Session #2 - Gathering supplies
There is a bit of a start up cost for doll making as you will need multiple colors but will only use a small amount of each. You will also likely be purchasing smaller hooks than you are used to using. Look ahead and remember that with the materials you are purchasing now, you will be able to make multiple dolls.
For our purposes, we will be working with worsted weight yarn (4). Any worsted weight will do, but I highly recommend working with one brand of yarn for all of your colorways. As an example, using "Redheart SuperSaver" for the legs and "Vanna's choice" for the hoodie will give you a very oddly shaped doll. The brands I use most often include Michaels Brand, Loops and Threads- Impeccable, or Lion Brand's - Vanna's Choice. I don't like SuperSaver yarns at all, but they can be an affordable choice when just starting out.
I tend to use four main skin colors, all Loops and Threads - Impeccable, and these are shown below. From light to dark they are Aran, Heather, Taupe and Chocolate. If you don't have a Michaels near you, you can just as easily use a different brand, these are just my go-to colorways.
Before we move on, lets just refresh ourselves on yarn labels. Take a close look at the label above.
A. The "4" represents that this is a medium, worsted weight yarn. Exactly what we are looking for.
B. The second symbol is for gauge and you can do a happy dance. When making amigurumi, gauge doesn't matter! If you tend to crochet loose, you may end up with a slightly larger doll. If you crochet tight, you may end up with a smaller doll. Most of my dolls end up between 11 and 12" tall. Aim for tight - no one wants to see your stuffing!
C. The suggested hook size is the third symbol. This is where I diverge. For Impeccable yarns I use a "D" or 3.25 mm crochet hook. For Vanna's Choice or Patons brands I go even smaller and use a "C" or 2.75mm hook. Using a tiny hook WILL take some getting used to but I promise, your hands will thank me when you aren't having to pull super tight to avoid gaps in your stitches.
Shopping for Yarn (or raiding your stash)
You will need: 1 skin color and a minimum of 3 or 4 contrasting colors:
* white for shoe soles/laces (optional)
* contrasting color for shoes/boots (can be the same as the hoodie if you like matching!);
* contrasting color for leggings/shorts;
* contrasting color for hoodie;
* contrasting color for hair.
2. Other required supplies:
A. Stuffing: I use Polyfil Stuffing. A 1lb bag at Fabricland is $10 and will make multiple dolls. At some craft supply stores you can find smaller bags. Other stuffing materials (ie. wool batting,) can be used however I do not use them and can not provide you with a tried and true method.
B. Crochet hooks: "C" or "D" depending on the yarn brand for the body of your doll. See section c) under Yarn to decide on the hook you will need. You will also need a larger hook for the shoes/boots. I use a "G" or 4.0 mm.
My favourite hooks are the Clover soft touch.
C. Safety Eyes: I will send a pair of these out by Canada Post to the address listed on Paypal. Please ensure this is the correct address for you.
D. Tapestry needle: These are the thicker, round point needles used to weave in ends. Be sure the eye is big enough to thread your yarn. BONUS- My method does not require you to weave in any ends!! But you will need the needle for your fasten off.
E. Thin sewing needle (with a small eye) and Black thread - this will be for creating the eyelashes. Thicker needles won't be able to get as close to the eye as we would like.
G. Blush or Pink Crayon: I will present two methods of blushing your doll's cheeks. My preferred method is to use actual makeup 'Blush', but a crayon will work as well.
There you have your supply list. Gather them up, and post a photo of your colors in the "What's your color scheme" thread in study group so we can all ooh and ahhh over your impeccable taste!