The Craft Store recently caught up with Lisa Dobbs from Wee Woolly Wonderfuls who has put together a list of fantastic Tips for creating a professional looking Wee Woolly animal using their gorgeous kits, which you can shop here. We hope you enjoy their tips ranging from counting your stitches, to some nifty crochet hacks.
About Wee Woolly Wonderfuls
Wee Woolly Wonderfuls is a small family run UK business, based in Yorkshire, and LOVE what they do! Lisa the head of all things Woolly has been making things since small and wants to inspire others to get creative too! Their Kits contain everything you need including the wool, quality stuffing, soft grip crochet hook, needle, stitch markers, printed pattern, all it’s packaged neatly in a 100% cotton project bag- making creating your own cute Wee Woolly enjoyable and fun! Find traditional favourites such as Bunnies, Lions, Bears, Foxes and Mice, to everyone’s favourite character – Aimee the Giraffe! have different colours available, and kits from Complete Beginner, to more experienced crocheters – which Wee Woolly will YOU choose?
So, without further ado, here are Lisa’s list of Top Tips for creating Wee Woolly Animals!
Learning anything new can feel a little daunting – but here at Wee Woolly Wonderfuls, we have you covered learning to Crochet! I struggled to when trying to learn. What wool should I use? What hook? How on earth does anyone read a pattern? It’s double-dutch! So, we decided to make it easy. With Beginner Kits containing everything you need and matching Video Tutorials to show you how it’s done (and how to read those pesky patterns!) we make it simple! Grab your Beginner Bunny kit here, or a Beginner Giraffe Kit here, and let’s get started!
Here’s our Top Tips to help you learn, and to get a professional looking finish to your Wee Woolly animal!
Use a marker and count your stitches!
When you’re learning it’s so easy to get carried away, and not realise you’ve gone wrong,and end up with too many or too few stitches. Make sure you use a stitch marker to mark the end of your round, AND count the stitches after every round to make sure they match the number you should have, which is helpfully given in brackets on our patterns, to make sure you’re on track. When you’re new to something, it’s very frustrating to have to pull rounds out and start again! All of kits contain 2 markers – one a locking marker, and the other a unique stitch marker in the shape of the animal you’re making, to make marking your round easy, and fun!
Join a group for support and help, and crafty chatter!
It’s so easy to get frustrated when you’re learning something new, and just give up! If you’re in a support group, you can be among other beginners, who are learning just like you. There are also more experienced crocheters on hand with tips and tricks, and encouragement to keep going!
Don’t loose track of where you’re up to
Keeping track of which round you are up to can be a headache – a simple way is to use a post it note under the round you’re working on! You can also get a Stitch Counter, but often the simple ways are the best, and post it notes work just great!
If you’re making amigurumi toys for the first time, use a hook around 2 sizes smaller than the ball band suggests. This makes your work neat, dense, so your stuffing doesn’t show through (not a cool look for a crochet giraffe!) All our kits contain a hook that’s perfect for use with the wool in the kit, to produce a nice dense crochet, so your stuffing is hidden, making your finished make look far more professional!
Stuff like a pro!
Want to avoid a lumpy mis-shaped animal with sticky out arms? Of course you do! We include a high quality ball fibre stuffing in our kits, which is easy to work with, washable and gives a great finish! Always start by gently pulling it apart so their are no clumps, and stuff with small amounts at a time, building up gradually. All our patterns tell you how much to stuff each part, but as a general rule, heads and bodies are stuffed firmly, hands are feet quite firmly, and arms and legs very lightly. Always leave the tops unstuffed to make sure that the animal can sit without falling over, and so that the arms lie flat to the sides. Now you’re stuffing like a professional! Here’s our Henry the Hippo stuffed like a pro! Find Henry’s kit here
Sew up professionally!
Your sewing up can make or break your finished toy, so take your time. Use knitting needles to skewer parts in place that can’t be pinned, and check you’re happy with all of the positioning before sewing on. For arms are legs – pin them first, then sit up your animals and check everything is even and in a great position before sewing. To get a neat, invisible finish, we recommend sewing a small horizonal stitch across one stitch on the body, followed by the same on an opposite stitch, on the part you are attaching. Repeat this technique all of the way around, gently gathering every few stitches as you work. This makes the join invisible, and the finish professional. No more unsightly joins! If the toy is intended for a small child, sew around twice to give a very secure finish, as the cherished toy is bound to be dragged around by an arm or leg by small hands, so they need to be securely attached! Here’s our Ryan the Reindeer getting sewn up! Find his kit here!
Getting that cute face just perfect!
The face is the part that gives your Wee Woolly their own personality! It’s tempting to rush this part in your enthusiasm to get finished and give them a cuddle, but don’t! The face can make or break your finished toy. Place pins where you want the eyes and other features to be, making sure they’re level and spaced evenly. All of our patterns tell you exactly where, and how spaced out the features need to be, to make a cute face easy! If you’re not happy – don’t be afraid to remove your thread, and start again – it’s worth it for the finished result. Our bunnies for example have 3 different eye options, and a video tutorial for each, to show exactly how we do it. The eyes make or break your finished piece so take your time, for a fantastic expressive eyes that give your toy it’s very own character! Here’s our gorgeous Eli the Elephant having his eyes added! You can find him here!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Top Tips – so what are you waiting for – get crocheting as we all need another craft to do, don’t we? Find the full The Craft Store range here!