How to... Make a Square in Continuous Rounds

A crochet square can be used as an accessory or an aplique but most useful in amigurumi it can be used as the base for a cube or other cuboid shapes.

As my preferred way of making amigurumi is in continuous rounds or spirals I also prefer to make squares, that are going to be turned into 3d shapes, in the round.

To learn how to make a square working in spirals watch the video below!

To crochet a square in the round:

- Work 4 single crochets into the Magic Ring;

- Work 3 single crochets on all stitches of the previous round;

- Keep working up to the desired size always keeping in mind the 2 rules:

  1. Always work the corners in the middle stitch of the corner of the previous round, and
  2. The stitches between the corners always increase by 2 from round to round.

Next week I'll turn this square into a cube! Make sure you don't miss it!

How to... Join with a Double Crochet

Learn how to join a new yarn to your crochet work using the double crochet stitch.

With this technique you can add the new yarn in any stitch of your work and you don't need to chain to do it!

How to... Slip Stitch All Around

How to work all around the edges with the slip stitch on a crochet piece that was worked in rows.

I use this technique on crochet pieces that are going to be attached to other crochet works or amigurumi. It gives me a tidy edge and a way to make my sewing stitches without being messy.

In the next video I will share how to attach a flat crochet piece that was worked in rows to another. Stay tuned!

How to... Crochet an Amigurumi Cylinder

The cylinder is very useful when you want to make shapes that stand on its own. You can use it to make feet, legs, long bodies, hats, barrels, cups... 

Learn how to crochet a cylinder by using these simple rules:

1. Start with a flat circle

Crochet a flat circle with the diameter you want your cylinder to have.

2. Work up and on the back loop

Work without increases or decreases into the back loops only.

3. Increase height

Work without increases or increases until you reach the height you want for your cylinder.

4. Decrease to close

Decrease evenly around on all rounds until you have 8 to 6 stitches.

Important: the first round of decreases must be worked into the back loops.

5. Close and finish off

Close the opening and finish off securing the yarn.

The cylinder is complete and ready to be used! =)

 

How to... Crochet a Flat Circle

Learn how to crochet a flat circle using these simple rules! 

All you need to do is follow this simple rules:

1. Start with the right number of stitches

If you start with too many stitches your work will become wavy, and if you start with too few your work will bunch up into a cup.

The taller the stitch you're using the more stitches you need to start with:

- If you're crocheting with single crochet start with 6 to 8 stitches.

- If you're crocheting with half double crochet start with 8 to 10 stitches.

- If you're crocheting with double crochet start with 12 to 14 stitches.

The number of stitches you start with may vary depending on your tension and the yarn you're using.

2. Increase evenly on all rounds

Increase the same amount of times as the number of stitches in your first round.

Have the same number of stitches between the increases throughout the round.

For example, if you're working with single crochet and started with 6 stitches your work will look like this:

Round 1: 6 single crochets into the Magic Ring (6st)

Round 2: increase on all stitches (12st)

Round 3: (1 single crochet, 1 increase) x 6 (18st)

Round 4: (2 single crochet, 1 increase) x 6 (24st)

...

Notice how on every round there's one more stitch between the increases, and how the total number of stitches at the end of each round keeps increasing in multiples of 6.

And that's all you need to know to crochet a flat circle with single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet! Use this technique when you want to make crochet flowers, bags, bowls, mandalas and even some amigurumi pieces where you want the finished project to stand upright!

How to… Needle Join

The needle join is also known as invisible join, to learn how to make it check out the video below!

The needle join is great for pieces worked in spirals because it's almost invisible and it leaves a smooth edge.

Hope it helps you! If you have suggestion or ideas for future videos please leave them in the comments below! Thank you! =)

How to… Change Color

One of the things that bother me the most in crochet is seeing exactly where a color change was made. Today I want to share with you several techniques I learned to change color in your amigurumi and their pros and cons. Lets start!

Basic color change

Crochet changing colors tutorial

1. Work your last stitch until you have two loops on your hook.

2. Finalize the last stitch with the new colored yarn.

3. Continue to work as usual.

In this technique you can see very clearly where the change was made, the colors end and start abruptly and on different heights. I only use this technique to add more yarn of the same color, and when I'm absolutely sure that the change is not going to be seen in the finished buddy.

Slip stitch plus back loops

How to change colors in crochet

1. Like in the previous technique finalize your last stitch with the new color. Insert your hook into the next stitch only grabbing the back loop (the one farther from you).

2. Work a slip stitch.

3. Finish the round working slip stitches all around and only in the back loops.

4. Insert your hook into the next stitch only grabbing the back loop and single crochet. Finish this round working single crochets all around and only in the back loops. 

5. Continue to work as usual.

Using this technique makes a very crisp color change, but you can still see where the change was made and they are still on different heights. Also I don't like the horizontal bumps (the front loops of the slip stitches) in the second color.

With simple modifications these can be minimized:

Changing color tutorial

1. Slip stitch plus back loops.

2. Slip stitch plus back loops, first modification: The only difference is that the last stitch worked with the first color is a slip stitch. This modification brings the height of the last stitch down making the color change less abrupt.

3. Slip stitch plus back loops, second modification: The only difference is that the first round of single crochets with the second color was worked in both loops of the slipstitches. This eliminates the horizontal bumps of the second color.

At this point I have to say that another thing that really bothers me in crochet is change of texture that is not intentional. The only situation I can see myself using any variation of this technique is where I want to make a clear demarcation between different parts of my buddies, like between clothes and skin (socks to skin, panties or shorts to skin). Another thing I don't like in this technique is the extra round we need to make which means we spend more yarn and time on it, and that brings me to my favorite technique for changing yarn color. =)

Slip stitch and needle join

Crochet invisible join tutorial

1. Work all the stitches as usual with the first color up to the next to last stitch.

2. For your last stitch work a slip stitch to bring the heigh of the stitches down.

3. Cut the yarn leaving a long tail and make a needle join (aka invisible join).

4. Make a slip knot on your hook with the second color.

5. Join the second yarn to your piece with a slip stitch.

6. Work the rest of the round as usual.

7. Work the first stitch of the next round in the same space of the slip stitch worked with the second color.

8. Complete the single crochet.

9. Continue to work as usual.

With this technique the change of color is more undefined, we don't waste yarn in stitches that are not going to be seen and it's simple! I use this technique if I want to change color once or twice in my buddies. And if I want to have that clear demarcation between clothes and skin I just work in the back loops for the first round with the second color!

Comparing all the techniques:

Color changing methods

1. Basic color change.

2. Slip stitches plus back loops.

3. Slip stitches plus back loops, first modification.

4. Slip stitches plus back loops, second modification.

5. Slip stitch plus needle join.

6. Slip stitch plus needle join, first round of second color worked in the back loop.

The last two are definitely my favorites! The first one I only use when adding more yarn of the same color, and I don't think I ever used the other three for the reasons I stated above! But if I need to change colors more than once or twice, to make stripes, my all-time favorite technique is still the Barber Pole or Helix stripes!

Hope you find these helpful!

If you have suggestions for what the next tutorial should be or any questions leave a comment below! =)

 

How to...Baby Safe Amigurumi Eyes

Lately I've been doing a lot of buddies for babies. The safety eyes used for amigurumi are hard and the baby can get hurt, these buddies need to be completely soft.

I tried out several ways of making baby safe amigurumi eyes. Some methods I didn't like the end result and others weren't consistent.

The following methods are what I came up with. =)

Baby safe crochet eyes for dolls: How to crochet completely soft eyes that are safe for babies, with no hard parts.  #buddyrumi #crochet #crocheteyes #amigurumi #amigurumieyes #babysafe #softeyes #amigurumidoll #crochetdoll #crochettutorial

1. The eyes for my buddies usually have a white background, but you can use the same techniques directly on your amigurumi. Make sure you are using yarn made specific for babies.

2. Insert the needle in a space on top of the first round of the white background. Secure the tail in the back.

3. Insert the needle, going to the back, in a space opposite to the first one.

4. Insert the needle, from the back, in the same space as in Step 2.

5. Insert the needle, to the back, in a spot a little bit to the side of the space you used in Step 3.

6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until a majority of the eye is covered.

7. Insert the needle, from the back, in a spot where the eye isn't covered already. Change directions, if before you were working vertically, now work horizontally. 

8. Insert the needle, to the back, into a space opposite to the one in Step 7.

9. Repeat Steps 4 to 6 until the center is completely covered.

10. Make small stitches around the black yarn to make it rounder.

11. With a fine weight white yarn, sew a few stitches on top of the black yarn to give more "life" to the eyes.

Baby safe crochet eyes

With this method I can have soft eyes that are around 9mm across which is the size that I use the most.

Baby safe oval eyes

Here I used the same technique off center of the white background. To give the pupil the oval shape I made vertical stitches only, with the one in the center being the taller one.

Crochet cat wallet

The second method I like to use is to simply crochet the pupil. I usually use this method for buddies that have bigger eyes.

Owl crochet wallet

And if you want you can make the pupil even bigger just by adding another round, like I did for Mr. Owl. =)

Hope you find these helpful! =D

How to... Cut a Tail that is Always Long Enough

When a pattern tells you to "leave a long tail" at the end of a piece it means that you need to cut the working yarn long enough to close the piece and/or sew it to another piece of your amigurumi. Below I share the steps I take to ensure that my tail is long enough!

For pieces that don't need to be closed:

Tail 1

1. Grab your working yarn and run it along the edges of your work.

2. Mark the length you got in Step 1 and double it.

Tail 3.jpg

3. Cut a little bit further from the length you got in Step 2 just to be sure.

For pieces that need to be closed:

Tail 4.jpg

1. Bring the working yarn across the opening that it's going to be closed.

2. Bring the yarn across back to the beginning.

3. Mark the length you got in Step 2 and double it. 

4. Cut a little bit further from the length you got in Step 3 just to be sure.

I always follow these steps and always have enough yarn tail to close and/or sew my amigurumi pieces. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! =D

Have a crafty weekend! =D

How to... Finish Off Perfectly

Hello crafty friends! =D

Today I want to share with you a life saver!

Sometimes when assembling a buddy, specially if its pieces are of different colors, we try to hide our finish off in places that we know that are not going to be seen, like where other pieces are going to be attached.

In the years I've been making buddies I started to notice that sometimes the finish off would slip right inside the piece, but other times it just seemed that it didn't want to go in.

I wanted to make sure that I had a perfect finish off every time, so I started to take notice on what I was doing.

Here is the result of the observations I made: a finish off that slides inside the piece every time! Check it out! =)

I use the single crochet stitch for the bodies of my buddies, so this technique is specific to pieces built with the single crochet stitch.

Master Finish Off.jpg

1. Orient your piece in such a way that the single crochet stitches are upside-down making them look like little upside-down "v"s. Make the tail come out between two single crochet, in bottom part of the little "v"s. 

2. Insert the needle under the closest loop of the single crochet to the left. Pull bringing the yarn to the back of the loop.

3. Insert the needle under the same loop a second time.

4. Pull the yarn until it creates a loop. Insert the needle in the middle of the loop.

5. Pull yarn creating a knot.

6. Insert the needle into the same space where it first came out in step 1.

7. Make the needle come out opposite to that space and pull the yarn to the back.

8. Bring the needle to the front and insert it under the loop where the knot was made. Hold the needle in place, placing two fingers under it. Pull the tail, in the back, to the back making the knot slip inside the piece without pulling the stitch with it.

9. Cut the yarn in the back. The yarn is secured and the knot out of sight.

Using this technique we can finish off anywhere in the piece without worrying if it's going to be seen.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! =D

How to... Slip stitch before Needle Join

Today's Light Bulb is simple but precious, and a technique I use all the time:

Always slip stitch before you Needle Join (aka Invisible join)! =)

Why should you make that extra step? Lets compare two finished pieces, one without the slip stitch and another with the slip stitch.

Needle Join

Needle Join.jpg

If you needle join immediately after the last stitch of the round there is a harsh inclination from the last stitch to where the needle join finishes. 

Slip stitch plus Needle join

Slip stitch and Needle Join.jpg

The slip stitch brings the height of the last stitch down before making the needle join. The end of the piece is smoother and the finish off is not so apparent.

In the same manner, if I'm working with a taller stitch, like the half double crochet, the last three stitches I make are two single crochets and one slip stitch to bring the height of the stitches down, and only then I make the needle join.

Give it a go and let me know what you think! 

And if you love it like it, pin it, share it! =D

How to... Crab Stitch 3 ways

Hello crafty friends!

The Crab Stitch, or the Reverse Single Crochet Stitch, is a wonderful and simple way to finish up the edges on a piece. It gives our work a more careful and though out appearance.

The Crab Stitch is worked in the opposite direction that we usually work. If you are right handed the Crab Stitch will be worked from left to right, and if you are left handed the Crab Stitch will be worked from right to left.

I know that for some working in the opposite direction can be confusing so I want to share two ways you can achieve similar looks working in the usual direction. =)

I will also show how to make the Crab Stitch in case you want to try it out! =)

Note: In the tutorials below I use two different colors for clearness purposes, you can work this stitches with the same yarn you were working before.

Crab Stitch or Reverse Single Crochet

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How to... Stubborn Safety Eyes

Hello crafty crowd!!! =D

Today I want to show you how to save your fingertips from that menace that is the stubborn safety eye!

As you know I recently bought some safety eyes, but with these ones came washers that I had never seen before (shown in the picture). As I tried them out I became really frustrated with the washers because they are really hard to put on.

I decided that they weren't going to ruin my amigurumi making and so I set myself up to find an easy way to put them on!

Check out the tutorial below to find out how! =)

 

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How to... Customise Safety Eyes

Recently I've ordered some clear safety eyes, I wanted to play around with customizing them as I needed them instead of buying lots of eyes of different colours.

I ended up experimenting with nail polish, I have lots and lots of nail polish and I though some of them would make great eye colours for my amigurumi projects. First I used some I already had and then, when checking the results I bought some really cheap ones to experiment some more! =D

I just use the brush that comes with the nail polish to paint the back of the clear part of the eyes. Make sure you don't have to much polish on the brush or it will smudge the front of the eye.

Painting safety eyes amigurumi

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How to... Finish Off

Certainly you've come across this term when following patterns, but what does it mean and how to go about it? Fear not! Today I'm going to demonstrate several methods to finish off your work!

Finish off just means to cut the working yarn and finalize our work in such a manner that it won't unravel.

Note: If the pattern indicates to "leave a long tail" make sure that you do before cutting the yarn, that tail is going to be used later, probably to attach that piece to another. 

Cut and pull

As you can guess by the name this method just involves cutting the working yarn and pulling it until the end of the yarn becomes loose. 

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How to... Yarn Hair

I noticed that most of my amigurumi that have hair are girls, the only boy that has hair is FrankenPurse which has a wig that I crocheted with boucle yarn and sewn to its head! So I decided to try out different ways we could style the hair for amigurumi boys. Tutorial Boy volunteered to help me! =)

I cut a few pieces of yarn and attached it to Tutorial Boy's head and the fun began!

Amigurumi Yarn Hair 2.jpg

We tried out many styles! We tried crazy (1), emo (2), pretty boy (3), slicked back (4), punk (5), and messy (6). For the messy look I split the finer threads that make up the yarn.

But we didn't stop here!

Amigurumi Yarn Hair 3.jpg

I used a dog grooming brush with wire bristles to comb Tutorial Boy's hair, I used a piece of cardboard to protect his face (1). Combing the hair with the dog grooming brush gave us an Einstein like effect (2)! We tried to tame it (3), but it just wanted to stay up! We also tried the punk look again and found that the mohawk had more hold this way (4 and 5).

What's your favorite style?

Do you have more styles you want Tutorial Boy to try? Share them in the comments below!