Nesting Dolls CAL: Matryoshka Pattern 1 – Large Doll

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Nesting Dolls CAL: Matryoshka Pattern

I am so excited about this crochet along! The response has been amazing!! So many of you have commented that you have never done a crochet along (a.k.a. CAL) before, and I am so honored that decided to join in. Let me assure you that there is nothing to be intimidated about and there is no pressure. We are here to have fun and make some new friends while challenging ourselves with a new project.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below, or in the Ravelry group, or on my Facebook page. This is a group event so if you have any tips to share or see a question that you can answer, feel free to jump right in and help. You can also share your weekly progress along the way by linking up your photos to our project gallery or by sharing your photos in the Ravelry group or my Facebook page. And again, there is no pressure, so if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your photos or joining in the chit chat, that is fine too!

Are you ready to get started?

This week we’re going to work on the large doll.  If you missed the supplies list from last week, you can click here to find it. Click here to get all the patterns as they are released or just click on the links at the bottom of the posts to go forward or back one. If you need a reference for the stitch abbreviations, you can click here for my Crochet Abbreviations Chart. Let’s go!


Stitchy Nesting Dolls Matryoshka Pattern by Amy Gaines

Stitch Guide

Sc2tog (single crochet two together)

Insert hook in next stitch, yarn overand pull up loop (2 loops on hook), insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.


✤✤ Each pattern is worked in a spiral. Place stitch marker on the last stitch of each round to mark the end of the round. Move marker up each round.

✤✤When starting each pattern, use your preferred method for making the ring, leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail: (a) adjustable ring (single or double), or (b) chain 2, then start Rnd 1 in 2nd chain from hook.


Large Doll

Finished doll measurements: bottom = 1¾” (4.5 cm) tall; top = 3¾” (9.5 cm) tall.

Gauge = 10 sc and 10 rows = 2″ (5 cm) in sc stitch.



With color B, make a ring. (For a tutorial on making a magic ring, click here.)

Rnd 1: Sc 6 times into ring—6 sc, pm in last stitch of rnd, do not turn.

Cont to move marker up each rnd.

Rnd 2: 2 Sc in each of 6 sc—12 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 3: *2 Sc in next st, sc in next st; rep from * around—18 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 4: *2 Sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts; rep from * around—24 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 5: *2 Sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 sts; rep from * around—30 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 6: *2 Sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 sts; repeat around—36 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 7: Working in back loops only, sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnd 8: * 2 Sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 sts; rep from * around—42 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 9: Sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnd 10: * 2 Sc in next st, sc in each of next 6 sts; rep from * around—48 sc, do not turn.

Rnds 11–13: Sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnd 14: *Sc2tog, sc in next each of next 6 sts; rep from * around—42 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 15: Working in back loops only, sc in each st around—42 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 16: Sc in each st around, sl st in next st, fasten off, leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail. Weave in yarn tail.



With color J, make a ring.

Rnds 1–4: Rep Rnds 1–4 of bottom—24 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 5: Working in back loops only, sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnds 6 and 7: Rep Rnds 5 and 6 of bottom—36 sc, do not turn.

Rnds 8–15: Sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnd 16: Rep Rnd 8 of bottom—42 sc, do not turn.

Rnd 17: Rep Rnd 10 of bottom—48 sc, do not turn.

Rnds 18–20: Sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnd 21: Working in back loops only, sc in each st around, do not turn.

Rnd 22: Sc in each st around, do not turn, sl st in next st, fasten off, leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail. Weave in yarn tail.



With color C, make a ring.

Rnds 1–5: Rep Rnds 1–5 of bottom, sl st in next st, fasten off, leaving a 16″ (40.5 cm) tail. Yarn tail will be used to sew face piece to top.



Ch 11.

Row 1: 2 Sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in each of the next 2 ch, [sc2tog] twice, hdc in each of the next 2 ch, 2 sc in last chain—10 sts, ch 1, turn.

Row 2: 2 Sc in first st, sc in next st, hdc in each of the next 2 sts, sc2tog, hdc in each of the next 2 sts, sc in next st, 2 sc in last

st—11 sts, turn. Sl st in next st, fasten off, leaving a 16″ (40.5 cm) tail, which will be used to sew hair to face.



Large cheek template

Arrange hair piece placing foundation edge on face edge, and sew in place with yarn tail.

With black thread and 2 large black beads, sew to face for eyes. Sew a smile with red thread. Cut two ½” (1.3 cm) circles (see diagram) of pink felt for cheeks. Sew to face with pink thread.

Arrange embellished face with hair edge along Rnd 5 of top and sew in place. Embroider flowers below face and along edge following diagram for Large Doll; use daisy stitch for flowers, French knot for centers, and straight stitch for stems.

Large Doll


←Supplies List

Medium Doll Pattern →


Stitchy Nesting Dolls were designed by Amy Gaines and appear in Bara, B. (2013). Crochet at Home: 25 Clever Projects for Colorful Living. Interweave Press. Crochet along approved and pattern reprinted with permission from Interweave Press. Photography by Joe Hancock. You can read my full review and get a peek of more of the fun projects in the book by clicking here.

 Crochet at Home can be purchased from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Interweave.

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36 Responses to Nesting Dolls CAL: Matryoshka Pattern 1 – Large Doll

  1. Linda August 5, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Thank you for doing this Kara, it’s going to be fun! I’m not sure what my dolls will look like when they are finished, probably something entirely different haha. Have printed off the instructions and will make a start when I come home from work this evening. 🙂

  2. Aida F. August 5, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Hi Kara. Thank you again for this CAL. As I posted on Ravelry, the only yarns I have available are Red Heart yarns so I hope I can use these instead. I really want to make these for my Mom. Have a great day and can’t wait to get started. 🙂

    • Sara August 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Going to use red heart too. Should be fine, maybe a bit bigger.

  3. anna August 5, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Have a nice week !

  4. Ana BC August 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    These dolls are SO CUTE!!! wow, thanks for sharing the pattern.

  5. Bea August 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I’ve printed out my first set of instructions and can’t wait to get started!
    I have two little granddaughters that will love these for Christmas!
    Thanks for doing this. And thanks to Interweave Press for giving us permission.

  6. Donna, Kamloops, BC August 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Really looking forward to making these dolls!

  7. Lottie August 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Just finished the bottom! So far, instructions are very easy to follow! Is there a way you could post a picture with something to gauge how big the finished biggest doll is? Gauge is hard for me and mine just seems bigger than yours looks in the picture…. Thanks!! This is my 1stCAL! Excited!

    • Kara August 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Hi Lottie 🙂 The instructions show that gauge as 10 sc and 10 rows = 2″ (5 cm) in sc stitch and say the large will measure bottom = 1¾”
      (4.5 cm) tall; top = 3¾” (9.5 cm) tall. I’m still working on mine so I can’t tell you how mine is measuring up. The picture on the post is from the book and are not my finished dolls. I will add the measurements to the post. Hope that helps!

  8. Jess Muller August 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    I’ve never done a CAL before, I just printed mine out, I’m starting it tonight 🙂
    Very excited, thanks for putting it together.

  9. Anabel Luna August 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Cute…you have done a great job…I haven’t make them yet….I’m making some amigurumis …..I haven’t finish them yet .I will post them next weekend of before.Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  10. Melinda August 6, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    These look wonderful…I’m in! 🙂

  11. Sara August 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I’m in too! Gotta help my 16 yr old clean his room (if nobody hears from me…send help!

  12. Jess Muller August 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Started and finished this one last night. It was so much easier than I expected. I used different colors based on what I had around and she’s so cute!

    Thanks again for doing this!

  13. Catherine August 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    So excited. This is my 1st CAL. Trying to use up some bits I have lying around. Started the bottom and ran out of the color i was using so mine are going to be striped i guess. Oh well. Each doll is unique no matter what.

  14. Megan Okimoto August 8, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I have never heard of a CAL before. What is the premise?

    These are amazingly adorable! I saw this pinned on Pinterest by a friend. I think I know what I will be doing, times three, for my daughters. I think they would just flip over these! They are not little anymore, but would totally enjoy the dolls.

    • Kara August 8, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      CAL stands for crochet along and it is when a group of people work on a project together and share their pics, help each other through, etc. Feel free to join in at any time!

      • Megan Okimoto August 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

        Ah, so it’s like incentive to get it done, or just fun for people who already would. Great idea. We’ll see if I am able to keep up. It would be good to get this done soon, so I am not scrambling at Christmas like usual! Thanks for getting such a fun project going.

  15. Perla G. August 8, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    I love CAL’s, and matrioshkas, thank you for doing it!!!
    I just finished my doll, I’ll post pictures on ravelry 😀

  16. Kadie August 9, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    This is the CUTEST CAL ever! Love it!

  17. Lorrie August 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing by way of this CAL.I’ve never participated in one so this should be fun.

    My 3 year old granddaughter Emily loves these dolls. The hairdresser has a set of wooden ones that Emily plays with while having her hair cut. Now Grandma can surprise her with a set of her own for a birthday present in November.

  18. Hwaida December 17, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Could you please send a pattern map paper of the doll if it is found in my own email.

  19. Hwaida December 17, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Because it is easy to me to knit the doll by the pattern map.

    • Kara December 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      I’m sorry, I do not 🙁

  20. Debbie Jones April 28, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Hi I am so sorry to sound a bit thick but im having trouble with following the instructions on the large doll top, it says repeat rows 1-4 of the bottom which takes you to 24 stitches then it says row 10 increase to 24 stitched. Im confused
    please help

    • Debbie Jones April 28, 2014 at 10:32 am #


      I figured it out, I printed it wrong doh lol

  21. Aida Wabbit November 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi Kara…I see you posted this Matryoshka Doll set on FaceBook today and a lady asked when this CAL would start again and I told her it was 2 years ago so my question is, is it possible to have this CAL again on Ravelry, just a suggestion and I bet alot of women would join, I’d LOVE to join again!! 🙂

    • Kara November 7, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

      Hi Aida 🙂 Sure, I think that is a great idea. I still check in with the group from time to time so people can just join in whenever they would like 🙂

  22. katherine green March 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    I purchased the book just for this pattern and then discovered there was an error in the instructions for the “hair” for the large doll in the book. A pretty big error. Super happy to have found these instructions! I am sure with time I would have figured out what I needed to do but I hate thinking that hard! I find more and more, if I see something in a book I like I can search the internet and find instructions. Thanks for sharing this 😀

  23. Laura cadinha September 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    I wish this was on YouTube. I can only crochet by videos 🙁 Beautiful work!! Love these dolls sooooooooooooooo much!!.


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