Saturday, November 20, 2010

Starting a circle without the dreaded 'Magic Ring'

I have a quickie tutorial for anyone else who hates (or doesn't get) the 'magic ring' method of starting a circle for amigurumi. This is how I do it.

Step One: Ch 2

Step Two: SC however many your pattern calls for into the first chain made (or second chain from hook as my patterns are written)  I used six for this example

With one stitch finished, second started

  With two finished, third started

With three finished, fourth started

With four finished, fifth started


With five finished, sixth started

All six stitches, finished with a slip stitch

Continuing to Row 1 without finishing off

Depending on how you prefer to work, you can finish the row with a slip stitch into the first SC made (which will leave a visible seam when finished. Or you can just keep going in a continous loop as most amigurumi patterns call for

And Viola! you have a base circle upon which to build your amigurumi.

You can make hacky-sacks for practice. Here's a quick pattern to try:
I used Vanna's choice yarn and an F hook

Foundation: Ch 2   SC 6 in second Ch from hook (as shown above)

Row 1. *2SC in each* across

Row 2. *SC 1   2SC in next* across

Row 3. *SC 2   2SC in next* across

  Row 4. *SC 3   2SC in next* across

Row 5. *SC 4   2SC in next* across

Row 6. SC across
Row 7. *SC 4   2SCtog* across
Row 8. *SC 3   2SCtog* across
Row 9. *SC 2   2SCtog* across
Row 10. *SC 1   2SCtog* across
Row 11. *2SCtog* across
Fill loosely with rice or soy beans
Row 12. SC all together 
Finish off

And here are two different ways to work a decrease stitch, written in patterns as DEC or 2SCtog

Method 1: Standard Decrease (this is the method I used for years and still do for flat pieces)

Step One: Insert hook through next stitch, yarn over and pull through


Step Two: Repeat step one is the next stitch over

Step Three: Yarn over and pull through all three loops
And there you have a finished decrease stitch

Method Two: Invisible Decrease (great for plushies, rubbish for flat pieces)

Step One: Insert hook into front loop of next stitch, do not yarn over
Step Two: Repeat step one in next stitch over

Step Three: Yarn over and pull through two loops

Step Three Finished

Step Four: Yarn over and pull through remaining two loops

See how nicely it blends in with the surrounding stitches, you can barely tell it's there (hence the invisible  
part :)

And for one more mini tutorial here's how I close my plushies also known as SC all together.
First you must have a circle that needs closing

 You can use either the Standard Decrease or the Invisible Decrease method.
With the first you would insert your hook into each stitch and yarn over for each 
With the Standard Decrease method you will need two hooks, as they won't all fit on one 

 All stitches on two hooks

Yarn over one more time and pull through all stitches on first hook pull enough through that it won't slip back through 

Pick it up again and pull through remaining stitches on first hook

{to work the invisible decrease method you can use just hook with 8 stitches or less. Simply slip your hook into the first loop of each stitch all the way around, yarn over and pull through all loops}

*Just a side note for people wanting to create their own patterns, increasing is basically like taking the number of stitches in your foundation row (in this case 6) and multiplying by increments of 1. Like so; Row 1. 6x1=6
Row 2. 6x2=12   Row 3. 6x3=18, and so on. To get a round ball you would decrease in the same manner.

I hope that made sense, I never can tell if I'm speaking gibberish or not.

Before I go I just wanted to share a few shots with you of my new craft room (or rather what will be my new craft room when everything gets put away in our new house) It's total chaos right now, as is most every aspect of our lives right now. But here it is 
it's currently being used as the living room
as you can tell by the two goof balls playing video games in their jammies
it's got a lovely fireplace
because it was meant to be the living room {thats the front door in the right corner}
One of the only somewhat organized bits

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