crochet body project

A writer and art educator sets out to crochet a full-body self portrait.

Friday, July 28, 2006

progress update: practice head

Here I am wearing yesterday's work, a portion of the "first draft" of a head for the self-portrait crochet body. I'm working in cheap craft store yarn for this draft, focusing on working out the stitches and dimensions.

I have an unfortunate affection for varigated yarns, which look so lovely on the skein but too often end up looking sort of tacky on the finished piece. I chose a brownish varigated yarn for the hair on the practice head, and it's come out with kind of a camoflauge look. That's not too much of a problem, since I plan on covering that area with yarn fringe to copy my hairstyle. The closest match I could find for my skin tone was a light peach "baby" yarn that has a pearly thread running through it. It's a little shiny, but I kind of like the effect. A friend of mine has suggested that I dye yarn especially for the project. Part of me really likes that idea, but part of me is intrigued by the challenge of making the body from yarns that are readily available at my local craft store (and the way that it links the project deeper into our material culture). Craft store yarn also reminds me of my Grandma Rosie, and I think that part of this project is exploring that relationship in some way. I'll write more about Grandma Rosie another time.

For this portion of the practice head, I worked the hair portion with an I hook, and the face with a G. Most is worked in the round, but just below the widest part of the skull I started working back-and-forth to make the slit that I envision going up the back of the body (which would be how I'd put on the body if I wanted to wear it). Right now the hairline is complete, so I just need to finish the skin of the face and neck, and to add ears, eyebrows, and fringed hair.

I'm not entirely happy with the eye holes, which are too large, but managed to get a close approximation of my hairline, which makes me happy. I'm very pleased with how quickly this seems to be working up, and how well I've been able to make it fit so far.

Later, more meditations and inspirations for the crochet body...

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