Also known as Venus in Schatulle (engl.: Venus in casket) or Venus I is one of the most prominent archaeological findings in history. The estimated 29.500 years old piece of lime rock was found about 109 years ago in the Austrian Wachau Region (Lower Austria) and is currently located in the Natural History Museum (NHM) in Vienna . Facts aside, if you are a history lover, a cultural assets’ collector or always wanted to have a Willendorf Venus at home without actually having to rob the NHM, you can now make your very own crochet Venus following my pattern below; for a jail-free curriculum vitae and a naked, 11 cm (like the original!) decoration at home.
I included a wire in the body (for the arms and legs). If you want to work without a wire, attach the arms to the breasts at the end of your work to make it look like the original.
What do you need:
- a fine to super fine yarn (at a recommended hook size of 2-2.5 mm); it is assumed that she had a white-skin colour, but I tried a lime-paint styled colour to keep it neutral
- additional curly yarn (bouclé) for her headgear. It is unknown whether she wears a headgear of basketwork or short curly hair. Thus, I used a beige coloured twisted yarn at a recommended hook size of 6-7 (e.g. Woll Butt Adela) and tried to make it look like it could fit for both
- some wadding
- tapestry needle
The body of the Venus is crocheted in one piece; for the arms a new round is started. The breasts and headgear are added at the end.
Notation: sc = single crochet / sl st = slip stitch / ch = chain / st, sts = stitch, stitches / rd = round / inc = increase / dec = decrease
Instructions: when it says “inc” it means that you have to work 2 sc in the next st; for “dec” you sc the next two sts together! For better visibility, I abbreviate “sc in next [Y] sts” as “[Y]x 1 sc”, read as [Y]-times 1 sc
1. Rd (legs): make 5 sc in a magic ring (5)
2. Rd: inc every 2nd st, starting from the inc (8)
3. Rd: sc in each st around (8)
4. Rd: inc every 4th st (10)
5. Rd: 3x 1 sc, inc, 1 sc, inc, 1 sc, inc, 2x 1 sc (13)
6. Rd: sc in each st around (13)
7. Rd: inc, 11x 1 sc, inc (15)
8. Rd: inc, 13x 1 sc, inc (17)
9. Rd: 1 sc, inc, 1, inc, 13x 1 sc (19)
10. Rd: sc in each st around; sl st last st(19)
repeat this for the other leg. After the last st, however, connect both legs by sc through the 13th-last st of the 1st leg. Ch 1.
You now work a sc in the next 3 sts of both legs to sew them together (“bottom”).
11. Rd: inc every 2nd st across the 1st leg (starting with the inc), work 1 sc in the bottom, then inc every 2nd st across the 2nd leg (starting with the inc) and work again 1 sc in the bottom on the other side (46)
12. Rd: inc every 3rd st, 1 sc in the last st (60)
13. Rd: 27x 1 sc, dec, 1 sc, dec, 28x 1 sc (58)
14. Rd: 25x 1 sc, dec, 3x 1 sc, dec, 26x 1 sc (56)
15. Rd: 12x 1 sc, dec, 3x 1 sc, dec, 8x 1sc, dec, dec, 8x 1 sc, dec, 3x 1sc, dec, 10x 1 sc (50)
16. Rd: 11x 1 sc, dec, *4x 1 sc, dec* (repeat 2x in total), 1 sc, dec, *4x 1 sc, dec* (2x), 10x 1 sc (44)
17. Rd: sc in each st around (44)
18. Rd: dec every 5th st, 1 sc in last 2 sts (37)
19. Rd: sc in each st around (37)
20. Rd: dec every 3rd st, 1 sc (28)
21. + 22. Rd: sc in each st around (28)
23. Rd: 8x 1 sc, inc, 13x 1 sc, inc, 5x 1 sc (30)
24. Rd: 8x 1 sc, inc, 13x 1 sc, inc, 7x 1 sc (32)
25. Rd: sc in each st around (32)
=> insert a wire (appr. 20 cm total length), folded, and stuff your current process with some wadding.
26. Rd (arms’ outline): 9x 1 sc, ch 5 and sc in next 2nd st (or 11th from rd begin), 14x 1 sc, chain 5 and sc in next 2nd st, 5x 1 sc (38)
26. Rd: 9x 1 sc, 5x 1 sc along ch sts, 1 sc in the transition st and continue with another 14x 1 sc, 5x 1 sc along ch sts on other side, 1 sc in the transition st and further 5x 1 sc (40)
27. Rd: 11x 1 sc, dec, 8x 1 sc, dec, 8x 1 sc, dec, 7x 1 sc (37)
28. Rd: dec every 4th st (7x), 1 sc in remaining 2 sts (30)
29. Rd: dec every 3rd st (7x), 1 sc in remaining 2 sts (23)
=> now, take a new yarn and work the arms. Make 12 rounds of 6 sc in the arm’s outline; in the 1. Rd of each arm skip the transition sts! After finishing the arms, weave in the yarn end and insert a wire (~12 cm total length), so that both arms are connected through one wire.
30. Rd: dec every 2nd st (7x), 1 sc in remaining 2 sts (16)
31. Rd: sc in each st around (16)
32. Rd (head): inc every 2nd st, starting with inc (24)
33. Rd: inc every 3rd st (32)
34. Rd: inc every 4th st (40)
35.-39. Rd: sc in each st around (40)
40. Rd: dec every 4th st (8x) (32)
41. Rd: dec every 4th st (6x), 1 sc in remaining 2 sts (26)
42. Rd: dec every 3rd st (6x), 1 sc in remaining 2 sts (20)
=> stuff the head.
43. Rd: dec every 2nd st (14)
44. Rd: dec each st and close the head
The breasts are worked opposite to each other, i.e. for the left breast work the rounds as described and for the right breast read the instructions mirrored (e.g. left: 4x inc, 4x 1 sc, 2x dec, 6x 1 sc => right: 6x 1 sc, 2x dec, 4x 1 sc, 4x inc)
1. Rd: 6 sc in magic ring (6)
2. Rd: inc each st (12)
3. Rd: inc every 2nd st (18)
4. Rd: 4x inc (i.e. inc, inc, inc, inc), 4x 1 sc, 2x dec, 6x 1 sc (20)
5. Rd: 2x 1 sc, inc, inc, 8x 1 sc, dec, dec, 4x 1 sc (20)
6. Rd: 3x 1 sc, inc, inc, 15x 1 sc (22)
Sew the breasts to the body.
Depending on the yarn weight you use, you might have to work more inc rounds and, thus, work with more sts for the neck area (after the 6.rd).
1. Rd: 5 sc in magic ring (5)
2. Rd: inc each st (10)
3. Rd: inc every 2. st (15)
4. Rd: inc every 3rd st (20)
5.+6. Rd: sc in each st around (20); after the 6.Rd you ch 1 and turn your work. Continue doing so after each of the next rounds
7.+8. Rd: 10x 1 sc, ch 1 turn (10)
9. Rd: 1 sc, dec, 4x 1 sc, dec, 1 sc, ch 1 turn (8)
10. Rd: 1 sc, dec, 2x 1 sc, dec, 1 sc, ch 1 turn (6)
11. Rd: 2x 1 sc, dec, 2x 1 sc (5)
Weave in both yarn ends and sew the headgear onto the head.
To make her resemble even more the original Willendorf Venus, I sewed a belly button and additionally tried to emphasis her belly fat and knees.
The crochet Venus in comparison to the original Willendorf Venus