When I first started doing dolls I found figuring out how to give the dolls hair was the hardest part. There are tons of techniques out there and I use different techniques depending how I want the hair. A few people did ask me recently how I did the hair on my Ariel doll. I thought I’d do a short tutorial and hopefully it will help some of you out there. I know I was desperately looking for info when I did my first doll.
My technique is actually quite simple. The key is to work with an infinite loop of yarn rather than strands. Create a loop of yarn for as long as you want the hair. I know yarn can be expensive but I tend to make the hair longer so I can trim it later if need be. I learned the mistake of making it too short and not being able to add later on. After that you’ll want to decide where you want the bangs to sit. I did Ariel off the side. I used pins to secure one end of the loop to where I wanted the section of hair to sit and sewed it down. Next take that same section of hair and twist it. This will make up Ariel’s front bang.
Once the hair has been twisted, secure the bottom section to lower portion of her head near the neck. I cut another piece of yarn to use as a hair tie and leave a tail to sew into the head. Repeat the whole process with another section of hair parted to the other side. This time I tuck the new section under the old one.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Once the hair is the way you want it just give the hair a trim and cut the loops at the bottom if desired. I kept the loops. I felt like it kept the hair together better. Sorry I didn’t have an unfinished head to show you guys the pinning and sewing. I’ll add more pictures when I do another doll. I hope this helps. Feel free to let me know if this is helpful.
EDIT: I started creating a base cap out of the same color as the hair so you can’t see through to the scalp. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful. I also can secure the twists to the end of the wig cap to hold them in place rather than securing to the head or neck.
One of my favorite Disney movies growing up was The Little Mermaid. She still holds a special place in my heart. She’s also recently captured the hearts of my two little god daughters. They asked me to make them some dolls and I knew Ariel would be a great choice. My Ariel turned out to be such a big hit I decided to offer my flounder pattern for free. If you haven’t seen the doll you can see her in our gallery section. Sorry Ariel has not been patterned out yet. I’m horrible about writing my patterns down but I’m working on it. Flounder is pretty easy to make so it’s great for beginners. The body is basically a ball. If you find any mistakes feel free to reach out. Enjoy!
2.5mm crochet hook (will yield a fishy of about 5cm in diameter)
Worsted weight yellow yarn (I use Loop and thread’s Impeccable in butterscotch)
Worsted weight green or blue yarn ( I use Red Heart Soft in seafoam)
When I was starting out at crochet I came across a lot of information about peoples’ preferences for different hooks. When it comes down to it, it’s all a matter of preference but I thought I would talk about some of my favorites and my experiences accumulating my own collection.
My initial thought was, I’m going to get the cheapest hook I can find since I didn’t want to invest a lot of money into a craft I was not sure I could handle or wanted to stick with. I still stand by this logic. As a beginner there’s no need to go out and spend tons of money on expensive hooks. Amazon sells hook sets for as low as $1 and the 99 cent store also carries various hooks.
In the end I found a set of old metal Susan Bate hooks my mom had left over from her crochet days and that’s what I started off with. Hook sizes vary depending on the brand (based on whether they are made in the US, UK, or Japan). You’ll find below a guideline of size labels based on the metric size of the hook. The smaller hooks frequently used for amigurumi can be challenging to work with for beginners so I recommend starting out with a 5 mm or 6 mm hook. I personally started with 5mm. Patterns typically will suggest hook size based on either the metric size (my favorite way), letter sizes or number sizes. When you get more advanced a lot of amigurumi crocheters prefer to use hooks closer to 2 mm. I find the chart below comes in handy.
I quickly outgrew my Susan Bates hook wanting to make smaller amigurumi that didn’t look as porous. You’ll find that that if you spend long periods of time at crochet, the metal hooks will start to hurt your fingers. I quickly researched a few brands experienced crocheters had reviewed and did my own test. The two brands that consistently seemed to be adored by the crochet world were Clover and Tulip both made in Japan and made ergonomic hooks.
The three I tried out were Clover brand soft touch, Clover brand Amour and Tulip Etimo. Of the three, Clover soft touch is the cheapest costing around $6-$7 US at Michael stores or online. I found the hook to be much more light weight than the metal hooks. The grip was good made of plastic and with a rubber trim. I found it quite acceptable and much more comfortable than the metal hooks. (Which I still think are fine for short periods of crochet).
Next I tried the Clover Amour hooks which many crocheters had been raving about. These were a bit more than the soft touch line and typically runs about $8 US. The handle feels like soft rubber. While more comfortable than my metal hooks I felt the handle was a bit thick for my small hands and the rubber when held too long can start to feel sticky. It’s also a bit heavier than the soft touch line. For me it was okay but not my favorite.
Last I tried the Etimo hooks by Tulip and fell in love. The grip is a soft plastic. It didn’t feel rubbery but is still very ergonomic for my fingers. For this particular hook I also noticed whatever is coated on the hook itself really makes a difference helping the yarn slip easily around allowing me to actually crochet much quicker. I currently only own 4 as they can be really expensive. If not on sale they can run up to $13. I was able to use some coupons at Joann’s and they ended up being closer to $9. So far it’s been my hook of choice and I haven’t found anything I like better.
Welcome to YarnTreasures.com. I’m so excited to finally be starting this blog and to have the opportunity to share my love of crochet. I learned to crochet by reading blogs and watching youtube videos so I encourage those who are interested to take a stab at it. It’s actually less daunting than it seems and can be very therapeutic.
This blog will focus on amigurumi, the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.
I was initially inspired by a cute crocheted rabbit I found on pinterest and it quickly led to me Googling everything I could on the subject. I had a cousin who had already learned on her own so that was promising. I think the key for me was all the research. I read and watched videos for about a week before I even attempted to go out and buy supplies or make anything.
I started making small circular balls and basic shapes. Once I got those down I moved on to simple patterns and now I’m making my own. It has been the most rewarding experience to see peoples faces light up when I gift them one of my creations. I hope to be able to give some guidance and encouragement for new beginners and also inspire some of you more advanced crocheters.
Thanks for joining me on this adventure and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, comments, advice or just want to chat. It’s been amazing to connect with people all over the world through a shared love of crochet.