Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Easy peasy amigurumi tutorial part 2

This is part two of the tutorial to make amigurumi and understand written crochet patterns. I'm using this beginners amigurumi pattern from this months love crochet magazine. (I will print the full pattern here when it becomes free of the magazines copywrite)

In part one we focused on the very basic on starting out you can find that here

For this part we are going to make the head and start on the body of the dogs

So last time we were increasing by 6 stitches each round which gave use a flat disc. Now we need to shape it into a sphere so we change to increasing by 3 stitches each round.

Rnd 3: (dc in the first two sts, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 24sts

Rnd 4: (dc in the first three Sts, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 30sts

Rnd 5: (dc in the first nine Sts, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 33sts
Rnd 6: (dc in the first ten Sts, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 36sts  

The written pattern still looks the same but if you look at the stitch count at the end of each line it goes from increasing by 6 to 3.

As you are working the pattern you'll notice the piece begin to curl up into a bowl shape. This is what we want to happen.

The pattern continues in this way until we get to the size head we want. 

When I first started writing patterns I played around a lot with how different shapes and sizes of shapes work best together to get the best finish results for the finish amigurumi. In my patterns I've done all the maths so you will get the best results every time.

The next few rounds are worked straight. There is no increasing you are just going round and round double crocheting in each st. When you get to these rows you can breathe a sigh of release because for the next few round you don't have to count.

On one of these rounds you'll be asked to place a stitch marker. I use a different colour piece of yarn to my row marker and I place it in the middle of the round so I don't confuse it with my row marker. As soon as you've placed this marker you can ignore it till you have to place the eyes in.

Next up is decreasing

Rnd 13: (dc2tog, dc in next six sts) repeat to end. 42sts
Rnd 14: (dc2tog, dc in next five sts) repeat to end. 36sts
Rnd 15: (dc2tog, dc in next four sts) repeat to end. 30sts

This is how decreasing looks in a written pattern. Again if you notice the stitch count at the end of each line of pattern we are decreasing by 6.

You might think that if you are forming a sphere you would decrease the same way as you increased but that doesn't give you the best shape or work for amigurumi designs.

So how to decrease - you are double crocheting two stitches together. There are a few ways to do this but this is how I do it-

hook through next stitch, drawer through yarn, hook through next stitch, yarn over, drawer through all three loops on hook.

To me this gives the tightest decrease and thats really important to get the best shape.

The shape of an amigurumi design should look perfect before its stuffed and no shaping should be required by stuffing.

Following the written pattern you will be asked to pause to insert the toy eyes. I'll talk more about toy eyes in a later tutorial but for now use safety eyes in the size given in the pattern. Placement will be given as stitches apart. Put one eye in, count across the stitches on that round then place the next toy eye in. Only put the washers on the back when you are happy they are both level.

For the last part of this tutorial I'll talk a little bit about stuffing.

As you are decreasing the hole at the base of your head will get smaller and smaller. For this pattern you will be working the head and body together so its best to stuff the head after you have worked a few rounds of the body.This means you will not be pulling out bits of stuffing with your hook as you work the first rounds of the body.

I tease out my stuffing before inserting it so it doesn't form strange clumps that show on the finished shape. Stuff well as under-stuffed amigurumi can look misshapen also. You will probably find your toy eyes go a bit wonky when your stuffing and you'll have to manhandle them back into position when you've finished stuffing.

Right thats it for part two. I will be posting a free pattern to practice soon but till then I'll point you in the direction of my Caterpillar pattern you can find it here 

Its the perfect pattern to practice increasing and decreasing so I hope you enjoy it.

In part three we'll be finishing the body and starting on the legs and muzzle

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