Many amigurumi patterns contain pieces that are very small and narrow, such as little legs, horns, antennae and spikes. These pieces can be a challenge to work with because you cannot get your finger within them to hold the piece as you crochet. Not only that, starting the actual piece is a challenge because it all curls in on itself, and usually the wrong way! Here I will share a couple of tricks I use that take a lot of the challenge out of working with narrow amigurumi pieces.
Tip 1: use a narrow stick
Ok, that sounds kind of funny; but really, get yourself a narrow stick of some sort and keep it in your crochet supply box. I use the stuffing tool that came free with my polyster fiberfill stuffing, but you can also use a chopstick, or something similar.
The stick will help you when you are just starting to crochet a narrow piece. After a couple of rounds, your piece will probably be curling in on itself, with the wrong side on the outside.
Tip 2: flatten the piece
As your little spike, or horn or antennae, is taking shape, you may find the stitches difficult to crochet into because you cannot hold the piece as you normally would – your fingers don’t fit inside. Instead, you can flatten the piece and hold it only from the outside as you crochet. You just have to make sure your hook doesn’t go all the way through to the stitch on the other side, or you will crochet your piece closed!
With the piece flattened, you can crochet into all the stitches along the side that is facing you. As you work your way to the edge, you simply re-flatten the piece with the next stitches to crochet into towards you. Using this technique means you aren’t rearranging your fingers or turning the piece after every single stitch, which makes everything go more smoothly! You may want to use this technique even if the piece is a little larger and you can fit your finger inside because there is less turning needed of the narrow piece as you crochet.
Visualizing these techniques can be a little tricky so I made a short video to help out: Tips for narrow pieces in amigurumi
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Until next time,