How to Single Crochet One Row Below – video tutorial

How to Crochet One Row Below - showing a crocheted elephant trunk with a bend in it

Did you know you can crochet one row below where you would normally crochet?

It’s a nifty little trick that can create a neat new texture on the surface of your fabric – but it can have an extra benefit for amigurumi.

It can make your shape bend!

In this terrific video, Stacey shows you how to do it.

Specifically, she shows how to single crochet in the front loop, one row below – but you can use the general idea to do lots of other stitches one row below.

Here’s how.

See how that makes the fabric bend? Isn’t that cool?

Stacey used this technique to get the perfect bend in the truck for her Ellie the Elephant amigurumi pattern.

But that’s not all!

I use the same technique to give Maxwell Monster his adorable underbite.

green crocheted monster head with hairy ears

Get the Maxwell Monster pattern here, and watch the video showing how to use “crochet one row below” to create an underbite here.

I crocheted one row below to get the silly lips on this free squishy monster pattern.

And crochet one row below is one of the skills you build on to be able to front post double crochet – the skill I used to create the ridged lines in this doll’s hair.

How to Crochet Doll Hair using front post double crochet

Crochet one row below. Pretty nifty – eh?

Happy stitching!

Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

How to Double Crochet – video tutorial

How to Double Crochet - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

You may be wondering why you need to learn double crochet. After all, amigurumi are mostly single crochet. That gives the tightest fabric with the smallest holes for the stuffing to peek through.

But sometimes we need some slightly taller stitches (like on the convex side of a bendy piece) so we use half double crochet.

And sometimes we need something even taller, so we use double crochet.

In this video I show you a swatch where you can see (and compare height) between the three most basic crochet stitches – single, half-double, and double.

And, of course, I show you how to do it. 🙂

See how easy that is?

And how much taller it is than single crochet?

That height means bigger holes, so you’ll never see this in amigurumi bodies that need to be stuffed.

But sometimes we’ll use it for special amigurumi details, like the feet on Russ the reversible chick and egg.

reversible chick and egg crocheted toy - it uses double crochet for the feet

One row of single crochet made the feet too small, and two rows was too big. These are just right.

You also see it here in the eye-brow rings on Nelson the Owl.

crocheted owl with double-crochet eyebrow ridges - made with the Nelson the Owl pattern

See how nice and tall they stand up to make elegant eyebrows?

You might also see double crochet as a part of other stitches, like these scallops along the edge of Flit the Fairy’s hair and wings.

Crocheted fairy doll made with the Flit the Fairy pattern

There’s a video here showing how to crochet scallops.

See? Even though amigurumi are mostly single crochet, there are lots of ways to slip in a little bit of double crochet for special touches.

Bonus – double crochet works great for scarves and hats. It’s a little more drapey than single crochet – and extra drapey if you go up a hook size from what the yarn label recommends. It gives scarves and slouchy hats just the right softness.

Happy stitching!

Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

How to Half Double Crochet – video tutorial

Half Double Crochet is a great crochet stitch.

It’s easy to do, a little taller than single crochet.

It’s great for hats and afghans – but we don’t use it very often for amigurumi. Ami are mostly single crochet.

So why am I posting it here?

Well, next month’s Ami Club pattern uses a tiny bit of double crochet, so I wanted to make sure to have a double crochet tutorial video ready on the blog.

And it’s kind of silly to teach double crochet without teaching half double crochet first, so here’s a half double crochet video!

Just a heads up for our friends across the pond – this stitch is called half treble crochet in British patterns. I don’t know why. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

How to Crochet with Eyelash Yarn – video tutorial

How to Crochet with Eyelash Yarn without Crying, Swearing, or Throwing Away Your Crochet Hooks - video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I’ve used eyelash yarn on exactly one project before.

The process was so awful that I didn’t pick up my crochet hooks again for a year.

Yes – I hated it that much. The finished result was adorable – but I couldn’t see my stitches while I was working. I couldn’t even find my loop again if my hook fell out!

That project was just using eyelash yarn on the bottom border of a toddler dress – straight crochet with no shaping. The thought of using the stuff to crochet an amigurumi was unthinkable.

Except that I’ve been thinking about it for a few years. 🙂

You see, I had this idea for a little hedgehog. A really cute little hedgehog with soft prickles made of eyelash yarn.

For years I set the idea aside because – eyelash yarn! *shudders*

Counting stitches? Increasing and decreasing? With eyelash yarn?

Nope. Nope. Nope.

But I kept coming back to it and thinking there has to be a way to crochet with this stuff without going crazy.

I looked at all the tutorials. Most of them suggest crocheting it together with a smooth yarn to help you see your stitches, like this. . .

crocheting with eyelash yarn and regular yarn at the same time

That’s what I did on the dress, and while that made the project possible, it wasn’t even a little bit fun.

I think this suggestion works a lot better for knitting, where the knitting needle tells you right where your stitch is.

Some of the tutorials suggested using a bigger hook. I tried that and it was still impossible to see the stitches. The thought of counting rows and doing increases and decreases was not going to happen.

Inconceivably – The Internet was no help.

So I got out some yarns and hooks and started to play.

And I came up with a solution!

At one point I was thinking about Turkey work embroidery (that’s the stitch I used to make the mane on this lion) and how the finished effect is similar to what I was trying to achieve with this yarn. For Turkey work on stuffed animals you make the animal first and then embroider onto the surface.

That’s it!

Instead of crocheting the actual body of the project with the eyelash yarn – where you have to be accurate with your counts and it’s really important to be able to see your stitches – I decided to crochet the body with smooth yarn and then surface crochet the prickles on top of that using eyelash yarn.

It worked!

Not only was it painless – it was fun! And easier and faster than Turkey work embroidery, for what it’s worth. 🙂

Here’s how.

Now you can add furry yarn to any crochet project! Just make the body first in regular yarn and then add the fur later.

And – it works with other specialty yarns too! I used it with a bouclé yarn to make the fuzzy pajamas that Pippa Puppy is wearing.

crocheted dog hugging a crocheted cat

Handy dandy links. . .

  • I tried a few different yarns, and by far my favorite was Lion Brand Fun Fur. My Joann’s had a pretty limited selection of colors, but if you buy online directly from Lion Brand you can get the full range. Look at all the fun colors!
  • That hedgehog I show in the video is a great pattern to start with – very simple and fast to make. Get the pattern here.

You can also use this method to add little accents using eyelash yarn – like Maxwell Monster‘s hairy ears.

green crocheted monster head with hairy ears

I can’t wait to see what you make!

Happy stitching!

Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

Adorable Easter Eggs – a free crochet pattern

Bowl of colorful crocheted Easter eggs made with a free pattern from Shiny Happy World.

Want to learn how to make adorable crocheted stuffed animals with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Let’s Make Amigurumi here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and how to make an easy amigurumi from start to finish using simple crochet stitches.

It’s a fun, inexpensive, and totally portable craft. You can do it!

Stitch up some easy crocheted Easter eggs with this free pattern.

These little eggs are super fun to stitch up – and a great way to use up your smallest yarn scraps.

The pattern includes instructions for a plain egg, a striped egg, and a spotted egg.

Row of three colorful crocheted Easter eggs - one solid, one striped, and one polkadot

Are you new to crochet and you don’t think you have the skills? Not to worry! These crocheted Easter eggs are a really easy pattern – just increasing and decreasing – nothing to attach. Plus – the links within the pattern go to tutorials showing how to do each step.

If you’re just getting started, start with the plain egg. It’s a great way to learn the basic stitches – single crochet, increase, and decrease.

After you have one under your belt you can try some simple color changes.

Have fun!

You can use any size yarn for this pattern – but if you’re doing stripes or spots, make sure both yarns are as close to the same thickness as possible. Use the hook size recommended on the yarn band – or one size smaller if needed to get a nice tight stitch.

Plain Crocheted Egg

Start out with a sloppy slip knot.

Ch 2. This video shows how to chain stitch.

Round 1 Sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6) This video shows how to single crochet, and this video will help you find the second chain from the hook.

Round 2 Sc twice in each stitch (12) This video will help you with that increase round, if you need it.

Round 3 Sc in each st (12)

Round 4 [Sc twice in next st, sc in next st] 6 times (18) If you’re confused by those brackets and parentheses, take a look at this post about How to Read a Crochet Pattern.

Round 5-6 Sc in each st (18)

Round 7 [Sc twice in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts] 6 times (24)

Rounds 8-10 Sc in each st (24)

Round 11 [Sc2tog, sc in each of next 2 sts] 6 times (18) This video will help you with this first decrease round.

Stuff the egg.

Round 12 [Sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times (12)

Round 13 [Sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Round 14 Use the drawstring method to close up those last six stitches, leaving a perfectly smooth top. This video shows the drawstring method of closing up amigurumi.

Fasten off, pulling the knot towards the center. This video shows how to fasten off.

Done!

Striped Crocheted Easter Egg

For the striped egg you’ll be changing yarn colors. This video shows the basics of how to change colors when you’re doing single crochet, and this video has some tips for making those colors changes a little smoother.

MC is your main color. SC is your second color.

Start out with a sloppy slip knot.

With MC, ch 2.

Round 1 Sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)

Round 2 Sc twice in each stitch (12)

Round 3 Sc in each st (12)

Round 4 [Sc twice in next st, sc in next st] 6 times (18)

Round 5-6 With SC, sc in each st (18)

Round 7 [Sc twice in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts] 6 times (24)

Rounds 8-10 With MC, sc in each st (24)

Round 11 With SC, [sc2tog, sc in each of next 2 sts] 6 times (18)

Stuff the egg.

Round 12 [Sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times (12)

Round 13 [Sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Round 14 Use the drawstring method to close up those last six stitches.

Fasten off, pulling the knot towards the center.

Done!

Polkadot Crocheted Easter Egg

For the spotted egg you’ll be changing colors for just a few stitches at a time. You do that just like the color change in the striped egg, EXCEPT you don’t need to cut and knot your yarn between those changes. Just drop one color and pick up the new color without cutting the yarn. The color you’re not using will just carry on the back of the work. This is called “stranding” and there’s a video showing how to do it here.

MC is your main color. SC is your second color.

Start out with a sloppy slip knot.

With MC, ch 2.

Round 1 Sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)

Round 2 Sc twice in each stitch (12)

Round 3 Sc in each st (12)

Round 4 [Sc twice in next st, sc in next st] 6 times (18)

Round 5-6 [With MC, sc in next 4 sts. With SC, sc in next 2 sts] 3 times (18)

Round 7 With MC [sc twice in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts] 6 times (24)

Rounds 8-10 [With SC, sc in next 3 sts. With MC, sc in next 3 sts] 4 times (24)

Round 11 [Sc2tog, sc in each of next 2 sts] 6 times (18)

Stuff the egg.

Round 12 [Sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times (12)

Round 13 [Sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Round 14 Use the drawstring method to close up those last six stitches.

Fasten off, pulling the knot towards the center.

Done!

And here’s a sweet little lavender version of Blair Bunny. She’s traded her Halloween ghost costume for a pile of cute crocheted Easter eggs!

Lavender crocheted bunny with a pile of colorful crocheted Easter eggs made with a free pattern from Shiny Happy World.

Happy stitching!

Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

How to Crochet Stripes with Minimal Jog – a video tutorial

How to Crochet Stripes with Minimal Jog - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Want to learn how to make adorable crocheted stuffed animals with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Let’s Make Amigurumi here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and how to make an easy amigurumi from start to finish using simple crochet stitches.

It’s a fun, inexpensive, and totally portable craft. You can do it!

I love stripes!

Crocheted stripes, sewn stripes, quilted stripes, embroidered stripes, sewing with striped fabric – I love it all!

When you change color in crochet, it leaves an abrupt step between the colors. That’s called a jog.

Most of the time that doesn’t bother me at all, but sometimes I want to make it smoother. There are a lot of ways to do that – including some pretty crazy complex methods – but I’ve found a very simple method that’s super easy. It’s not perfect, but it smooths that abrupt step between crocheted stripes into a gentle ramp. Much better!

Here’s how.

See how easy that is?

Want some projects to practice on?

This free crocheted Easter egg pattern includes instructions for an egg with stripes.

bowl of colorful crocheted Easter eggs made with a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

It’ll just use a few scraps of yarn and it’s a great test piece to try out the technique.

Here’s another small project – but a little more complicated because you need to attach wings. But bumblebee stripes are great practice!

Get the free bumblebee pattern here.

Ready for something bigger? Try Roy the Rainbow Monster.

Roy the Rainbow Monster - a fun crochet amigurumi pattern from FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World

You’ll get lots of practice learning to crochet stripes with this cutie!

Here are some other posts with helpful info for striping. . .

Happy stitching!

Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

How to Make a Pompom Tail – video tutorial

How to Make a Pompom Tail (and attach it to amigurumi) - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

We’re hopping into spring – which means it’s a useful time to know how to make a quick and easy pompom tail. 🙂

There are lots of great pompom tools out there (I especially love this adorable llama-themed one from Betz White) but sometimes you just have your hands and a pair of scissors on hand. That’s all you need for this method. 🙂

Be super careful not to cut those long tails! You saw how useful they are for attaching your bunny tail. 🙂

Want the pattern for that bunny? Get the Ringo Rabbit pattern here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

Howie the Penguin – free crochet amigurumi pattern

Howie the Penguin - gree crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitchesHowie is a great pattern for those just getting started, because he uses only a few of the most basic skills. You’ll find links to those skills sprinkled throughout the pattern wherever you need them – that way you can learn as you go! Just click on the link to hop to the tutorial.

There’s a free video class here that takes you through everything you need to know to get started with amigurumi. You can work your way through that class using this free pattern if you like. 🙂

The skills you’ll need for just about any amigurumi are. . .

Additional skills for this pattern. . .

You can go through all those posts now, or just hop to them as you get to those points in the pattern – whatever works best for you!

Yarn

This pattern can be used with any weight yarn! Just use the hook recommended on the ball band, and adjust as needed (see ‘gauge notes’ below). For a bigger, super-cuddly animal, try a bulky weight yarn! Just keep in mind that you’ll use more yardage than recommended. The sample is crocheted in worsted weight yarn, and all yardage/ hook recommendations are calculated based on the sample.

Less than 220 yards (1 skein) is required of each color. For the yarn, Stacey used 100% wool worsted weight (Ella Rae Classic the brand used in the sample). However, any worsted weight yarn can be substituted.

  • MC- Black (Plymouth Galway Worsted color # 154)
  • SC- White (Ella Rae Classic color #01)
  • AC1- Yellow (Ella Rae Classic color #44)
  • AC2- Blue (Ella Rae Classic color #83)

Other Tools and Supplies

Gauge Notes

This pattern doesn’t specify a gauge. It’s a stuffed animal, and you don’t need to be too picky about exact sizing. The most important thing is that you use a hook size that creates a nice looking fabric for your yarn. If you use the recommended hook size, and your fabric looks very loose (so that stuffing would show through), then you will want to use a smaller hook. Other than that, no measuring required!

In case you’re curious about getting the exact gauge Stacey does, it’s 5 rounds=2 inches. Note that you will need to have this gauge for the yardage suggestions to provide an accurate estimation.

Stitch into the Back

All stitches in this pattern (that are worked in the round) are worked through the back loop only, unless otherwise directed. Look at this picture.

Stitching in the Back Loop

See how one loop is highlighted in black? This is the back loop, and it’s what you’ll stitch into. Stitching into the back loop creates ridges on the right side of the piece.

Want to see crocheting through the back loop in action? Check out this blog post. It talks all about why Stacey crochets through the back loop and even has a handy dandy video showing how to find that loop. 🙂

Abbreviations

  • ch: chain
  • sc: single crochet
  • sc2tog: single crochet 2 stitches together
  • st(s): stitch(es)

Ready? Let’s jump in!

The Pattern

Eye Circles

Make 2.
With AC2, ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot. This video shows how. And this video shows how to chain.)
Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6) This post will help you find that second chain from the hook.
Round 2 sc twice in each st (12) This video will help you if you find it tricky to start the second round.
Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18) (Whoa! What’s with the brackets? It’s just telling you that set is going to repeat. So do everything in the brackets, and then repeat that same series for a total of six times. No big deal. And the 18 in parentheses is telling you that this round is a total of 18 stitches. It’s a good way to check your work.)
Round 4 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts.] 6 times (24)

Fasten off with long tail.

Feet

Make 2.
With AC1, ch 2
Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2 sc twice in each st (12)
Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18)
Rounds 4-5 sc in each st (18, 2 rounds)

Fasten off with long tail.

Wings

Make 2.
With MC, ch 2
Round 1 sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2 sc twice in each st (12)
Rounds 3-4 sc in each st (12, 2 rounds)
Round 5 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st] 6 times (18)
Rounds 6-9 sc in each st (18, 4 rounds)
Round 10 [sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times (12)

Fasten off with long tail.

Beak

With AC1, ch 2
Round 1 sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2 sc twice in each st (12)
Rounds 3-5 sc in each st (12, 3 rounds)

Fasten off with long tail.

Tummy Circle

With SC, ch 2
Round 1 sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2 sc twice in each st (12)
Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st] 6 times (18)
Round 4 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts] 6 times (24)
Round 5 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts] 6 times (30)
Round 6 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts] 6 times (36)
Round 7 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts] 6 times (42)
Round 8 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 6 sts] 6 times (48)

Fasten off with long tail.

Body

With MC, ch 2
Round 1 sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2 sc twice in each st (12)
Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st] 6 times (18)
Round 4 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts] 6 times (24)
Round 5 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts] 6 times (30)
Round 6 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts] 6 times (36)
Round 7 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts] 6 times (42)
Round 8 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 6 sts] 6 times (48)
Round 9 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 7 sts] 6 times (54)
Round 10 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 8 sts] 6 times (60)
Rounds 11-21 sc in each st (60, 11 rounds)
Round 22 [sc2tog, sc in next 8 sts] 6 times (54)
Round 23 sc in each st (54)
Round 24 [sc2tog, sc in next 7 sts] 6 times (48)
Round 25 sc in each st (48)
Round 26 [sc2tog, sc in next 6 sts] 6 times (42)
Round 27 sc in each st (42)
Round 28 [sc2tog, sc in next 5 sts] 6 times (36)
Round 29 sc in each st (36)
Round 30 [sc2tog, sc in next 4 sts] 6 times (30)
Round 31 sc in each st (30)

Remove hook, but do not fasten off!

Flatten feet, and attach to round 7 of body. This post shows to how flatten and attach amigurumi pieces.

Howie the Penguin - free crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Flatten wings, and attach to each side of body, at approximately round 22.

Howie the Penguin - free crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Attach eye circles to body. The bottom of the eye circles should be attached to round 21, and the top of the eye circles will reach round 27. Be sure that the two eye circles touch in the center. This post shows how to use running stitch to attach flat pieces (like spots) to amigurumi.

Howie the Penguin - free crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Attach tummy circle to body. The bottom should be attached at round 9 (two rounds above the feet), and slightly overlap the bottom of the eye circles at the top.

Howie the Penguin - free crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Fasten eyes onto the head. To do so, just insert the post where you want the eye to go (for Howie it’s in the center of his eye circles) and press the washer onto the back post to secure. Make sure the washer is pushed on all the way.

Stuff beak slightly, and attach over the point where the eye circles and tummy circle meet. This post shows how to do that kind of attachment.

Howie the Penguin - free crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Stuff the penguin body and continue crocheting.

This post has tips for stuffing amigurumi (it’s a little different from sewn softies), and this video has some terrific help for closing up those last few rounds.

Round 32 [sc2tog, sc in next 3 sts] 6 times (24)
Round 33 [sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts] 6 times (18)
Round 34 [sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times (12)
Round 35 [sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Ta da! You made a penguin!

Howie the Penguin - free crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Aren’t you proud? You should be!

Click here to download a handy dandy printable PDF of the free Howie the penguin amigurumi pattern.

Snap a photo and share it with us over in the Shiny Happy People group! If you share it on social media, tag with with #shinyhappyworld so I can see it. 🙂

I hope you want to make something else now. You can shop for more crochet patterns here. And join the Ami Club here!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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

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