Tips & Techniques for Knitting theknittycat's Peeps and Other Toys

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fuzzy Brushed Amigurumi and how they got that way

A Short History of Fuzzy Brushed Amigurumi (crocheted and knitted toys)

In response to a question asked regarding my post of Fuzzy Hello Kitty, I mentioned the history of the Brushed Amigurumi Technique.  There was a little confusion (lack of clarity on my part) and the commenter thought it was my technique, but no, I'm not so clever as that.  ;o)

(I've noted here my recollections which I have verified as best as I can with net research.)

Who's on first?

As I remember, my first encounter with this idea was in 2007, the first year I was making amigurumi.  Wibit, aka Roman Sock had made a fabulous Pomeranian, and described her method of getting that marvellous furry effect by brushing mohair, or mohair blend yarn with a wire pet slicker brush.

Roman Sock's adorable Crocheted and Brushed Pomeranian

You can get the free pattern here:

Roman Sock posted a tutorial on how to brush crocheted fabric, including the results with several types of yarns, here:

The Next Mentions of Using a Pet Slicker Brush

The next mention of this amazing brushed yarn technique, that I  remember seeing, was from Roxycraft, who has a terrific photo tutorial on how to achieve a fuzzy look with ordinary yarn and a slicker brush.
 ---link to Roxycraft's photo tute ---

And later she did a crochet-along for a very cute fuzzy panda, with video tutorials.
(sorry, that pic won't post - click on the first link to see the panda)

--- links to Roxycraft's crochet along and video tute ----

And there was also chezmichelle's fuzzy critters and information.   Possibly around mid 2008? Around the same time that I saw Roxycaft's, or maybe a couple of months before.  The wee fellow directly below was crocheted with bamboo yarn, which chezmichelle said gave an excellent result.

Link to chezmichelle and her cute free patterns here:

Unfortunately, like many of us who had blogs on, chezmichelle lost hers when vox disappeared and much of her info seems to be unavailable.
(except for a few bits and pieces, without photos, through the wayback machine's web archive )

P.S. to the issue - I did transfer my blog to - I have never had the time/energy to fix the look of the early posts, whose formatting got rather messed up in the process of the transfer.  But at least the content is all there.

What kind of yarn fibers work well?

It seems as though you can use this brushing technique with most yarns, but best to test your yarn by brushing a swatch before starting a project.   Some will work better than others.  I've seen wonderful results from wool, bamboo and acrylic yarns, and I'm sure other fibers will work well also.  Cotton yarn may not yield the results we want, but I haven't tried it so can't say for sure.  I've used Caron's Simply Soft, Vanna's Choice and Bernat Softee Baby, acrylic yarns, and all worked well.  I'll post a wee limbless kitty soon (hopefully) that I made with Simply Soft.  The outcome was very soft and silky.  Vanna's Choice came out wonderfully fluffy and fuzzy (see my Fuzzy Hello Kitty).

It's very simple to do, and really magical!  :o)  A very nice crocheted or knit amigurumi suddenly becomes a fuzzy, furry, cuddly softie!  Okay, maybe not suddenly, it's a bit of work to get it to a really fuzzy state, but it's still like magic to me!  :o)

xposted to and

theknittingkitty for theknittycat

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ewok to Baby Wookie for John's birthday, April 2011

"I have always held a secret belief
that Ewoks are actually ….. 
 ......  Baby Wookies"

Before all of my fellow Star Wars fans get mad ....

Just Kidding!!  heh heh




While making this little guy, I thought that his pre ears/helmet look was so cute that I didn't want to sew the helmet/ears on, so I made them removable.  And he DOES remind me of a wookie!  ;o)

This was my freehand version of the crocheted ewoks that I've seen on the net including chiwaluv’s cutie
 - there's a popular pattern available here: 

I crocheted him with with TLC Amore, a fuzzy boucle yarn, which is what decided me to use plain yarn and BRUSH Fuzzy Hello Kitty! Yeesh! I thought it was challenging to KNIT with fuzzy yarn!! But when you’re crocheting, you can’t see the STITCHES!!

Since I can't craft at the moment because my hands are healing (hopefully), I thought I'd post a few of the peeps I've been making, and have made in the past, who have been so woefully neglected because I never have a chance to stop knitting/crocheting, long enough to do any posting!  ;o)  I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as my Hub and I do. 

theknittingkitty for theknittycat

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lucy's Fuzzy Hello Kitty

Yet another Hello Kitty

Lucy's Hello Kitty

My most recent and hopefully my last Hello Kitty. Not that I don't think that HK is adorable, I just don't like working with so much white. By the time I finish that big white head I'm pretty bored with white yarn! ;o)

This one was made for Lucy and Baby MaryJane on the occasion of Lucy's birthday in May. :o) She has a little music box button inside that plays Brahm's Lullaby when you squeeze her tummy. :o)

You can hear the little music button playing here in this little video I made.
(little meaning simple, not small unfortunately)

(yeah, I know - I'm no budding cinematographer. Heh heh)

Lucy's Hello Kitty was crocheted with Vanna's choice yarn, just a plain acrylic (but nice stuff), and then brushed with a wire brush to make her all fuzzy!  In the white areas I held two yarns together, adding Lion Brand Microspun for a little shine, but when she was brushed  you couldn't really see the Microspun.

Here she is before fuzzing up. I had just brushed one foot for a bit, at that point, to try out the technique.

It's really amazing how well that works. I purchased a small dog slicker brush, but an even better tool that I used a lot is something called a nap riser brush, which I purchased here from It's like a mini slicker brush that you slide over a finger. It lets you get into small spaces and you have a lot of control.

It does take some work to get this effect but I find working with fuzzy yarn to be challenging with knitting, and crazy-making with crochet! So fuzzing up plain yarn after I've knitted or crocheted a peep is an interesting alternative.

What amazes me is that after all that brushing and fuzzing, very little fiber actually came off of the yarn. I've tugged on the fibers and they seem very secure still.

Did you know that Hello Kitty has a tail?!  She DOES!   I didn't know that till I did my picture research for this one.  And this is the fourth one I've made!  I just never noticed before.  Yes I know she's a kitty, but she's kind of a humanistic kitty.  And besides, I'm kind of notorious for leaving off tails!  heh heh    But Lucy's HK has a tail!!  Hurray!

More pics in my flickr photo stream.

As some of you might remember, I injured my knitter mitts (hands) in my crazy Christmas marathon, and have been crocheting my peeps for awhile - okay that's been interesting and I've learned some tricks.   :o)   But being a knitaholic, I am really missing knitting them. Well, a couple of weeks ago ... Ummm this is embarrassing ... I overdid with the crocheting, and now I can't do ANY crafting!!!  Eeeek!! Making peeps keeps me sane.... Now what?  Heh heh. My hub has suggested learning to knit with my toes. Heh heh

Hmmm. I think he's scared. ;o)

Since I'm so behind in posting my peeps, I've got plenty of them waiting in the wings, and I may find time to put up a couple more of my adventures in crocheting them, while waiting for my hands to heal up enough to allow me to work on them some more.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the new weloveamigurumi community theme and their summer!

(xposted to weloveamigurumi and theknittycat's tips)

theknittingkitty for theknittycat