. Crochet is creative, relaxing, meditative, useful, and satisfying. It is a handworked craft that has warmed millions with scarves, shawls, mittens, and caps; all made with love.

And then there are the toys! Such wonderful crochet toys being designed and made today. Amigurumi (a Japanese derived knit and crochet form) has energized crochet toymaking. Add to this a love of dollmaking, and it seemed a natural for me to try to make crochet dolls that would appeal to both children and adults.

So, here is a place where I can hopefully share this vision. An example of the work I'm doing now is BleuBelle.