The Mamas and Papas’ arms and hands are pretty simple to crochet, once you decide exactly what you want. The sidebar “Arms” on page 141 of Cute Crochet World gives some general hints. Specific instructions for Mama’s arms begin on page 139, and Papa’s arms are on page 141.
Where you place the arm on each sleeve changes the gesture of the person. An arm high on the sleeve is waving, while an arm low on the sleeve is at rest at the person’s side.
The other decision to make is whether the arm is “hand first” or “thumb first.” When you make any arm, you make a chain. As you work back along the chain to finish the arm, “hand first” means you will crochet the hand first; and “thumb first” means the thumb will be completed first. Let’s look at a few examples.
I crocheted Lio’s left arm at the side of the sleeve, so he looks like he’s welcoming someone or about to pat someone on the back. This arm is “hand first,” because after making the initial chain, the hand is the first thing you make, and then the thumb. This arm is slightly bent, because of one decrease at the elbow—this option is given in the instructions.
Lio’s right arm hangs straight and relaxed at his side, crocheted onto the bottom of the sleeve. This arm is also “hand first.”
Irene’s left arm, crocheted into the side of her sleeve, is waving and “hand first.” Her right arm is by her side, “thumb first,” and bent.
Nils’s left arm hangs straight by his side, “hand first.” His right arm is waving, attached to the top of his sleeve, “thumb first.”
Can you figure out which comes first–the hand or the thumb—for Rog and Pam? (Answer below the photos.)
ANSWER: Rog and Pam’s left arms: “hand first;” and their right arms: “thumb first.”
You can plan this all before you start, or you can test different arms to get a better idea of how they will look. Just crochet a couple of thumb-first and hand-first arms, bent and straight. Instead of drawing up a loop in the sleeve, just begin with a slip knot on your hook.
Now you can test different arm positions before you commit. The arms are made with so few stitches, it won’t take long to take this option.
For the new Mama and Papa, I wanted to arrange their arms so her right hand could hold his left hand. She would wave with her left arm, and his right arm would be relaxed at his side.
Mama’s left arm is bent with “hand first” and her right arm is “thumb first.” Papa’s left arm is “thumb first” and his right is “hand first.” And here they are!
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One more thing. Rog and Pam have travelled with me several places for photography. They weren’t strong enough to stand on important tourist landmarks, so I stabilized them with felt. You may consider doing this, if you’re thinking of making Mamas and Papas for toys.