Like many kids her age, my daughter loves “The Wizard of Oz” (both the book and movie), so when I stumbled across The Wizard of Oz Crochet by Kristen Rask while looking for another crochet book online, I immediately bought it.
The book actually comes as part of a kit. Along with the instructions for making 12 characters, the kit contains: a 4.0 mm metal hook; two sets of black safety eyes; two colors of embroidery floss; a tapestry needle; stuffing; and yarn to make the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. It is a complete kit for making those two characters, which I think is particularly nice. How often have you bought a kit to make something only to discover half way through the project that you needed to purchase other items to actually complete the project? Not so with this kit!
The 12 instructions included in The Wizard of Oz Crochet are for: Dorothy; Toto (with basket); the Scarecrow; the Tin Man; the Cowardly Lion; Glinda the Good Witch; the Wicked Witch of the East; the Wicked Witch of the West; a Winged Monkey; a Lollipop Kid; the Wizard of Oz; and a pair of Ruby Slippers. All of them are quite cute and really look like what they’re supposed to be.
So that’s the good news–a complete kit for making the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, and cute designs. The bad news is that the pattern instructions (or at least those I’ve attempted so far) contain many, many errors.
My first project from this book was Dorothy. On Round 3 of the head (the first part of the doll you make), I encountered the first error. The instructions for Round 3 were “*sc, 2sc in next stitch* (24).” It is mathematically impossible to start with 12 stitches and have 24 stitches at the end of Round 3 following those instructions. I am not as good a crocheter as a knitter, but thankfully I’m experienced enough to have been able to figure out what to do to create the doll’s head–I chose to follow the written instructions and to ignore the stitch count. So for Round 3, I repeated “sc, 2sc” around and ended with 18 stitches. For the rest of the head, I continued to follow the written instructions and ignored the stitch count, and my head was round and the size it was supposed to be.
Overall, the errors for making Dorothy were with stitch counts. Which aren’t such a big deal IF you know enough about crochet to figure out to ignore them. There were only three errors that I’d call “substantive,” where you cannot follow the instructions as written and have your doll turn out properly. (See below for all of my Dorothy corrections.)
It’s such a shame though, because The Wizard of Oz Crochet book is sold as part of a kit and therefore seemingly a nice gift and good for a beginner. But a beginning crocheter would be totally lost with these instructions. And the errors are not just with the Dorothy pattern–I started the Toto pattern and found even more errors, and many of them substantive, not just stitch counting mistakes. I have taken a break from Toto because my crochet skills are not good enough to quickly and easily figure out how to fix Toto’s pattern. I keep checking online for corrections from the book’s publisher, but I haven’t seen any yet. So Toto may just have to wait.
Luckily Dorothy turned out well and my daughter was thrilled with her new doll. Dorothy is really cute, and once I figured out how to correct her pattern, she was fun to make. For my Dorothy doll, I chose to make her legs a little longer so they wouldn’t look stumpy. By making her legs longer, my completed Dorothy is approximately 8″ tall, which is an inch taller than the finished doll according to the pattern. Although how you put your doll together (sewing the legs onto the body, etc.) will affect its height also. Overall I’m pleased with the results, as is my daughter, which we all know is what really counts when making a doll for your little one.
Here are my corrections to the Dorothy doll pattern: