In the weeks leading up to my most recent convention adventure, I don't know if it was the stress that was getting to me, or just a desire to play with different textures, but I becuase using different types of yarns to try to make my Luvvies extra loveable and cuddly: These experiments met with mixed results.
I first started trying to use the Bernat Pipsqueak yarn...and became so frustrated that I flung the ball across my living room. Of course, then I had to get up and rewind the ball, so I accomplished nothing except causing more work for myself.
I then got a little smarter and figured out a better way to start the amigurumi with a more heavily textured yarn, and started playing with velvet. The first velvet yarn I used was Boheme Double Velvet from Hobbi. The texture (which I hope you can see from the teddy bear in the picture) turned out nice. The bear was super soft and snuggly, perfect for cuddling. The downside was the stitches were so difficult to see that I really did have to count every stitch in every round; and, the strands of velvet often wanted to peel away during sewing the pieces together. I think for a scarf or a hat or something that didn't require attaching pieces together the yarn would have worked really well...for amigurumi? I wasn't convinced.
And massive kudos to all my friends while I was practicing with some of these yarns. They are the real heroes of my story, because they had to listen to even complaint and curse word I uttered as I tried to get comfortable with using this new medium.
When I debuted the two bears I made with velvet yarn at Salute to Supernatural DC this month, they were a major hit. People couldn't get enough of the soft textures and the comfortable fabric. The velvet really did make for a superior Luvvie - not that every Luvvie can be made with velvet, but the bears definitely could be.
After I got settled back in from the con, I started researching other potential velvet yarns. I didn't want anything super thick because I thought that would be too difficult to work with in and of itself. So, I wanted something that would be close to the weight I use to work with my traditional Luvvies.
Turns out, Yarnspirations had the answer. (Brief disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any yarn company and get no compensation or perks from mentioning brands. Anything that I mention in my blog is material that I have used and paid for myself and that I am mentioning because of my experience and nothing else).
I found a Bernat Baby Velvet yarn, which was a thinner weight that some of the other textured yarns, and works well with the size hook I like to use for my stuffed animals.
The Baby Velvet isn't perfect for amigurumi - there still are inherent challenges, like finding the correct stitch and some of the fluff coming off and sticking to clothing. However, I was pleased with how my Luvvies turned out when using it. Sewing pieces together with the Baby Velvet was much easier than with the Boheme, and I was happier with the over all appearance of the completed project.
So, I have a yarn I feel more comfortable with to start playing and trying new designs with. I don't think these more "novelty" yarns will ever be the mainstay of what I use for my projects, but it is fun to use them to add variety to what I am able to offer.
With this initial hurdle conquered, I look forward to going back to try the Pipsqueak again to see what can be made from that. I guess the only thing I can say is "watch this space," and Instagram.
Hugs and cuddles,