Crochet...

Because of these...


This is a very basic post about learning to crochet...

first... the bare minimum hook size you'll need to get started as a beginner is a 5.5mm hook... I recommend that you also get 4, 4.5 and 5mm sizes... you can get these anywhere and lots of stores sell whole sets from 3 to 6 mm or even more assortment of sizes.

why these? because second... get worsted weight yarn... or size 4... this is the standard, most stores (including Walmart) will have a selection of this weight of yarn and it recommends a size 5.5mm hook after much testing by people who have crocheted for longer than either of us have... while you're learning it is important to use the right tools for the right job. smaller hooks will split bigger yarns, smaller yarns make tiny projects that are hard to navigate while you're learning or make things with big ungainly bubbly stitches that make figuring out your tension and neatness impossible and giant yarns are a pain in the butt until you're used to how yarns bunch up when worked in certain patterns.

third... read the label of your yarn. take these few minutes to shop smart and not with your eyes or fingers... check the weight... check the hook recommendation for this yarn, do you have that size hook at home? check the washing instructions. are you making a dry clean only baby blanket? it sounds obvious and you'd be amazed how NOT obvious this is to beginners. I STILL forget to check sometimes and find myself frustrated by bad weights or bad washing instructions.
 ^^ same size yarn... different sized hooks ^^
Here's another secret people forget to tell you... it is your hook size that determines more about your final project size than the yarn... the smaller the hook the smaller the loops... the smaller the loops the smaller the final project will be. I strongly recommend that you work on the right hook size for the yarn until you are confident at crochet... not the "recommended" hook size for the amigurumi pattern you are following. VERY often we are using a hook that is far smaller than the recommended one for the yarn we are using because we are familiar with the way the yarn will respond to this and have crocheted enough similar patterns to know where the going will get rough. you are new. be patient with you. be patient with the yarn. go slow and keep it loose and relaxed. there is time for ripping your hair out and calling cute little dolls names that you'd be embarrassed to have your significant other hear you say.

why so specific? because until you've crocheted for awhile your tension (the tightness of the yarn on your hook) will vary and so using the right hook for the right yarn to begin with will help you prevent odd shaped creations and because the smaller the hook the tighter the work will be and sometimes this will mean you are crocheting tiny little tubes that will seem unfair to a beginning crocheter.

Ok... so how to crochet?

I love Chandi from Expression Fiber Arts (the name of the shop is her YouTube link) because she's direct, gives amazingly clear and precise directions and because she has a really good cameraman so you see everything. Besides, her yarns are divine and she's been teaching me along the way for 2 years, so I'm partial to her. On her YouTube channel you will find step by step instruction videos that are really good.


Do all of them until you're sick of them before you move on. I mean it... until your chains are even every time and your single crochets are even every time and your 1/2 dc are even every time then you'll only make yourself insane trying to figure out why things aren't looking the way they should. You can do this in a day if you're determined...

Make beginner crochet patterns like granny squares, Chandi's cool beanie hat and other simple flat projects so that you feel confident - I would say do it a lot, and I know that Syn and another friend are itching to get started, so I'll say at least make the hat before you move on to the doll... so that you have worked in the round and understand some of what you're seeing as the doll takes shape.

Here is a link to another cool idea... little round hot pads, or you could use them as pads to divide your pans so that non-stick insides don't get dinged by rough and tough outsides.

In order to make the pattern below you will need to know how to chain, start in a magic circle or 2nd chain from hook, single crochet, increase and decrease stitches, make a slip stitch and tie off.
Eden's VooDoo Doll - Amigurumi doll pattern


This is the basic doll pattern that I prefer. (follow the link and then follow the second link or use this one to get to the second half of the tutorial) This free voodoo doll pattern belongs entirely to Eden of YarnYard and I do not have permission for my transcription of her doll pattern, so I am using it and being very clear that I took this stitch for stitch from the linked video above. I have been using exactly this pattern for over a year and love it. I have also built adaptations, modifications and additional parts off of this pattern. Of all of them out there I adore Eden's clear instructions, awesome doll shapes and easy to remember (and adapt) patterns. I will include my adaptations as well as some of the go-to patterns that I use for other things later.

One thing you need to know about this pattern. Eden crochets so that her items turn to the inside and form a little wrong-side-out pocket until she turns them. She is an expert at crochet and can work in small spaces. I turn mine as I go and am always working on the outside of the piece and so I did not include the places in her video where she instructs us to turn the part of the doll right side out.

Another is that I have not ever counted the number of stitches in a row. I may go down and do this on the next doll I make so that I can include them. The number in parenthesis at the end of each row is actually the cheat count that I use to keep myself on track. Because most crochet patterns are written straight and without this sort of thing I wasn't going to include them and I changed my mind. The reason I don't know the "final count" on each row is that I am counting IN the row if I am increasing or decreasing. That's what the numbers at the end are.

Example of an increase: The pattern will read sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat pattern around and at the end I have a (4) because I count it like this in my head... one, two, three, four gets two and then one, two, three...

Example of a decrease: The pattern will read sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat pattern around and at the end I have (4 and 5) because I count it like this in my head... one, two, three, four and five together and one, two...
these awesome dolls are rounder than they are tall... measure and you'll see for yourself

What you will need:
worsted weight yarn
crochet hook in 4.5, 5, or 5.5mm size
a darning needle with an eye large enough for your yarn
a contrasting piece of yarn approximately 5" long, or a moveable stitch marker
polyfill stuffing for your doll

Abbreviations and terms:
sc = single crochet
sc2tog = single crochet 2 together ALSO = decrease, how-to video here
sl = slip stitch ALSO = finishing off
f/o = finish off ALSO = slip stitch
inc = increase ALSO = 2 stitches in the same space, how-to video here
 (remember, Eden's video shows all of these steps very clearly)


Head and Body
6 sc in a stitch or magic circle
2sc in each stitch around
sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (2)
sc, sc, 2 sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (3)
sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (4)
sc, sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (5)
sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (6)
sc in each stitch around for 8 rows
sc, sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (5 and 6)
sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (4 and 5)
sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (3 and 4)
sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (2 and 3)
sc in each stitch around
2sc in each stitch around
sc in each stitch around
sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (3)
sc in each stitch around
     stuff the head now if you want to
     or you can wait until the second "stuff body" notation
sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (4)
sc, sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (5)
sc in each stitch around for 5 rows
sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat this pattern around (6)
sc in each stitch around for 2 rows
sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (6 and 7)
sc, sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (5 and 6)
     stuff now, leave a little room so you can
     crochet without fluff getting caught on the yarn
sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (4 and 5)
sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (3 and 4)
sc, sc2tog and repeat this pattern around (2 and 3)
     add a little bit of stuffing again, make sure your amigurumi is fat
     without stretching the stitches open
sc2tog around decreasing in every stitch
     check stuffing one last time and then f/o with sl and leave a long tail
thread your darning needle and sew the hole closed as shown in the video

Legs (make 2)
6 sc in a stitch or magic circle
2sc in each stitch around
sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat pattern around (2)
sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat pattern around (3)
sc in each stitch around for 3 rows
sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat pattern around (3 and 4)
sc, sc2tog and repeat pattern around (2 and 3)
sc in each stitch around for 10 rows
f/o with a sl and stuff foot firmly and leg more loosely

Arms (make 2)
6 sc in a stitch or magic circle
2sc in each stitch around
sc, 2sc in next stitch and repeat pattern around (2)
sc in each stitch around for 4 rows
sc, sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat pattern around (5 and 6)
sc, sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat pattern around (4 and 5)
sc in each stitch around
sc, sc, sc2tog and repeat pattern around (3 and 4)
sc in each stitch around for 3 rows
f/o with a sl and stuff hand firmly and arm more loosely

for assembly instructions please refer to Eden's video... I prefer to attach my arms in the 2nd ring down from the neck and my legs 3 rings in front of the middle towards the front of the doll so that it sits better.

Eden's video also includes basic voodoo doll facial features... :D here the sky is the limit and you can do what you want.




the flower, heart and doll adaptations along with other tips in another post. also yarn reviews!

ttfn... dolls are fun, they're all headed up to my shop... clay is also fun, and clay is also headed to my shop... I have stuff to show you! :D

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