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.
Amigurumis are my passion and unsurprisingly, I love seeing the creations of other designers. There are true works of art worthy of admiration. However, on some occasions the appearance of the fabric, the stitches, has caught my attention. At first I didn’t know what it was until crocheting one of my amigurumis I realized: those amigurumis were with the inside out.
Crocheting the amigurumis, shaping the pieces with stitches, increases, decreases, came about in such a natural way for me that I had never considered using the wrong side of the fabric. It just wasn’t aesthetic to me.
The truth is that, when crocheting an amigurumi in rounds, in continuous spiral, the fabric curves to the wrong side, so it is not difficult for inexperienced crocheters to get confused.
However, although we may think that this is not important, the fabric of an amigurumi is not reversible. There are details that can turn the wrong side into an aesthetically unwanted side, although many designers prefer it.
At first sight, on the right side of the fabric you can perfectly see each of the rounds and even count them easily.
In the wrong side, the vertical lines between the stitches stand out, the increases or decreases are marked and there are crowded or displaced stitches that can affect the design.
But not everything is negative and using the wrong side of the fabric can be interesting to give a different look to a certain piece and make it highlight from the rest.
Look at Sonic’s gloves and socks. When folding the piece, the stitch is reversed and distinguish against the cuffs and legs and feet, giving an original look to the whole.
Another example is found in the color change of this Christmas sock. When you turn it over, the drawing changes and in my opinion, it looks more beautiful.
How do we differentiate the sides of the fabric?
To differentiate the right side from the wrong side you must look at the stitches.
On the right you can see the V shape of the stitches, while on the wrong side the straight lines stand out.
Another way to differentiate the sides is by observing the way and direction in which you work.
The right side will be the one where you work from the outside rim to the left, moving the hook away from you as you go. You move from near to far.
The wrong side, on the other hand, is the one in which you crochet from the inside rim of the piece to the left, bringing the hook towards you as you go. You move from far to near.
It’s easy to differentiate them, right?
What about you, which side do you like the most? You can give me your opinion in the comments 😉
These are small objects that you can quickly crochet and add at the end. If you don’t like them and decide not to incorporate or replace them with others, the essence of the amigurumi will not be affected.
Although these examples are of characters, details are important in any type of amigurumi.
The contrast in the color change can turn a simple piece into a more attractive one.
Look at the dark gray edge of the UFO lights. Adding them to the main piece that is lighter color makes them highlight more in the set.
Using several shades of the same color can also be interesting.
The color change from light yellow to darker yellow in those same lights gives them a more realistic effect.
Incorporating details on the faces of our amigurumi is also something to keep in mind. They serve to add expressiveness and personality to designs.
For example, in Snow White’s eyes we can see several details: The use of a gradient brown color for the iris that gives liveliness to the gaze, the white twinkle on the pupil to fix it, a black border around it that gives it more strength and the top line with eyelashes framing the eye.
However, giving importance to the details does not mean adding the more, the better. Sometimes something simpler can reflect the expression we seek for our amigurumi. Some lines embroidered as eyes like those of the children of Communion give them the seriousness that the act implies.
However, there are details that don’t consist of additions, but rather to modify and adapt the shape of a piece according to our needs. Don’t forget that after all, amigurumis are made of yarn and fiberfill. We can take advantage of the characteristics of the materials to get that detail that can make a difference.
Using yarn of the same color as that of your piece and with the help of the yarn needle you can alter its shape.
Popeye’s face, for example, would not be the same if we had not sunk the left side. That allows us to give it its characteristic expression with the pipe.
It’s something as simple as introducing the needle with the yarn in the area you want to sink. Then, hook on the fabric and remove it on the other side, pulling hard. Repeat the operation as many times as necessary until the piece and the stuff have the desired shape. Easy, right?
Sinking the area of the eyes, the mouth, accentuating the cheeks … these are details that can totally change the expression of our amigurumis.
We can not only modify the faces, but any part and thus give it a more beautiful appearance.
Look at this tie. By sinking the sides, we can improve its appearance, don’t you think?
These are just some examples of the importance of details when making our amigurumis.
I hope you have been inspired to add your own details to your creations.
If you want, you can tell me about it in the comments.
Everyone who wants to make an amigurumi should be clear that he needs at least 3 things: yarn, hook and stuffing.
Today I want to talk about the last one and how we can use alternative stuffing for amigurumis when the right material is not within our reach or is something exceptional.
patterns you can read that we use synthetic
But what exactly is synthetic fiberfill?
It is a 100%
polyester synthetic fiber also called Polyfill.
It is a soft, washable and perfect material to fill your amigurumis because it
adapts to the fabric without deforming it. But not only is it used for this,
but you can use it as a filling in all kinds of work such as ragdolls, felt
creations or cushions. You can find it more compact or lighter.
Being clear that this is the ideal filling material, you should not despair if you do not find it or do not have it and want to continue with your work.
Let’s see different “homemade” options that will get you out of trouble:
Remains of wool or yarn:
option than filling your wool dolls with that same material.
crochet, when we finish off, many times we have a piece of yarn that we can’t
use because it’s too small. Store all these leftover threads in a box and you
can use them as fillers, for example, in small parts of your amigurumis.
Unfinished or unrecoverable projects:
We all make
mistakes when crocheting and sometimes it’s not possible to reuse the material
to start over with our project. Parts of our failed amigurumis impossible to
undo can be used to fill in new ones. The concept is to continue with the idea
of the previous point: fill wool with wool.
old clothes may be another alternative. Soft, fine fabrics such as a
handkerchief or nylon stockings, or more rigid, such as tulle or even the foam
of shoulder pads. Cut them to fill large pieces or to give consistency to
As you can see, there are several the alternative stuffing for amigurumis you can go to, always taking into account that if you want a good result, you should consider them as something exceptional.
What about you? What is the rarest stuffing you’ve used for your amigurumis? Tell me in the comments.
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.
When designing the amigurumis in the farm, in addition to ensuring that the pattern is clear, simple, well explained and gives rise to a cute doll, I have a great responsibility: that the design is adequate for the most vulnerable, babies and small children.
Whether you are a designer or weaver, father, mother, grandparent or simply want to have a detail with that little loved one, you must have in mind certain requirements that amigurumis must satisfy to fully guarantee the safety of the child. Continue reading Safe Amigurumis for Babies
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