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Perfect Stripes for Amigurumi [video]

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/stripes

I’ve developed two methods you can use to minimise the seam when you work in joined rounds to make stripes for amigurumi (or anything else that’s single crocheted in the round). As these joins don’t travel or require extra stitches, you can just add the join of your choice between rounds in any striped single crochet pattern (whether it was designed to be worked in continuous spirals or joined rounds). You don’t need to modify your stitch count; they just work.

perfect stripes for amigurumi by planetjune
Where’s the seam, you ask? That’s exactly the point!

Let’s jump straight to the video, and then I’ll give you a rundown of the strengths and weaknesses of each method.

Perfect Stripes for Amigurumi (right-handed)

Perfect Stripes for Amigurumi (left-handed)

Note: The videos may look a little small embedded in the blog: if so, you can fullscreen them or click through to YouTube to watch them full-sized :)

Method 1: Invisible Join

Pros: doesn’t travel, totally invisible
Cons: slower, must cut yarn between stripes, lots of yarn ends on back
Best choice for: stuffed amigurumi where the back will be hidden inside the piece

Method 2: No-Cut Join

Pros: doesn’t travel, no need to cut yarn, no yarn ends on back
Cons: not completely invisible
Best choice for: joined rounds with no colour change between rounds; hats etc where the inside of the piece will show; people in a hurry!

My Recommendation: Hybrid Method

The Invisible Join (as the name suggests) gives a slightly better finish, but the No-Cut Join is faster and less fiddly, so I recommend using a combination of the two for any pattern where you need to single crochet in joined rounds and/or make stripes. I recommend:

  • For rounds where you’re changing colour, finish the round and start the new round with the Invisible Join
  • For rounds where you’re continuing with the same colour as the previous round, finish the round and start the new round with the No-Cut Join (there’s no point in cutting the yarn and immediately starting again with the same yarn!)

Written Instructions

I do recommend you watch the above video to see the methods in action, but in case you prefer text or want something to refer to, here are written instructions for each method too.

Invisible Join Method:

START OF ROUND: Make a slip knot on your hook. Sc in first st (the duplicated stitch from the previous round) and in each st around.

END OF ROUND: Cut yarn leaving a 2″ tail. Draw up last loop to pull cut end through to the top. Now we’re going to duplicate the loops at the top of the first stitch, to close the round and hide the join:

  1. Insert hook from back to front under both loops of the 2nd stitch of the round, yarn over and draw cut yarn end through to the back.
  2. Insert hook from back to front under the back loop of the last stitch of the round, yarn over and draw cut yarn end through to the back.
  3. Optional: to keep the duplicate stitch tight, tie both ends together on the back of the work.

No-Cut Join Method:

START OF ROUND: Ch 1. Sc in first st (the same stitch you drew yarn through at end of previous rnd). Sc into each st around.

END OF ROUND: Remove hook from loop. Insert hook from back to front under both bars of first stitch of round. Put loop back onto hook and draw through to the back. Pull loop tightly to draw stitches together, then pull working yarn to draw loop back to usual size.

And, if you’re changing colour, the magic colour change point is at the very beginning of each round – you’ll change colour with the ch 1 at the start of the new round.

Use in Amigurumi Patterns

You can safely use either technique for any of my patterns that use stripes in joined rounds (e.g. African Violets pot, Ring-tailed Lemur tail); instead of fastening off between colours for the Ami Paint Set brush and paint tube, or instead of the optional joined round modification given in my other striped patterns, Easter Eggs and Christmas Baubles.

striped amigurumi by planetjune

You can also substitute one of these joins for a normal join to give you neater stripes in any other amigurumi pattern, or to add stripes to any amigurumi (it’s the stripe equivalent of substituting invdec for a sc2tog: it will work in almost every case). These joins will improve the appearance of striped hats too, or any other pieces single crocheted in the round!

***

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37 Comments »

  1. Charlotte said

    Wow, this is fantastic! Thank you for sharing this!
    What patience you have to try and try until you find the perfect fit. And then without hesitation sharing your secrets ;)

    Thanks!

  2. Karen said

    Very interesting. The first one might be too tedious for me, but they’re both definitely worth investigating.

  3. Margo said

    I knew about the first method you demonstrated. The second method
    is similar to the way you might join two tunisian crochet panels. I never thought of using it for stripes in the round that is a GREAT idea.

  4. Lindy said

    Brilliant video, and the instructions are so clear! Thank you.
    Love, Lindy xx

  5. Ana said

    Great results! A bit of work but beautiful stripes!

  6. Yarnitect said

    Another great tutorial! Love it. I’m sold on the no cut join. Will definitely give that a try. I’m headed off to put this tutorial on my Pinterest “How to Crochet” board! And I’ll link to it on facebook. Can’t keep this technique to myself!

  7. Carmen said

    Hi June,

    this is so amazing! I am really impressed by your meticulous description and visualization of the different techniques and the final comparison of the ‘winners’. This definitely convinces me to use both of these techniques, since the end result of them is fabulous. So far, I was always a bit frustrated with the end result of my color changes, because whenever I did some amigurumi as a gift, I also wanted it to be as perfect as possible.

    Having seen your written and video tutorial and followed your previous Twitter posts about how much time it takes to prepare the video, I want to thank you very much for having shared this with us :)! It also helps a lot that you gave a video as well as a written instruction on how to do the two methods. I am sure that for the next CAL you will these methods in use :)!

    Best regards

    Carmen

  8. Amazing! I’ll have to try this! I’ve been using your invisible increase and decrease. With invisible joins, soon, all of my crochet will be invisible!

  9. Lissa said

    I keep telling my mother that June is a genius, and this only proves it. I enjoy making crocheted crayons (I believe the pattern belongs to The Craft Frog), which have several fiddly little stripes. The pattern is meant to be made with joined rounds, but I always do it as a continuous spiral. I then have to either not look at the jog in the stitches, or fiddle with the stitch count so the colors sort of line up.

    These two methods look like they would work perfectly for making these crayons. I would have to use both of them, as you recommend, which would also give me a chance to compare the two. Although the invisible join method looks cleaner, the no-cut join is a lot neater yarn-end-wise. I need to go find some yarn; I’m really excited right now…

  10. Erin Scull said

    EXCELLENT!!! I will be using this method! I’m just not sure which one. :P Do you mind if I share a link with my followers June? Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tutorials!!! I love learning new techniques. I just finished one of my dolls and I wasn’t happy with my strips, so this is really going to help me out!

    Thank you again!
    Erin Scull

    • June said

      You’re welcome, Erin, and you’re very welcome to link to any of my tutorials!

  11. tiffany said

    bless you june. I wish i had known this last year.

  12. Laura said

    Thanks so much for this June ! I use your invisible method often with hats. I was pleased to share this with my blog readers on Off The Hook. I am sure they will find it as useful as I did.

  13. Gillian McMullen said

    Thanks so much for this and for all your tutorials, June. They must take hours and hours to make, and you share them so generously with us. You are turning us all into expert amigurumiers. It’s exciting to create more and more perfect work by following your instructions!

  14. Chrisie Merriman said

    I made a PJ Lemur and used the Invisible Join method for the tail (I cut every round)… I literally can’t see the joins at all.
    It works amazingly well, and it’s actually pretty fast once you get going.
    Love love love! I will be using this technique at every striping opportunity.

  15. Melissa said

    Dear June,

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!
    These seams drove me nuts (>_<)

    There is one question left concerning the invisible method:
    How do I finish off my work before doing the slip knot and stitch in the first stitch of the round? Just leave the last stitch of the round open or pull the yarn through?

    btw: Your voice is wonderful smooth and gently :o)

    Thank you very much, greetings from germany,

    Melissa

    • June said

      Melissa, for every round you’ll end it the way I show in the video (and describe in points 1-3 of the written instructions in this post) to duplicate the first stitch – you need to watch the complete method before you start crocheting so you’ll understand it all! Each method demo shows 2 complete rounds, so if you watch the middle of the demo you’ll see me ending one round and then beginning the next – it’s using both those parts (ending one round and starting the next) that forms the invisible join :)

      • Melissa said

        Thank you so much for your quick response!
        How stupid I was..Crocheted my pattern (a baby rattle) as usual and started your method unfortunately first when I came to the first stripe (>_<)
        Now everything is clear to me :o)
        Thanks a lot and greetings,

        Melissa

        • June said

          Oh no, you’re not being stupid at all! I spent a long time thinking about how to film the video – I knew that, no matter where I started the video demo, it would confuse people. If I showed the end of the round without showing how I started it, some people would be confused; if I showed the start without showing the end of the previous round (as I ended up doing), other people would be confused! I’m glad it makes sense to you now, anyway :)

          • ChiWei said

            Just so I’m clear on the original question and answer… I am following a pattern that is a SC continuous spiral that has a color change in it. So if I don’t want to show the join between the two colors as a jog in the piece, then I’d have to NOT spiral my work at all, but instead always use the no-cut method for each round, then the invisible join when I switch yarn colors, is that right? Thanks!

          • June said

            ChiWei, yes, that’s the best method that will give the best result.

            If you have a big chunk of one colour – lot of rounds with no colour changes – you may want to save time by spiralling around those rounds, and then changing to joined rounds at least 1 round before the colour change. (To change from a spiral to joined rounds, just use the end of round instructions from the No-Cut Join at the end of your last spiral round. You’ll have a slight glitch there, but you may prefer it to making a No-Cut Join every round for e.g. 20 rounds…)

  16. Dewi said

    Neat!

    Thanks so much for sharing! You’ve solved a problem that I’ve always been struggling with.

    Are you ambidextrous?! Since you always post videos for both righties and lefties.

    Happy holidays!

    • June said

      Haha, no, I’m a lefty – I just flip my videos both ways so everyone can understand them!

  17. janellyo said

    Thank you sooo much for clearly outlining the instructions for these two methods. I have been searching for a very long time for clear instructions on joining rounds. Most of the patterns I’ve made so far didn’t require it but I recently had to use joining rounds for an oval shape I was making and the seam was unsightly! Comparing my first version to one using the no-cut join has made a huge difference.

  18. Marian said

    Thank you so very much! I appreciate you sharing your knowledge of crochet. I am a newbie to crochet and I love making hats for the local schools and shelters in my area and your tutorial on the Invisible Join and Changing Colors is so clear and produces a perfect join! I have seen others on the web but with yours… it finally clicked for me. I can’t wait to start making hats with lots of stripes! Thanks again!

  19. Laura Head said

    Hi June,
    Thank you so much for the videos. I am crocheting a tea cup and it needs to have two stripes in the middle.
    Please could you explain how you go back to crocheting in a normal spiral after using your no cut method?
    Many thanks
    Laura

  20. Jennifer Niskanen said

    Thank you so much for these techniques. They work perfectly. My only regret is that they do not appear to be in your book, which is a real shame, as I can tell this is something I will want to refer to often. These methods not only work for Amigurumi, as you mention. I just used them for Bosnian Slip Stitch with a mitten I am working on. They performed beautifully and have been very helpful. Rounds are also worked in a spiral for this kind of thing too without joins or chains.

  21. Shay said

    Hi June! Just started crocheting again and was really a newbie before as well, your tutorials are so great! I always google search what I’m looking for and type ‘planet june’ on the end lol. Anyways, I was wondering if these methods, especially the invisible method, can be used if the first or last stitch is an increase or decrease? Like if I’m making a stripy ball basically. Thanks for your help!

    Shay

    • June said

      Yep, there’s no reason why the methods shouldn’t work – they don’t replace or alter any of the stitches; only the join itself. Follow the instructions, but instead of the ‘first sc’ or ‘last sc’ of the round, make your increase/decrease in the first/last stitch(es) as required.

  22. Joan said

    Easy to understand

  23. candeias lima said

    São muito bonitas as pesas ,gostaria de ver mas outras pasas.

  24. Hi June – I think this tutorial is fab! I used it to make a crochet robot and have linked to your site on my blog here: http://missknitnat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/what-should-have-been-on-my-knitting.html – so exciting that you can make completely jogless stripes!

  25. Lynne Armstrong said

    This is brilliant June!! I’ve just found your tutorial and pinned it, to come back to when I need it. I’d never have worked this out by myself :) Thanks so much for sharing your technique.
    Lynne

  26. Anna Dee Hinckley said

    Thanks so much for your informative videos. They are very clear and concise. This is new information to me and I have wondered what to do about the seams in hats and other items I have made. Thanks again. I am excited to have found your site and marked it in my favorites.

  27. Rita said

    Your tutorial is super simple! I really love it! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    But I am a little confused how to switch between this two methods when I want to work also in continued spirals. How to finish spiral round to switch to one of this method or How to start spiral yarn when finishing one of your method.

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    June Gilbank
    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!
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