Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sing-a-ma-jigs and stuffing show-through...

Have you seen these? They are so funny and so adorable, I just love them!! In fact I picked some up today before the mad rush. The blue one sings "When the Saints Go Marching In". Naturally I had to get him due to our close proximity to New Orleans. Not having an NFL team of our own, there are so many Saints fans on the gulf coast. At any rate, I think these little creatures and brilliant and I am fascinated with them.

While I'm on the subject of stuffed creatures & since I am currently working on a stuffed toy design I started thinking about stuffing show-through in knitted and crocheted toys. For any of you who are new to toy making stuffing show-through is akin to your slip showing as it detracts from the cuteness of the toy. So here's how I prevent or at least minimize the problem;

1.) Use a smaller crochet hook or knitting needles. Oftentimes this will be several sizes down from the recommended size. I use an F with worsted yarn when crocheting toys. In the same vein when knitting toys with worsted yarn, I use needles in a size US 4 or US 6.
Kool-aid dyed yarn
This little teddy was crocheted using a tight stitch and an F hook. Nothing showing that isn't supposed to...

2.) Work in 100% wool and felt the toy. In this situation, you should knit loosely and perhaps go up a size for your hook or needles. Remember when felting not to stuff the toy too tightly so that the yarn can shrink nicely. And better still, stuff the toy with wool rovings which will shrink along with the toy.Small swatches are helpful and recommended as felting can be  so unpredictable from one yarn to the next. And sometimes yarns require more than one felting bath.

If you haven't felted anything before, you should really try it. It's fun and even a little exciting due to the unpredictability of the finished product and there are so many good tutorials on felting posted on the web.
Bunny Before
Before - Look at the stuffing peeking out here, but it's O.K. in this before felting situation.
Bunny After
After - I can still see a bit on the head. Perhaps a 2nd bath would have fixed this.

Thirdly, using a stuffing that is similar in color to the toy can work well. There are some colored polyester fillers out on the market now but I have not tried them. Try stuffing the toy with yarn remnants, roving or place the filler in a knee high hose that is of a similar color.

1 comment:

  1. I love the bunbun!!!! The felting really brings the bunny to life and makes it a bit more sculptural (imho).