Thursday, 1 December 2016

Crochet with Fluffy Yarn- A New Method

In my last tutorial I discussed two different ways you can crochet with fluffy (fuzzy, eyelash, feather) yarn. In this tutorial I am going to show you a third, and new, way to crochet with fluffy yarn, as well as share with you a free crochet pattern so that you can try out this new method.

If you missed my previous post, you can go here to see different ways to crochet with fluffy yarn as well as read a few different key points about purchasing fluffy yarns.

I came up with this new method of crocheting with fluffy yarn after much frustration while crocheting with fluffy and feather yarns. I wanted to create an Amigurumi toy that would be super fluffy and I wanted to find a sure-fire way to be able to see the stitches every time. I realised that if I use a second ordinary yarn between each round of fluffy yarn, that it can act as a kind-of leading guide to help me see where I can place the stitches. So this method, I call the Alternating method, and here is how it works…

How to Crochet with Fluffy/ Fuzzy Yarn - Method 3 - The Alternating Method

Note – when I refer to ‘ordinary yarn' I refer to any yarn that is non-fluffy.

To begin your work, you crochet with ordinary yarn. In the following round you will crochet with fluffy yarn, however the key point here is that you work the fluffy yarn, in the front-loop only. Once you have completed the round with fluffy yarn, you switch back to the ordinary yarn. You will ignore the fluffy yarn round, and work your stitches into the ordinary yarn, into the unworked back loop stitches. So you basically continue this process, alternating between the fluffy and ordinary yarn for every other round. The ordinary yarn is always worked in the back-loop only, and only worked into the ordinary yarn; the fluffy yarn is always worked into the front-loop only, and only into the ordinary yarn. 

In effect, what happens is that you never have to search for the fluffy yarn stitch as the yarn is always worked into the ordinary yarn. Also, the fluffy yarn is the only yarn that is visible on the finished product as it is worked into the front-loop only. And what happens to the ordinary yarn? Well, it gets hidden, as it is always worked into the back loop only. Cool right?!

 I think the best way to show you this method is by sharing a photo tutorial with a free crochet pattern. This is an easy crochet pattern, designed specifically so you can practice this new technique.

Free Crochet Pattern for a little Fluffy Friend

A new way to crochet with fluffy yarn!

Gauge – Gauge is not important for this pattern. You can adjust hook and yarn size as desired, but keep in mind the size of finished object will vary. With the mentioned yarns and 4mm hook my finished product measures approximately 22cm (9 inches) in circumference
Copyright - Yes, you can sell items created from this pattern but please acknowledge Roaming Pixies as designer. Mass production is not permitted. Please do not reproduce or distribute any part of this pattern without permission.
Yarn - You will need two types of yarn for this project. Fluffy yarn and ordinary yarn . When choosing your ordinary yarn you want to keep it at a weight that is similar to the fluffy yarn. For this project I used two contrasting colours, and I think it is a good idea when starting out with this technique.

These are the yarns I used  - Slumberland Moloka (a yarn that is produced by Spotlight - Australian craft store) The weight reads as a bulky yarn but really I think it feels more like a aran weight and it's mainly the fluffiness, that gives it the bulky weight label. The regular yarn I used was a generic worsted weight yarn.

Other Materials
7mm safety eyes
small amount of thread for mouth
darning needle

Pattern is written in Us Terminology. Work in continuous rounds i.e do not join at the end of rounds

Rnd 1 Work 6sc in magic circle

Rnd 2   2sc in each st around (12)

Rnd 3   *sc in 1 st, 2sc in next st* around (18)

Rnd 4 *sc in 2 sts, 2sc in next st* around (24)

Rnd 5   *sc in 3 sts, 2sc in next st* around (30)

Rnd 6   *sc in 4 sts, 2sc in next st*around  (36)

Rnd 7   *sc in 5 sts, 2sc in next st around (42) 

Now it's time to introduce the fluffy yarn, drop the ordinary yarn but do not cut it, as you are going to need it again, after this round is complete. The yarn that is not in use can be carried up under the first stitch of each round.

Rnd 8   Working with the fluffy yarn, sc in each st around FLO (42) change back to ordinary yarn

Work your fluffy yarn into the Front Loop Only

Rnd 9   sc in each st around of the unworked back loop stitches of the ordinary yarn  (i.e the unworked back loop stitches from round 7), 

As you can see there is a lot of fluffiness!  I pulled down the very fluffy yarn to get to the stitches, but still, those back-loop only stitches with the ordinary yarn are very clear to see. 

Note - now is a good time to attach the safety eyes and to embroider the mouth.

Rnd 10-18  Repeat rnd 8 and 9 [These are the even rounds, and will add the thickness to your little fluffy friend, before you begin the decreases. You can repeat more rounds to make the body thicker, or less for a smaller body). To begin the decreases you will need to be working with ordinary yarn, so you will have to be on an odd numbered round.

 This is a picture of my work on round 11. I am working the fluffy yarn in the front loop only. You can totally see that fluffy texture building up and how the guiding yarn gets hidden.

Rnd 20  Working with ordinary yarn, sc in the BLO stitches of the ordinary yarn, *sc in 5 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 21  sc in each st around, FLO (36) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 22  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 4 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 23  sc in each st around, FLO (30) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 24  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 3 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 25  sc in each st around, FLO (30) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 26  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 2 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 27  sc in each st around, FLO (24) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 28  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 1 st, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Now is a good time to add stuffing.

Rnd 29  sc in each st around, FLO (12) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 30  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc2tog* around. Do not change back to the fluffy yarn at this point, as you are ready to finish off. Add your final stuffing.

Now finish off your work by weaving your yarn through the outer loop of each stitch. Check out PlanetJune for a comprehensive Tutorial on the Ultimate finish for Amigurumi for this final step. 

Finally all you have to do is weave in that last fluffy piece of yarn. And that's it, you now have a fluffy friend to love and hold.

So how do you apply this method to everyday crochet work...

This method involves alternating between fluffy and ordinary yarn, every other round. The ordinary yarn works as a guide into which to work your fluffy yarn. As this method requires you to work extra rounds I admit, it can be time-consuming, so it is best saved for smaller projects like small Amigurumi toys, or if working a fluffy edging around a project, like a hat for example. I think it can make very effective hair-do for an Amigurumi doll that can be actually worked as you go. I think any crochet project you find you could ultimately make it fluffy with this method. Keep in mind these following three rules and really you can use this method however you like...

* Always work the fluffy yarn in the FLO as this is the round that will be exposed

* Always work the ordinary yarn into the BLO of the ordinary yarn round from the 2nd round below

 * Always do the shaping on the rounds crocheted with ordinary yarn, that is, decreases and increases are never worked on the fluffy rounds as this is the round that is too hard to see. 

I hope you learned something new today. Have fun crocheting .Feel free to share your thoughts and questions. 

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