PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Fuzzy Yarn Tips

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

Looking for how to use my Fuzzy patterns with a regular yarn? Or how to start amigurumi with eyelash yarn (right-handed and left-handed step-by-step tutorials)? If not, read on:

It seems to be a commonly held belief that it’s difficult/impossible to crochet with fuzzy/eyelash/fun fur yarn. I’ve worked with fuzzy yarns a lot, so I thought I should share some advice on how to crochet fuzzy amigurumi toys.

Working with eyelash yarns is a challenge, but here are my tips to make it a little more manageable.

fuzzy yarns!

Relax!

You’ll probably need to crochet more loosely (and definitely more slowly!) than you are used to. Ease your hook gently through the fuzz; don’t yank it.

Fixing Mistakes

  • Undoing stitches: If you make a mistake, unravelling stitches can be a pain, but it’s not impossible! Unravel one stitch at a time, holding onto the previous stitch with your other hand at the same time so it doesn’t get yanked too, and the stitches will slowly come undone. If it does get caught, don’t pull hard on the yarn – gently wiggle the stitch you are trying to undo in the opposite direction (as though you’ve changed your mind about undoing it and want to pull it back to its original shape) and it should free up.
  • Go with the flow: The good news is that a stitch gained or lost here or there isn’t the end of the world with eyelash yarn patterns – the yarn is so fluffy that it’ll cover the occasional slip. Use your stitch marker and try to make sure you end up with just about the right number of stitches in each round. If you’re one off, fix it in the next round, and it’ll all turn out okay!

Finding the Stitches

Having trouble seeing where to insert your hook? Here are some more tips:

  • Some yarn colours can be easier than others to work with; in general, the stitches are more visible with lighter coloured yarns than with dark or black yarns.
  • Light your work properly! I use a goose neck desk lamp pointed directly at my project. This makes a huge difference – even in a well-lit room, the stitches will be more visible if you illuminate your work. This will also help when you use dark coloured yarns.

PlanetJune ‘Fuzzy’ Patterns

My fuzzy patterns are designed to be worked in a specific (non-traditional) way that makes it much easier to deal with challenging eyelash yarns, in two specific ways:

  1. They are crocheted in back loops only. It is easier to see where to insert your hook into the stitch, and there is an added bonus: if you forget how many rounds you’ve completed, turn the work inside out and count the ‘rings’ left by the front loops – there will be 1 ring per round you have completed.
     
  2. They are worked with the ‘wrong’ side of the work as the outside. When you crochet with a fuzzy yarn, most of the fluff ends up on the back of the piece. If you crochet around the outside rim of each piece, as with most amigurumi, the result would be patchy on the outside, and very fluffy on the inside. So, you can either turn your work after crocheting most of it and before stuffing, or crochet around the inside rim of each piece, which eliminates the turning step.

    Here’s how to work around the inside rim of your work (i.e. the right side of the work will be the back of each stitch as you make it): as shown below, turn the piece so your hook is always at the side of the round that’s furthest away from you:

    To put it another way, always insert your hook from the middle towards the outside:

    This way, most of the ‘fuzz’ will stay on the outside of the piece, which has two benefits:

    1. You don’t have to turn your work inside out when you finish – the ‘fuzzy’ side is already the outside. (If you prefer to work the other way and then turn your work inside out, you will find the last rounds (after turning) are very difficult – once the fuzz is on the outside, it is almost impossible to see where to insert your hook!)
    2. As you are working in the round, the piece is not turned, so you will always be working into the less fuzzy side of the piece (the inside), and it is much easier to see your stitches.

    right side (outside)
    The right side of the work (outside) – note it is lovely and fuzzy and the stitches are practically invisible.

    wrong side (inside)
    The wrong side of the work (inside) – note it is much less fuzzy and it is much easier to see the stitches. The arrows show the front loops of stitches from 2 rounds – by counting those ‘rings’ of front loops, you can see how many rounds you’ve made if you lose your place in the pattern!

You can also use these techniques to crochet an eyelash yarn toy without using a pattern – you should find it much easier to make eyelash amigurumi this way than if you crochet the traditional way (in both loops, and with the fronts of the stitches facing the outside of the piece as you crochet).

Choosing Yarn

All fuzzy yarn is not created equal. There are many different brands and varieties of eyelash yarn, and some are easier to crochet with than others. Very broadly, there are three main types of eyelash yarn:

  1. Thin core (e.g. Red Heart Foxy, Bernat Eye Lash, Lion Brand Fun Fur, Patons Cha Cha). This type will give a very fluffy, fuzzy toy, although some of the detail in the shaping of the toy can be lost within the fuzziness. I make a lot of my amigurumi from this type, and will give some more pointers below.
  2. Thick core (e.g. Bernat Baby Lash). This type is generally easier to work with, as the core of the yarn is thicker and so easier to see. The result is a larger toy, with more visible stitches and a well-defined shape. You can emulate this type of yarn by working with a strand of thin core eyelash held together with a strand of lightweight (sport/DK) yarn of a similar shade. However, if you plan to do this, do make a swatch of your test yarns, to check that your finished toy doesn’t look too sparse/threadbare (unless you’re going for that look!)
  3. Fringed (e.g. Bernat Boa). The ‘lashes’ stick out perpendicular to the yarn, as opposed to the wispier nature of the other types. I recommend you avoid this type of yarn, as it can be difficult to see where to insert your crochet hook into the previous round of stitches.

Within these three broad categories, you can achieve very different looks depending on whether the ‘lashes’ are long/short, straight/curly, intermittent/plentiful etc etc.
fuzzy yarns!

There are also different kinds of ‘fuzzy’ yarns, e.g. fluffy mohair blends, chenille or boucle. Any yarn with some textural variety will give a more interesting effect to your finished piece. Don’t be put off if the first fuzzy yarn you try leaves you frustrated – keep experimenting until you find yarns you like to work with!

An Easier Option…

Or, if all this is just too frustrating for you, you can crochet with a regular (smooth) yarn and then brush the finished pieces to make them fluffy – it’s a different, and much easier, way to achieve a fluffy crocheted toy! See my Fuzzy to Brushed Crochet tutorial for instructions.

Fuzzy Bears by planetjune, made with eyelash yarn and acrylic yarn (brushed)
These are both made from my Fuzzy Bear pattern! L: eyelash yarn; R: standard acrylic yarn (brushed)

19 Comments »

  1. Anne said

    Loved your whole write up on the fuzzy yarn tips & the fuzz balls & mini fuzz balls they are sooooo cute!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. soph said

    i found these tips really helpful – i don’t think i’d have attempted to crochet with fuzzy yarn otherwise.

  3. soph said

    lol, forgot to say thanks :)

  4. Penny Ervin said

    I love your work up on this, a real help!

  5. Andrea said

    Your tips have been so helpful; I bought some Bernat Disco for a disco rug in my twins’ room, and when I was ready to turn and start the second row I was completely lost. I was ready to throw in the towel when I read your article. I cannot thank you enough!

  6. Alisha said

    I came across this website while looking for pictures of monkeys for an AIDS assignment I have to do for Biology (lol). I’ve been trying to crochet a baby blanket out of fuzzy yarn and it just never happened. So You could beleive how thrilled I was to come across this, try it out, and actually see it work, I can’t thank you enough!

  7. ola lo said

    hello,
    when I looked first time at your page I didn’t understand what is aigurumi. Now I want work up on this. Your animals, flowers are sooooooo cute. I want to know how to make a jack russell terrier, because I have a russell terrier. Please help me ;-).
    Thanks
    Ola

  8. Cat said

    Hi there! I just wanted to say that your tutorials are by far the easiest for me to understand, especially because of the detail and pictures.

    I have a question about using back loops only for certain projects. I think I understand what you mean, but I can’t visualize it. I’ve searched through your tutorials and I’m not sure if I’m overlooking it. Is there a back loop tutorial on your crochet pages?

    Thanks a bunch!

  9. Cat said

    Whoops, nevermind, found a video tutorial for back loops! Thanks again for the great site =)

  10. beth said

    wow, thank you.. first time im making a fuzzy thing, ive only just started crochet as well.. and guess what colour i picker: black><

  11. Dan said

    do you sell any of these? if you do, i want one or more!

  12. Audrey R. said

    I love the fuzzballs! there all so cute! i don’t know how to crochet so i really wish someone would make me some! :(

  13. [...] Hos "Planet June" – virka med effektgarn (eng) [...]

  14. [...] And then I discovered all my tips were already available from June Gilbank. [...]

  15. JoAnne said

    My daughter in-law wants me to make antoher scarf for her using the fuzzy yarn but wants the colors (brown & pink) put together. So I’ll be using two strands. I thought of knitting it, but have decided to crochet instead.
    Thanks for the tips.

  16. Mei said

    Thank you for the helpful hints! I’ve tried crocheting with a few fuzzy yarns but found that I couldn’t make it past the first round. Now I can’t wait to try out your tip of weaving a lightweight yarn together with the fuzzy one :)

  17. marchio padela said

    I have bought your pattern tutorials for the Easter bunny ( forget the real name you used ) included the chick as a bonus.

    I have made them and turn out that the bunny become very thin and small Not as your picture I used Brazilian fuzzy/eyelash yarn.

    Not satisfied, I made one again from another type of yarn and then brush it.
    The result was not as what I expected.

    If you can tell, what to do. Thanks for the attention.

    • June said

      I’d be happy to try to help! Please email me (june@planetjune.com) with photo(s) of the bunnies you made and let me know the yarns and hook size you used, so I can advise on if/where you may be going wrong and what you can do to improve your results in future.

  18. gracias no me he animado a trabajar el hilo fuzzy por temor al fracaso, pero después de sus consejos solo me queda animarme gracias!!!

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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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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