• How To's

    Improve Your Amigurumi Crochet Projects With This One Small Thing

    green monster amigurumi crochet project with crochet accessories
    This post may contain affiliate links.

    I’m working up a draft of an amigurumi pattern while I wait for the yarn I want to use to arrive and I thought I’d share a bit of my process and share some of my favourite tips to help improve your amigurumi crochet projects. What if I told you that you most likely have something in your home right now that can make the difference between your amigurumi crochet project looking haphazard and it being profesionally done? What if I told you that if you don’t have some of these items in your home, that you could get them for probably under $5? You’d probably be saying “shut up already and tell me what it is!”, right?. This magical little item that is often overlooked is sewing pins. Simple, sewing pins. Keep reading and I’ll tell you how to use them to improve all your amigurumi crochet projects.

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    Sewing pins may seem like they don’t have a place in the crochet world but these little guys are incredibly handy when it comes to amigurumi projects. They can save you a lot of time and frustration when the time is taken to use them in an amigurumi project. It can make the difference of a polished and professionally done amigurumi project and one that looks a bit sloppy. I’m not saying everyone is looking to sell their items or be professional crocheters (ok, we might actually want that last part) but we all want the best results from our projects and sewing pins can help you get them with little to no investment.

    Sewing pins scattered next to a pin box

    TIP 1: Get Those Limbs in Line!

    This little guy may look like a bit of a mess but this mess helps me not only visualize how he will look with the pieces I’ve made attached but it helps me get the ultimate placement for my arms and other attachments that are being sewn on.  Sometimes one crooked or ill-placed piece on an amigurumi project can be the difference between your project looking cohesive and polished or sloppy and rushed.  So use your sewing pins to pin those pieces onto your project before jumping into sewing.  Take your time and be sure you’re happy with the placement before you sew and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache later.

    unfinished crochet toy being held together with sewing pins

    TIP 2: Use Them to Outline Your Embroidery

    Full disclosure: I am not very good with embroidery.  I’m a Type A perfectionist and embroidery can be frustrating for me.  So, to make things easier for myself, I outline where I want to embroider with sewing pins.  I’ve gone a little overboard in my picture here to make it more obvious but that line of pins across his face?  That’ll be where his mouth goes.  That pin right under the mouth?  That’ll be an itty bitty tooth stitcking out.  The pins help me know where I want to place them and visualize what it’ll look like before I get started.

    Pins placed on an amigurumi toy showing where to embroider
    Close up of an amigurumi crochet monster's face

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    TIP 3: Use Them to Create Consistency When Making Multiple Amigurumi Crochet Projects

    If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re making multiple projects from the same pattern, create all your pieces for your projects first and get your pins ready. Pin the pieces to each body and line them up to see if you find any noteable differences. If you find one that doesn’t match, simply pull the pins and readjust that piece. Once you’re satisfied with how they all look, sew on the pieces and at the end you’ll have items that should all look nearly identical. This is a great tip for those creating to sell for shops or markets.

    It is crazy how something as small and simple as a sewing pin can help to improve your amigurumi crochet projects so much. I hope you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful. Have you used sewing pins with your amigurumi crochet projects before? Do you use them in a way that I haven’t mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below.

    While you’re here, you may like checking out some of my free amigurumi crochet patterns:

  • How To's

    How to Finish Off Amigurumi Using the Ultimate Finish

    amigurumi project finished using the ultimate finish technique
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    When crocheting amigurumi projects, there are a number of techniques that can be utilized to get get a better-looking finish. Sometimes designers will include instructions for some of these techniques in their patterns and sometimes, they’ll expect you to already know them. Today I want to show you how to finish off amigurumi using the ultimate finish technique. Having the ultimate finish technique in your tool box will enable you to use it for any amigurumi project, whether other not it has been provided for you in a pattern.

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    To get the absolute best finish possible, make sure you’re using the invisible decrease stitch for your single crochet decreases (SCDEC) in your final rounds. You can find my tutorial on how to do the invisible decrease stitch HERE. Using this in conjunction with the ultimate finish will help minize any gaps or hole when you’re finishing off your amigurumi project.

    Check out my How to Finish Off Amigurumi Using the Ultimate Finish video tutorial here:

    How to Finish Amigurumi with Ultimate Finish

    When you are on the last round of your amigurumi piece and your piece is stuffed, you should have (generally) 6 single crochet (SC) stitches remaining in the round.

    amigurumi project with after the last row is finished.

    When the pattern says to finish off (FO), cut your yarn leaving a long tail and thread the tail onto a tapestry/yarn needle. Using your tapestry needle, weave the yarn through the front loop of each stitch in your last round.

    amigurumi project showing the difference between front and back loops in crochet stitches

    Once you have finished, gently pull the yarn taught. This will cinch the last round closed.

    cinching the yarn closed doing the ultimate finish technique in crochet
    closed hole in amigurumi using ultimate finish technique

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Sometimes there will be a little bump that forms from cinching the hole closed. To fix this and flatten the bump, insert the needle into the centre of the bump, and out the other side of your project. This can be done almost anywhere as long as you pull your yarn out between the stitches and not through the stitches. (This will make sure you don’t damage the surface of your fabric).

    tapestry needle pointing into amigurumi project to remove the bump left from ultimate finish

    Pull the yarn taught until the bump flattens. Weave in your end and cut the yarn.

    completed project using the ultimate finish technique to finish off amigurumi

    Voila! The ultimate finish gives you… well, the ultimate finish! It is beautifully clean and tidy and can really help to improve your amigurumi projects. I hope you have enjoyed learning how to finish off your amigurumi using the ultimate finish technique. If you have any questions, pelase don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to hear what you think once you’ve given it a try!

    Want to practice using this technique? Here are some free amigurumi crochet patterns you can use it with:

  • How To's

    How to Crochet the Thicket Stitch

    Crochet Thicket stitch Swatch with a text overlay indicating a tutorial for beginner crocheters
    This post may contain affiliate links.

    Today I want to show you one of my absolute favourite crochet stitches: the Thicket Stitch. Now, the Thicket Stitch often gets passed over because it is considered a beginner’s crochet stitch because it’s a simple one row repeat. But I love this stitch for it’s wonderful texture, versatility and it’s simplicity. This stitch can be a bit of a chameleon and it’s part of what I love about it. When I say chameleon, I mean that you can use the same stitch and with a slight variation, have it look completely different. Every time I use this stitch in a design, even though I’ve done so multiple times, I always get asked “what stitch is that?!” I think you’ll love having this simple but versatile crochet stitch in your tool box. So grab your hooks, grab your yarn and let’s learn how to crochet the Thicket Stitch.

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    You can use any hook and yarn combination with this stitch but today I’ll be using a Furls Odyssey 5.5mm crochet hook and a Brava Worsted Weight Yarn from We Crochet. You can mix up your hook and yarn weights to change up the look of this yarn and have it look a bit lacier if you wish. Thicket stitch is wonderful for fast and easy crochet blankets! In fact, my first crochet blanket design I published uses this stitch. Find the Striped Thicket Stitch Blanket Pattern HERE and give it a try to practice this stitch.

    To do this tutorial, you’ll need to know how to do the Single Crochet (SC) and Double Crochet (DC) stitches. You can find the tutorials for them here: Single Crochet, Double Crochet.

    Check out my How to Do the Crochet Thicket Stitch video tutorial here:

    Starting Chain: Chain any even number of stitches. For my example here, I’ve done a chain of 20.

    CH 20

    Row 1: SC in the second CH from the hook. DC in the same CH. *Skip 1 CH and place 1 SC and 1 DC stitch in the next CH* Repeat the instructions in the ** until 2 CHs remain. Skip 1 CH, SC in the last CH. CH 1 and turn your work.

    starting the first thicket stitch cluster
    Single Crochet Step 1
    single crochet tutorial image
    Single Crochet Step 2
    completed single crochet stitch in grey yarn
    Single Crochet Step 3
    beginning of double crochet stitch
    Double Crochet Step 1

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    Double Crochet tutorial
    Double Crochet Step 2
    completed double crochet stitch
    Double Crochet Step 3
    completed crochet stitch demo
    Continuing with (SC, DC) in every other CH across.

    Row 2: (SC, DC) in the first ST, *skip the next ST, (SC, DC) in the next ST* repeat instructions in the ** until 1 ST remains. SC in the last ST.

    crochet tutorial for beginners
    Row 2 Single Crochet Step 3
    Double Crochet stitch demo
    Row 2 – Double Crochet Step 3
    Crochet Stitch Tutorial
    First Cluster of Row Two Completed
    Completed rows of Thicket Stitch
    Completed rows of Thicket Stitch

    Repeat Row 2 until you’ve reached your desired length.

    Completed Thicket Stitch Swatch
    Completed Thicket Stitch Swatch

    That’s it! It’s super easy right? This stitch looks amazing as dishclothes, blankets, garments, pillows and more! Changing colours every few rows gives this stitch a totally different look and I just love the versatility! Here are some free crochet patterns you can use to practice the this stitch:

  • How To's

    Picot Single Crochet & Granule Stitch Tutorial

    Picot Single Crochet Tutorial images
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    If you can do. the single crochet stitch and do a chain, then you can. do the Picot Single Crochet Stitch! Picot Single Crochet Stitch is a variation of the single crochet stitch that creates a beautifully textured fabric that looks like tiny bobbles.

    The Picot Single Crochet Stitch is abbeviated in patterns as (PSC). The different between the basic single crochet and the Picot Single Crochet stitch is quick and easy to accomplish. The PSC needs to be worked from the wrong side of the fabric so that the picots will pop out on the right side of the fabric. You’ll often see the PSC worked with a row of single crochet (or other row of stitches) in between them. When rows of the Picot Single Crochet Stitch are alternated with rows of single crochet stitches, it is referred to as the Granule Stitch.

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    The Picot Single Crochet can be used in a variety of different ways but for today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to do the Picot Single Crochet stitch as it is worked in the Granule Stitch. If you need to learn how to do the Single Crochet Stitch, you can find that tutorial HERE.

    Watch my video tutorial for the Granule & PSC Stitch here:

    Picot Single Crochet & Granule Stitch Multiples

    If you want linear picots (ones that line up, straight up and down), you’ll need to create a starting chain with a multiple of 2 +1+1. To stagger your picots as typically done with Granule stitch, you’ll need to start with a multiple of 4+1+1 for the turning chain.

    Picot Single Crochet:

    Step 1: Insert hook into indicated stitch, yarn over hook and pull through stitch. 

    Step 2: Yarn over and pull through one loop on the hook three times. 

    Step 3: Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook.

    Granule Stitch with Staggered Picots

    Row 1: Chain a multiple of 4+1+1 for the turning chain. I used 18 for my starting chain. SC in the 2nd CH from the hook and remaining CH. Ch 1 and turn.

    Base row and stitch multiple of Picot Single Crochet Stitch

    Row 2: SC in the first ST, *PSC in the next ST, SC in the next ST* repeat instructions contained in the ** until end of row. CH 1 and turn.

    Granule Stitch Step 1
    Picot Single Crochet Step 2
    Step 3

    Row 3: SC in the first ST and each ST across. CH 1 and turn.

    Row 4: SC in the first and 2nd STS * PSC, SC* until one ST remains. SC in the last ST. CH 1 and turn.

    Row 5: SC in the first ST and each ST across

    Repeat Rows 4 and 5 until you reach your desired length.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Granule Stitch with Linear Picots

    Row 1: Chain a multiple of 2+1, +1 for the turning chain. My starting chain is 18. SC in the 2nd CH from the hook and remaining CH. Ch 1 and turn.

    Base row and stitch multiple of Granule stitch

    Row 2: SC in the first ST, *PSC in the next ST, SC in the next ST* repeat instructions contained in the ** until end of row. CH 1 and turn.

    Picot Single Crochet Tutorial
    Granule Stitch Step 2
    Picot Single Crochet Step 3

    Row 3: SC in the first ST and each ST across. CH 1 and turn.

    Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until you reach your desired length.

    Granule Stitch Swatch with Linear Picots on the bottom and offset Picots on the top.

    That’s it! The PSC and Granule Stitches are fun and easy. You can practice using the Picot Single Crochet Stitch in my Picot Me Up Ear Warmer and Cowl Set Pattern.

    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest so you can be kept in the loop on all the latest updates and sneak peaks.

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  • How To's

    How to Use Poly Pellets in Amigurumi

    Picture of a weighted base used for amigurumi projects
    This post may contain affiliate links

    Ever wanted to give your amigurumi projects a bit of added weight? Struggling to get your project to stand up on it’s own? The solution is simple: try making a weighted base with Poly Pellets!

    Poly Pellets are small pellets made of plastic that can be used to add weight to your amigurumi projects. This added weight can help keep those rogue stuffed animals to stand up-right instead of toppling over. But, there’s a trick to using them correctly, and safely. Today, I’ll show you how to use Poly Pellets safely and effectively in your next amigurumi projects.

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    How to Use Poly Pellets

    Poly Pellets are tiny little plastic beads/pellets and if you were to add them to your crochet project, they’d eventually work their way through the small wholes that exist in crochet stitches. So, in order to use them safely, the Poly Pellets need to be placed in a cotonainer of some variety that prevents them from escaping. The cheapest, quickest, easiest thing I’ve found to use is nylon stockings. That’s right, I use pantyhose knee-high stockings! I get them in a package of 2 pairs from the dollar store for $1.25 and that gets me 4 stockings to use in amigurumi projects.

    stockings used to make a weighted bead base for amigurumi

    If you can’t find stockings, you can try sewing little pouches made of a solid fabric with a tight weave. While that is definitely an option, I personally prefer the nylon stockings for their low-cost and how quick and easy they are to use.

    Watch my video tutorial for how to use poly pellets in amigurumi:

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Once you have your containment method of preference, you need to add the pellets to it. If you’re not careful, they can be a bit messy so you want to do this carefully. I like to place my stocking into a clean cup or mug and fold the top of it over the opening of the cup/mug to hold the stocking open. Then using a spoon, I scoop the pellets into the stocking until I have the amount I want to add to my project.

    image showing how to use poly pellets to make a weighted base for amigurumi
    Adding poly pellets to the stocking

    Once I’m sure I have enough, I remove it from the mug/cup and tie a knot in the stocking. If you have extra stocking, you can cut it off and disgard it, leave it attached or, if you have enough you could turn the remaining stocking back over the part of the stocking that contains the beads and essentially double up the stocking to reinforce it.

    polypellet base made with this how to use polypellets tutorial
    completed weighted base made  this how to use poly pellets tutorial

    When you’re using the poly pellets you would use the poly pellets in the base or where you want the weight to be (i.e. the ends of the limbs). You would stuff the rest of the piece/project with regular stuffing. Adding the pellets to the head would just cause it to topple over and no one wants that!

    I hope you liked this tutorial. If you want to try a pattern where I use this technique, try out my crochet christmas gnome pattern for Gnorman Gnome.

    If you like free amigurumi patterns, you may be interested in these:

    I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest so can kept in the loop on all my latest free crochet patterns, tutorials and giveaways.

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  • How To's

    How to do an Invisible Decrease

    Crochet Tutorial image for how to do an invisible decrase
    This post may contain affiliate links.

    If you like to crochet amigurumi, you may have noticed (and dislike) the little bump that is formed when you’re working your single crochet decrease stitches in your projects. The standard way of executing a single crochet decrease stitch often leaves a gap or a bump on your project and then you aren’t left with a nice even fabric that you were hoping for. But, there is a better way of doing a decrease stitch that can do wonders for your amigurumi projects: the invisible decrease. Here, I’ll show you how to do an invisible decrease in your crochet projects. It is something that I use in all my amigurumi projects and I think once you get the hang of doing an invisible decrease, that you’ll make it part of your amigurumi toolbox of skills.

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    How to make an Invisible Decrease

    When you come to the part in your crochet pattern/project where it calls for a SCDEC/Single Crochet DEC/decrease, follow these steps.

    1. Insert your hook under the front loop only (FLO) of the first stitch. You should have two loops on your hook.
    Front loops only
    Crochet stitch tutorial

    2. DO NOT YARN OVER. Insert your hook under the front loop only (FLO) of the next stitch. You should have 3 loops on your hook now.

    3. Yarn over and pull through the first two loops on your hook. You should have two loops remaining.

    invisibile decrease tutorial step 3

    Watch the video version of this Invisible Decrease Tutorial:

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    4. Yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops on your hook. Invisible decrease completed.

    Completed invisible decrease

    That’s it! Super easy right? The invisible decrease is almost imperceptible when done in your amigurumi projects. The crochet invisible decrease is a total game changer. Try it in your next project and let me know what you think.

    Want to try it out? Here are some free amigurumi patterns that you can try this out with:

  • How To's

    How to Crochet a Magic Circle Tutorial

    Step by step images showing how to crochet a magic circle with a column of text to the left
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    This step-by-step tutorial will help you learn how to crochet a magic circle – often referred to as a magic ring or adjustable circle/ring. The magic circle/magic ring is a really handy technique to know if you’re a fan of amigurumi projects. The magic circle is an alternative to creating a ring with a chain 4 which would typically leave an open hole in your project. When you use a magic circle to being your project it creates a tightly closed ring when you’re crocheting in the round. So if you’re using it for amigurumi, this means no hole for the stuffing to show through and a more professional-looking finish.

    Pin this tutorial so you can refer back to it later. Save

    This technique is relatively easy to do but with some practice, it’ll be as easy as creating a starting chain.

    For this tutorial, I’m using a 5.5 mm Furls Odyssey Crochet Hook and Bernat Premium (size 4) yarn in Sky Blue.

    Check out the video version of this tutorial here:

    How to Crochet the Magic Circle

    Using your non-dominant hand, hold the end of the yarn between your thumb and pointer finger. Wrap the working yarn around your fingers (from front to back) once.

    Hands holding a piece of blue yarn
    Yarn being wrapped around fingers

    Cross the working yarn over top of the yarn on the inside of your hand and lay the working yarn across the top of your fingers. I like to use my pinky finger to hold it down and keep it secure fo the next part.

    Yarn being crossed over itself while a person demonstrates how to crochet a magic circle
    Yarn wrapped around a hand twice showing how to crochet a magic circle

    Insert your crochet hook underneath the first strand of yarn and grab the second strand of yarn.

    Crochet hook grabbing second strand of yarn wrapped around person's fingers

    Pull the second strand of yarn under the first strand of yarn.

    second strand of yarn being pulled under first strand of yarn by crochet hook

    Twist the yarn to create a loop. Yarn over the hook using the working yarn and pull through the loop to create a chain.

    Yarn twisted to create a loop to crochet a magic circle
    Yarn over crochet hook to create a chain
    Chain completed for how to make a magic circle

    Remove your fingers from the loop. Your magic circle is now completed!

    completed magic circle

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    Working Your First Row

    To work into the magic circle, work your desired stitches into the magic cirlce, ensuring that both the ring and yarn tail are crocheted over. In my example here, I’m crocheting six single crochet stitches (Get my tutorial on how to do the single crochet stitch HERE).

    working into a magic circle

    When you’ve finished crocheting your first round of stitches, gently pull the yarn tail until your ring closes and you have a tightly closed ring. like in the image below.

    Continue working your second round of stitches as normal.

    Now that you know how to crochet a magic circle, let’s pratice using it! Some of my free crochet patterns that utilize the magic circle technique are:
    Clawdia Cat, Carter the Carrot, Penny the Bunny Cactus, Buttons the Bunny CAL (part one, part two and part three) and Once in a Blue Moon Triangle Scarf.

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  • How To's

    How to do the Double Crochet Stitch

    How to double crochet tutorial images with a text overlay.
    This post may contain affiliate links.

    The double crochet stitch is a simple, versatile stitch that is one of the most commonly used stitches in crochet. In terms of height, this stitch is taller than both a single crochet and half double crochet stitch but shorter than the treble (triple) crochet stitch. This tutorial will show you how to double crochet with simple, step-by-step photos and instructions.

    For this tutorial, I’m using a 5.5 mm Furls Odyssey Crochet Hook and Bernat Premium (size 4) yarn in Sky Blue.

    When the double crochet stitch is used in a pattern (using U.S. terms), it will be abbreviated as DC.

    Check out the video for this tutorial:



    Step 1: Make a slip knot and chain your desired number of stitches minus 1 CH. I.e. If you want 20 stitches, CH 19. Now chain 3 more stitches. For practice, start by creating 14 chains. Yarn over (YO) and insert your hook into the fourth chain (CH) from the hook through the center of the V and under the back bar of the chain. (You will never work in the 1st chain from the hook unless it is specified in the pattern).

    Crochet Chains made with blue yarn
    Second step of how to double crochet

    Step 2: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull the yarn through the chain. You will now have three loops on your hook.

    Step 3 of the crochet stitch tutorial using blue yarn
    Step 4 of the crochet stitch tutorial using blue yarn

    Step 3: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull through two loops on your hook. You will have two loops remaining on your hook.

    Two loops on a crochet stitch in progress using blue yarn

    Step 4: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull thtrough remaining two loops on your hook. You will have one loop remaining on your hook. One double crochet stitch completed.

    One completed stitch and a CH 3 turning chain

    Step 5: Yarn over and insert your hook into the next chain (CH) through the center of the V and under the back bar of the chain. Yarn over (YO), pull through the chain. You will now have three loops on your hook. Yarn over (YO) and pull through two loops on your hook. You will have two loops remaining on your hook. Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull thtrough remaining two loops on your hook. You will have one loop remaining on your hook This is your second double crochet stitch (DC) completed.

    Repeat Step 5 in each remaining chain.

    starting of a second double crochet stitch
    second step of how to double crochet
    second stitch completed.

    Note: When counting your stitches, make sure you count the first three skipped stitches as a stitch. If you are following the example and started with a CH 14, you should have 12 stitches.

    To add a second (or more) row(s):


    To add a second row of DC stitches, chain 3 and turn your work counterclockwise. You’ll now be working across the tops of the stitches you just made.

    Note: The chain 3 typically counts as a stitch unless the pattern tells you otherwise. This chain is referred to as the turning chain.

    Chain 3 of the second row of crochet swatch

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Step 1: Yarn over and insert your hook into the second to last stitch of the previous row under top 2 loops , yarn over (YO) and pull through the stitch. Yarn over (YO) and pull through two loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through remaining two loops on hook. One DC Stitch completed.

    Close up of the beginning of the first stitch of the second row of double crochet
    In progress stitch

    Step 2: Yarn over and insert your hook into the next stitch of the previous row under top 2 loops , yarn over (YO) and pull through the stitch. Yarn over (YO) and pull through two loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through remaining two loops on hook. One DC Stitch completed.

    Step 3: Repeat Step 2 in each remaining DC stitch across.

    Second row of stitches completed.

    To add more rows, you would repeat the instructions for adding your second row until your piece reaches the desired size.

    swatch of completed stitches

    I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Please don’t forget to pin and share this post. Like stitch tutorials? Check out my Single Crochet Stitch Tutorial, Half Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial, Foundation Half Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial and Foundation Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial.

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  • How To's

    Tips for Crocheting with Faux Fur Yarn

    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    When I released my pattern for my amigurumi Koala: Kaya Koala, I kept hearing the same questions over and over:  “Is it hard to work with that yarn?”, “I’ve had troubles working with fur yarn in the past, any tips?”,  “How do you keep track of your stitches with faux fur yarn?” , “Can you even SEE the stitches?”.   So I decided to share my tips for crocheting with faux fur yarn to help take the fear out of working with faux fur yarns so that you can feel confident to try working with it for your next project.

    Do lose it! Pin it for later Save

    I’m also excited to announce that I’ve launched my YouTube channel! You can check out the video for this article below!

    Tips for Crocheting with Faux Fur Yarn

    Tip #1: Feel the Stitches

    The biggest issue that I hear prevents people from working with faux fur yarn is not being able to see the stitches and to be honest, I was a bit nervous about that at first.  My favourite faux fur yarn right now is this Fable Fur yarn from crochet.com (You can check it out HERE.).  This yarn has a thick strap on the back of the yarn which I found made it easy to feel where my stitches were. So although the stitches aren’t visible, feeling the stitches enables you to count stitches and figure out where you should be putting your hook.

    Tip #2: Use a Bigger Hook

    If you are struggling to feel where your stitches are located try going up a hook size (or two) and/or loosening your tension until you can feel the stitches. Once you can feel the stitches, you’ll feel more confident in where you’re putting your hook/stitches and be less likely to get frustrated.

    Tip #3: Use a Stitch Marker

    Since you can’t really see the stitches, using a stitch marker (ideally in a contrasting colour) is a HUGE help.  I use fur yarn primarily for amigurumi projects so this is a biggie for me. Even if you aren’t using faux fur yarn for amigurumi, I still recommend using a stitch marker to mark your first stitch (and any other important stitches your pattern may need you to track). It will prevent you from going back later and hunting to find them.

    Tip #4: Take Your Time

    Although faux fur yarn is INCREDIBLY forgiving, you still want your project to come out looking amazing so take your time. You’ll build up speed (and confidence) the more you use faux fur yarn so take your time.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Tip #5: Count Your Stitches as You Crochet

    When I’m working with faux fur yarn, I count the stitches in my head as I’m crocheting. This is where taking your time comes in to play.  You can get frustrated if you keep having to go back and feel your stitches to make sure your count is correct.  Counting as you go will actually help speed up the process.

    Tip #6: Don’t Pull Too Hard on The Yarn

    If you need to frog a part of your project or you encounter a tangle, be patient and tug gently or else the yarn will snap.

    Tip #7: Don’t Crochet Over the Yarn Tail With Crocheting Into a Magic Circle (Adjustable Ring)

    If your project requires making a magic circle DO NOT crochet over the yarn tail.  The yarn will not glide as well with all that fur in there so you will likely be unable to close your magic circle. If you get frustrated (like I did), you’ll end up snapping your yarn.  Instead, after you create your magic circle, push the yarn tail behind your work and just crochet around the ring part instead. 

    Tip #8: Show the Wrong Side

    Since you can’t see the stitches, the general right side/wrong side rules of crochet don’t really apply.  So show the side that looks better! In most cases, the traditional “wrong side” will be to give you a fuller, furrier look.

    So those are my tips for working with faux fur yarn.  I hope they help to give you the confidence to give this kind of yarn a try.  I’d love to hear from you.  If you have any questions or any tips of your own for working with faux fur yarn, let me know in the comments below!

    Free Crochet Patterns Using Faux Fur Yarn

    Ready to get started using faux fur yarns? Here are some free crochet patterns that I have available on my site to get you started:

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    Looking for more tips? Check out my tips on: How to Get Your Crojo Back, How to Organize Your Yarn Stash, How to Read a Yarn Label and Setting Crochet Goals.

    While you’re here, check out some of my free crochet patterns: Rainbow Keychain, Striped Thicket Stitch Blanket, Henley the Hound.

    Fable Fur Yarn with Crochet Tools.  Text Overlay that read: Tips for Crocheting with Faux Fur Yarn
  • How To's

    Can I Take My Crochet Hook On an Airplane?

    Picture of an airplane taking off. Can I take crochet hook on an airplane?
    This post may contain affiliate links. This is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own.

    When we started talking about taking a vacation that required us to fly, my first question was obviously, “Can I take my crochet hook on an airplane?” I see this and other travel-related questions on Facebook all the time so I decided to share my travel tips and what I’ve found in my research for my own trip here for you.

    Can I Take my Crochet Hook on an Airplane?

    Crochet hooks in a case and hand dyed yarn.

    If you’re travelling in Canada or the U.S. then you can definitely travel with your crochet hooks (and knitting needles) in your carry-on luggage (and in your checked luggage). Both Canadian and U.S. TSA sites state that you can travel with crochet hooks and knitting needles of any size and material. The Canadian TSA and the U.S. TSA have handy tools where you can look up to see if something is allowed on a plain or not. (Check out the Canadian tool HERE and the U.S. tool HERE.)

    Can You Take Scissors on an Airplane?

    Scissors and crochet hooks on a piece of fabric.

    At the time of writing this, Canadian travellers can take small scissors in their carry-on luggage as long as the blades measure less than 6 cm (2.4″). In the U.S. the blades on the scissors must be less than 10cm (4″) long if packed in your carry-on luggage. Sharp objects must be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to people checking your bags so little foldable ones like THESE are perfect and require no additional work.

    The U.S. TSA site notes that “Circular thread cutters or any other cutter or needlepoint tools that contain blades must be placed in checked baggage. You are permitted to keep scissors smaller than 4 inches in your carry-on baggage. ” So if you have one of those thread cutting pendants, don’t take it with you or place it in your checked bags.

    If you’re unsure about the scissors or don’t have a small set like these, then you can always take nail clippers. They are allowed in your carry-on luggage and they can cut yarn in a pinch.

    The rules can be different depending on where you’re travelling so avoid disappointment and check out the TSA equivalent for wherever you’re going as well as wherever you’re leaving from.

    Can I Take Needles?

    Both Canadian and U.S. TSA sites note that you can take “small needles” with you. Tapestry needles should be fine as long as they are secured with your hooks or knitting needles.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Tips for Travelling With Your Crochet

    woman carrying a small pink suitcase

    Don’t Take Your Best Stuff With You

    Now that we’ve established that you can take your crochet hook on an airplane, let’s talk about which ones to bring with you (and which ones to leave a home). That gorgeous and expensive crochet hook you got as a Christmas gift? Leave it at home. In fact, if the thought of losing your hook in your couch makes you panic, don’t take it with you. Luggage gets lost all the time or you could potentially have something confiscated so play it safe and leave the good stuff at home. I have a set of cheap ergonomic hooks that I’ll be taking with me on vacation. It costs me $20 to replace the whole set so if I lose one, it isn’t going to devastate me.

    The TSA site does state that the final decision as to whether or not items are permitted are the TSA officers so there could be a chance that even if an item is on the allowed list, it could be confiscated if the TSA officer feels it poses a risk to safety.

    Choose Small Projects for Carry-On Luggage

    Rows of airplane seats. Can I take a crochet hook on an airplane?

    It’s not news that space on an airplane is limited. You’re not going to be making friends with the person (or people) sitting next to you if you bring your queen size afghan project with you on the flight. Maybe they’ll be into it and want to snuggle under it but odds are, they aren’t going to be thrilled. So keep larger projects in your checked bagged and only take smaller projects with you on the plane.

    Use Project Bags For Your Project

    I like to keep my project, yarn and hook case all contained in a small project bag inside my carry-on. It helps keep my stuff accessible and organized. If your bag has straps, you can keep the bag on your wrist, lap or hang it on the back of the seat in front of you on the plane. If you have space to put your bag on the floor during the flight, it helps keep your project clean. Something like THIS looks like it could do great for a trip.

    Be Realistic About How Much to Take With You

    Kneeling woman holding two skeins of yarn in front of her.

    Confession time (it’s a real shocker): I ALWAYS overpack when it comes to yarn. Everytime I have to pack I tell myself I’ll limit what I take and then next thing I know, I have more projects with me than I could realistically finish even if I was vacationing for weeks. Don’t do what I do. I have to do better with this vacation because we’re flying so I have to limit what I bring. Bring what you need for your project because running out and not being able to get more while you’re away could be upsetting. So take what you need and that’s it.

    Need some quick and easy project ideas to take with you on your trip? Check out these free one skein patterns: Once in a Blue Moon Triangle Scarf, The Ava Cowl, Arctic Gem Beanie.

    Take an Empty Bag

    If you can fit most of what you need in your checked luggage, keep your carry-on empty or near-empty. Why? So you can buy more yarn! If you’re going to a place you haven’t been before or to a place that may have yarn stores you haven’t been before, you’ll thank me for this. On our trip to Orlando, I’ve already scoped out there is a Hobby Lobby a short distance from our hotel. We don’t have Hobby Lobby’s here in Canada so you can bet I’m hoping to get a chance to go check it out and that bag will come in handy.

    Thanks for reading and safe travels! Don’t forget to take your crochet hook on an airplane with you the next time you travel! What have your experiences been like travelling with your crochet stuff on an airplane? Got any tips? Share them below!

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