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!!!

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!

 

 

 

 

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