How to Slip Stitch – video tutorial

How to Slip Stitch - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Slip stitch is a really easy – and very handy – stitch to have in your toolbox.

It’s great for closing up the very final tiny hole in the top of an amigurumi.

I also use it any time I want to shift from the “step” of a single crochet stitch, to a more gradual “ramp.” You’ll see what I mean in the video – and also how to do it. 🙂

See how easy that is?

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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How to Chain in Crochet – video tutorial

Chain stitches are the foundation for most crochet work – and they’re really easy to do.

Watch this video – Stacey will show you how to do it.

It’s kind of crazy that all crochet is just one long, continuous piece of yarn wrapped and looped around itself. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

I love making softies with oval bases. They require shaping that’s a little different than your usual amigurumi rounds – but they’re not hard to do.

There are two basic techniques for creating an oval. Each one gives you a slightly different look, so I’ll show you both.

Both start with a chain

Chain until the piece is as long as you want. You’re creating the center of the oval, so keep in mind that this piece will grow in all directions!

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Turn and sc in 2nd st and each remaining st

You will end up with one stitch fewer than the number of chains you started with.

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Work the bottom side of the foundation chain

For both of these techniques, you’ll need to work the bottom side of the foundation chain.

If you aren’t sure how to do that, hop on over to this blog post – How to Work the Bottom Side of a Foundation Chain.

Technique 1: Increase at ends

One way to achieve an oval is to sc 3 times in each of the end stitches. You want to use stitches *directly* on the ends to get an even oval.

To do this, single crochet into the turning chain and the starting knot (unusual, I know!)

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Put a locking stitch marker in the center of the 3 single crochet stitches, and increase (3 stitches in 1) on each side every round.

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

You increase 4 stitches each round. The result is a flatter oval with more pointy-looking ends.

Technique 2: Increase at ‘corners’

To begin this technique, sc twice in each of the 4 ‘corners’ of your piece, that is the first and last stitch of each side.

Do not work the turning chain or knot.

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Place a locking stitch marker in the increase stitch furthest away from the end points.

How to Crochet an Oval for Amigurumi - two methods from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

The result is a nicely rounded oval. Just like technique 1, you are increasing by 4 sts/round.

Continue increasing (sc twice in 1 stitch) at the stitches with the stitch marker. The stitch markers will move apart by 2 stitches each round (put differently, the ‘increased stitch’ goes towards the short side of the rectangle).

Experiment!

Both of these techniques can be used on crochet chains that have been added to an existing piece, such as to create a tail or snout on your amigurumi!

You can achieve so many fun and interesting shapes!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Stacey
Stacey from FreshStitches

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How to Single Crochet Decrease – video tutorial

How to Decrease in Single Crochet - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

When you need to make a shape smaller, you’ll use single crochet decrease.

You’ll see this abbreviated in patterns as dec, or sc2tog – which stands for single crochet two stitches together.

And that’s exactly what it is! You’re going from two stitches down to one.

Here’s how.

See how easy that is?

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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How to Single Crochet Increase – video tutorial

How to Increase (single crochet) - a video from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Any time you need to make your amigurumi bigger, you’ll use single crochet increase. It’s super easy! You just stitch twice in one stitch.

Here’s how.

Sometimes you’ll see this written in instructions as “inc” and you decide where to put the increases, but our patterns usually spell it out, like “sc twice in next st.” We like to make things clear and easy. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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How to Crochet the Second Round of Amigurumi – video tutorial

How to Crochet the Second Round on Amigurumi - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

There are a kajillion tutorials out there showing you how to start amigurumi. (My favorite is the sloppy slip knot.)

And there are several showing how to single crochet.

But that’s where many of them seem to stop.

And a lot of people have questions about what comes next.

How do you crochet the second round of amigurumi? The trick for a lot of people is finding the first stitch of the round.

That’s what Stacey shows you here.

See? The trick is in counting your stitches. 🙂 Once you have that down, the rest is easy as pie!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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How to Single Crochet – video tutorial

How to Single Crochet - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Single crochet is the only stitch you need for almost all amigurumi – and it’s super easy to do!

Here’s how to do it.

See how easy that is? Just wrapping and pulling. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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Crochet Tools – Everything You Need

Crochet Tools - everything you need to get started, from Shiny Happy World

You only need a few things to crochet amigurumi – a hook (to crochet), some stitch markers (to mark your place), and a tapestry needle (to weave in the ends and attach arms and legs).

Besides yarn – that’s really it! It’s a lovely craft – and easy to carry your projects everywhere.

I’ve added these tools to the Shiny Happy World shop.

Crochet Hook Set from Shiny Happy World

This set of hooks includes the three most common sizes for working with medium weight yarn.

Locking Stitch Markers from Shiny Happy World

This packet contains 20 locking stitch markers – more than enough for any amigurumi project. I use these to mark the end of a row, to mark where eyes and noses go, to hold pieces in place while I whipstitch them together, and more. They’re super useful!

(If you want something a little fancier, pick up these cute heart-shaped stitch markers.)

Extra Large Tapestry Needles from Shiny Happy World

These are the biggest tapestry needles I could find and they’re awesome for crochet. Yes – you may have a large embroidery needle that you could maybe, with a lot of effort and swearing, work a piece of yarn into. Do yourself a favor and just get the enormous needles. They cost $1.99 and you’ll be glad you spent the money every time you need to thread some yarn.

Total for all these tools?

$15.48

Add in a pattern and a skein of yarn and maybe a packet of eyes, you could be making your first amigurumi for less than $25.

Give it a try! And happy stitching! 🙂

Best,
Wendi

Two New Fabric Bundles – Beautiful Blues and Pretty Pinks

Beautiful Blues - coordinated fabric bundle from Shiny Happy World

There are two new fabric bundles in the shop!

The beautiful blues you see above, and these pretty pinks.

Pretty Pinks - coordinated fabric bundle from Shiny Happy World

I’ve had a lot of requests over the years for some coordinated monochromatic bundles, and now that I have a little more storage space I’m giving them a try!

I figure if blue and pink don’t sell, nothing will. 🙂

These bundles are a little unusual.

You get a stack of 2/3 yard cuts.

Why 2/3 yard? That’s a REALLY weird size.

But it works great for Shiny Happy World patterns. My applique quilts are all built on blocks cut 11 inches square – so 2/3 yard cuts are a great amount to buy so you end up with very little waste.

Each bundle contains enough fabric for your background blocks, your binding, and all your appliques. You’ll have some scraps left, but it won’t be enough for the backing so buy that fabric separately.

(I recommend this cuddle fleece. It’s what I use for all my quilt backs.)

 

If you’re making up one of my quilt patterns I recommend cutting the background blocks first. That gets you the biggest pieces out of the way while the fabric is still whole.

Next cut your binding strips. The pattern will tell you how many you need.

Finally, cut all your applique pieces out of what’s left. 🙂

These are really versatile bundles with a mix of solids and prints in a range from light to dark. Here’s a quilt made just with the Beautiful Blues.

Elephant Parade - an easy applique quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World

Get the Beautiful Blues bundle here.

Get the Pretty Pinks bundle here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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