Amigurumi

The Willendorf Venus (11 cm)

Willendorf_VenusI-crochetedb

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 [1]. 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, sew 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; I used a hook size of 2.0 mm); to resemble the original, I tried a lime-paint styled colour
  • 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
  • (wiring)
  • some wadding
  • tapestry needle
  • scissors

Skill level: easy

Get the free pattern for crochet Willendorf Venus here (edited).

Willendorf_VenusI-c
The crochet Venus in comparison to the original Willendorf Venus
Liked it?
onpost_follow

59 comments

    1. Brilliant ❤️ This is fabulous Trisha,I’m trying to work out whether this is made in English or American crochet as the instructions are slightly different i.e. Single crochet differs from the outset. Thanks 🙏🏼 very much

      1. Thank you! It’s thoroughly in US crochet terminology. I’ll add the info to the pattern description, thx for the hint!

    1. Here is a lengthy, detailed, article claiming that it is a cap, and that there are many other similar examples of prehistoric carvings. https://www.unl.edu/rhames/%EE%80%80courses%EE%80%81/current/venus1.pdf
      “The head of the Willendorf figurine offers the clearest
      evidence that what we see here is a depiction of headgear—a
      fiber-based woven cap or hat—rather than a
      hairdo, as posited by scholars from Sollas (1924 [1911])
      onward, or a cap made of shells, as suggested by Abramova
      (1960). Our close examination of this specimen
      shows a spirally or radially hand-woven item which may
      be initiated by a knotted center in the manner of some
      kinds of coiled baskets (see Adovasio 1977: figs. 99a–b).
      The technique represented is a two-element structure in
      which an apparently flexible, horizontal foundation element
      or warp is vertically wrapped with stem stitches.”

    1. Glad you like it! Write me anytime in case you have questions regarding the pattern

  1. Magical. Thoroughly impressed with your pattern instructions, and you captured the essence of the Willendorf Venus beautifully. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I’m having trouble figuring out how to connect the legs. Are there any more detailed instructions?

    1. I admit the connection part of my instruction isn’t very precise. I’m doing to correct that. Perhaps, this explanation helps for now: on the pics between the 10th+11th rd in the pattern, the Venus’s knees are facing you. Thus, the 1st leg is to your left (the Venus’s right), the leg you finish with is to your right (the Venus’s left). When stitching both legs together, you work from the direction of the Venus’s butt to the knees. You can do the conn sts anyhow, important is: from the last sc of the leg you finish with (the Venus’s left), stitch through a sc of the other leg (the Venus’s right), I then added a ch st to facilitate further stitching, and work 3 more sc backwards (in the direction of the knees), sc stitching through both legs at once. You finish at the level in-between her knees and continue with the 11th rd, starting from the Venus’s right. Does that help?

  3. What size crochet hook do you use for the body? I’m sure it’s in there somewhere…this pattern is genius, and you’re a treasure for sharing it. <3

    1. I’m glad you like it! I actually didn’t have my hook size in there, I edited it into the pattern now as well, thank you for the hint. I used a 2.0 mm hook size to create a dense pattern

  4. I love this so much! I don’t crochet though- anyone up for making a knitted version?

  5. Very impressive and I love how it is related to an actual piece of historic art. Can’t wait to try making this one. Thank you for sharing your time, your talent and your creativity, as well as some historical information. Hope to see more items like this from you.

    1. Thank you! Seeing this piece getting so much attention even from non-crocheters (who then want to try it) does motivate me to think of similar projects.
      Feel free to get in touch with me any time in case you have questions regarding the pattern!

  6. This is great, one thing though she isn’t white, her “headgear” as you call it is her hair, she s black which has long been ignored by the white men who wrote about her.

    1. The lead author of the lengthy article I quoted above about her cap, if that’s what it is, was a woman, though admittedly, she may well be white, I don’t know. And, full disclosure: I am a white man. But I apologize for turning this partly into an argument about interpreting archaeological artifacts. I’ve always liked the Venus of Willendorf, and I love your crocheted Venus, whatever that is on her head!

      1. I find the article interesting and well placed here, as well as any other form of contribution and own interpretations from archaeological connoisseurs, thank you for sharing it! At least, a discussion about historic culture motivates others and me to dig in deeper into current research, and that’s good

    2. Thank you for the hint! I edited the skin-colour out. If she’s black, then it makes sense, though, that the headgear is actually her hair

  7. A friend posted this on FB for me. How perfect! Can’t wait to try it, thank you. My profile pic is of the Willendorf Venus in a Wonder Woman costume LOL

  8. My archeologist husband and his professional friends all want one of these! I’ll be busy for a while! GREAT pattern!

    1. Thx! Hope your husband doesn’t have so many of such friends?! 😉
      Then, happy crochet and write me any time in case you get stuck

  9. I think scholars try to analyze simplicity, why not just enjoy the piece of art, possibly made by a child in their eyes.

    1. Hmm, good question, I didn’t really take notice of that. It was less than a standard yarn ball of 50g. Probably some 30-35g…

  10. You are a godess for doing this!! Can’t wait to make several! Thank you sooooo much!!!

  11. Waiting for your pattern of a lifesize. Michelangelo’s David! Keep up the good work

  12. My husband who is a sculptor made a ceramic version of the venus while at university; I’ve told him a crochet one is his next birthday present to sit next to his on the bookshelf. And for all my girlfriends too. She’s fabulous!

Leave a Reply