How to know the weight of the yarn quickly and easily is an important matter for all of us who like to crochet.
As you know, one of the most important characteristics of my patterns is that the resulting amigurumis are “totally soft”. I do not use hard elements such as wires, buttons, zippers or even safety eyes. You can crochet them only with wool or yarn, a crochet hook and fiberfill.
Since these are the only materials that I use, it is essential that they be the most suitable to achieve the desired result.
There are many of you who ask me what type of yarn I use and since we are all from different places, sometimes it is difficult for me to explain and talk about centimeters, inches and categories according to their thickness.
Today I am going to talk about yarns, more specifically, how to know the weight of the yarn when you do not have any reference, for example, if you have a mysterious ball of yarn of which you have lost the label that specifies its characteristics.
But first, there are some things you should know about yarns to make it easier for you to choose the right one when crocheting your amigurumis.
Yarns are classified into several categories, but unfortunately, there is no single method to do so.
In general, there are:
• The standards of the CYC (Craft Yarn Council) that represents the most prominent members of the yarn industry in the United States.
Depending on the weight of the yarn, we can classify it into the following categories:
• The classification according to the number of plies that the yarn has. This system is the one used in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
The problem with this classification is that it does not determine the thickness of the yarn, but rather the number of strands that are twisted to form it. There is the possibility that a yarn of 5 strands (5 ply) may be thinner than a yarn of 3 (3 ply), by the mere fact that each strand is of a lesser thickness or have been spun with greater tension between them.
• Wraps per inch method (WPI)
As its name suggests, it is about classifying the yarn according to the wraps of the same that fit in an inch or what is the same, in 2.5 cm.
It is a very useful method to determine the weight of that mysterious ball of yarn without a label that you want to use, but you must bear in mind that it is not exact, since there are factors that can alter the measurement.
To use it you need:
• A rule.
• Something to wrap the yarn with uniform thickness. You can use, for example, a pencil or a pen.
1. You must wrap the yarn so that each strand is next to each other, that is, they do not overlap. Do it carefully, do not tighten too much, or leave it loose, since you could vary the result too much.
2. With the ruler measure 1 inch or what is the same 2.5 cm. That is the length you should wrap.
3. When you have it, count the wraps you have made and guide yourself through this cheat sheet. Depending on the number of wraps, this will be the weight and category to which your yarn belongs.
If you have doubts, first try to do it with a yarn whose weight you know.
Let’s see some examples:
This picture shows the yarn that I normally use in my patterns. Using this method, I have made 17 WPI. That places it in category 2 Fine.
This other, on the other hand, is much thicker and for that reason I have only made 9 WPI. It belongs to category 5 Bulky.
Finally, we have a much finer yarn with which I have managed to make 28 WPI. It belongs to category 0 Lace.
As you can see, it is a very simple method, but remember that it is not exact, but only an aid that will help you guide yourself.
Whether you are a beginner or if your level is more advanced, it is important that you have some basic crochet knowledge. This will help you easily follow a pattern or even adapt it to your needs. In today’s tutorial: Straight Edges: Importance of Turning Chains, I want to talk to you about one of the basic stitches: The chain, more specifically The Turning Chain and the importance of its correct use when making the pieces of our amigurumis straighter.
Many of you have asked me about this stitch that I use frequently in my patterns when crocheting in rows. Let’s see what it is:
A turning chain is just that, a chain that we crochet before turning and starting a new row. Its function is to provide us with a certain gap or height so that we can start crocheting at the first stitch in the row and thus keep the edge straight. Their presence does not count when determining the total count of stitches in the row, but their absence does mean the decrease of one of the points in the row: the first.
You will see it more clearly with an example:
We need to crochet a straight piece 12 sc long. For this we start with 12 chains?
If we work 12 chains, when we return crocheting sc over the chains, we will not be able to start in the first chain, there is no space to do it, so we must crochet over the second and when completing the row we will have 11 sc instead of 12.
To have the row of 12 sc, we must start with 13 chains and use the last of them to gain that space we need. This last chain will therefore be a Turning Chain.
When crochet consecutive rows, if we want to keep the edges of our piece straight, we must use the turning chain in the same way, that is, when we reach the end of the row, we make a chain that allows us to turn and start crocheting in the first sc.
In our example, we have used single crochets, but what if the rows we need have to be worked with other points? In these cases, we have to take into account the height of these stitches when using the turning chains to gain the necessary space and not fall short or excess.
We have already seen that 1 turning chain is used for a row crocheted with single crochets. The next stitch in height is the half double crochet. For it we will continue using 1 chain.
With the double crochet, on the other hand, it will be necessary to add a turning chain. Before turning and starting a new row, we will have to chain 2.
Following our example:
If we need to work a 12 double crochet piece, we will have to chain 14 and start crocheting in the third chain, using the last 2 chains as if they were the first double crochet in the row.
In the same way, when we continue crocheting rows, we must continue using 2 chains as a double crochet in the corners to keep the edges straight.
If with the double crochet we have to use 2 chains, with a treble crochet we will have to use 3 and crochet in the same way: Chain 15 to have a row of 12 treble crochet and 3 turning chains in the following rows.
As you can see, to get straight edges you need to take into account the importance of the turning chains.
Many times you have found the pattern of an amigurumi that you love, that is perfect, just what you wanted, but when you see the size, it is too big or too small and it isn’t suitable… What can you do?
Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be an unsolved problem. In a simple way you will be able to adapt the size of the amigurumi to your needs, whether you are a beginner or have a more advanced level.
We are going to deal with one of the issues that most concern the amigurumis crocheters, especially if they are starting:
How to sew the different parts of our amigurumi?
This question is important, because although you crochet each part very well, if when assembling the joint is not correct, it will not only affect the appearance of your creation, but you run the risk of detaching the pieces, with the problems that this can cause.
In order to sew the parts of an amigurumi you will need:
The different pieces previously crocheted in which, to facilitate the join, you will have left a thread at the end of the fabric. The length of this thread will depend on the size of the piece you have to sew. More it is better than less and it will be the experience that will allow you to adjust the lenght.
Wool or yarn of the right color in relation to the part you have to sew. You will need it in case you have not left a thread or that it isn’t enough to complete the joint of the piece.
Yarn Needle, that is, a needle suitable for sewing the wool or yarn that we use to crochet our amigurumis. You can find them in different materials, sizes and thicknesses. I usually use metal about 8 cm long.
Tape measure to place the pieces in the right place, especially if the exact measurements are specified in the pattern.
Pins to secure each piece in place and prevent them from moving while you sew them.
The diversity of the pieces and their placement force us to join them in different ways. Let’s see some examples applied to our amigurumi kitten:
But no, I didn’t make it, but Demetra Bogri, the magnificent weaver of 4elli.com, and everything was the result of chance … A bad translation of my pattern of Son Goku on the blog forced her to contact with me and talking, talking, she proposed to do the videotutorial of one of my patterns.
I could’nt believe it!!! Of course, I love the idea! So we started the collaboration.
Sometimes we find the difficulty of crocheting a flat piece that has successive color changes having the need that the transition between colors will be good on both sides, by the right and also by the reverse that will remain visible.
To achieve that the changes of color do not alter the reverse of our fabric keeping the same drawing as the right, what we do is crochet with the two threads, one main and another hidden, so that we can alternate between them without affecting the design.
The magic ring Is the stitch that allows us to begin crocheting in the round and therefore most of amigurumis.
It consists of forming a sliding circle that we will close after crocheting on it the beginning stitches of our fabric.
Being a basic element, it is also the first great difficulty with which you find yourself when starting to crochet the amigurumis, even becoming a cause of frustration and abandonment before you start.
There are different ways to make the magic ring, adjustable ring or magic circle.
Next I will show you mine and you can check with this simple step by step that it is not as difficult as you thought.