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... 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... 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!

Organising Yarn

When I started to crochet I made this basket to stash the yarn I bought, but as I bought more and more yarn it was getting hard to find what I needed and I never new what I had. 

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How to... Make Amigurumi Eyes with Yarn

Today I wanted to show you that you don't need to use the safety eyes in your amigurumi, you can have fun and cute eyes with just a strand of yarn.

This is specially useful if you don't want round eyes in your amigurumi, if you are making the doll for a baby or small child, or simply because you like to try different things =)

Eyes yarn.jpg

You can have him sick (1), happy (2), sleeping (3) or with its eyes shut (4). You can even embroider two French knots and you get two round eyes (5), or a French knot and a dash and you get a winking amigurumi!

All this with just a small strand of medium weight black yarn.

If you want something more elaborate you can give the eyes a background turning the black dot into the pupil of the eye.

Eyes yarn 2.jpg

1 - Circle

          1: 6sc in Magic Ring and needle join to the first stitch. Attach to the main piece.

2 - Oval

          1: 2sc, 2dc, 2sc, 2dc in Magic Ring and needle join to the first stitch. Attach to the main piece.

3 - 3D

          1: 6sc in Magic Ring

          2: (inc 2) x 6

          3-4: 12sc

          5: (inv dec 2) x 6

          Embroider one French knot on each eye with a contrasting color. Attach the eye to the main piece.

4 - An extra detail for an amigurumi girl: Embroider lashes on the eyes, making it more feminine in one simple step.

And of course you can use what ever colors you prefer, it doesn't have to be black and white. =)

One more time it is confirmed: Yarn is our friend! =D

I hope these are helpful to you!

If you know more ways to use our yarn to make eyes please share!

Happy crocheting!

In the Works - December

Before I get in to what awaits us for December, let's take a quick look at my favorite buys of November!

This month my favorite materials were the white boucle yarn I used for the details on Christmas Elf Amy's clothes, and the variegated yarn I used for the slipper boots!

Boucle yarn white.jpg

The boucle yarn, because of its structure, makes it very easy to make a special details. Love it!

Winter Print Yarn.jpg

I really liked how colorful the boots came out and really like the effect of this yarn! 

And now, what you've been waiting for: What's going to happen in December!

As you know, I've already finished Christmas Elf Amy, and the pattern will be available very soon. The pattern will also include the pattern for the little gifts. The pattern for the little gifts will also be available for free here and on Ravelry (also very soon).

I also have two more projects I want to make in time for Christmas and that I'll make available for free here and on Ravelry

Next week I'll make the announcement for a monthly activity/contest I'm thinking of starting next year, I'm just fine tuning some details. I think it will be lots of fun and will be a chance to get to know all of you and for you to get to know me! The only thing I can say for now is that it has to do with our passion for amigurumi! So don't miss that! =D

And of course there will be the Holidays, the geting together with family and friends, the festivities... I can't believe that's that time of the year already!

So, summarizing, remember to check in to catch the new patterns and updates!

Happy crocheting!

October Favorites

Good morning everyone! (To be read with Dracula's accent =P )

You must have noticed that I haven't posted about hauls in a while now, that doesn't mean I'm not buying anything, I just realized that it might not be a kind of story that you are very interested in. But I still want to tell you about some items that I bought and think are special for some reason,  so I thought of doing a selection of my favorites for the month. Thus in the last week of every month I will show you my favorites and tell you why they are my favorites. So... let's start? 

This month my favorite buys are...

The brown boucle yarn I bought to make FrankenPurse's hair. That was a really fun project to see come to life and that yarn was perfect for him. I had a difficult time to find this yarn but it was worth it =)

 

And my second pick is... my first Tunisian crochet hook. I think it is always special when we first buy a tool that has a really specific use.

What were your favorite craft related buys in October?

Do you have any suggestions that you think it would improve Favorites of the Month? Do you prefer to see every yarn and tool I buy when I buy it? Do you prefer this new format?

Don't be shy, all comments are welcome!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

In Other Crafts... Andrew Huang

A quick peek into works in other crafts and arts.

Do you know what your fiber and yarns do when you're not around? Are you sure they stay still and all wrapped up in a ball waiting for you? After seeing Andrew Thomas Huang's beautiful video SOLIPSIST I'm not sure anymore... =)

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How to... Work with Furry Yarn

Quick tips and techniques for amigurumi.

Currently I'm working on a wig with a boucle yarn and due to the nature of the yarn I had to come up with strategies to be able to crochet with it without going crazy. To make matters worse, the yarn I'm working with is dark brown! After trying several strategies this is my How to Work with Furry Yarn! =)

  • Be calm and patient - If your hook gets caught in the yarn don't yank it, instead take the hook out gently and remake the stitch. Work in a slower pace and when you notice that you are getting frustrated or impatient stop working on it  and come back when you feel refreshed. 
  • Work with lots and lots of light - Work near a window, outside or with a table top lamp (preferably with an adjustable neck) so you can see your stitches better.
  • Use a simple fine yarn of the same or similar color with the furry yarn - This will make the stitches more visible and thus easier to work with.
  • Make loose stitches - Use a bigger hook than what you normally would and don't pull the stitches too tight.
Furry yarn.jpg

For the wig I'm using a 4mm hook and a fine yarn together with the furry one.

Furry yarn 5.jpg

Using the simple yarn with the furry one makes the stitches more visible.

  • Feel the fabric - To help you find where to work your next stitch, press the previously worked row/round between your thumb and index finger, the first dimple that you feel, after the stitch you just worked, is where you need to work your next stitch.
Furry yarn 2.jpg
  • Working in chains - When working in chains I prefer to work in the back bumps, it's easier and in my opinion it looks better. In order to find the bumps using this yarn, I rubbed the back of the chain gently with my thumb, whenever I found a bump I marked it with a stitch marker (in my case a paperclip), mark all the bumps you are going to work in, and as you do take the stitch markers off. You can also mark the stitches when they are particularly hard or confusing to count.
Furry yarn 3.jpg

Crochet on the Go

When I go to my mom's I know that I always have a little bit of time to crochet, so I always bring the project I'm working on with me. How do I do that in a easy and practical way?

I use a hold backpack from school to carry everything that I need!

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On yarn measurements

When following one of my patterns, in the material section, you will see the yarn I used for that project. I don't give specific brands because they might not be available to you. I indicate the colour and also the yarn weight.

Yarn weight refers to its thickness. Using different types of yarn or hook can change the project significantly. Even though in amigurumi gauge isn't important (what's important is that you use a yarn, tension and hook that results in tight enough stitches that the stuffing doesn't show) I want you to achieve an end result that resembles mine (of course you can personalize it how ever you want).

So if a pattern asks for a medium weight or a light weight yarn, what does that mean? Do I mean aran, worsted, 8 ply, 9 ply... ? If you're not familiar with those terms or, like me, like simpler and more concrete measures keep reading!

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On the hunt again!

Yesterday I went out with my mom to buy more supplies! I was able to get the supplies I needed to complete some surprises that I have for you!

The fluffy blue one and the two brown ones are for two projects I'm preparing for Halloween. The green one is for a partner in adventure of a mysterious guy that is coming out really soon! The white ones are for two projects that I have going around in my mind but I haven't had the time to get to them yet. The beige one is to make Ami's tail for a Ami doll I'm making for my niece.

I also bought some more wire (there's some cool stuff coming out of that for this fall) ;)

One of the things I wanted to get were these buttons I used for Ami's shoes. This ones I had found in my mom's sewing box and she only had these two. I wanted to use the same type of buttons for the Ami doll I'm making for my niece  (when I'm finished I'll be sure to post some photos here). In one store we went they had similar buttons but only one of them was the right color and size =(

This afternoon I'm going to try some more stores we weren't able to go to yesterday. Let's see if I have more luck this time.

I also want to buy a yarn that I saw online that I think is the solution for a dilemma I was having lately (can't tell you, it's a surprise ;) ). The lady that I usually buy yarn from sells that brand and I hope she has it.

Just remembered, today is a holiday so the stores are probably closed =(

I think I was never more unhappy with a holiday. Oh well, will have to go tomorrow...

Be Happy and Creative!