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

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

8 Crochet Tools You Don't Need to Buy

You don't need to buy these crochet and amigurumi tools because you already have them laying around the house! =D

1. Stitch Markers

Paper clips

Paper clips make excellent stitch markers and they seem to live in every house!

2. Safety Eyes Placement Tool

Scissor protector

As I've shared previously I use the blade protector from a scissor to attach my safety eyes. It's a tool I already have and it's easy on the fingers.

Clothepins

Another object that can be used with the same technique as the blade protector is a clothespin. Chose one that is sturdy, has flat sides and that has a hole big enough for the post of the eye to slide through.

3. Bag/Case for Projects and Tools

Backpack

Use your old backpack from school! If you don't have yours anymore maybe you can use one that your kids don't use anymore.

You can also use an old beach bag or even make your own! =D

If you want to know how I organize my backpack, check it out here!

4. Ball Winder

Hands

A great ball winder that you always have are your hands! Check out this tutorial on how to wind a center pull ball by hand! Of course this is best if we only need to wind a small amount of yarn, if you need to wind a great amount of yarn regularly go ahead and buy the wider! =) 

5. Hook Organizer

Makeup brush organiser

I think we must all have that cheap makeup brush organiser that came as a gift with something else that we bought and we never use. This is a great way to finally put it to good use!

Pencil case

You can also use an old pencil case from your school days or one that the kids don't use anymore.

Zip lock bag

Or a zip lock bag that came with something you bought.

6. Yarn Holder

I usually have my yarn inside a cloth bag so my yarn balls don't run from me, but another simple way to achieve this is to simply place the yarn we are working with inside a bowl! 

Pinterest is full of creative do it yourself ideas for yarn holders, check them out! =D

7. Stuffing Tool

Hook

Always with you, the trusty hook can also serve as a stuffing tool.

Use its flat end to push the stuffing down. Especially useful to stuff thin amigurumi pieces! 

8. Pellets

To make your amigurumi heavier use those decorative stones that you bought but never used. I think we all got those. =P

Another thing you can use is smooth stones from the beach or river. Remember to wash them first! =) 

Hope you find the tips useful! =D

How to... Work with T-shirt Yarn

Hello fellow crafty buddies! =D

I love making t-shirt yarn projects, but working with this type of yarn can be hard on your hands and wrists and that's why I completely change my technique when working with it.

I usually use the pencil hold to hold my hook when crocheting, but due to the thickness of the yarn and the amount of strength I need to make to crochet, this is very hard on my wrists. 

Instead I use the knife hold (in the photo), this allows me to use more my arm instead of my wrist and I can make the strength I need without hurting.

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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... Crochet All Around

Crocheting all around, or crocheting evenly around, is usually used as a way of evening out the edges of a flat piece and give it a more finished and neat look.

Sometimes is used to add details like in the signs for the Heart Shaped Flowers

The goal is to work the stitches in such a way that they are evenly spaced around the piece and we have the same number of stitches on the top and bottom, and on both sides.

Crocheting evenly all around

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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!

How to... Make Curly Hair with Acrylic Yarn

After the last Light Bulb edition I was left wondering about the people that, for some reason, don't use 100% wool yarn. 

The technique I talked about last time called for 100% wool yarn and so I set myself the goal to find a way to get the curly hair with acrylic yarn. =)

I tried out four new different ways and used the same technique as last time, now with acrylic yarn, as the control. Then I recorded the result, left it alone for 8 hours and took pictures once again for comparison.

All the needles used in the different experiments are 5,5mm (0,22 inches) knitting needles.

The Control: Wet Acrylic Yarn 

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