I’ve been trying to post daily about my crochet, mostly because I think it’s really good for me to think about it every day. It gives me a sense of achievement to look back on my past dolls, and writing about my current projects helps me to gain momentum.
Everything about making my dolls is pleasurable, and I try to be as mindful as possible while I’m making them. Often I watch something while I’m crocheting, but I’m going to try harder to listen to music instead, as I think that’s better for me. Sometimes I listen to a musical – listening to Rent, for instance, is as good as watching a movie (or, you know, watching eight episodes of Judge Judy). I have a Tamora Pierce audio book I’ve been meaning to listen to, so I think I need to make that a priority!
The first step in the process is usually gathering pictures. I collect still images or fan art of the character I’m going to create, and if it’s an original character, which happens sometimes, I search out images of each item of clothing they’re going to be wearing. Fan blogs and cosplay forums are extremely helpful in these searches, as I like to incorporate or at least hint at as many details as possible.
Next, I try to match their skin tone. I’m trying to move away from “white” characters, and make a point of depicting characters as described in the source material. Katniss, from Suzanne Collins Hungee Games trilogy, for instance, is not white. Daja, Briar and Rizu from Tamora Pierce’s Circle Reforged: The Will of the Empress are all people of colour.
I’m also working on Gwen, from the BBC adaption of Merlin, who’s played by the lovely Angel Corby, and I’ve decided that my next eighteenth century aristocrat will be Belle, from the film of the same name. Her story is one of a young woman of mixed race being brought up alongside her white cousin and trying to find her place in a world in which people who look like her are brought and sold for profit.
Sometimes I make the doll base next, but the next step is usually gathering all the colours I think I might need for the clothes and hair, and buying any that are missing. I’m bad at keeping track of what colours I’ve used so I usually keep all of these out until the doll is finished. I like to be able to make myself a travel pack so I can take what I’m working on to babysitting or to a friend’s house.
Making a doll from start to finish can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours. People are often shocked when I tell them this, but I don’t begrudge a single moment of work. I love each and every detail, and all the hours of work make the finished product that much more satisfying.
Until next time, C.