Stuffing & shaping

Stuffing and shaping

In this post I’m going to explain the importance of stuffing and shaping amigurumi. Because if you do this carefully, it can make a lot of difference to the end result.

Let’s start with stuffing. When I stuff a crochet animal head, I start by putting in a piece of fiberfill, from which I know it’ll cover the inside of the head, but isn’t yet enough to fill the complete head. When the fiberfill is inside, I push it outwards, so all sides now are covered with a layer of fiberfill. That leaves a hole in the filling. Carefully I add more fiberfill in the remaining hole, still pushing it a little outwards till the entire head it stuffed. If you want a piece to stay in a certain shape, stuff it tighter. And also keep in mind the stuffing will ‘shrink’ a bit after some time so always use enough. I stuff heads a bit more firm than bodies.

Now the shaping part.

stuffing amigurumi

While stuffing, I also shape. To illustrate this, I’ve used the fox and wolf heads as an example. Their basic shape is the same, only the wolf has bigger cheeks. The stitches are different at the chin of the wolf, but that doesn’t matter for what I’m trying to explain. What I mean is,Β you can make a round shape round like a ball, but that same shape, you can also make flatter.Β The wolf needed to have a wider, less rounder shape. So, while stuffing, I made sure the cheeks stood out and I also made the head flatter by pushing the stuffing more to the sides and pinching the head a bit flatter, so it wouldn’t be round. You can see that in the image.Β I keep everything a bit soft but firm, it should never feel hard. The wolf I stuffed firmer than the fox, because I shaped the head.

This is the way I do it and it seemed useful to explain here.

Have fun crocheting.

 

Pellets as stuffing….eh?

Some crochet animals/amigurumi require a part of pellets as stuffing to give them more weight. My first amigurumi that needed pellets was Amineko. I looked on line to see what pellets are and where I could buy them. They are little round balls, mostly plastic and available in sewing and craft shops. After visiting a few hobby/craft shops I still hadn’t found my pellets. In the Netherlands they are hard to get. I’d also read toy bullets, marbles or rocks could be an alternative. Well, toy bullets I couldn’t find either and marbles are too large for many amigurumi I believe. That only left the rocks, which can be an option and they are easy to find in pet shops, but they’re kind of small and pointy.

There was something else I’d found in the hobby shop, called Hama Beads. They actually have an other ‘hobby’ purpose and I wasn’t sure they had enough weight, but they seemed worth the try, because the beads had the right size and come in little or big bags and many colours.

And it worked! Beads are heavy enough and good to shape because they are a bit rubbery. If you squeeze the part whit the beads, it keeps that shape and that is a very useful quality. The variety in colours comes in handy too if you haven’t crocheted very tight.

Here’s an example of the Dutch Hama beads:

"hama beads as pellets

Conclusion: enough weight, easy to shape with, available in many colours. One downside, I think you can only wash them cold, because if you use them for their real purpose, you have to use a flat iron to melt them together, so washing them hot might cause them to melt. I’m not sure about this, but am not going to try. If I’ll ever wash an amigurumi, I would do a could hand wash with baby soap, because that is best for wool anyway. That was an extra tip wasn’t it!

Goodbye and good luck!