This post is a renewed version of an older post of mine. Because I developed new skills and discovered more techniques, I found the old expression post to be a bit outdated. In this post I’ll explain how I design a crochet animal face.
One of the most challenging elements in making crochet dolls is giving them the right expression. That’s what finishes the doll and can make it either beautiful and striking or kind of ridiculous looking. Making the face is complicated and comes very closely, even though it seems quite simple, just a few stitches right? It usually takes me a while and I have to ‘take it out’ a few times before my doll has the right expression. Here are a few samples of faces I’ve made so far. Below the images I’ll explain how I get the right expression.
1. A patch behind the eyes makes him look more like a wild bunny. The starting chain forms his mouth.
2. A playful cat needs wide eyes, so a felt patch behind the eyes. He also has a perplexed little mouth, like real cats.
3. Wolfs have a brighter spot above their eyes. For this crochet wolf I decided to add a small thread to create that wolf expression.
4. Starfox really has a sturdy expression, he also has green eyes. So I made a felt patch, black lashes and big white eyebrows.
5. This is a very happy brown eyed bunny. Just the eyes looked a bit dull I decided. So he has felt patches behind his eyes and a cheerful embroidered mouth.
6. I wanted to give this crochet bear a funny looking face. To get that expression I made his mouth unsymmetrical.
To give my Popke the right expression, I play a little with the embroidery thread. A symmetric mouth for example gives a neat look, but maybe not the right one. The distance between the eyes is also very important. A description of how to set them, I don’t think will help much, you just have to experiment on each and every doll you make. There are some rules, like far apart is cute and close together not very smart looking, but I tend to ignore those rules and just see what looks best for a particular doll. The tip in this topic is therefore, don’t underestimate the importance of the expression. Take your time and experiment. If you’re not satisfied after trying many times, just stop and try again the next day or so, when you’re fresh again. That usually does the trick for me.
And another small tip, it’s very important to see for yourself and experiment on your version of a Popke. Maybe you don’t like the felt patch for your lop rabbit or the white eyebrow on your wolf. Just rock out and do what you like.