Pod Pals: Beta 1.0

Some players like to collect things, particularly when those things are items which represent something they are passionate about. When it comes to EVE, the playerbase gobbles up official merchandise from CCP whenever it can. Many corporations, alliances, and coalitions have also made buttons, armbands, patches, coins, medals, pens, mousepads, mugs, and all manner of other kind of promotional materials for their members. Then there are the individual players who frequently make their talents available to create fabulous artwork, videos, logos, tshirts, posters, paintings, sketches, and more by request.

Welp. Here I am, tentatively throwing my hat into that ring.

Back in January I wrote about how winter is a good time for crafts. This came about particularly because of a couple of gifts my mother had gotten me for Christmas, one of which was a crochet kit. Once, some years before, my mother had tried to get me interested in knitting, which is a favorite pastime of hers. I tried it a few times but it never really stuck, though I did make a puppy and a doll. The doll was a character from a story I was trying to write at the time. After that, I tried to knit a doll based on my EVE character, Sakaane.

The disembodied SakDoll.

The disembodied SakDoll.

This is as far as I got: Two arms, the body, a belt, and hair. What I still had to make was the jacket. I got stuck on that, as I couldn’t find a pattern I could successfully adapt to the size of the doll. Frustrated, I gave up. As it turns out, knitting is actually fairly difficult!

But even though I had given up on knitting, I always did want to finish that Sakaane doll. Now that I know how to crochet, I am going to try again. Compared to knitting, crochet is so easy. (Famous last words?) The doll will still be based on the clothing she was wearing at the time when I bought the yarn.

Not exactly clone biomass material.

Not exactly clone biomass material.

There’s an agent mission in EVE where the pilot is charged with the Very Important Task of couriering crates of dolls from one station to another. We also know from the lore that capsuleers can and do end up with fans in the baseliner population, much like any bona fide celebrity (just one who goes out and commits mass murder on a regular basis…). Suppose the dolls inside those crates might actually be Pod Pals, cuddly stuffies of capsuleers that are bought, sold, or traded to the delight of young (or not so young) New Eden denizens everywhere. Collect them all!

She's watching you...

She’s watching you…

Progress to date. The eyes are the wrong color (green is on order) but so far, so good.

When she’s done? If she turns out well, and if people want, I will make a Pod Pal of their in-game avatar for ISK. No details about cost or anything yet; I need to successfully make Sakaane first! This post will be updated as I go. :D

Update: March 24

Progress! The doll is coming along, although I had to do the torso twice to get it to come out right, as the pattern was unclear that it is crocheted from the crotch up rather than from the neck down, so when I was done it was technically backward (colors were reversed). This might not have mattered except for how the neck and the head are stitched together, which meant that I couldn’t simply turn the body over to make it “correct”.

In the meantime, my order of safety eyes came in from 6060. I now have a fair amount of colors to choose from:

A rainbow of eyes

A rainbow of eyes…and some carrot noses

They are so pretty! The colors are quite nice too. Pearl green, pearl blue, sky blue, yellow, gold, brown, and black. Not sure I would need anything else for the Pod Pals! (The carrot noses and the big 15mm eyes are for my mother to use in her projects.)

Coming together!

Coming together!

Despite now having green safety eyes in hand, I decided I wouldn’t use any on this particular doll as it is just a test, so I stitched on eyes instead. At this stage, with the legs attached, she sits on her own without having to be propped up.

But, in doing the legs and arms and then trying to stitch the body together, I’ve become a bit dissatisfied with this pattern to the extent I feel like I should consider a different one—hence the “beta” tag in the post title. :) It’s possible I’m a bit spoiled, as the project before this one was the essentially one-piece elephant (and I know the other pattern I’m considering has the legs attached to the torso directly rather than separate). Not having to stitch limbs on and worry about positioning them evenly is always nice, whereas for this doll the limbs are quite small so it makes it fiddly to work with. Maybe I just need practice with the assembly to get the hang of it? The flip side is that if I try the other pattern (which is a bit larger and more detailed) and like it, I could potentially offer a choice of which body people want used.

Either way, it’s coming along, and I will complete the doll simply to have a finished product. I think she’ll be cute when she’s done!

Update: April 3

Pod goo wreaks havoc on capsuleer hair.

Pod goo wreaks havoc on capsuleer hair.

Here is my second attempt at hair. Looks pretty wild!

There are no pictures of the first attempt, as what I tried came out looking like the doll was wearing a blonde-colored mushroom. Fungus hair. Nope.

The second attempt was fairly easy to accomplish but isn’t a winner for this particular doll. Trying to style the yarn into the twist Sakaane wears proved basically impossible, so out it all came. She’s bald again. :(

All is not lost, though. This particular technique will work perfectly well to easily create a ponytail, whether tied high or low. It could potentially also work for short spiky hair but I’m not sure yet. However, if the capsuleer has long, loose hair, I’ll have to use a completely different technique for various reasons.

I’m trying something else now to achieve Sak’s twist. Maybe third time’s the charm?

Update: May 1

She’s finally done!


Creating doll hair with a French twist was not easy!


Pod Pal Sakaane wants to give you a hug!

Pod Pal Sakaane also had a photo shoot today with my EVE ship models. :) Have a look!

In the end it took four tries to get the hair right. As the pictures show, the doll is quite small (fits in the palm of your hand). With actual safety eyes I think the cuteness factor would go up quite substantially. However, I don’t think the jacket is a suitable accessory for this body size. The extra layer just feels too bulky. I could get lighter weight yarn for a thinner garment but my yarn stash is overflowing as it is so I need to work through that stuff first.

All in all this doll took about fifteen to twenty hours to complete, mostly because of the multiple tries at the hair. With more practice, simpler hair, and no jacket I think I could get it down to around ten hours or less. I’m fairly happy with how she turned out and will consider using the pattern again if someone wants this one, but I’m also still keen to give another pattern a try for comparison. Onward, to version 2.0!