Amigurumi Tutorial: Zombie Finger

Autumn is here, the leaves are changing, the air is humid and fresh, and all the fun holidays are coming! =D

The first one to sneak up on us is Halloween! (Boo!) If you're plotting a party you know you need one of these: a spooky fun amigurumi zombie finger!

Follow along the video tutorial below and make your own! =D

On the next video we'll attach the nail to the finger, shape the finger and add a little detail to make it even more ghoulish! =D  

Don't forget to share your creations!

 

How to... Linked Double Crochet

Learn how to make one of my favorite stitches, the linked double crochet! =D

The fabric resulting from the linked double crochet isn't as loose as one worked with double crochets but it's still soft and not as stiff or bulky as one worked with single crochets.

The linked double crochet is the same height as a double crochet so it works up quickly!

 

A great stitch to know and to use! =D

 

How to... Crochet a Pill Shaped Amigurumi Piece

The pill shaped amigurumi pieces are great to make arms, legs, tails, snakes or any elongated piece you would like! =)

Learn how to crochet a pill shaped amigurumi piece following these simple rules:

1. Start with a flat circle

Crochet a flat circle with the width you want your "pill" to have.

2. Work up

Work more rounds without increases or decreases than the ones where you increased. For example if you increased for 4 rounds work, at the very least, 5 rounds without decreasing or increasing. The more rounds you work this way the longer your "pill" will be.

3. Decrease to close

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

4. Close and finish off

Close the opening and finish off securing the yarn.

The "pill" is complete and ready to be used! =)

 

 

How to... Crochet an Amigurumi Ball

Balls are a very useful form to crochet for your amigurumi! They make great heads, eyes, embellishments, bodies... the imagination is the limit! =)

To crochet an amigurumi ball follow these simple rules:

1. Start with a flat circle

Crochet a flat circle to the width you want your ball to have.

2. Work up

Work the same amount of rounds with no decreases or increases as the number of rounds you increased on. For example: if you started by increasing on 5 rounds, now you need to work 5 rounds without increasing or decreasing.

3. Decrease to close

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

4. Close and finish off

Close the opening and finish off securing the yarn.

And that's it! Your ball is finished and ready to use! =D

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… Join with Single Crochet

Learn how to join a different yarn, with a single crochet, to your work.

This technique is very useful when you want to add a different color to the beginning of a row. You don't need to chain in the beginning of that row which gives it a smooth edge.

Have you used this technique before? Did you like it or not?

How to… Work in the Back Loop Only

Learn how to work in the back loops only!

Working in the back loops only allows you to add texture to your work in a very simple way. It's a very useful technique to know to create amigurumi shapes that need sharp corners!

This technique can be used with all crochet stitches!

Hope this tutorial helps you! Leave comments, questions and suggestions in the comments bellow! =D

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… Invisible Decrease

Learn how to make the invisible decrease.

The invisible decrease is a neat way of turning two stitches of the previous round or row into just one stitch in the round or row you are working on.

The invisible decrease is almost impossible to distinguish from the other stitches, it doesn't leave gaps or bumps and creates an even work.

How to… Extended Single Crochet

Learn how to make the extended single crochet (esc).

This is my favorite crochet stitch to use when making clothes for my amigurumi!

The extended single crochet is a variation of the single crochet. It has double the height of the single crochet and a texture that reminds me of knitting.

The extended single crochet creates a closed fabric that drapes nicely.


How to... Magic Ring

The Magic Ring, or Adjustable Ring, is a technique used in crochet to begin a work in the round.

The Magic Ring is a very useful technique when making amigurumi, the ring closes completely unlike the chain two method. 

I prefer to make my Magic Ring with two loops, instead of just one, because I feel that its grip on the stitches is tighter and more secure.

Hope this helps you! If you have any questions let me know!

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... Relax Yarn

In this matter yarn is a bit like ourselves, to relax it just give it a warm bath! ^^

Preparing the Yarn

First we need to prepare the yarn so that it doesn't get tangled.

Relaxing yarn 1

1. Get your frogged yarn.

2. Bend your arm at the elbow, grab one end of the yarn and wrap it behind your arm.

3. Continue to wrap the yarn under the arm, through the front and up again on top of the hand.

4. Wrap all your yarn around the arm and hand.

5. Gently take the yarn from your arm and tie it in two points opposite to each other using a yarn of a contrasting colour. 

Relaxing the Yarn

Relax yarn

Fill a basin or sink with warm water and place the yarn inside completely covered with water. Let it soak for at least 20 minutes.

Take the yarn out and let the water seep above the basin. Using a towel gently squeeze the yarn to take the excess water. Don't twist or wring the yarn.

Relaxing yarn 1

Hang the yarn around the neck of a hanger and let it dry in the shade.

Relaxing yarn 2

After it is thoroughly dried, the yarn is ready for your next project! =D