4 easy tips for crocheting a giant amigurumi!

4 Tips for Crocheting Giant Amigurumi - from Shiny Happy World

It’s easy to crochet a giant amigurumi by using a thicker yarn and a larger hook! The result is a super-large animal, with the same amount of crochet work!

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

Want to give it a try? Here are some tips.

Use multiple strands if a thicker yarn isn’t available

Super-bulky yarns can be pricey and have a limited selection of colors. So, if you can’t get the super-bulky yarn you’re looking for, try holding multiple strands of yarn together!

Crocheting a giant slug

Check out my blog post on how to work with two yarns at once for some tips on handling the yarn.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with hook sizes

The same rules apply with giant amigurumi as small ones: you want a nice fabric without holes showing through.

using a big crochet hook

It may feel funny using a giant hook, so just make sure you’re getting an even tension, and find the size that works!

Take breaks

Crocheting with very thick yarn can be hard on your wrists. Take more breaks than you usually do and give these wrist exercises a try.

Know that you may have to fudge attaching instructions a bit

You’ll be able to follow the crochet directions exactly, and get a giant stuffed animal!

But, if your pattern specifies exact rounds (or suggestions) for attaching, you might need to take a little creative license.

For example, in crocheting my giant slug, the pattern recommends attaching the eyes to two rounds. Works great for a tiny slug… but it would have made this giant slug’s eyeballs look squashed. So, I took some liberties, and attached them how they would look best (to 3 rounds, if you’re curious!)

Don’t be afraid… feel liberated!

Have fun!

Is that a tip? Oh, who knows!

You should always have fun crocheting… but especially for a jumbo project like this! Go stash-busting and throw together crazy colors. Make a giant animal! Have a blast!

How to crochet a ruffle on a completed amigurumi (and attach a slug foot!)

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

Today, I’m going to show you how to crochet a ruffle onto a (nearly) finished amigurumi.

For those of you who are participating in the slug-a-long, you’ll find that this is exactly how you attach the slug’s foot!

(Get the slug pattern here.)

Step 1: Attach a new length of yarn

For attaching a ruffle to an almost-finished piece, you’re going to start with an amigurumi that has been crocheted through the back loop only.

To form the new ruffle, we need to attach a new piece of yarn to begin crocheting with.

attaching a new piece of yarn to a crocheted piece

To begin, make a slip knot on your hook with the new length of yarn.

how to crochet a ruffle on a piece

Next, single crochet into a stitch on your amigurumi. Specifically, insert your hook through the front loop of a stitch (the ridge that is visible on the piece), wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through one loop, wrap again and pull through both loops.

Ta da!

Step 2: Crochet the foundation round

Now that you’ve attached the first stitch, you’ll crochet around, forming the base of your ruffle.

adding a ruffle to an amigurumi

Which stitches you select is up to you. To form an evenly-shaped ruffle, you may want to use locking stitch markers to plan the shape before crocheting.

Once you have finished the foundation round, look at your piece. Does the round look even when your amigurumi is sitting?

Attaching a ruffle

If so, you’re ready to keep going! If not, this is a good time to unravel and repeat this step, as the ruffle is built on the stitches you form in this round.

Step 3: Ruffle!

Once your foundation is set, start ruffling! To make a ruffle, you’ll increase around the first round you make (typically increasing in every stitch). For more ‘ruffle’, increase more stitches and for a less pronounced ruffle, increase with less frequency.

foot4

Fasten off, either when the instructions tell you to or when you’re ruffle is how you like it! Weave in ends.

And you’re done!

Don’t you feel like everything needs a ruffle, now?

Want a little tip? This is a great way to add extras to your amigurumi. You use the same technique to add a dress or skirt! Just crochet that foundation row right under the arms (for a dress) or around the waist (for a skirt). Easy peasy!

Are your eyeballs on straight? Amigurumi eyeballs, I mean!

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

Are you having fun in the slug-a-long?

Today, I’m going to talk about a couple of questions that have come up about eyes. Your slug will be lookin’ at you straight-on after this post!

How to prevent ‘over-buggy’ eyes

Hannah the Slug has buggy eyes. They’re crocheted white bulbs with a plastic eye in the center.

Sometimes, the plastic eye sticks out too far, and looks ‘over-buggy’. How do you fix it? Easy!

Attaching a plastic eye to crocheted eye

The over-bugginess (is that a word?) happens when the stuffing (in the crocheted eye) pushes on post of the plastic eye, and pushes it out. The fix? Just wiggle the plastic eye a bit, to nestle the post into the stuffing. Fixed! (as pictured above)

How to get your eyes to face forward

I like the look of a google-y-eyed slug… and to be honest, the eyes on mine rarely face perfectly straight ahead. But, I have a tip to help out.

How to position eyes so that they face forward crochet

When deciding where to position your eye, rotate the crocheted eye so that the pupil faces forward. Now, begin attaching (using the long tail) wherever it happens to be. Use a locking stitch marker to secure, if necessary.

By working with where the tail already is, you’ll get your eyes facing forward!

How to attach to two rounds

The eyes (and antennae) in the slug are attached to two rounds. How does that work?

The last round of the eye has 12 stitches. To attach to two rounds, attach 6 stitches of the eye to the front loops on one round and 6 on the next!

how to attach a crocheted eye

Now, if you’ve followed the 2nd tip (start attaching wherever your tail is), you may do something like this: attach 3 sts to one round, attach 6 to the second round, then the remaining 3 back on the first round.

It’s not an exact science… just work to get those eyeballs on there!

Is your slug ready for to see the world?

how to attach crocheted eyes

I hope these tips make you feel confident about giving your slug some eyes!

Tips for crocheting teeny-tiny antennae!

 

Tips for Crocheting Teeny Tiny Antennae - from Shiny Happy World

We’re happily crocheting our slugs for the slug-a-long! Feel free to join in!Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitchesWell, mostly happily. If there’s a part of the slug that can make people feel cranky, it’s the antennae. They’re tiny and sometimes they wind up inside out! Eep!

Today, I’ll show you how to make sure you’re crocheting right-side out and how to count the rounds without a stitch marker. On Saturday, we’ll chat about attaching the antennae.

Crocheting right-side out

When you’re crocheting a large piece, it actually doesn’t matter which side is out. If it’s wrong-side out, you just turn it around once you’re done. No biggie. (Read am I crocheting inside-out for more details)

However, the antennae of the slug (and legs of the ladybug and mosquito) are so small, it’s important to crochet with the right-side out.

Let’s say your piece looks like this after round 2:

crocheting a small piece in the round

You can tell it’s inside-out because the pretty ridges (from the front loops) aren’t showing up on the outside. All you need to do is turn it right-side out!

Turning antennae right-side out

Ta da!

crocheting a small piece in the round

Now, keep your piece like this, and continue crocheting. It’ll be right-side out when you’re done!

slug antennae 4

How to count rounds without a stitch marker

For a piece as tiny as an antennae, you can go without a stitch marker! (shocking, I know!)

Here’s a little video to help you out: (to see full-screen, click play, then click the box in the lower right-hand corner)


Happy crocheting!

Hopefully, these two tips will have you crocheting small pieces with ease!

How to count stitches in your first round of amigurumi

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

We’re right in the middle of the slug-a-long, so you can guess what I’m crocheting… a slug!

Actually, I’m making two. I’m making a yellow one, like the slug pictured in the pattern and I’m also making a giant slug:

Crocheting a giant slug

Yarn: Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) in Magenta, 4 strands held together
Hook: size N
So much fun!

How to count the stitches in the first round

For those of you who are crocheting-a-long (or slugging-a-long?) with me, I’ve made a video to show you how to count the stitches in your first round.

In my opinion, counting the stitches in the first round is the trickiest, because there’s a weird little extra bit hanging around from your initial chain two. If you accidentally crochet into that weird bit, you’re count for the second round will be off, too!

So, have a peek at the video!

To view the video in full-screen, click play, then click on the rectangle in the bottom right-hand corner!

Of course, this tip will help you out with any amigurumi you’re crocheting… hope you’ll find it useful!

Are you working on a fun slug?

I can’t tell you how excited I am about my giant slug… it’s going to be so big!

That’s what I’ve been up to this week… how about you? I hope you have an awesome Wednesday, and get some great knitting/crocheting done this week!

If you want to check out more Work-In-Progress posts, please check out Tami’s Ami’s Blog, who’s been organizing a great WIP Wednesday blog theme! And, don’t forget to come back for FO (Finished Object) Friday!

5 ways to modify an amigurumi pattern

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

You know that we’re all crocheting Hannah the Slug for this month’s Crochet-a-long, right? It’s not too late to join us!

Even though we’re all using the same crochet pattern, I bet that no two slugs will look alike! Why? Because there are so many ways to modify an amigurumi pattern! Let’s take a peek at a few options… you might end up making more than one slug!

1. Follow the pattern exactly

There’s no shame in doing this! Use the recommended yarn, recommended hook size and follow the instructions to the letter.

adorable slug amigurumi crochet pattern

You’ll get an amigurumi that looks pretty much exactly like the sample.

To change it up a little bit, pick a different color!

2. Make a giant amigurumi

To make a super-big amigurumi, pick a thick yarn and use a larger size hook. Then, follow the pattern!

Giant slug cartoon

If you can’t find a thick yarn, hold two strands of yarn together. It’ll be double the thickness of the original!

Don’t know what size hook to use? Don’t fret. Check the yarn label for hook recommendations, or (if you don’t have a label) guess and try a swatch. As long as your fabric doesn’t have holes, it’s a fine hook!

3. Make a teeny-tiny amigurumi

Instead of going big… go small!

How to crochet a tiny amigurumi

I like using a fingering weight yarn (i.e. sock yarn) and a size C hook… but I’ve seen others go even smaller! Try crochet thread and a steel crochet hook for a super-tiny guy!

4. Add stripes or a gradient

It’s easy to add stripes to your amigurumi… just change yarn colors every few rounds. This is a fabulous way to use up all those little odds-and-ends of yarn!

Rainbow slug cartoon

Even easier… use a self-striping or gradient yarn. Knit Picks Felici, Noro (available from sock to bulky) and Lion Brand Amazing are some of my faves.

5. Add some glitz

Maybe your amigurumi just wants a little pizazz!

Fancy slug

You can add some beads, or pick a yarn that already has beads or sequins added in. Fun!

Ready to start crocheting?

Now that you have lots of ideas for your slug, the next step is to pick a yarn and get started!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting crocheting tips that will help you through any tricky parts.

Can’t wait to see what you crochet!

Pick your slug colors!

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

Are you joining in on our slug-a-long? You should, it’s going to be fun!

After grabbing the pattern, the next thing you have to do is pick your slug colors!

Find your Inspiration

I designed the original Hannah the Slug in yellow because she’s modeled after the Banana Slug around Santa Cruz, CA (yes, it’s really yellow! And also UC Santa Cruz’s mascot!).

But yours doesn’t have to be yellow! To gather ideas for other slugs, I visited the Australian Museum, which contains some interesting varieties!

Here’s the Leopard Slug:

Leopard Slug from Australian Museum

And guess what this guy is called?

Red Triangle Slug

A Red Triangle Slug! Did you even know such a thing existed?

There are also all-red slugs:

all red Red Triangle Slug

(I think this guy is another variety of the Red Triangle Slug…)

What color will yours be?

I hope the example slugs tell you that you should go wild and crazy with your slug color choices! Any color makes a fabulous slug!

And throw in some color changes, if you want! Have fun!

Join the slug-a-long!

Crochet a long Slug amigurumi freshstitches

I know you’ve been gearing up for the next crochet-a-long! This one’s a… slug-a-long!

That’s right! This month, we’re crocheting Hannah the Slug. She’s a great pattern for those of you who have conquered your first amigurumi, and are looking for a fun project where you’ll learn something new, but isn’t too difficult.

Isn’t she cute?

amigurumi crochet slug

And of course… Hannah looks great in any color. And, since she only uses 35 yards of yarn, this is a great project for using up a little bit of leftover yarn from your stash!

Ready to join in? Grab the pattern and get started crocheting with us!

 

Join the CAL!

Joining in the CAL is easy! Get yourself a copy of the the pattern, grab your materials and read all the slug-a-long posts here to get all of the helpful crochet/amigurumi tips that will guide you along the way!

If you’d like, you can even stick this adorable badge on your blog (right click and save, then link the photo to this post!) to let folks know you’re joining in:

slug-a-long badge

Are you in?

It’s going to be a blast… and I really hope you join us! Go ahead and leave me a comment… and tell me about your slug-a-long plans!