Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crochet Root Babies ~ a tutorial and a giveaway

But summer also came to an end. The sharp autumn wind whirled the brightly coloured leaves through the air and tugged at the root-children's clothes.
"Hoo," called the wind, "hurry home, it's getting cold here. It's time to go to bed."...... And all the little root-children went down under the ground again to start their long winter's sleep.
Sibylle von Olfers. The Story of the Root-Children.

My friend Sonia made up this pattern in the year 2000 while sitting (sometimes lying) on her bed breastfeeding her son. He was a bit of  a snuggler and didn't like her to leave when he fell asleep so she sat and hooked this pattern, pulling it ot a few times and trying something else. It is actually a very forgiving pattern and was one of the very first things I crocheted (back before I had even read a pattern or knew what the stitches were called). Sonia has graciously allowed me to share this pattern with you on the www - may it go forth and produce many babies.

You will need: brown yarn (8ply), cream mohair yarn, skin coloured knit material (tricot, old tshirt..), 3inches of size 1 bandage, embroidery threads for eyes and mouth, stuffing wool, thin linen thread, sewing threads, wool needle, crochet hook (2.5mm or 3mm).

Body~ Crochet the body using the brown yarn ~ (NB these are Australian crochet terms our double crochet is an American single crochet)

chain 3 (loosely) and form into a ring.
next row 5dc (double crochet)
next row 7dc (increase in the 2nd and 4th stitches)
then inc every third stitch three times until 9dc
then inc every 5th stitch x3 (15dc)
then inc every 7th stitch x3 (21dc)
then inc every 9th stitch x3 (27dc)
then 42 dc with increase
next row decrease every 6th stitch x5 (30dc)
then dec. every 3rd stitch x4 (12dc)
(this brings you to the neck of the root baby which should be approx index finger width)
make 2 dc then reverse direction and 8 dc
reverse direction and inc. every 3rd stitch (1 2 3 45 6 7 8)
reverse direction in inc. in 3rd and 7th stitches until 12 stitches wide
reverse then dec. every 3rd stitch (9 stitches)
reverse then dec in bold 1  23 4 56 7 89 (6 stitches)
reverse, decrease 3 times (3 stitches)
reverse then decrese the three remaining stitches together
double stitch around the face edge, finish off.
Head and Hair ~
I am going to make a wild assumption that you already know how to make a simple formed head (it is ok if you don't, they are simple and I will put a bunch of pictures at the end of this post to step you through: failing that there are loads of great tutorials on making heads - do some googling you will be fine).

Ok so make a 2.5 -3inch simple formed head (eyeline only) with the size 1 bandage, linen thread and stuffing wool.
Using you choice of skin material cover the head and embroider small eyes and a mouth.

Bringing it together ~
Stuff the bodysuit with fluffed out wool til it is firm but not hard; remember to leave room for your baby's head.
Pop the head in and sew it securely into the body suit; gather suit around the neck and hide your ends.

With the cream mohair yarn sew loops around the face, then cut the loops open. All done, sing a little lullaby and put that baby to bed.

The giveaway bit ~ Ok hands up who can't crochet or just dosen't even want to try; 'tis ok I used to throw little crochet tantrums and fling my hook on the floor. Lucky for you I made a couple of extra babies. If you would like to put your name in the hat, leave a comment to that effect and I will make sure your name goes in. I'll get my big girl to pull one out next Wednesday...sometime... probably early evening my time. We don't mind where you live but you need to make sure I can contact you.

Ok basic how to make a head pictures now follow ~ (don't ever let a child watch you make a head, it is brutal)


The Fambros said...

Oh this is awesome! What a great gift!


Linda said...

Hello dear friend:)
What a gorgeous treasure!! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tutotial. Please enter us for your giveaway:) Holding thumbs:)

W-S Wanderings said...

Oh my word. These wee babes are DARLING! And your photo tutorial at the end totally does the trick. Many thanks to you and your friend for sharing the pattern. Except, yeah,I don't know how to crochet. So I am THRILLED that you are offering such a wonderful giveaway!


Steph said...

These are precious - I would love to be entered in your giveaway. :)

s dot francis85 at gmail dot com

Natalie @ the little gnomes home said...

These are so sweet. Hmmm....yes my crochet hook has been flung somewhere in the corner! Would love to join your giveaway

N x

Anonymous said...

I haven't learned to crochet yet (just started on knitting) so I would love to win these little beauties.
vmcwdk @ yahoo.com

eidolons said...

*raises hand*
I just learned to knit about a year ago. Once upon a time my step-mother tried to teach me to crochet and I just couldn't understand it. I think this pattern may spur me to give it a go again. Here's hoping it makes more sense this time around. (:

Mandi said...

So sweet! Thank you for the instructions. Now I am going to learn to crochet!

TwigandToadstool said...

Oh...I can't crochet to save my life! Please please, I'd love to enter your giveaway!
xo maureen

Rachel~At the Butterfly Ball said...

What sweet little root babies! I'd love to enter! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial!

m. bloom said...

Those are ridiculously cute...

Kelly said...

What a wonderful tutorial. Beautiful little root babies. I'm trying to learn crochet but not quite there yet.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish I could crochet...what a precious treasure! Please enter me :)

softearthart said...

Oh so beautiful I can not sew or crotchet for nuts, I would love to win this, cheers Marie

fieryoakmom said...

adorable, I will be adding this to my to do list, but given how long that list is, I'd also love to get in on the drawing :)

Natalie, Bella & Amos Cairncross said...

Oh PLEASE let it be me! I once knew how to crochet but my brain got too full and I have forgotten :) I have been wanting one of these for my nature table -and your work is so gorgeous Shannon. Whoever wins it will be lucky!

Cheryl said...

Wish I could describe my crochet skills as passable. Maybe these little root children can inspire me to put the knitting needles to one side and try again. On the other hand, I could just enter your giveaway and cross my fingers! Thanks for the chance.

Little Liza Jane said...

Ahh to have the time! My own little root baby was born last week and I don't think I'll ever have time to do anything EVER! I'm sooooo tired! I've forgotten how exhausting this baby stuff can be.

Anonymous said...

these are beautiful! not sure if too late, but i would love to go into the hat for these gorgeous root babies! thank you - your blog is so inspirational

momma rae said...

oh my, they are so sweet!!! i keep saying i am going to make some root children for our table and have not yet. i have not yet learned to crochet either. thanks for sharing!

karen said...

these are so adorable, thanks for the chance to win them!

Something lubely said...

Please put my name in the hat...i can't crochet to save myself and they are so cute !!
Carole ckamai21@gmail.com

MamaWestWind said...

Aw, so cute! Great tutorial, thanks!

I would love to be included in your giveaway!

Suzie said...

These are precious. I would like to put my name in the hat. :)

justsuzie_s at hotmail dot com

Fiona said...

We would love a couple of root children to pop on the seasonal table.

anna said...

These are just wonderful and they celebrate one of my favourite childen's books ever. I think you've made me actually feel both brave and inspired enough to pick up my crochet hook! I would love to be entered in the draw if I'm not too late :)

Melissa Plank said...

Darling, thanks for the tutorial!

Rebecca said...

Oh these are so precious! Thanks for sharing. :)

Donna said...

So very cute. So very glad I found you on Creative Friday. Please enter me, since I can't crochet a stitch! Thanks.


Erin said...

Adorable and lovely little root babies! Our nature table would so enjoy one of these to grace it. I'm just a baby knitter and haven't tried to crochet since I was a kiddo, so I am delighted to enter the giveay. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

fjkelly said...

Gorgeous little babies. They'd be a perfect addition to our seasonal table.

fjkelly6 at gmail.com

erin said...

Oh so beautiful and what a great tutorial! I adore these little root babies! :-)

Kerrie McFarlane said...

Hello Shannon,

I have been following your blog for about 3 months now and just can't get my head around where you find the time to make so many beautiful things, be a mum to two gorgeous girls AND write a blog. I am glad that you manage it though, I always look forward to your posts on my email's RSS! Please enter me into your give away draw. Keep up the good work, you're truly inspirational.



Southern Season Exchange said...

Yes yes please! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I am still in the crochet tantrum phase. My mum tried so patiently last year to help but must confess to giving up after some dismal attempts. Your little babes are beautiful.

Unknown said...

beautiful dolls! thanks for the chance of winning a babes!

Murray and Roscoe said...

I sometimes day dream about being able to crochet - it all started when breast feeding my littlest. Now she is about to turn two I really should stop dreaming and get hooking! Please enter me into the giveaway. My son an I dipped autumn leaves in bees wax last week but the Nature table still looks bare

Carrie said...

Thank you for this generous offer for those of us who can't crochet...yet!


Catherine Lowe said...

ow ow owwwwww!! SOOO CUTE!
Dam missing this givaway!
I came to my first wednesday craft group last week and LOVED it! Thank you!
I could not resist a moss gnome from the shop, the last little dude. oww, so excited look forward to many more craft days.
thank you for your gorgeous blog & tutorials!
:) Cat

Tanja said...

I've been enjoying reading your blog for some time now but I suspect it may be the first time I've commented. I'm about to dig out my brown yarn and crochet hook to have a go of this. I think there may be a typo there - you've side the head needs to be 2.5-3 inches but to me it looks like you meant centimetres. Is that right? Guess I'll find out once I've made the body.

Thanks for sharing your creativity with us all.

S said...

Hi Tanja,
No, it is not a typo - but thank you for bring my attention to what is not clear.
The circumference of the stuffed head is about 3 inches or 8cm, the crown to chin measurement will be about an inch or 2.5cm... The crochet is pretty stretchy and it is a pretty small head.
Have fun.

My life in Christ said...

I can't crochet to save my life I will admit, my daughter that does has even given up on me. I do love making Waldorf doll and have been looking for a tutorial on making the smaller heads, so thank you so much for this wonderful blog

Justbecauseitmakesmesmile said...

Absolutely adorable!
I'm off to make some for a friend who will be facing an awful situation soon.
Thank you from Wales UK although I was born and raised in Brisbane!