Hootworthy had the pleasure of speaking with 10th grade GCA Champion Zeke, who crochets fictional character figurines as a hobby. He got into this unique hobby because of his mom, who created her own crocheting business and taught Zeke how to crochet when he was 7 years old. His crocheting enjoyment, interest, and skill hasn’t stopped growing since. During the show, he surprised us with a crocheted Champ figurine made for the podcast.
Zeke highlighted the crocheting materials and process of creating a figurine. The main materials are his crochet hook, yarn, and polyester fill. His process begins by making the pieces one at a time starting with the legs. As he works his way up he is always thinking about the “magic circle”—the guide for creating the figurine where the yarn builds and builds upon itself. After he creates one piece of the figurine, he must cut it, lay it aside, and then begin the next piece. Once he has all the pieces completed, he can sew them together to create the completed figurine. Zeke referred to this approach as “sculptural”. Before using this method, he would usually do a single crocheted piece that builds upon itself, like his first attempt at Toon Link, but the proportions would never turn out as good. He emphasized the importance of getting the figurine’s head right because, as he mentioned, the head “makes or breaks the figurine”.
Zeke loves making these figurines as gifts for his family and friends, which is one of the main reasons he does it. He also loves getting to bring some of his favorite fictional characters to life through crocheting these figurines. He mentioned that his favorite figurine was a Mother’s Day gift for his mom, Darkwing Duck. He explored a different method for the face—rather than making one big oval he crocheted four different pieces that were sewn together to make the face. He also had to do a little cloth sewing for the cape.
Zeke shared two things that make crocheting these figurines challenging. First is getting the head just right, by making sure all the proportions are spot on, like the hair, eyes, mouth, and nose—if one is off, the head is ruined! The second is making sure all the pieces fit or work together. Before he sews the figurine together, he places the pieces together to make sure everything looks proportional, but if a piece looks off or wrong, he must redo the piece, like if the legs are too long for example.
When asked about student life at GCA, he expressed how much he appreciates all the available resources and how great and helpful the teachers are. He thinks that it would be very difficult for him not to succeed given the number of materials and support available. He wanted to shout out his mom for teaching him how to crochet and getting him into crocheting in the first place and his siblings for encouraging him in his hobby. Keep soaring, Zeke, and we cannot wait to see what you crochet next!