|Nine pairs of teddy bear ears.|
The Teddy Blanket has ears!
I love the three dimensional quality of these half-round ears which are stitched onto the squares to stick up and flap about.
They are the perfect size for little hands to grab.
|The yellow centre square's border is white and blue|
while the other squares have only blue for their borders.
The ears are an example of a technique called appliqué which gets its name from the act of applying one material onto another. In this case, the crocheted ears are being applied to the squares using a simple whip stitch.
In the midst of it all, I made a mistake.
Have a look at the next picture and see if you can spot it.
|There is a mistake in this picture somewhere.|
The ears were crocheted two at a time, to avoid the 'ear version' of 'second sock' or 'second sleeve' syndromes. That is when the second item of a pair ends up being a different size to its partner. Don't scoff! It can easily happen to anyone when the pieces are made at different times, accidentally with different tensions.
That's the reason for making each stage of the blanket like a production line–all the squares first, then the borders, then the appliqué etc.
Stashbusting tip: ears for toys are great ways to use up small quantities of leftover yarn. Often, it doesn't matter what colour they are and can successfully be different colours to the rest of the toy.
After doing a bunch of ears all at once, I was quick to start stitching them on.
In my haste, I didn't realise that I had stitched an ear onto a square upside down!
At this appliqué stage, it was very easy to accidentally have the square upside down or perhaps stitch to the wrong (reverse) side (WS) instead of the right side (RS). Using markers to indicate the RS is advisable.
What if there are no markers?
Careful observation will provide the clues.
|An upside-down square.|
Check the orientation of the square by examining
the edge stitches and the row stitches.
Check for the Right Side (RS)
Look at the shapes of your stitches when you crochet. For the basic dc, htr and tr stitches* the tops of the stitches are made up of a loop which has a 'teardrop' shape to my eyes–the front end is rounded and wider while the trailing end is in a 'V' shape, the 'pointy end' of the 'teardrop'. If the tops of the stitches look entirely like a 'V' shape to you, the front end would be the open end (top of the 'V') with the trailing end the point of the 'V'.
(Does that make sense? Please leave a comment to let me know if it doesn't!)
Note: This 'tops of stitches' method only works for crocheted pieces that are not turned at the end of rows or rounds. It can be used for identifying the right side of the last row or round worked, but is not reliable if the work is turned between rows and rounds.
If you are right-handed, your right-side (RS) stitches will be worked from right to left so that the tops of the stitches have the front, wider end of the 'teardrop' or open end of the 'V' on the left-hand side. Therefore, if your widest part of the 'teardrop' or open end of the 'V' is on the left-hand side, you have the RS of the work facing you.
If you are left-handed, your RS stitches will be worked from left to right so that the tops of the stitches have the front, wider end of the 'teardrop' or open end of the 'V' on the right-hand side. Therefore, if your widest part of the 'teardrop' or open end of the 'V' is on the right-hand side, you have the RS of the work facing you.
If you don't have the RS facing you then you must be on the wrong side (WS) so turn it over! Yay!
In the case of these squares, check the top loops of the edge stitches.
I am a right-handed crocheter so the wider end of my 'teardrops' (or open end of the 'Vs') will be facing the left-hand end of the row when the RS is facing. This can be seen in the top edge of my yellow square–blue edge stitches as marked. In the photograph, my ear has been stitched to the RS. Hooray!
Check for the right way up.
This can be determined by looking at the fronts of the stitches in their rows. The stitches have two strands facing the front which come together at the bottom to form another 'V' shape. You know your work is the right way up when the fronts of your stitches have the 'Vs' the right way up–with the open end at the top and the point at the bottom.
The 'Vs' in my rows can be most easily observed where the yellow rows are worked into the tan (marked with arrows). My 'Vs' are upside down which means I have stitched the teddy's ear to its chin!
|Another look at the upside-down square.|
My blue edge stitches across the top show that it is the right side.
My yellow row stitches show that the square is upside-down.
Oh dear! Time to detach the ear and start again. The ear was stitched on very thoroughly–safety is the main concern when making anything for babies. The ear is not allowed to come off and become a choking hazard.
Unfortunately for me, it meant extra work because the ear was stitched so securely, the only way I could remove the ear was to cut the yarn. The ear was irreparably damaged so a whole new one needed to be crocheted from scratch!
Never mind! Before long, I was done!
|The blanket so far …|
Next step: cute teddy faces!
What is your experience adding facial features to your crafted items?
Do you have a favourite method or style?
I'd love to get your advice.
I'd love to get your advice.
Comments are always welcome in the 'dialog box' at the end of every blog post.
*Australian / UK stitch terminology is used here.
Aus / UK = USA
double crochet (dc) = single crochet (sc)
half treble (htr) = half double crochet (hdc)
treble (tr) = double crochet (dc)
Edited (19 March 2017) to add : Right sides etc. must be the topic of the week. Eight days after I posted this blog entry, Dana Bincer, Interweave's Associate Editor of "Love to Crochet" wrote an online article about determining the right and wrong sides of a crocheted item:
- "Right and Wrong Side–Determining the Front Side of Crochet Fabric", Interweave web site, 17 March 2017: http://www.interweave.com/article/crochet/front-side-crochet-fabric
Related Posts on Lupey Loops
"Stashbusting to a Deadline", 21 February 2017: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/stashbusting-to-deadline.html
Includes details of the "Bear Necessity" pattern.
"Yarn Chicken", 24 February 2017: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/02/yarn-chicken.html
Includes a quick description of intarsia technique and a detailed tutorial about the mathematics of calculating yarn amounts.
"The Inevitable Time to Unwind", 2 March 2017: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/the-inevitable-time-to-unwind.html
Discussion of design choices.
"Blocking for The Edge", 7 March 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/blocking-for-edge.html
Blocking tips for the neatest shapes and edgings.