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.
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.
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.
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:
- Crochet Tarantula Free Pattern
- Flikka Flamingo – Free Crochet Flamingo Pattern
- Free Crochet Doll Pattern
- Crochet Doll Outfit: Molly the Mermaid
- Find all my free crochet patterns HERE.
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.
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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.
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:
- Taran Tarantula
- Kaya Koala
- Crochet Koala Keychain
- Flikka Flamingo
- Crochet Christmas Gnome Free Pattern: Gnorman the Gnome
- Salty the Seal (and her seal babies)
- Seth the Sloth
- Otis the Owl
- Baby Owl Crochet Tree Ornament
- Crochet Animal Ears Headband Free Pattern
- Crochet Gnome Christmas Tree Ornament Pattern
- Crochet Bear Ornament Free Pattern
- Faux Fur Crochet Cowl Free Pattern
- Free Crochet Teddy Bear Pattern
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