Biggest EVER Black Friday sale is LIVE!

FreshStitches’s Black Friday sale is now live (a couple hours ahead of the scheduled midnight, November 24th EST) and runs through Cyber Monday. I am so excited about this one… it’s BIG!

 

Black Friday timezones

Different from previous years, items will be on sale the entire weekend, but there are additional bonuses for purchasing on Black Friday (details below).

At the end of Cyber Monday, I am putting the shop on vacation (to prepare for my annual journey overseas for the holidays), so if you want eyes, be sure to order them next weekend! You won’t be able to purchase eyes again until 2018!

Are you so excited? Here’s the sale! Below, you’ll find links to each item, sorted by percentage discount.

 

Biggest Black Friday Sale Ever Craft

Special Friday-only discounts!

Check out the bottom half of that graphic!

Buy $30 and get free shipping to the US, $60 for free international shipping, no coupon code needed!

AND there are extra goodies for Ami Club members! Spend $10, $20 or $45 and get the free item listed! You must add the item(s) to your cart and enter the coupon code to receive your free item. For inventory reasons, I will not be able to honor a free item that you forgot to enter or that is typed into the notes.

Log into the forums to see the special coupon codes!

Small Print and Notes

For the weekend, I will remove the 10% discount on eyes for Ami Club members (it just makes the discounts more transparent for you to see!) Basically, I added that extra 10% into calculating the Black Friday Sales price.

Coupon codes for Friday-only goodies for Ami Club members are in the forums. You may use multiple coupons (for example, if you spend $60, you will get free international shipping AND free 12mm eyes AND locking stitch markers AND 8mm eyes… but you need to enter all 3 coupon codes).

I expect the website to be slow due to large amounts of traffic. I’ve upgraded the server for the weekend, but there may be some slowdowns. If you experience slowness, please be patient and try again!

I also expect a number of items to sell out. Please try to make your purchases as early as possible to get the largest selection!

Due to the large number of orders, I cannot combine shipments. (For example, if you order eyes and then forgot that you also wanted rattles, I cannot refund your shipping and combine the two shipments. I do on normal occasions, but this is a weekend I have hundreds of packages flying out!)

I am so excited about this!!! Get shopping!

Below is a list of links to all of the products, for your convenience!

Eyes from FreshStitches

70% off

These are items that are either being discontinued or that I ordered WAY too many of in one shipment! Snap them up while you can!

Yarn Skein Necklaces

Sheep Necklaces (only gold left in stock)

18mm color eyes

12mm cat eyes

18mm cat eyes

20mm oval comic eyes

60% off

Crochet Enamel Pin

All craft noses:

8mm color eyes

Jumbo clear eyes

Handpainted and Glitter eyes

50% off

Large rattles

Craft Eye Sampler Boxes

ALL Black Craft Eyes:

All Comic eyes:

Clear eyes

40% off

12mm color eyes

Heart locking stitch markers

Tulip locking stitch markers

Puppy snips

Kitty snips

Octopus snips

Sharp mini-scissors

20% off

All bulk eyes (limited sizes in stock):

September Crochet Fun + Fave Links

I can’t believe it’s already September! Time is moving so fast (and um, it was 105 in Los Angeles last week… that feels like July to me!).

As always, I have lots of exciting news to share! If there’s something specific you’d like to see on the blog, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Mojo the Monster

This month’s exclusive Ami Club pattern is Mojo the Monster!

He uses the new shaping technique we learned for the horns last month (single crocheting in one row below instead of using slip stitches, which have a tendency to bias)… I’m really loving it!

Mojo uses a 24mm black eye… but I also think he’d look amazing by leaving out the white crocheted eye and just using a 40mm eye (by painting a 40mm clear eye. Check out instructions here.) So many possibilities!

Handpainted Eyes back in stock!

FreshStitches handpainted eyes

Last month, I made a limited edition number of handpainted craft eyes just for Ami Club members. They were so popular (they sold out in just a day or two!), that I’ve decided to make up some more!

They are currently available in purple and copper in 12mm. I have a small number of larger handpainted glitter eyes.

handpainted copper eyes from FreshStitches

My plan is to bring in a limited number of colors and sizes on a rotating basis (for example, this month is purple and copper 12mm, next month might be 15mm or glow-in-the-dark), so I encourage you to grab a color that you love when you see it.

Because theses are each handpainted, they’re a bit pricier than usual, and sold per pair.

If you’re looking for a great value and consistent stock, then don’t forget about my commercially-produced colored eyes which come in lots of lovely pearlescent colors! Because they come to me painted from the factory, I am able to offer them at a low price (and they’re way prettier than the dull brown ones you get from craft shops- if they still have eyes in stock!)

Shimmer craft eyes from FreshStitches!

Featured September Patterns

These patterns are 50% off for Ami Club members… the coupon code is in the forum: September Featured Patterns: 50% off!

I went with a theme this month… all of the patterns use 18mm brown eyes! That way, you can buy a 5-pair pack and make all 3… and still have two pairs! Hooray!

Jim the Goat

We went to the county fair last weekend and they had baby goats… squee! I think they’re just the cutest! Don’t let them try to eat your pants leg though 😉

Purchase link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amigurumi-jim-the-goat

Jackie the Cow

This pattern is a real favorite… I think he might even be the second best-seller behind Nelson the Owl! Everyone loves a sweet cow, and you can have lots of fun by getting really crazy with the colors! Check out this one I made as a custom order:

crazy crochet amigurumi cow

 

Purchase link: https://freshstitches.com/cow/

Little Ger the Felted Bear

I love felting- just crochet with a wool yarn and throw it in the washing machine! (more detailed instructions are in the pattern, but basically that’s it!) The result is a very sturdy and durable fabric that will make a long-lasting stuffed animal. Give it a try!

Purchase Pattern: https://freshstitches.com/bearfelt2/

Crochet-a-long begins September 15th!

I’m not going to spill the beans on the theme yet, but our new crochet-a-long begins September 15th and runs through October 31st! Everyone is welcome to participate, but only Ami Club members receive the crochet-a-long pattern as a free download. (psst… membership is only $6/month- that’s the price of a pattern! Maybe you want to try it for a month and see if you like it!)

Post photos on Facebook

You may or may not know, but we have a crazy number of followers on the FreshStitches facebook page… over 568,000!

freshstitches facebook

Now, to be totally honest, I’m not really sure who all of the people are… because I certainly don’t have over a half-a-million users on the website! Anyway, needless to say, when we were going through that growth spurt, moderating the page got a little crazy (with people posting a lot of spam and such). To keep it under control, I turned off the ‘post to page’ option.

Now things have calmed down, and I’m trying an experiment. I’ve turned ‘post to page’ back on, and I would love for you to share your crocheted amigurumi– FreshStitches or not (but bonus points if it’s a FreshStitches patterns or feature my eyes!) And we’ll see how it goes!

Obviously, I want a friendly atmosphere and would rather develop content for you than spend all day moderating the facebook group, so if it gets crazy again, we may need to edit. But let’s give it a try!

Fave Links

I hope you have a great September, and for those of you in Florida, please be safe!!!

What size are my craft eyes?

Do you have some plastic craft eyes in a box somewhere… and you aren’t sure how to tell what size they are?

Umm… yup, me too. Don’t worry! Today, I’ll show you how easy it is to figure out what size they are!

All you need is a ruler with millimeter measurements. A craft eye is sized by its diameter in millimeters. So, to determine the size, place the ruler across the widest part of the eye.

Using a ruler to measure plastic safety eyes

You can see that this eye is a 24mm. Easy!

If you have a needle gauge and small eyes, I have an even easier way. Knitting needle measurements are determined by the diameter of the needle, so you can simply stick the eye in the gauge!

Measuring a craft eye with a needle gauge

This is an 8mm eye, and it fits fully in the 8mm slot (size 11 needle).

Here’s a look at the back view:

Note that the eye fits snugly in the hole, but does not go entirely through like a knitting needle would.

Now you can organize your craft eye stash!

 

 

How to Use Safety Eyes

Craft eyes. Plastic eyes. Safety eyes. Animal eyes. They’re called lots of different things!

craft eyes from FreshStitches

I’ve made a video that shows you how to install them and remove them (eep!). I also talk about why I only use eyes with ridges and plastic washers as well as why you shouldn’t use them on toys for children under 3 years old.

Below, I’ve also included a quickie tutorial for those of you who want to get ‘straight to the point’ as well as some other links you might like!

Ready to get some eyes for your creations? Visit my craft eyes shop for the best selection of black, clear and colored animal eyes, comic eyes and craft noses. Is it your first order? Use the code FIRSTTIME for 10% off your eyes purchase!

Video Tutorial for Craft Eyes

This is a little 5 minute video. Enjoy!

How to install craft eyes

I opened the FreshStitches eyes shop because I really like ridged eyes and plastic washers… and I was tired of ordering eyes that showed plastic washers in the picture, but getting metal ones. Or getting eyes without the ridges. Geesh. Those things matter! It’s like ordering a long-sleeve shirt but getting one without sleeves. Not the same.

That’s why every pair of eyes I sell has ridges on the post with plastic washers. There are actually a few styles of eye I’ve wanted to carry, but they only came with metal washers. Nope. No deal. I’m pretty passionate about a plastic washer.

Plastic washers don’t bend as you try to put them on, and if they’re good quality, they’re amazingly strong. (That’s why I recommend you buy eyes from someone you trust, and not just the cheapest ones you can find from China.) And do you see those little points?

plastic washer on a safety eye

Those little ‘barbs’ dig into the fabric and keep the eye from rotating. Which isn’t a big deal if you’re just using a black craft eye, but is crucial if you’re using a comic eye. You don’t want them twisting and giving you googly eyes!

The ridges on the posts of craft eyes help the washer click on (and stay on!) securely. I love hearing the ‘click’ as I press the washer on! The ridges also help to make sure the washer doesn’t back off AND makes sure the washer presses on evenly.

how to attach a craft eye 2

So, let me show you how to install a craft eye with a plastic washer.

First, insert the post of the craft eye between the stitches on your piece where you want it to go. I recommend that you place the eyes first, before pressing on the washers, just to see if you like the look.

monkey with heart eyes

Once your eyes are positioned how you’d like, press the flat side of the washer (that’s the one with the tiny barbs!) onto the post.

Here’s a photo of how it will look (but without the fabric getting in the way… obviously, your piece doesn’t really look like this!):

how to attach a safety eye 3

I don’t want you to stress too much about this, because if you try to put the washer on backwards, it just won’t go.

Now, push! You’ll hear that click, and it’s on!

A note about 6mm craft eyes

 

The 6mm craft eyes, because they are SO tiny, have smaller plastic washers without the ‘barbs’. But don’t worry, the same rule applies: flat side towards the fabric.

6mm safety eyes

Other links you’ll enjoy

Here are some other craft-eye-related links you’ll like!

 

 

 

 

New eyes, restock + bulk offer for members!

I’m not sure if you noticed, but the eyes shop has been looking pretty sparse since my mega Black Friday sale. I knew I’d sell a lot of eyes that weekend, which is why I put in my new eye order at the start of September!

But because I order some exclusive styles, they have to haul out some pretty obscure molds… and my eyes order just arrived on Friday! Whoa! Felt like forever!

I was busy packing eyes into sweet little packages all weekend… so how about I show you what’s new in the latest shop update?

Bulk Eyes for Members

You know about Ami Club, right? It’s my dream come true: a crochet forum and an adorable monthly pattern plus tutorials and more. And members get 10% off of eyes (yup! Just log in!)

But it’s more. You see, when I started the Club, I wanted to provide a resource for small-biz crafters. You know, the folks who make a few dozen animals for their local craft fair. Or who have their own Etsy shop. Or maybe even have their animals for sale in gift shops. It’s why we have a dedicated Designers & Crafters forum in the forums.

It’s been my plan from the beginning to offer wholesale pricing on certain eyes, and I’m over the moon that it’s here!

Bulk eyes 18mm from FreshStitches wholesale pricing

Squee! I have certain sizes of black eyes bundled in 50-pair packages, and you save more than 40% off the retail price!

I’m able to offer these at the cheapest price I’ve seen online because I buy such huge quantities. I am so excited to offer these bundles to my customers! I really believe that anyone can make a little profit by selling their handmade products, and I want to help you do that!

Bulk pricing is available on: 6mm, 8mm, 10.5mm, 12mm and 18mm black craft eyes.

The bulk pricing is only available to Ami Club members. Seriously, if you want to place an order, what you save by joining will pay your $6 membership! Stock up!

Restock!

Oh man, I ran out of a lot of things. Most of those are back in stock now!

Eyes from FreshStitchesThat said, I looked at my shipment and said, ‘doh, I didn’t order any more of THOSE?’ You see, I had to place my order before my big sale, so I was just guessing about which items would be popular. A few things sold that I didn’t think to top up on. Oops.

Anyway, almost everything is in stock except 15mm eyes and gold cat eyes. We’ll all just have to go on without those for a bit longer!

40mm clear eyes from FreshStitches

I’m really excited to be restocked on the 40mm jumbo clear craft eyes! These ones are biggies and sold out quickly, last time! They’re sold by the pair (instead of the usual 5-packs), so there’s no reason to not just toss a pair into your cart!

New Comic eye style!

Check these guys out!

Aren’t they huge? They’re 36mm and my biggest craft eye, yet!

These biggies are also also available by the single pair, so you’ll want to try a pair! I’m so excited about these!

Sorry to keep you waiting so long, but now all of the goodies are here! Grab them before they’re gone again!

Tutorial: Ombre Glitter Eyes

I’m completely obsessed with painting my own craft eyes!

Today I’m going to show you an awesome technique: how to paint ombre glitter eyes!

Aren’t these amazing?

ombre glitter eyes

This ombre effect is super-easy to achieve with glitter paint because the paint is actually clear with specks of glitter. That means that one coat leaves little gaps for another color to shine through!

Tutorial

Here’s how to do it in three easy steps!

freshstitches ombre eye tutorial

I’m so excited about the possibilities… I’m thinking my next ones will be white and pink ombre. What do you think?

glitter freshstitches

What color combinations do you think would be amazing?

Try it!

To try this yourself, you’ll want to grab some clear craft eyes and your favorite colors of glitter paint. Give it a try!

clear craft eyes from FreshStitches

I now have craft eyes available in multiple sizes! So much fun!

Are buttons a baby-safe substitute for craft eyes?

You’ve probably read the disclaimer: craft eyes are not recommended for use in toys for children under the age of three.

plastic animal craft eyes from FreshStitches

I’m often asked, “can I use buttons instead”?

In short, the answer is no.

freshstitches buttons

To explain why, let’s talk about why craft eyes aren’t baby safe. It’s incredibly unlikely that the washer will accidentally come off of the back of the eye. (in fact, it’s pretty difficult to remove the washer from an eye with plastic ridges, as I showed in this blog post on how to remove craft eyes.)

The danger with craft eyes is that a baby (or dog) could chew through the fabric that the eye is attached to, dislodging the eye.

Now what about buttons? Many people assume that since they’re sewn on, they’re more secure. But it’s not true. A baby can use their set of chompers to chew through the thread attaching it to the piece.

Baby-safe eyes

For a completely baby-safe eye, you’ll want to crochet the eye (follow these directions for a crocheted eye) or sew on a felt eye.

amigurumi crochet owl kit by FreshStitches

Crocheted eyes look fabulous!

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to watch your little one whenever they’re with buttons. Just the other day, I saw Maddie chewing on the button on her sweater. Oops. Not safe!

How to Paint Your Own Craft Eyes

I stock lots of pretty colors of craft eyes in my shop. But, what do you do if you want something I don’t have? Like pink eyes? Or glitter eyes? Or polka dot eyes? Hmm… those would be hard to find.

how to paint glitter eyes from FreshStitches

You can paint them yourself! Today, I’ll show you how to paint your own craft eyes! All you need is clear craft eyes and some paint. And since there are oh, about a thousand, colors of paint available… the possibilities are endless!

Scroll down for the video!

Glitter eyes!

Have you seen Beanie Boos? They’re the new generation of Beanie Babies… and they have glitter eyes!


This is Fantasia the Unicorn, image from Amazon

I’ve been getting lots of requests for glitter eyes. Because you want to add this awesome touch to your own stuffed animal creations. I can’t find anywhere where they are commercially available… but, I have found the perfect glitter paint!

Glitter eyes from FreshStitches

Aren’t these amazing? And they’re even more sparkly in person!

You can get these awesome glitter eyes by using my ‘Paint Your Own Glitter Eyes Kit‘! It contains 3 sizes of clear eyes and 2 colors of paint… plus a palette and brush!

paint square

Or, if you’d rather, you can buy the glitter paint individually.

It’s so much fun!

How to Paint Your Own Craft Eyes

Painting your own craft eyes is easy! All you need is some acrylic paint and clear craft eyes.

Paint your own craft eyes

You’ll get more details in the video below, but here are the basic steps:

  1. Apply a thin coat of acrylic paint to the back of the craft eye
  2. Allow paint to dry
  3. Repeat. I’ve applied 2-3 thin coats for maximum glitter

Of course… you can do fun patterns or stripes. Your imagination is the only limit! (and keep following the blog, I’m planning on posting some more tutorials… I’ve already painted some great 2-color ombre eyes!)

Video Tutorial

I filmed this tutorial before I got the fancy palettes, and I realize my thumb is often in the way… oops! But, I think you get the idea!

Isn’t that easy? And here’s the result!

Glitter eyes from FreshStitches

Ready to paint your own?

Get a glitter eyes kit or just some glitter paint and give it a try!

The kit contains 3 colors of clear eyes: 12mm, 15mm and 18mm. I’m working on making these available individually, but for now, the only way to get all three sizes is to get the kit!

And… do you know what else I put into the shop, just for Halloween?

glow in the dark paint

Glow in the dark paint! Whoa! So much fun!

Tip for Attaching Craft Eyes through Thick Layers

niccup crochet logo Today’s guest post is written by Nichole of Niccup Crochet.

I’m really excited about this post, because Nichole has come up with a solution (little did I know until she mentioned it!) that has been plaguing many crocheters. When attaching craft eyes (or ‘safety eyes’) to an amigurumi, it can be really tough to get the post through multiple layers.

Nichole is sharing her clever solution with us, today!

She’s demonstrating the technique on Nel the Tiny Owl, who she’s crocheted in a St. Patrick’s Day colorway. You can find instructions for the adorable pot of gold on Nichole’s blog!

Crocheting Nel, the Tiny Owl, was a smooth-sailing until it came time to attach his eyes. Eeek! I could not get the safety eye attached securely (enough). The washer locked over the outer-most ridge of the safety eye and no amount of force could get it to lock any further.

The anatomy of the problem

problems attaching a safety eye through multiple layers

The post of the safety eye is only so long. It has locking points on the post and the washer slides over the ridges to secure the safety eye in place. The problem with Nel is that the safety eye has to be forced through three layers of fabric. Most of the post is surrounded by the fabric layers and very little is left sticking out the bottom where the washer needs to be secure.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

I attempted to secure his second eye with needle-nose pliers. That was a bad idea! The pliers slipped and I damaged poor Nel’s eye. No amount of force was going to work…the fabric was just too thick.

I took a step back and looked at all of the pieces involved. There just had to be another way.

attaching craft eyes through thick layers

Then, it dawned on me: the safety eye can be attached to the eye circle before sewing the eye circle onto Nel’s head. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest one.

Attach the safety eyes through the middle of the eye circle.

Then, you will sew the eye circles onto Nel’s head. As you are doing this, make sure you force the post down through the other layers of fabric. This will keep the eye from bulging out.

InsertingEye

I hope this helps you as you crochet your next Nel, Nelson or a few other FreshStitches patterns.

St Patricks day Nelson the Owl