Making Monster Mouths
Welcome to the final weekly tutorial for the Granny's Monster Crochet-a-Long! All month long I have posted tips to help us along as we make our monsters together. Be sure to check out the CAL announcement for more information and head on over to the Monster's Toy Box Ravelry group to join in on the monster-making fun.
Stem Stitch Smiles
Today I am going to share my favorite way to embroider monster mouths using stem stitch. While any other embroidery stitch could easily be substituted, I find that stem stitch is one of the easiest and nicest-looking… it creates a very smooth, solid line that stands out without being lumpy or bumpy. Coming from someone who has difficulties getting the backstitch to look good, this stitch is very forgiving and simple to do!
For a monster mouth, start by making a small stitch below the corner of the eye (see photo for positioning). For illustrations purposes, let’s call the starting point “A” and then where the yarn went down, point “B”. I usually make these stitches three single crochet wide—point “A”, a one stitch space, then point “B”:
Now bring the yarn and needle up again halfway between “A” and “B”… let’s call this point “C”. Make sure that the working yarn is emerging from above the stitch you just made. If the working yarn comes out from below the stitch, it will end up making an outline stitch. While it is more a less a mirrored stem stitch, the end result can be very different.
Make the second stitch by taking the yarn and needle down one single crochet to the right of “B” (point “D”). As you might expect, the next step is to bring the yarn back up in the middle of the stitch just made—which will be point “B” of the previous stitch.
In this photo, I have pulled that second stitch out of the way to show what is going on in there.
That’s about all there is to it: going over two spaces, taking the needle down, coming back up in the middle of that stitch. Keep going until you get to the opposite side of the face and you will end up with a monster that looks like this:
As he is, his mouth turned out cute, perhaps a little goofy and slightly grumpy-- I personally like my monsters to wear big, happy smiles! This is where one of my other favorite parts of the stem stitch comes into play: Stem Stitch makes for very nice, curved lines, such as those you might use to make one of those big, happy smiles. Same procedure as before, just at different angles.
Big, Toothy Grins
And here is a tip for making teeth for your monster, especially if yours is sporting a smile: cut the top edge of the tooth to sit flush with the line of the mouth. Since I am placing my teeth right where the curve for the smile begins, I’ve cut the tooth so it curves inward slightly.
The Crochet-a-long is quickly coming to a close. Next Monday I will be announcing the winner for the CAL on the blog. If you haven’t finished your monster yet or shared them over at the Monster’s Toy Box group on Ravelry, be sure to do so by Sunday night (March 30th). I cannot wait to see all of the finished monsters—hopefully many of them wearing great, big toothy monster grins!