Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Amigurumi

Hello, crochet friends, this is Rusty the Giraffe! He is our latest but not the least addition to IraRott® giraffes family. I promise, there will be more giraffes!

Rusty the Giraffe

Rusty the Giraffe

I had so much fun creating these cuties from Bernat Blanket yarn by Yarnspiration. As I mentioned in my previous blog article, this yarn never disappoints!

Hooray…I love their long flexible legs, chubby cheeks & butts! These guys are 32″ tall in sitting position or 44″ including legs.

If you wish to make a smaller size amigurumi, our pattern can easily be adapted for worsted weight yarn, here are a few alteration tips on how to make an 18″ giraffe:

  1. Recommended yarn – 1 skein of Bernat Super Value (or any other similar yarn) to be used instead of Bernat Blanket yarn
  2. Body, muzzle, ears, & limbs – use worsted weight yarn & hook 5 mm (H)
  3. Horns – use worsted weight yarn & hook 3.75 mm (F)
  4. Spots (make 4 or 5) – use worsted weight yarn & hook 3.5 mm (E), also omit the crab stitch edging
  5. Mane – use furry yarn & hook 3.75 mm (F), make it 18″ long
  6. Tail – 3 groups X 5 strands X 13″
  7. Buttons for eyes – 3/4″

PS: Do not forget to get the original pattern with step-by-step instructions from our website 🙂

Rusty the Giraffe Amigurumi Crochet Pattern by IraRott Rusty the Giraffe Amigurumi Toy Crochet Pattern by IraRott

You might also like these matching giraffe patterns (please click the pictures below to see the pattern pages). Save 20% on any 4 or more patterns purchased together at IraRott.com.

Rusty the Giraffe Giant Amigurumi and Crochet Giraffe Blanket Patterns by IraRott®

Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Blanket Pattern by IraRott

Rusty the Giraffe Rug Patterns by IraRott

Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Rug Pattern by IraRott

Rusty the Giraffe Security Blanket Patterns by IraRott

Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Security Blanket Pattern by IraRott

 

 

Mary Maxim Studio Yarn Review

We would like to introduce our NEW Sunrise Seashells Scarf Crochet Pattern made from gorgeous Mary Maxim Studio Yarn. This pattern was inspired by the calming sound of water, that helps me to relax. When I first saw the Studio Yarn in Chalk Pastels, I thought it would be just perfect for my idea of creating waves, seaweed, & seashells from yarn!

Free Crochet Wavy Scarf Pattern by IraRott

Sunrise Seashells Scarf Crochet Pattern by IraRott.

Purple Sand on Lake Erie Ontario Canada by IraRott

Purple Sand on Lake Erie. Ontario, Canada.

Lake Erie Ontario Canada by IraRott

Lake Erie. Ontario, Canada.

I love a smooth long color change of this variegated yarn, the combination of colors is harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

Mary Maxim Studio Yarn Review by IraRott

To make our Sunrise Seashells Scarf, you will need a 6 mm (J) crochet hook & 4 skeins of Mary Maxim Studio Yarn. This yarn is so easy to work with! A moderate amount of wool content (35%) gives it a natural organic feel but at the same time, it is very soft and pleasant to your skin.

Mary Maxim Studio Yarn Review by IraRott

Mary Maxim Studio is a bulky weight roving yarn, that is not twisted tightly or plied. Unlike many other roving yarns with a similar texture, I appreciate the fact that Studio Yarn doesn’t break when sewing!

Mary Maxim Studio Yarn Review by IraRott

 

Our new pattern is FREE, so please stop by to download your copy on our site.

Free Crochet Wavy Scarf Pattern by IraRott

 Disclaimer: The yarn for this projects was provided by Mary Maxim, but all notes in the article are my own opinions.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking and Tying Tutorial

Backing is a piece of fabric (lining) attached to the back of the blanket to make it warmer & cozier. It creates a very neat finish to any project with stranded color work floats on the back. If you ever tried to add a fabric lining to your knit or crochet blanket by simply sewing it around the edges,  you might’ve noticed that the 2 layers of the blanket do not stay together nicely as your quilt top stretches differently than the backing fabric, which creates a mess & heaviness. Keeping that in mind, all layers of the blanket need to be sewn together around the edges as well as to be secured throughout the entire surface. This process is called quilting. Quilting is easy & fun, let’s do it together!

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Crochet Giraffe Blanket Pattern by IraRott®

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Crochet blanket with stranded colorwork floats (WITH backing versus NO Backing)

MATERIALS:

  1. Self-healing cutting mat
  2. Quilting ruler
  3. Rotary cutter with a 45 mm blade
  4. Fabric scissors
  5. Skip-cut (or skip-stitch) rotary cutter blade (45 mm) for wide space cuts
  6. Wonder clips or any other clips (optional)
  7. Fleece, Soft N Comfy, or Minky fabric – slightly larger in size than your finished blanket
  8. Lint roller (optional)
  9. Curved basting pins  or safety pins
  10. Tapestry needle
  11. Sewing machine (optional)
  12. Crochet hook 5 mm (H)
  13. Worsted weight yarn (Medium/4)
Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Materials

PREPARING FABRICS:

  1. Wet block your knit or crochet blanket before adding the lining. This will help to keep the edges straight and will balance the shape of the quilt top.
  2. Napped fabrics like Minky need to be placed on the blanket with the nap running down for more natural feel & look.
Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Napped fabrics

CUTTING FABRIC:

With the wrong sides together, lay out your knit/crochet blanket & the backing fabric. Line up the top right corner of both pieces & the perpendicular edges that meet in the corner. Then fold & cut the excess fabric along the opposite edges. The backing should be the same size as your blanket, no seam allowances are required.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Cut the excess fabric along the folded edges

NOTE: A sticky lint roller would be very handy for keeping your working area clean if you cut any fabrics with nap.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Keep your work area clean!

PERFORATION:

Change the blade in your rotary cutter to the Skip-cut (or skip-stitch) blade. Position the quilting ruler 3/4″ (19 mm) from the edge of the fabric & roll the skip-cut blade along the edges of the ruler to create perfectly-spaced perforations. Repeat around the entire edge of the backing fabric.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Perfectly-spaced perforations

CROCHET EDGES:

Use worsted weight yarn & 5 mm (H) crochet hook to finish the edges of the backing fabric.

Stitch summary (US terms):

Beg – beginning; Ch – chain; Sc – single crochet; Sl st – slip stitch; St – stitch.

Make a slip knot, then insert the hook from front to back through the perforation a few inches away from the corner; yarn over & pull it through the perforation; yarn over & pull through both loops on the hook (first sc made). Work around the perforated edge, folding the fabric edge towards the wrong side as you go –> *[Ch 1; sc in next perforation] repeat to the corner; (sc, ch 1, sc, ch 1, sc) in corner; repeat from* all the way around; sl st in top of beg st. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

ATTACHING BACKING:

With the wrong sides together, line up the edges of the top blanket & the backing. The backing should be slightly smaller than the quilt top after the edges are finished. Place clips evenly along the first edge to prepare the layers for sewing. You can use basting pins instead of clips, but try to avoid straight pins as they can easily get lost in-between crochet stitches. Using a tapestry needle & the long tail from finishing, back stitch along the clipped edge, removing clips as you go; then repeat the process around the remaining edges.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

BASTING:

Basting is a common technique used for holding the layers of the quilt temporarily while it’s being quilted.

Flip the quilt to the right side & flatten out the layers. Pin both layers of the quilt, by placing basting pins about every 3″-5″ (7.5-12.5 cm) & working your way around the quilt.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

QUILTING:

Now let the fun begin, we are ready for quilting!

To begin the machine tacking process, clear your working space around the sewing machine, prepare the matching top threads & bobbins, then set your machine’s stitch length to 2. Insert the quilt in the machine & start quilting. Place your sewing machine needle in the spot where you have one of the basting pins; remove the pin, & secure the layers by stitching forward 3-5 stitches and reverse several times.  You can also use a zigzag with a zero stitch length. Now, depending on your machine, you can automatically cut the thread & move to the next pin, or move to the next pin without cutting the thread. Cut all thread floats & ends after you finish quilting.

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Machine tacking

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Setup for machine quilting

Crochet Quilt Top – Machine Tacking Tutorial by IraRott - How To Add Backing To Your Crochet Blanket

Trimming the ends

Here is my short video of the quilting process, see how easy it is?

If you do not have a sewing machine, not to worry! Instead of machine tacking, you can simply tie your quilt as it was done by our ancestors using a matching yarn or embroidery floss. Just thread the needle with the floss, then insert the needle from back to front through the quilt layers & then back up through a stitch away from the initial spot, leaving a 2” (5 cm) tail. Repeat one more time to reinforce. Cut thread, leaving a 2” (5 cm) tail. Tie the tails together with a double knot on the back side of the quilt. Trim the tails to approximately 1” (2.5 cm).

IraRott® Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Blanket Patter can be found at IraRott.com

Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

Wet blocking is a finishing step recommended for most handknit items & is often used in crochet patterns. Blocking tremendously improves the finished look of the stitches & seams, as well as the overall finished garment appearance. It also ensures proper shape & measurements after washing, as some fibers tend to stretch or shrink. You might want to block a sample swatch before working on any garment pattern to check if there are any major changes after blocking, which would help you to calculate ease or to make necessary adjustments.

TOOLS REQUIRED:  

  1. Blocking board or interlocking play mat
  2. Rust-resistant blocking pins (optional, depending on the project)
  3. Cotton Bath Towel – 1 or 2
  4. Utility sink or laundry tub

STEP 1: Soak your knit or crochet item in warm water using a laundry tub or utility sink. Soap is not required for blocking, but a small amount of wool wash is beneficial for 100% wool items.

Hot Water Caution!

  • Wool fibers will shrink or felt at high temperature
  • Cotton fibers will shrink at high temperature
  • Acrylic fibers will lose elasticity at high temperature

Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

STEP 2: Drain the sink & gently squeeze the excess moisture out by pressing the item against the sink edges.

Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

STEP 3: Depending on the size of the item, lay 1 or 2 bath towels onto the blocking board (or interlocking play mat). Then, carefully lift the wet item out of the sink without stretching it by its own weight & lay it flat onto the towel surface. Roll the item in the towel to absorb moisture.

Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

STEP 4: Remove towels & spread out the item on the blocking board, shaping it to the specified measurements.

Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

STEP 5: Optional – Secure the item around the edges using rust-resistant blocking pins.

NOTE: Some lace items may require using blocking wires.

Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

STEP 6: Rotate & flip the item periodically to ensure even drying.

All done! You can also check our “Spray Blocking” article for additional information about blocking techniques.

IraRott® Rusty the Giraffe Crochet Blanket Patter can be found at IraRott.com

 

Baa Baa Easter Fun

As a yearly tradition here at IraRott.com, I am very excited about our NEW 2017 Easter inspired design that we have just released in time for the holidays. Please welcome Baa-Baa Easter Lamb!

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

If you like Bernat Blanket yarn as much as we do, you will enjoy this NEW rug pattern, it works up so quickly and easily with super bulky weight yarn!

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

Area rugs add so much warmth and character to any room. I love how cute our lamb rug looks by the crib & I adore the softness of the Bernat Blanket yarn, it’s just perfect for a baby’s nursery.

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

This rug can also be made from worsted weight yarn. Please check out our article on how to work with multiple strands of yarn at once. I hope you will enjoy this pattern & please do not forget to share your finished project with us 🙂

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

Spray Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

Blocking removes creases and adjusts the shape of knit & crochet projects. There are a few methods to block that are usually specified in the patterns. Blocking instructions vary depending on the projects & the materials used. Not every project needs to be blocked, but if your pattern calls for spray blocking, here are a few tips on how to do it.

TOOLS REQUIRED:  

  1. Blocking board or interlocking play mat
  2. Spray bottle
  3. Rust-resistant blocking pins (optional, depending on the project).

Spray the front & the back sides of your project with warm water until it is thoroughly wet.

Spray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRottSpray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRott
Lay your project flat on a blocking board or interlocking play mat, shaping it to the specified measurements. Use rust-resistant blocking pins to secure the project around the edges if necessary. I would recommend pinning for light projects only. Heavy rugs, for example, do not need to be pinned.

Spray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRottSpray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRott
Rotate & flip the project periodically to ensure even drying. Please keep in mind that the drying process might take from 2-3 hours outdoors under open sun in the summer or up to several days indoors, depending on the temperature & humidity level.

Spray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRott

 

You can also check our “Wet Blocking” article for additional information about blocking techniques.

IraRott® crochet rug patterns can be found >> HERE <<

The Exception That Proves The Rule

Last month we were talking about a Mystery of Slanted Seams and Crochet Stitches & I showed some examples of our research based on double crochet stitches (DC). As a rule, crochet stitches are formed by a combination of steps that involve “Yarn Over Hook” (YO) & pulling yarn through the specified loops/stitches, we call this method Classic. The exception to this rule is a Self-Compensated method of crocheting when one of the YO steps is replaced by “Hook Over Yarn” (HO). Please check out our >> previous article << for more explanations about differences in these 2 methods of crocheting.

Today I would like to compare the ClassicSelf-Compensated single crochet stitches (SC) worked in the round with joins. Joining method used in the examples below: ch-1 to beg; sc in same st as join; sc in each st around; join with sl st in top of beg st (not a ch).

CLASSIC (YO) SC

To make a Classic SC – Insert the hook in next stitch, YO & pull working yarn through the stitch; YO & pull through 2 loops on the hook.

Due to the reasons explained in our previous article, the seam will be slanted to the right for right-handed crocheters or slanted to the left for left-handed crocheters.

Classic Single Crochet with Slanted Seam

SELF-COMPENSATED (HO) SC

To make a Self-Compensated SC – Insert the hook in next stitch, HO & pull working yarn through the stitch; YO & pull through 2 loops on the hook.

Just like in the case with DC stitches, this minor exception to the rule (HO) made a big difference in our final result. The seam is straight!

Self-compensated Single Crochet with Straight Seam

LEFT & RIGHT HANDED VIDEOS

 

I wrote this article for educational purposes & I am not trying to change your way of crocheting. If your goal is to avoid a slanted seam & you do not have color changes in your project, you can simply work in continuous rounds without joining.

By the way, I found that it is very easy to switch between these 2 styles 🙂

Single crochet in a continuous round – seamless result