Like a good push up bra, it's all about the underpinnings. It takes my light bulb a while to come on but I have been racking my brain to come up with a way to maintain the shaping that I so carefully design & knit into a toy. This is especially important at necks. You need to stuff the piece firmly so the head won't flop around but in doing so you stretch stitches to the limit.
Wrapping & tying yarn around the outside of the neck is fine but sometimes the yarn on the outside won't look right as in the eye shaping on my Texture Bite bear.
So here's my simple remedy;
Here's a firmly stuff head. It's OK but is not the way I designed the pattern. Instead the imaginary line upon which the eyes will be embroidered should be cinched in.
The red line marks the 2 areas that need a little shaping help.
Using the same yarn, insert the needle at the level where you want to add additional shaping. But rather than tie the yarn around the outside, which would be OK for the neck but not here, run the needle along the imaginary line along just under the knitted material, skimming across the outermost surface of the stuffing.
Pull tightly and knot securely. Smooth out any puckers and add a bit more stuffing as needed.
Repeat for neck.
There now, doesn't that feel better?
Tip: Stamped Scalloped Cards
3 hours ago