Journalist mastering crochet

TV reporter quits smoking, learns to make dolls with souls

Her practice with a microphone was not in vain - the journalist is very skilful with crochet hooks as well. Vesselina Bozhilova, a career TV journalist, is getting into a new craft - she crochets dolls. During the last year, she devoted her leisure time to crocheting toys. This hobby helps her relax after a busy day full of all kinds of events.

Bozhilova graduated from St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia where she majored in TV journalism and for 36 years has been faithful to her vocation working with a microphone, dictaphone and camera. For 15 years she has been a team member of the Radio and Television Centre in Plovdiv.

She learnt to knit when a child, but it was knitting with two needles. She tackled it after reading The Wild Swans, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Little Vesselina was worried that if she had brothers she wouldn't be able to knit coats for them and the evil queen would cast a spell on them. Five years ago she quit smoking and replaced cigarettes with a crochet hook to keep her hands and mind busy and get rid of thoughts about cigarettes. She was making shawls, handbags, flowers and baby blankets with crocheted applications until her friends asked her to make some toys. So it all started. She likes it very much, mostly because the toys are entirely her own models which she creates spontaneously. Vesselina admits that it took her almost five years to tackle the crocheting technique. Now she does it mostly when she feels too nervous. Shortly after being inundated with orders, she started making all kinds of toys, mainly dolls and animals, working with only natural materials.

“They are motley, smiley, goggle-eyed, dressed in coloured skirts and strapped shorts, always loved by children and their parents. These are dolls with souls. Something for cuddling, something that helps you,” this is how the author defines her oeuvres.

“I do not follow any specific pattern when I work and never make sketches for a project in advance. I just start and make a doll as I go, never thinking twice if I have to undo it and start over in case I don't like something about it. The important moment comes when the doll is 'ready to talk to me',” Vesselina says.

Along with her hobby, Vesselina Bozhilova learnt something more about crocheted dolls. It is an ancient Japanese craft dating back to the 12th century that was called Amigurumi, which translated from Japanese means “crocheted stuffed toys”. The original Japanese toys were about 5 to 7cm big, but in Japan they became popular in larger sizes after WWII when parents made toys for their children themselves. In 2003 dolls crocheting became a fashion around the world.

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