Monday, July 29, 2013

"Amigurumi What?" Learn a New Craft & Meet Molly Dolly!!

Here's a fun little lesson on my very favorite hobby....Crochet!

Amigurumi: knitted or crocheted stuffed toys.  This word is made up of a combination of two Japanese words, ami (meaning to knit or crochet) and nuigurumi (meaning stuffed doll).  Honestly I don't know how the word stuck here in America.  I couldn't pronounce it for years and finally just picked a pronunciation that made me stutter the least...(ah-mee-goo-roo-mi).  Go ahead and give it a try...out one is's kinda fun to say actually.  Good, now when you talk to someone about amigurumi you will sound like a pro (cause I'm sure crochet comes up in most of your daily conversations, right?).  Well, it is the word most commonly used for these cute cuddly crochet creatures with big heads and wide set eyes.  I first learned to crochet amigurumi by taking Stacey Trock's "Amigurumi: Design Your Own Monster" class on Craftsy.  She teaches you the basics of making amigurumi so you can branch off and create pretty much anything you want with crochet.  It's a great class & I highly recommend it if you are interested in trying out this really fun craft.  Now I'm going to show you my first amigurumi doll (I think you are going to love her!)!!

Meet Molly Dolly, my first amigurumi doll. :)  

I made Molly Dolly for my daughter, Molly (hmmm, go figure) and she Loved her!  My goal for Molly Dolly was to add a bunch of details that will make her look and feel more "real".  She still has the proportions of an amigurumi doll (really just the big head and wide set eyes) but she also has eyelashes, puffy cheeks, a waist, her arms move, she has hands with fingers, and she has little defined knees.  I tried giving her ankles and little feet but as you can see I didn't make her legs long enough so she ended up with cankles (sorry about that Molly Dolly!).

I learned how to attach Molly Dolly's arms and make her hands with fingers from Sharon Ojala on You Tube.  I really like the arms attached this way because they move around a lot and I think the shoulders look so cute.  They definitely need to be tightened and knotted more than you think because they tend to loosen up each time they are played with.  I don't know if I will make hands with fingers was a lot of work and I don't think the payoff was that great.  Don't they look kinda stubby and big to you?

Molly's hair was made by making a wig cap and attaching strands of hair to the cap.  I'm on the lookout for a better method of making amigurumi doll hair.  I really like the the "BB Doll's" hair ideas on "AmigurumiBB's blog".  I might try one of these styles for my next doll.  The cap took so long to make (essentially you are making half the head again) and then the attached hair was too thick.  As I tried to thin the hair out it just looked like she grew bald spots on her head.  Grrrr, frustrating!

Molly Dolly's dress is removable too!  I did this in hopes of creating different outfits that Molly could dress her up in.  I love the way the dress turned out and it was SO easy to make!

I didn't write a pattern for Molly Dolly since she was my first one (I was just trying to muddle through the design process).  But I love how she turned out so I am going to try again and fix the little parts that didn't work out exactly as I planned.  I'll get that pattern down to share with you guys for sure.  If you are interested in the pattern please follow my blog so that you get the update when I do post the pattern. :)

I'd love to hear what you think about her and any ideas on what I can improve on for round 2!


amigurumibb said...

Molly is great! Like the way you think and look at this doll making projects. You sound a lot like me :D
Making fingers haven't tried so far, but yours are done great. hands do give different expression to finished doll.
I love dolls, love making dolls. Have this crazy idea on making crocheted doll with joints movable (head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and feet). Kind of ball jointed dolls :) Crazy huh?
Still "incubating" this idea but think will be ready to start pretty soon.
You keep up with this great work yourself! Really, really looking forward seeing more dolls made by you. You have great inspiration and are not afraid to try experimenting what is just great! :)
Thanks for showing us Molly!

Candace said...

Hi Steph! I just went back and looked at your amigurumi posts and I am impressed all over again! How's the pattern coming along? Goodness, you could seriously sell these like crazy on Etsy. Are they out there? How hard are they?