For my nephew’s 3rd birthday, I wanted to make him something special, and, in particular, I really wanted to crochet him something. His older sister has had a couple more years to benefit from my crafting ways since clothes are easier to make and she’s been aware of the world far longer. I started by thinking about what he likes to play with and the obvious answer was trucks. But could I crochet a truck and what kind? I thought long and hard and realized that his sister is pretty special to him and she’s going to kindergarten in the fall at the local school instead of where she’s been attending pre-school. Finally, it dawned on me, “A school bus, that’s what I’ll make! It’s not too complicated, it’s brightly colored, it has distinguishing marks, and it’s applicable to the coming year.”
My first stop as always was to do an internet search for existing patterns. I found some photos but no free patterns. I decided to sketch out the bus on a piece of paper and then crochet to the shape. As I crocheted, I made notations on the sketch so I could type up a pattern later. Of course the shapes were curled on the ends, so I washed and blocked them to get them flat, as seen in the photo to the right. This method of construction worked fairly well, but there were a few challenges:
1. It is hard to visualize the sheer size in 3D relative to a 2D design. It was a little bigger than I had expected, but that was okay.
2. I should have researched the shape of a school bus more thoroughly before sketching it and not in between sketch and crochet because I ended up changing the pattern a bit – trying to add some curve to the top – and that didn’t look as good as I would have liked in the end. And details like windows would have looked more accurate if I had done more research on buses and less on bus patterns.
3. Amigurumi projects, which I consider this bus to be of a variety of amigurumi, are better for objects in the round. Square objects with right angle corners are not as easy as they tend to bulge in the middle.
Overall, though, I was sufficiently pleased with how well this method worked, though exhausted by the time I was working on the details as it took me about 2 weeks to complete.
Some of the details I added were embroidering School Bus on the front and back (didn’t have room for the whole word, so split it up), an Exit door, a more detailed side door, a grill on the front, the black horizontal striping, adding his last name as the “school district name,” outlining the doors and windows and putting the split in the middle where the window drops down, adding lights, and huge wheels.
Below are photos of the end result. I think he liked it. It’s hard to tell, he’s shy, but the adults were pleased and my sister-in-law suggested it could be his new pillow. My brother-in-law is a school counselor so he said that when my nephew has outgrown it, he’d put it in his office at work (assuming it still looks decent by then, maybe I’ll make him his own when he finishes his PhD program).