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A self portrait made in crochet Part 2

Crocheted self portrait by Jennifer Ramirez from The sun and the Turtle

A crocheted self portrait Part 2: My challenge was to make my own self portrait and setting up the exhibition of my work in Aalto University School of Art and Design.

Click here to read part one of this challenge.

Little by little things are getting in place, while I make my face I get clearer why I adore to crochet.

Crochet is meditation for me. Somehow it makes me feel in calm and I can think clearly. Since small I loved color and patterns, I have been always fascinated with fractals, spirals and mandalas, also the textures in nature. During this project I realized how important patterns are in my life.


After struggling for two days trying to get the proportions of my face quite similar to the original I decided that for this project I wanted to make a mask of my own face in crochet. We decided in the group that the exhibition was going to be hanging from the wall which was not good if my plan was to make a real size crocheted me, so I decided to narrow down and focus in the face and the mask. After receiving good advice from Hook Ninjas in our Facebook page about how to make yarn stiff, I decided to try making a mold of my face using plaster. I realized the time I had to finish the project was very short and will not be able to prototype that much. I felt with plaster I was safe to move forward without having to test that much in between.

Making a face mask for my crochet self portrait

I painted the back side of my mask with skin color and continued crocheting with skin color yarn the whole face, meanwhile I glued it carefully to the face.

While the paint was drying I started creating my hair by using different shades of red yarn and spinning it around two chairs to make it very long. We decided to make timelines and for me, my timeline is my hair since I have never cut my hair short since very small. Once I had enough yarn I cut and braided some of them to add texture.

Once this was done I was ready to make the shadowing of the face, which I made by using pastel chalks and a rough brush using brown, red and black color

Detail of the face cast for the crocheted self portrait
Crocheted self portrait by Jennifer Ramirez from The sun and the Turtle

After finishing the shadowing I continued by sewing more hair into the head and placed the eyes. I realized that the eyes I made were way too big for the whole face, so I had to make a smaller version of them.

Pattern for realistic Crochet Eyes

Tutorial for realistic Crochet Eyes

Use a 2.5 crochet needle and cotton thread in white, brown, black and skin color.

Round 1: With black
Sc 5 into mr (5 sts)

Round 2:
With brown:
2sc in each around (10 sts)
Round 3: Sc around (10 sts)

With white color
Round 4: [2sc in first st, sc in next st] around(15 sts)
Round 5: Sc around (15 sts)

With skin color
Round 6:
Sc around (15 sts)
Round 7:
In the outside loops only
Half double crochet in next stitch (corner 1)
sc in next 14 sts, half double crochet in next st
Fasten off.

Embroider lines in the pupil of the eye and some light sparkles to make them more real. Use pastel chalk and a rough brush to add some shadows and fake eyelashes for more details.

Once I sew the eyes I added further details by painting some eyebrows. I decided to paint them because I realized late how hard it was to embroider the eyebrows when the crocheted fabric was already glued to the mask. If you want to try something like this remember to embroider the eyebrows before hand. Then I added some holes in the nose, some rose color in the cheeks and lips and I was done!

I feel very happy with this first trial of making a crochet portrait, it was very fun! Thanks for your support during this project, I am still planning to make an amigurumi version of myself, but in the future.

Finished realiistic crocheted self portrait

Thank you very much for reading, looking forward to hear your thoughts about this project, we love your comments!


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