I’m so excited… the Cow Crochet-a-long is officially underway! Every couple of days, I’ll be sharing my crocheting progress with you, as well as sharing some tips that I hope you find helpful.
If you get stuck on a tricky spot, feel free to leave me a comment (and I’ll help you out!), or come over to the Shiny Happy People group and chat about your troubles! there are lots of friendly people there to help. 🙂
Gathering your Materials
You can’t crochet a cow without materials, right?
A peek at the cow’s pattern page gives us a listing of supplies… I’ll show you what I’ve gathered!
If you’re doing a cow-colored cow, you’ll need 155 yards of white, 55 yards of black and 20 yards of tan.
I decided to go a little wild, and I’m doing a rainbow-colored cow:
I just dug into my ‘leftover’ pile of yarn to scrounge up some pretty colors. I’m pretty sure I have enough (there’s tons!), but if you’re not sure, check out this blog post on calculating yardage from weight. Then, you’ll be sure you have enough!
For stuffing, I buy the FiberFill that’s available in my local craft store. Nothing fancy! And one 20 oz. bag is plenty for a couple of cows!
Since cows have those big, soulful eyes, I used 18mm eyes (which are larger than the 12mm I usually use). I used brown in the sample, but I picked a bright blue for my rainbow-cow. . .
You’ll need a tapestry needle for assembling your cow parts. A tapestry needle is different from a sewing needle: it’s not sharp (yay! no ouchy fingers!) and the eye is big enough for your yarn to fit through.
You have one of these, right? I recommend using a G or H hook when using a medium weight yarn… but the most important thing is that the stuffing doesn’t show through your stitches! If it does, feel free to adjust your hook size (smaller for tighter fabric) accordingly.
Are you having trouble crocheting? It could be that your hook doesn’t match up with your crocheting style. Read my crochet hook review for help finding a hook that’s right for you.
Locking Stitch Markers
These are your best friend! I’ll tell you why in a minute… but I’ll tell you what they are, first! A locking stitch marker is a marker that locks in place and won’t fall off of your work (no matter how hard you throw it into your project bag). They come in a few varieties:
(from top left, clockwise: handmade markers from The Sexy Knitter’s Etsy shop, round-ended markers from Hiya Hiya, totally non-fancy stitch markers (very similar to these), and regular ol’ safety pins.)
Everyone has their favorites, but the most important thing is that they open and close! Don’t get fooled into buying those ordinary ring markers that are for knitting needles… they don’t work for us crocheters!
Why the Locking Stitch Marker is your BFF
One simple little notion! And so many functions!
A locking stitch marker will help you keep track of the end of your round AND count how many rows you’ve done!
The most common problem crocheters have in making amigurumi is losing track of where the round starts and ends… which leads to an incorrect stitch count and mayhem! So, I’ll show you how to use a locking stitch marker!
Don’t lose track of your end of round!
I don’t tend to use a stitch marker for the first couple of rounds (because there are so few stitches per round), but I usually start at the end of the third round (here, I’m crocheting the snout of the cow, but most pieces begin similarly):
Since I crochet through the back loop only the front loop is available to hold a locking stitch marker:
Close it up, and keep crocheting!
I know I’m finished with my next round when I’m just above the stitch marker, like this:
Then I can move the marker and start my next round. No confusion!
Have you gotten started?
I’m so excited to keep up with everyone’s CAL progress! And don’t forget to let me know if there’s a spot that’s giving you trouble!