In May I was working on crocheting the second test for my Pod Palls doll. Beta 2.0 was going to be more detailed, potentially able to stand on its own, and would have been a bit larger than Beta 1.0. In the end I scrapped that test as it was taking too long and I was getting frustrated over trying to work in the extra details. Possibly I’ll give it another go in the future. Instead, I decided to move on to doing my first official Pod Pal, for Mynxee!
The process to set up to make a Pod Pal is straightforward:
- The capsuleer has to be wearing what the Pod Pal is supposed to be wearing.
- I take numerous screenshots using the in-game viewer and/or get screenshots from the player.
- I color match yarn as closely as possible to the screenshots.
Color matching is fairly easy yet still the most challenging part of getting started. People sometimes have personally significant reasons for choosing a particular skin tone, hair color, and even the clothes that their capsuleer ends up with, so it’s important to me to pay attention to that. If the Pod Pal is going to be a recognizable representation of that capsuleer then the yarn color has to match, otherwise the player is obviously not likely to be happy with the finished item. I’m quite detail-oriented so I end up wanting the match to be “perfect”.
In reality, a perfect color match isn’t actually possible. Software can generate millions of colors, while the yarn I can use comes from what I have on hand or whatever dye lot happens to be available if I have to go to the store. Color matching therefore ends up having to accept whatever is “close enough”.
The pattern is worked in a spiral round which means each piece (head, torso, legs, arms) is crocheted continuously until there’s a color change. Along the way I stopped to check in with Mynxee to make sure she was okay with my progress.
The head is done first. As a solid color sphere, it works up very quickly (couple of hours, if that). Before it can be stuffed, the eyes have to be inserted.
Once the eyes are in they can’t be removed (except with drastic measures that would likely destroy the doll). Eyes, like yarn, also end up having to be a “close enough” match if colored irises are desired. I have to order these online in batches and there are only so many colors to choose from, so selection is limited.
Mynxee chose the eyes she wanted, so once they were in and the head was stuffed, it was time to do the torso.
The clothing we can choose from in EVE has quite a lot of detail in it, whether looking at an Amarr tunic with lots of swirly designs or Gallente t-shirts with multiple blocks of color, and the Upwell coat is no exception. The crochet pattern I work from is obviously not modeled after anything in the game, so knowing which details to include and when to change colors on the doll is trial and error.
Because of this, I have to approach the clothes with an attitude of “simplify”. What are the most important details that have to be shown and which details can be left out, while still making it recognizable? The torso therefore took the longest to do out of all of the body parts (not including hair) and often required ripping out and redoing stitches along the way when something didn’t turn out right. The Upwell coat has only two colors but it still needed several hours of work over a couple of days to complete before I could move on to legs and then arms. Then I had to make sure Mynxee liked what I’d done. :)
My Suresha-dom for a Barber
Just like with Pod Pal Sakaane, when it came time to do Mynxee’s hair I ran into problems. Torso notwithstanding, hair seems to be the most complicated and challenging part of the Pod Pal. In amigurumi there are certainly a wide variety of different techniques for adding hair but none of these were suitable as dreads for Mynxee. I had to think outside the box on this one to come up with a way to make something that looked like a dread with the yarn I had on hand without being too thick for the size of the doll.
What to do? Mynxee lives most of a continent away from me so it’s not like I could just pop over to discuss the problem and show her examples. An email with pics only goes so far. So, I made a video!
This helped a lot to allow a decision to be made. Plus, it gave Mynxee a way to see the actual doll in more than just static progress shots, and it was kind of fun for me. :)
Once I got going with the chains I made her another update:
The second hair update was posted on August 7, a full month after I started the doll. It took me six more days to finish and in the end I needed a pair of pliers to help me pull the yarn needle through the head to get all the dreads stitched in, because the amount of threads in the head ended up making for a pretty tightly-packed environment. In the end I used thirty individually crocheted dreads.
The effort was worth it though! Pod Pal Mynxee is all set to explore New Eden in her Upwell analyst coat while leading scores of Signaleers in adventures to seek treasure and deliver hugs to capsuleers across the cluster. She’s about three inches tall and sits by herself. ♥
Pattern based on Thor Amigurumi by Jess Newstone.