Welcome back for our second weekly tutorial for the Farmyard Friends Crochet-a-Long! All month long I am going to be posting tips to help us along as we make our farm animals 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 barn-raising fun.
Seaming can be tough sometimes. Not everyone likes to do it, but is has to be done.
I like to keep sewing up amigurumi as simple as possible—it’s one of the reasons a lot of my critters and monsters has floppy arms, legs, and ears!
But sometimes a flat seam is not feasible… imagine what poor Francis the Pig would look like if we just sewed his nose on in a straight line instead of as a three-dimensional shape! In this case, a more complex seam (but not complicated, mind you!) unavoidable, but there is a neat trick to making it easy thanks to the nature of single crochet.
On The Grid
Single crochet is a square stich, more or less, so one stich vertically is also equal to one stitch horizontally (Unlike knitting, where stitches are much fatter than they are tall), which in turn, makes a nearly perfect grid.
This grid is very helpful when figuring out how to line things up—in this case, where to sew a three-dimensional shape onto your amigurumi.
For now, let’s not worry about doing any actual sewing. I just want to explain why and how this grid works.
I will be using Francis as an example… here are the instructions for sewing on his snout:
“Attach the snout to rounds 6-14 of the body, centering it between two of the legs. The snout should make a square roughly 8 stitches on each side”
I usually start at the bottom, so I will count up to round 6, then find a line up from the center of the legs. Since this marks the middle and I need 8 stitches on each side of the square, I count over 4 stitches from the center from the center line. This is where I will start the seam.
Why 8 stitches? Because the final round of the snout has 32 stitches. So 32 divided by 4 sides is 8 per side.
What if the stitches don’t evenly divide into a square? For example, if there were only 30 stitches… you can’t have 7.5 stitches to each side, it doesn’t work that way! But 7 stitches on two sides and 8 stitches on the other two works out just fine.
In the photo below, the one arrow follows the centerline of the legs, on either side of it are 4 stitches marked with blue dots. These are the 8 stitches that would make up the bottom seam. The other arrow points to where the starting point is.
The first side is done, now what? Turn the corner and start on the next!
Usually, it is easiest to simply skip the corner stitch, where the two sides intersect. The stitch in the photo below marked with a red dot is the corner stitch. We would simply ignore him and start sewing up the blue dotted line on the right side. Again, eight stitches per side, not including that pesky corner stitch.
Keep doing that all the way around until you reach the beginning! Here is diagram of what that would look like. The blue dotted stitches are the stitches to sew and the red dotted stitches are the ones that are skipped over.
(Note: if it looks off-center, it isn’t. It’s just the angle of the photo)
Back to the Real World of Crochet
This has all been theoretical so far, just to demonstrate the concept. Now to actually start stitching! If you want to be exact, you can plot out a grid on your own amigurumi and mark the corners with stitch markers. However, if you just keep the grid as a guideline, everything should work out in the end.
(And remember, it’s okay to fudge things a little bit; it doesn’t have to be perfect)
When you are all done, you should have a nice, even, square snout.
This works for attaching Giddy-Up the Horse’s and Sherman the Sheeps’s heads as well, only for that, you will be sewing the front loops of the head to the front loops of the body— both closed pieces— instead of the open edge stitches of Francis’ snout to the front loops of the body.
That concludes the final tutorial of the Farmyard Friends Crochet-a-Long. Goodness… I guess that’s what I get for hosting a Crochet-a-Long in February! This month seems to have flown by. Next Monday, I will be announcing the winner of the prize during the Crochet-A-Long. Be sure to post a photo of your finished farmyard friends over at the Monster’s Toy Box Ravelry group in order to be entered into the drawing.