Stitches and techniques..

I began describing how to make the stitches and taking pictures. But.. it’s so much easier to understand with a video and I can’t do that. Most creative people work best with visuel information, so I found a pile of links to videos where it’s shown and explained better than I can do in writing. I took the liberty and picked the videos that I prefer: short and to the point. Every stitch listed here is in US english.

BLO = back loop only. Used to make an edge for stabilizing, marking, for decoration or what ever the pattern calls for. Every stitch has 2 loops and you just work in the loop furthest away from you. How to BLO

Bobble stitch. Easier than it looks. Used to make bubbles/domes, nostrils, toes and fingers. How to bobble stitch.

CAL = Crochet along. A term used when people crochet using the same pattern at the same time. It’s like when you get together and crochet in real life, it’s just online instead.

ch (or: ch st) = chain stitch. Another way of starting is the chain stitch. It’s best for flat squares or a neck of e.g. an animal where it’s tube-shaped and not supposed to be closed: how to ch st Important tip: when you make stitches in a chain, make sure to have 2 chain-loops on top of your needle. It gives a very nice edge.

In addition to this catknithat has solved the problem with the rigid foundation round and made a nice photo tutorial about it. It’s very useful when you want a starting round with some “give” like for a beanie. Take a look: Stretchy Foundation in the round

dc = double crochet. A longer stitch that works well on bigger projects like dish cloths, shawls, granny squares etc.: how to dc

dec = decrease. Just as important as the inc., it’s used for shaping and there’ll be fewer stitches than on the previous round/row. Either crochet 2 st together (2tog).
OR make an invisible decrease. It’s a bit more difficult, but the trick is not to crochet too tight.
The difference between these two methods is: the first will create a small hole where the stitches are joined together. The stuffing of an amigurumi will show. The second one will look like a normal sc and is perfect for amigurumi because it’s as tight as the other stitches. The video explains both: how to dec

dtr = double treble. Really tall stitch! I tried this just for the fun of it and it is indeed a very tall stitch. It was surprisingly easy to make. Here’s how to dtr

edc = extended double crochet. Not that different from a double crochet stits, just a little longer. How to edc

FLO = front loop only. Used to make an edge for stabilizing, marking, for decoration or what ever the pattern calls for. Every stitch has 2 loops and you work in the loop nearest to you. How to FLO

inc = increase. An important thing to know, you can’t shape anything without it. It’s done by crocheting 2 st in 1, so there’ll be more stitches than on the previous round/row: how to inc

Loop stitch. This one is a bit tricky but the video shows how to do it. It’s a great stitch for making curly hair on an amigurumi or making grass (cut the loops, separate the strands) I haven’t seen an abbreviation for this: how to loop stitch. Maybe we could call it a L-st.?

MR or MC = magic ring or magic circle. Probably the most important thing to master when we’re talking amigurumi and working in rounds. Closes up the hole in the middle nice and firm. There’s more than one way to make a magic ring, this is very close to what I do: how to MR There is another way of starting that’s recently come to my attention: make 2 chain st. and use the 2. st from the hook as a MR. It gives a very flat result as far as I can see.

Picot stitch = Picot ST or p. A very easy stitch. Used for making protrusions on an edge. So easy that I diedn’t realize that it was what I was doing until I saw the word in the pattern. How to picot stitch.

pm = Place marker

RS = Right side

sc = single crochet. Most amigurumis I’ve seen are made with sc. It gives a nice and uniform look to the amigurumi and can be combined with other stitches. I find it useful to place a stitch marker of some kind in the first sc in each end to make sure I go into the right one. Here’s how to make them in a flat piece: how to sc

sl st = slip stitch. Often used to connect one end of a row of chain stitches to the other to form a ring. This was the way to make a circle before someone found out to create the magic ring. It can also be used for moving across stitches without really making any stitches e.g. a hole for a window where you need to continue on the other side of the hole. This video shows both uses: how to sl st

tr = trible crochet. A tall stitch! Great for afghans or decorative stitches. I don’t remember ever having tried this one. Looks great: how to tr

YO = Yarn over.

WS = Wrong side.

Other useful things to know:

Assembly: In many patterns it says something like: “leave a long end for sewing” when you’re done with a piece. That’s a perfectly good way of doing it since the yarn is already is attached. However.. you can also weave in the end, take a new piece of yarn and split it in half, if the yarn allows it. E.g. cotton nr 8. has 4 strands and is fairly easy to split down the middle. Personally I think sewing with ½ the yarn give a nicer result and it’s easier to work with. What you prefer is up to you.

Changing colour: This way of changing colour is the best I’ve tried, it makes a very nice transition from one colour to the next without weird gaps: how to change colour. There are other ways to change colour, it’s up to you how “perfect” you want it to look. This one is more advanced and more difficult: how to “perfect stripes”

There are more stitches out there. If you find some that you think is missing on the list, please let me know so it can be added.

Last but not least: thank you to all who have uploaded a video showing and explaining the stitches and techniques. It makes it so much easier to teach and learn. Thanks! ❤

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