Thursday, 22 January 2009

There's a peahen in my garden

Just before Christmas, there was a thud outside the French windows. This was not quite what we expected to see when we went to investigate.

The ginger Tom was very perturbed and started slinking around, belly close to the floor, in that macho, catcho style they adopt when they're trying to look 'ard as nails.

Fortunately, we'd already ordered the turkey for Christmas.

Amigurumi hints and tips type thing

Sorry about the gap. Long Christmas, lethargy, holiday, too much cake - you know how it is.

Anyway, there are a lot of amigurumi hints and tips floating about out there on the interwebnetsuperhyperspace, but I thought I'd add to them anyway. Specifically, the correct use of pins.

When I first started making ami, I failed to pin. Failure to pin is a very grave mistake. You've put all that effort into making the bits, so don't fall at the last hurdle and construct your ami so it looks like a lopsided car crash.

I use two type of pins. Long ones, like these;

and short ones, like these;

They're very cheap and not worth buying in a specialist craft shop where they're likely to be more expensive. Get them in a supermarket - Asda do the long ones, and you can probably get the short ones in Sainsbury and Tesco.

I made the mistake of using the long ones for limbs when I first started making ami. Because they're long, they seem more secure, yes? No. What happens is that the pin comes out the other side of the toy making it difficult to sew without stabbing yourself in the fingers. It also makes the toy top heavy and gets in the way of balancing the limbs properly. The best thing to use are the shorter pins, and use more of them. If you're placing a leg on a body, for instance, place the pins close to the top of the leg/arm and make sure most of the pin goes into the body. Don't put the pin through the bottom of the paw whatever you do. And don't be afraid to use 3 or even 4 pins for this purpose, like this;

When you turn the toy upright, the pins won't get in the way when you try to make the animal stand up, as is often the case with the longer pins.

So what about long pins? Oddly enough, long pins can also be good for siting smaller body parts, like ears. If you try and use 3 or 4 small pins on an ear it's almost impossible to sew the ear on as the surface area is so small. One large pin, straight through the tip of the ear and right through the head, leaves the sewing area clear.

Hope this helps!