Day 13 :: Properly Stuffing Your Amigurumi

This is Day 13 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

Putting stuffing in your amigurumi is pretty much essential! It wouldn't be an amigurumi if it wasn't stuffed, right? There is one common mistake that we make as beginners, and that's not adding enough stuffing! There one a little rule that I learned early on, and it's this...

Once you think you've added enough stuffing, add some more!

We often believe that there's too much stuffing, but it isn't really. You want to stuff that baby up until the surface feels stiff, but not to the point where the stuffing is coming out between the posts. This is where your tight stitches comes in to play. Here are some tips and tricks I've used when stuffing.

Stuff As You Go

When it comes to stuffing, it's often helpful to stuff along the way! I don't like to stuff it too much as I'm working because I hate when the stuffing gets in my way, but I often like to stuff it a little before the hole gets too small. Once you get down to the last row that hole is often so small that you can only add small amounts of stuffing at a time, making it take forever. Adding a little before it's too small can help speed up the process.

Use a Pen or Pencil to Help You

While a bag of polyester fiberfill often comes with a wooden stick for this reason, I like to use a writing utensil to help me stuff the stuffing in there. Here is the reason why! I find the width of pens and pencils to be the same as that tiny hole at the end of my projects! Also, the flat end of a pen or even the rubber of the eraser helps to grip the fibers and push them inside the hole.

Roll It in Your Hands

Once I've stuffed a bunch of stuffing inside the work, I've noticed that it can start to look lumpy and bumpy (yup, that's a technical term) as the fibers start to ball together. I put the work between my hands and roll it around. Don't be afraid to push it and shape it to get a nice smooth exterior.

Feel For Empty Spots

Once you've been stuffing it up and rolling it around for a nice shape you'll want to push in different spots to feel for any dips and holes in the stuffing. Sometimes you can see them from the shape it's creating, but other times you can feel them under your fingers. Once you find one you can push your stuffing around with your pen or pencil to fill the hole and then stick some more stuffing in there to compensate.

Pay Attention to Your Shape

You want to make sure that your stuffing isn't compromising the shape that you are trying to create. Every time you put some more stuffing in there then check the shape you've made to make sure it looks the way you want it to. The stuffing should be helping you to hold up the shape you've just worked so hard to crochet, not destroying it.

Stuff it to High Heaven

I know I've already said this, but I just have to reiterate it! Once you think you've put enough stuffing in it, stuff it up some more! Just keep stuffing until the stuffing is starting to stick out of the hole. You don't want the stitches to be spreading out, but you want it to feel stiff on the outside. Trust me, it's still going to be nice and soft.

The Exception to The Rule

Of course there is an exception to every rule. So there is no rule saying that you MUST stuff every piece of your ami! There are times when no stuffing, or less stuffing is called for. For my free fashion doll pattern I do not stuff the arms, and that's because I wanted them to move easily. Often times there are ears that are left unstuffed in order to flatten them out and give them a rounded look. Sometimes even a less stuffed ball can give you a more oval shape. It's all in your design, so as always just play around with it.

So that's all from me today! I hope that it made sense for you! We're not even half way yet, so keep coming back. Tomorrow we are going to be talking about closing those holes at the end of your crocheted shapes.

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.

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