Tips and Tricks: Faux Fur

Working with Faux Fur Yarn

There is no doubt that a little faux fur yarn can add a lot of pizazz to a hand crafted project. And with a little practice, one can learn to crochet or knit with it a little easier.

Tip #1: Crocht Double Stranded

It is nearly impossible to see the stitches when crocheting with faux fur. The furry strands nearly completely hide the stitches. That’s great on a finished product, but not so great when you have to work in those stitches. The problem is not as pronounced when knitting since the stitches are on the needle. If stitches have to be picked up, it will be difficult to find them.

Solution: Crochet with two strands at once, one faux fur and one non-furry yarn. It makes each stitch thicker and a little easier to see. If the non-furry strand is the same color (or nearly the same) as the fur, it almost disappears. The thicker stitches may still be difficult to see, but it is also possible to feel the stitches as you work.

A Furry Sitting

Crocheting with Vanna’s Choice and Fun Fur yarn made finding the stitches in this panda set much easier to find.

Tip #2: Count every row.

Counting the number of stitches at the end of every row or round is generally a good idea, but it is almost critical when using faux fur. It is very easy to drop a stitch or lose  track of a stitch because it can be difficult to see. You might even add a stitch because it’s not always easy to tell if a stitch has been worked in already.

Tiger Striped Scarves Crochet Pattern

Keeping track of the number of stitches per row is crucial to keeping a neat edge in projects like the tiger striped scarves.

Tip #3: There is a Right Side and a Wrong Side.

The little furry strands often get trapped within the stitches as they are worked. When working back and forth in rows, both sides will generally be equally furry. When working in the round, the inside tends to be furrier. For a furrier look, turn the project inside out when appropriate so that the furrier side is out.

A hat can often be turned inside out after it’s finished. Some items may need to be turned inside out before they are sewn together. Just note how furry the sides are before completing the project.

Monkey Hanging in Palm Tree with Banana

The parts of the monkey are turned inside out to keep the furrier side on the outside. A little faux fur on the tree makes the palm tree look more authentic too.

Tip #4: Not all faux fur is equal.

Faux fur comes in varying lengths. The furry strands can be short or long, coarse or smooth. The type of fur can significantly impact the look and feel of the finished product. Projects with the longer strands of fur tend to look fuller and are softer than the shorter stranded fur. The size and nature of the project may determine which fur to use. Generally speaking, the longer stranded fur costs a little more.

Houndstooth Trio

 La Furla from Trendsetter Yarns is long and soft making this houdstooth trio very luxurious.

Tip #5: Notice yardage.

Some faux furs come in small skeins. Generally speaking that means more skeins of fur yarn will be needed than non-furry yarn. Projects with smaller stitches will use more faux fur than larger stitches. For instance, a project  crocheted using single crochet will use more than the same project done in double crochet. Because the faux fur hides stitches anyway, you might want to change the stitch to a taller stitch to save on yarn. The project will get done faster and still look good.

Halloween Trick or Treat Bags

One skein of faux fur will work for small projects like the trick or treat bags.

Panda Set

Panda Set Crochet Pattern

Panda Set

Love Panda’s or know someone who adores these exotic bears?

The Panda Set has something for everyone – newborn to adult men!

Panda Set Includes:

Panda Set – Crochet Details

The spike stitch is used where colors change to give the illusion of fur. We’ve included information on how to make a furry panda bean bag using Fun Fur.

Everything in the pattern is surprisingly easy to make. We rate the pattern intermediate because of the foundation ch (sometimes called no foundation chain stitches) used in the leaves of the bamboo.

You may have seen this pattern before. It first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Holiday 2014 issue. Now it’s available in the store!

Panda Set – Crochet Pattern Now Available

The Panda Set is now available in the store as a crochet pattern. The pattern includes supplies list, lots of photos, step by step instructions, check boxes to mark your progress and more.

Available in the Store

Argyle Bean Bag Ottoman Pouf

Argyle Bean Bag Ottoman / Pouf – Crochet Pattern

Photo: Red Heart

Photo: Red Heart

We love to crochet around bean bag chairs…this time we’ve turned the bean bag into an ottoman / pouf!

I, Dana, designed this ottoman for RedHeart.com and it’s a free pattern on their website. I selected Red Heart Soft for a couple of reasons: 1) I love the texture of Red Heart Soft…if feels comfortable to crochet with and 2) I love the sheen of Red Heart Soft…the colors are nice and vibrant.

Here are some of my favorite things about this project:

  1. Crocheted in hdc in Rows so that there is a texture to the piece.
  2. Crocheted with two strands at once so it whips up quicker than you’d think.
  3. The argyle print is made of square and triangles whip stitched together to form an argyle panel.
  4. It’s easy to stuff the bean bag into the project because of the 3 panel construction.

FREE Argyle Ottoman at Red Heart.

Get the Argyle Ottoman crochet pattern FREE at RedHeart.com.

Baseball Bean Bag, Blanket & Flags Crochet Pattern

Baseball Play Set: Bean Bag, Baby Blanket, Bunting and Pennant – Crochet Pattern

Baseball Bean Bag Play Set

If you’re a big time baseball fan, you’ll love this crochet pattern.

This Super Sized baseball is a bean bag chair! Yep, we crocheted a cozy to fit around a standard bean bag chair (we picked up at Walmart).

And of course, we couldn’t stop there. We created a matching baby blanket. It’s the perfect size to use as a lapghan or play mat.

To set it all off, we created some decorative flags. Create your own bunting and pennants in the colors of your favorite team.

Pattern Includes:

  • Baseball Bean Bag Chair
  • Ball Diamond Baby Blanket
  • “Play Ball” Bunting
  • “Go Team” Pennant
  • Baseball Applique

Baseball Set Crochet Pattern Available in the Store

Learn more about the crochet pattern for the Baseball Set in the store.

Available in the Store

baseball set backYou can buy the whole set or individual pieces. Learn more:

 

Tips for Crocheting a Bean Bag Chair

bean bag

Tips and Tricks for Crocheting a Cover for a Bean Bag Chair

Crocheting a cozy to cover a bean bag chair is easier than it looks. It’s similar to making a cup cozy…just a bit larger! Here is some designer feedback with tips and tricks to help you as you crochet your own bean bag creation.

#1 – Make it a tight fit

Stretching CozyThe first and foremost important tip: make the cozy smaller than the bean bag chair. You want it to be a really tight fit, as in…super tight.

I didn’t think there was any way the bean bag would fit into the cozy.
– quote from Deborah

 

Yarn stretches. Which is helpful when stuffing the cozy. But not so good after people have played with and sat on the bean bag chair. After lots of use, the yarn will stretch to the point that the cozy may sag. To prevent future issues of sagging, make sure the cozy is a tight fit around the bean bag.

yarn sags after play

The Owl Bean Bag, pictured above left, is one of our first bean bag projects. Several nieces came over for a visit one afternoon…and after only a few hours of play, the yarn on the owl was loose and sagging…a lot! Needless to say, we corrected the issue and every bean bag project we work on has a much tighter fit (as seen in the Soccer Ball on the right)!

#2 Tie it up

tie bean bagBean bags by nature are malleable; they reshape with a little bit of pressure. This makes them more tricky to stuff into a cozy. So, we recommend that you tie up your bean bag with yarn into a tall cylinder type shape. After it’s stuffed into the cozy, remove the ties so the bean bag chair is free to reshape when people sit on it.

Use yarn in a contrasting color and tie a bow with long tails. This will make it easier to locate the tied yarn through the cozy so you can pull it out.

#3 You only need a few rounds to close it up

For some bean bag designs, you’ll stuff the bean bag into a partially finished cozy, then crochet a few rounds to close it up locking the bean bag inside.

I didn’t think the pattern had enough rounds left to close up the cozy.
– quote by Dana

 

bottom of bean bagWhen the bean bag is stuffed into the cozy, there will still be quite a bit of the bean bag left uncovered. Surprisingly, you won’t need very many rounds to finish off the cozy. As tip #1 says…you want a tight fit.

Work a decrease round, then tug on the cozy to stretch the yarn as you stuff the bean bag into the cozy. Crochet the next decrease round, tug and stuff. Repeat a few more times. The last step is to grab each loop in the last round and cinch closed with yarn.

Bean Bag Chair Crochet Patterns

We have several Bean Bag designs. Here are a couple of fun sets:

Soccer Ball Bean Bag Chair and Soccer Blanket

Soccer Ball Bean Bag Chair and Soccer Blanket Crochet Pattern

Soccer fans of all ages will get a kick out of this soccer ball bean bag chair and soccer ball blanket set.

soccer ball bean bag chair and soccer blanket

The bean bag chair is a cozy around a bean bag chair we picked up at Walmart. It’s constructed with the same number of pentagons and hexagons as a real soccer ball!

The soccer ball blanket is shown four different ways – rectangular afghan with and without a border and circular afghan with and without a border.

Skill Level: Easy

Stitches Used: Chain, Slip Stitch, Half Double Crochet

Techniques Used: Crochet in the Round

Set Pattern Includes:

  • Bean Bag Chair Instructions
  • Rectangular Blanket Instructions
  • Circular Blanket Instructions
  • Edging for Blanket (Rectangular and Circular) Instructions
  • Pentagon Shape Pattern
  • Hexagon Shape Pattern
  • Half a Hexagon Shape Pattern

Soccer Set with baby standing on it.The Soccer Ball Bean Bag Chair and Soccer Ball Blanket is available in the store.

Soccer Set shown here with a two year old who’s ready to get into the game!

Available in the Store

Owl Bean Bag Chair Crochet Pattern

Owl Bean Bag Chair Crochet Pattern

This award winning bean bag chair is now available as a downloadable crochet pattern!

owl bean bag chair crochet pattern

Kids of all ages go crazy for this chair. They love to sit on it, jump on it and fall over it.

Not only does it look great in vivid colors…but it looks fun in earth tones, too! The yarn used in both photos is Vanna’s Choice. There are sooo many great color in that line of yarn…the color combinations are endless.

brown owl set modeled

The crocodile stitch wings and the spike cluster stitch transition give this design an extra feathery look and feel.

This is a bean bag cozy…meaning you crochet the owl and stuff it with a bean bag (we bought ours at Walmart).

Skill Level: Intermediate

Stitches Used: chain, slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, treble crochet

Techniques Used: crocodile stitch, spike cluster stitch, working in the round and in rows, crochet in both loops and front and back loops.

The owl bean bag chair won 3rd place in the Artistic Expressions category of the 2013 Crochet Guild of America Design Contest. Now you can have your own award winning owl, too! The pattern  includes photos, written directions, supplies list, check boxes to mark your progress and more.

Owl Set AvailableThe owl designs are available as a set or as individual pieces.

Available in the Store

Onesies pictured are from Chic Couture Boutique.