7 Easy Tips to Finish Your Amigurumi Project
Have you ever been reading a pattern and at the end of a section it just says, “fasten off”? Or when you’re assembling, a pattern will read, “sew the head to the body”? Other than maybe some photos, there’s probably not much more explanation, right? However, the lack of explanation isn’t because the designer is lazy or anything–it’s because everyone has their own methods. That’s why I put together this article: 7 Easy Tips to Finish Your Amigurumi Project, so you can choose the best method for you!
7 Easy Tips to Finish Your Amigurumi Project
Let’s talk about fastening off.
How you fasten off is a reflection of who you learned from, be it a grandparent, teacher, YouTube video, etc… There’s nothing wrong with your way! But…there’s several ways to fasten off, so when a pattern says to, you and the designer might be thinking of 2 entirely different methods.
I’ve picked 3 of the most common fastening off methods and tips for when to use each. These of course, aren’t hard and fast rules. (The wonderful thing about crochet is that you can really do whatever you want.)
1. Fasten Off Method 1
This is one of the most basic ways to fasten off and the way I used to when I was still learning to crochet.
Instructions: When you finish a row or section, cut your yarn and ch 1, pulling the rest of your yarn through the loop.
As you can see from the photo above, using this method leaves you with a very jagged edge to sew. Depending on the project, this might not be an issue, but it can make your parts lean a bit once their sewn on.
Tip: This method is fine when you’re going to sew the opening shut like in the arms for Bubbles the Bear.
2. Fasten Off Method 2
It’s this second method that I personally use the most often because it’s the way I learned.
Instructions: When you finish a row or section, slip stitch into the next stitch, cut your yarn, then ch 1, pulling the rest your yarn through the loop.
By doing the slip stitch, you’re evening the row height and giving yourself a flatter edge to work with. The downside to this method is that if you need to continue working in that last row, it’s very easy to accidentally add or subtract stitches because of that slip stitch.
Tip: Method 2 is great for finishing off parts that will be sewn onto another section such as when you sew the beak to the head for Prym the Peacock (pattern available for free here on the blog).
3. Fasten Off Method 3
Method 3 is what I would call the seamless way to fasten off. It’s a tiny bit more complex, but excellent if you want really clean edges.
Instructions: When you finish a row or section, cut your yarn, pull up on your working loop until the rest of the yarn pulls through. With a tapestry needle, thread your yarn tail under both loops of the next stitch (working from front to back). Then insert your needle into the center of the V (from top down) of your last single crochet and thread the yarn under the back loop only. Pull tight.
Check out this quick video tutorial:
With this method, you’re essentially pulling the first and last single crochet stitches of a row together so that they look continuous.
Tip: You can use this method for pretty much every time you need to fasten off if you like although it is more time consuming than the previous methods. Method 3 is best when you need a really clean edge. For example, when making Sid the Snowman (free pattern), the brim of his top hat is the last row worked, so a clean edge makes the overall finish look better.
Weaving in ends
I think the general consensus in the crochet community is that weaving in ends is everyone’s least favorite task. One of the great things about amigurumi is that very often you don’t really need to weave in ends or you can hide them within the project. BUT, there are a couple of times where you really should spend the extra time to ensure the longevity of your project.
1. Magic Ring
I’m 100% guilty of not weaving in the tail from the magic ring and for awhile I didn’t think it was a big deal. Then one day I was sorting all of my amigurumi and noticed several of my older projects (2yr+) have distinct holes in the magic ring.
This one is a bit of an extreme example, but it made me realize that if you don’t at least put a few knots on the inside, your magic ring will eventually loosen.
Tip: Whenever you start a piece with a MR, work a few rows and then either weave in the tail from the MR, or make a couple of knots on the inside of the project. This will ensure that your ring won’t loosen over time.
2. Color Changes or Yarn Additions
Whenever you add a new color or attach a new ball of yarn, there’s often a few yarn tails inside your project. I tend to crochet over the tails for a few stitches to secure them in place, but this isn’t always enough.
I personally have incredibly tight tension when making amigurumi, but despite that, I’ve noticed my stitches loosening at the joining point.
Tip: Whether you crochet over your yarn tails or not, to ensure your stitches remain tight and consistent, weave each yarn tail back in the opposite direction at least one time–2 or 3 times if you want it super secure.
The awesome thing about amigurumi is that you can hide all this on the inside of your project so it doesn’t have to be beautiful, just functional. There’s nothing wrong with doing several knots and leaving the rest of the yarn tail loose either.
I actually have an entire blog post dedicated to tips for sewing amigurumi parts if you’re looking for more info on this particular topic: How to Sew Your Amigurumi Together Like a Pro
We’ll cover some basics here.
1. What are you sewing where?
HOW you sew a piece is determined by what part you’re attaching where.
For example, you’ll want to use overcast stitches when attaching a flat spike to the back of a dragon and whip stitches when attaching open-ended limbs to a body.
Tip: Consider your end goal. Does the limb stick out from the body–does it lay flat? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you determine which techniques to use. And if you’re not sure, I highly recommend checking out hand sewing tutorial videos on YouTube.
2. Closing up a piece
In many amigurumi patterns, including my own, the instructions will often read:
-Rnd X: dec 6 times. (6) Fasten off with a x inch tail and use a tapestry needle to sew the remaining hole closed.
So what does this mean?
I can’t speak for other designers, but what I’m referring to is the following technique:
Tip: Using a tapestry needle, thread the yarn tail underneath the front loop of each stitch around, then pull tight. To secure, thread the yarn into a nearby stitch and tie a knot before weaving the remaining yarn into the piece.
This is the best technique for closing up a piece that I’ve come across so far and I use it in every amigurumi project I do.
Everyone has their own preferences and there’s lots of ways to fasten off, weave in ends, and seam parts, but these are some basic tips to have in mind in case you get stuck.
If you liked this article, be sure to Pin it for later and share it with your ami-making friends! AND if you have a finishing technique you love that wasn’t mentioned here, leave a comment below and share it! Or share which tip you liked best. I can’t wait to hear from you!
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