Friday, 12 April 2013

The one where she makes a Matryoshka

I love little Russian nesting dolls.



How can anyone resist taking them apart to find the tiny baby and then putting them back together (after carefully matching the patterns on their dresses of course)

Picture from here


At home we have three traditional sets; one which actually comes from Russia and is very good quality, so my Russian house-buyer informed me many years ago, and a few bonkers Christmas ones too.

And so, I fancied making one.



Not in amigurumi style, as is my norm, but flat. It took quite a bit of faffing around to get the pattern right, let me tell you, but it is actually very simple to make.

Wanna try?

You'll need:

3 different colours of yarn and hook to match. (I used Rico Creative Cotton and 4 mm hook)

Polyester toy stuffing

Felt for the face, hair and cheeks

Fabric for the skirt

Fabric marker pen for the eyes (or you could stitch them)


Stitches and Abbreviations:

I use US terms, so single crochet= same as UK double crochet here.

Chain (ch)

Single crochet (sc)

Stitches (sts)

Single Crochet 2 Together (sc2tog)

To single crochet 2 together:

Insert hook into next stitch.

Yarn over, pull up a loop. (2 loops on hook)

Insert hook into next stitch.

Yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)

Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.

Pattern (make 2)

[Starting from bottom and working up]

At the end of each row you need to turn and ch 1

1. Sc 9

2. Sc 8, 2scs in next st (10)

3. Sc 9, 2scs in next st (11)

4. Sc 10, 2scs in next st (12)

5. Sc 11, 2scs in next st (13)

6. Sc 12, 2scs in next st (14)

7. Sc 13, 2scs in next st (15)

8. Sc 14, 2scs in next st (16)

9. Sc 15, 2scs in next st (17)

10-12. Sc 17

13. Sc 15, sc2tog (16)

14. Sc 16

15. Sc2tog, sc 14 (15)

16. Sc 15

17. Sc2tog, sc 13 (14)

18. Sc2tog, sc 12 (13)

19. Sc 13

Change colour

20. Sc2tog, sc 11 (12)

21. Sc2tog, sc 10 (11)

22. 2scs in next st, sc 10 (12)

23. 2scs in next st, sc 11 (13)

24-26. Sc 13

27. Sc2tog, sc 11 (12)

28. Sc2tog, sc 10 (11)

29. Sc2tog, sc 9 (10)

30. Sc2tog, sc 8 (9)

31. Sc2tog, sc 5, Sc2tog (7)

32. Sc2tog, sc 3, Sc2tog (5)

Fasten off

Now to decorate the front of your Matryoshka:


Choose one of your pieces of crochet and ensure that the tail from the beginning chain is hanging to the bottom right. Sew in all the tails, except this tail so you know which is the 'right' way round.

Cut a circle of felt for the face (I found a spice jar lid to be the perfect template) and cut hair and cheek shapes. Use PVA glue to stick the pieces together and to stick the face onto your crochet.

I added the eyes using a fabric marker pen (the one I use to label the kid's school uniforms).

Now cut the shape for the skirt using pinking shears. This took me a few goes to get right. You could stick this onto the crochet, or like me, you could stitch it on. Up to you.

Let the glue dry.

Put the two pieces of crochet together so that both the tails from your starting chain hang down at the right side. This means that the stitches will match exactly and make life easier when crocheting together.

Now use your third colour and single crochet around both pieces to join together. Make sure you work in anti-clockwise direction so your stitches face forwards.




Before you completely close, stuff with toy stuffing, sew in the remaining ends and then complete your stitching and fasten off.

Attach a ribbon to the back.


Did you know?

Matryoshka derives from the Russian for 'maternity' and the dolls within them are a symbol of fertility.

They are sometimes wrongly referred to as Baboushka (which means 'grandmother'

Happy making everyone!