Miss Dolkapots Krafties

Posts Tagged ‘crochet tips

I had several messages from people who would like to crochet amigurumi items based on patterns but still have difficulty understanding the technical terms and abbreviations. I have been there, my first project was a little bear which ended looking like a voodoo doll because I had no clue what I was doing. The instructions looked like special codes and cipher from some James Bond flick and I wasn’t about to save the world with my crochet hook. I was very discouraged and for a while, I stopped trying. I learned, eventually, but it took me a lot of efforts to get started.

I am going to base these instructions on the way I write my own patterns, starting with the abbreviations. Patterns start with the list of materials you will need, and in most cases the type of crochet stitches you are going to use. Here a the basic ones:

rnd: round
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
st = stitch
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
inc = increase
dec = decrease
beg = beginning
blo = back loop only
flo = front loop only

Most amigurumi start with a magic ring, so in most cases, you will be asked to make one. Here is a very good video by June Gilbank that shows you how to make one and its purpose:

Now that you know what a magic ring is made, here is a sample from one of my pattern to make a ball:

Make a magic ring,
Rnd 1: 6 sc in center of the ring (6)
You make 6 single crochet in the ring you just made (this step is explained in the video). The (6) is the number of stitches you end up with when you finish the round.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
You make 2 single crochet in every 6 stitches of the last round. At the end of this row, you should have 12 stitches.

Rnd 3: [1 sc, inc] 6 times (18)
This is what the instructions would be without abbreviations:
“1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, increase –  1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, increase.”
You repeated the process of one single crochet and one increase 6 times. Once you finish this round you end up with 18 stitches

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times (24) 
“1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet,  1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, increase – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, increase “
Similar to the previous round but you make 2 single crochet and one increase 6 times. Once you finish this round you end up with 24 stitches.

Rnd 5 to 9: sc in each st around (24)
For the next 5 rounds, you will just single crochet in each stitch. You will end up with the same number of stitches at the end.

Rnd 10: [2 sc, dec] 6 times (18) 
This is what the instructions would be without abbreviations:
“1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet,  1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, decrease.”
On this round, you made 2 single crochet and one decrease 6 times. You end up with 18 stitches at the end of your row.

Rnd 11: [1 sc, dec] 6 times (12)
“1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, decrease – 1 single crochet, decrease.”
On this round, you made 1 single crochet and one decrease 6 times. You end up with 18 stitches at the end of your row.

Rnd 12: dec 6 times (6)
Fasten off.
You decrease 6 times and end up with 6 stitches at the end of this round.
Cut your yarn and pull it with your hook.

Now that your ball is finished and stuffed with fiberfill, how do you close it? You still have 6 stitches left. In order to do that you will use your remaining thread and a needle. Insert your needle and thread in the front loop of each stitch of the last row and pull your string, this process with close the hole. You can hide the rest of the thread by weaving it between stitches of the ball.

Starting your round with a chain instead of a magic ring
There are cases where a pattern will ask you to start with a chain to start your first round, here is an example:
5 in ch,
Rnd 1: sc in second ch from hook, 2 sc, inc, turn, 2 sc, inc (9)
This is what the instructions would be without abbreviations:
Make 5 stitches to make a chain,
“single crochet in the second chain from the hook, single crochet, single crochet, increase, turn to the other side of the chain, single crochet, single crochet, increase.”
This one sounds a little bit more complex so I added a visual to understand the process:

Tail-3.jpg

I hope this helps a little, not everybody writes patterns the same way so I don’t expect to have solved all the difficulties one might run into while reading a pattern. But if you have any questions, or things you would like me to add to this post let me know in the comments.

Happy crocheting!

Advertisements

There are different ways to make a mouth when you crochet a doll, the most common technique  is to just sew it with embroidery thread, a strand of yarn, or glue one with felt. This is a tutorial to learn how to make a three dimensional mouth, which looks more complex, even though it is very easy to achieve once you know how to do it!

Mr Dummy, my guinea pig for this tutorial

Mr Dummy, my guinea pig for this tutorial

sep_lineTo start this tutorial, just make a head as you usually do until you reach the level where you want the mouth to be. I am using a little dummy I just made for this purpose, I named it… Mr Dummy.

I decided to start the mouth at this level

I decided to start the mouth at this level

Next row: just crochet around as usual until you reach the stitches where you want the mouth to start. Make a chain of 6 stitches and join at the row. (if you want the mouth larger, just add more stitches to your chain, and count an equal amount on row to join). Resume with your rows as usual.

6 stitches in chain = 6 stitches on row. if you want the mouth wider, just add equal number of stitches on the chain and row.

6 stitches in chain = 6 stitches on row etc…

Continue to work in sc for a few rows

sc around and continue for a few rows

Stop working on the head after a few row.

Start working on the inside of the mouth

Hold after a couple of rows to work on the inside of the mouth.

With yarn of your choice (you can use the same one, black, or pink, red..), I am using a darker shade of brown. Make a circle:
Make a magic ring
– Rnd 1: 6 sc in center of the ring (6)
– Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Fasten off, leave a long tail for sewing.
Note: if you made the mouth larger, you will have to make a larger circle as well.

The circle is worked as a spiral

The circle is worked as a spiral

Start sewing at the top corner of the mouth, using the back stitches of the hole, continue to sew all the way around until the hole is closed. Fasten off, and weave in the loose ends.

Sewing the inside of the mouth with the head.

Sewing the inside of the mouth with the head.

the head of the doll with the mouth done

The head of the doll with the mouth done

Now you can start stuffing the head, and resume with your work. You can add a little tongue with red felt in the inside of the mouth, but that is optional!

This tutorial is the same concept I used to make my Sackboy, but with a wider mouth: see Amigurumi Sackboy.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments section!

When you read a crochet pattern,  often you will see a note about the gauge. Gauge is the measurement between a beginning point, and ending point.  To make the explanation really simple, here is a swatch I made that measures  2″ x 1.5″, which for me equals to 9 stitches and 6 rows in single crochet. That’s my gauge:

Gauge

Gauge is important if you are going to work on a hat, gloves, or things that require a specific finish size. It’s not crucial when you work on dolls or plushes, unless you want them to be a certain height. In that case, you would have to figure out your gauge in diameter since the yarn is worked in rounds. The final size will  depend on the yarn and the hook you choose, as well as the tension. Tension is just how tight or loose you hold your yarn while you are crocheting.

The most common hook size to work on plushes is US-G/6 (4mm), and worst medium/4  for the yarn. What you have to do is figure out what really works for you. Here are two spheres I made with the same yarn, same pattern but with two different hooks. One is the G/4mm, the other one is 1/2.75mm.

yarn_balls

You can tell a big difference! I personally like to work with hooks that are smaller than the required size for the yarn. It makes the stitches tighter, and doesn’t let the stuffing see through. If you look at a close up on this following picture, you can see holes on the sphere that I made with the 4mm hook.

Close_up

Best thing to do is to practice. You can play around with different hooks and different kind of yarn to find out what you like best!

I hope you find this information useful, and if you have any questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to comment. Happy crocheting!


Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,749 other followers

Follow Me

Advertisements