How to Close Up Your Stuffing Opening with the Drawstring Method

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!

Recently I’ve been looking for a different way to close my amigurumi. Slipstitching across the opening works just fine, but sometimes it leaves a pointier top than I would like. I wanted something that was more consistently smooth.

After a bunch of experimentation, I decided on a new method where I close up the top like a drawstring bag. It works really well – and it’s super easy!

Here’s how to do it.

See how easy that is?

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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

How to crochet Picot Bumps – video tutorial

The newest Ami Club pattern is Merrick Monster.

I wanted him to have spiky little bumps all over his back and head so I used a modification of a picot stitch to do it. Picot stitch is usually used as an edge treatment, but in this video I show how you can use it within the body of an amigurumi. It’s an easy and fun way to add texture!

See how easy that is? You can use this technique to add a spiky, bumpy texture to any amigurumi.

Have fun with it!

Best,
Wendi

How to Crochet Scallops – video tutorial

crocheted fairy doll with crochet scallops on her hair and wings

Want to lean how to crochet scallops? It’s super easy and gives you a nice swoopy edge.

The new Flit the Fairy pattern uses scallops in two ways!

Scallops give her hair that cute, curly edge, and when she turns around you can see that the edges of her wings also have scallops.

crocheted fairy doll shown from back so you can see her scalloped wings

So fancy! And not at all tricky.

In fact, it’s surprisingly easy!

Do you know how to double crochet? Then you can crochet scallops.

And if you don’t know how to double crochet yet – no worries! I’ve got a video here showing how to double crochet, and I also show how right here in the How to Crochet Scallops video. Handy!

Here it is. . .

In the video I mentioned that you can use the same method to crochet scallops onto things that aren’t crocheted – like the hem of a skirt, or the edge of a pillowcase. You just need to make some stitches around the edge to anchor your crochet. There’s a video showing how to do that here.

Here you can see I’ve added some pretty scallops to the bottom edge of a skirt made from an old T-shirt.

How to Add a Crochet Edge to Anything - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

You can get the Flit the Fairy pattern here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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

How to Crochet an Underbite

Underbites are one of my favorite things.

An underbite instantly makes critters cuter!

And – luckily – they’re especially easy to do in crochet. Here’s a video showing how, using Maxwell Monster as an example.

Have fun with this technique!

Best,
Wendi

How to Crochet Four Legs Together – video tutorial

Image showing a cute crocheted giraffe with the text How to Crochet Four Legs Together

I was a little stiumped when I started to design this giraffe. How to crochet four legs together?

I really love making amigurumi that stand on two legs. Some of my favorite patterns use this basic shape and it’s really easy to do. Byron Bear here is a good example.

Byron Bear - a crocheted bear wearing a purple turtleneck sweater, made with a pattern from Shiny Happy World

There’s a video here showing how to crochet two standing legs.

But when I designed this giraffe I wanted him to stand on four legs.

I did some digging online and I found that there are a lot of very different methods out there to do this, but all of them felt a little trickier than I wanted for beginners, so I came up with my own method based on how I like to crochet two legs together. The process is really the same – just with more parts!

Here’s a video showing how. . .

It works really well – and it’s pretty easy! If you can crochet two legs together (as I do in so many of my patterns) you can definitely crochet four legs together for this guy.

Want to give it a try? Get the Jacob the Giraffe crochet pattern here.

Now that I’ve got this new tool in my toolbox, I’ve got all kinds of ideas for standing four-legged cuties. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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

How to Measure Gauge for Amigurumi

First of all – gauge isn’t that important for amigurumi.

You could make hundreds of amigurumi and never once measure the gauge.

When do you need to worry about it?

One – if you want your finished project to turn out the size the pattern says it will be.

Two – if you have exactly the amount of yarn specified in the instructions and you don’t want to risk running out.

So how do you measure it?

Well, because you’re stitching in the round it’s a little different than other gauge instructions.

Crochet up a swatch of five rounds. Make sure you’re stitching through the back loop if that’s what the pattern says to do. (All FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World patterns are stitched through the back loop.)

Ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot.)

Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6)

Round 2 sc twice in next 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)

Now – measure across the diameter of your swatch.

Mine measures 2 1/2 inches.

If yours is 2 1/2 inches – good! Unravel your swatch (so you can reuse the yarn) and start stitching.

If yours is a little small, try using a larger hook size. If yours is a little big, try going down a hook size. You can also try switching between different hook materials – a bamboo hook “grabs” the yarn a little more than a metal hook, for example, which can change your swatch size.

Don’t try stitching just a little tighter or a little looser. As you work you’ll tend to revert back to your natural tension, so that’s not a good way to get gauge.

Keep experimenting until your swatch matches the one in the pattern – then stitch away!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Front Post Double Crochet – video tutorial

Front Post Double Crochet is a nifty technique that you can use to create raised ribs on the front of your fabric.

And it’s easy!

Alyssa Voznak shows how to do it in this video.

See? Isn’t that pretty?

You can use front post double crochet on hats and scarves – but it can also be a handy skill for amigurumi too! You could use it to create textured seashells, fins on a fish’s fins or tail, veins in a leaf, the look of corduroy pants, a ribbed-looking hat – the possibilities are endless!

I used this stitch to add raised ridges on the hair on this doll.

Becky - a crocheted doll pattern from Shiny Happy World

Here’s a view of the hair before I attached it to the doll – shown from the top down so you can see the ridges. It adds a nice extra texture that I really like.

crocheted doll and her crocheted hair (before attaching) showing the ridges created using front post double crochet

(I also really like that you don’t have to permanently attach the hair to the doll – make the same “wig” in a few different colors and lengths so kids can swap it out as they play. Fun!)

Related videos. . .

Happy stitching!

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

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.