This tutorial is specific to the Basic Head pattern piece as described in my book, Creepy Cute Crochet, and covers some of the more frequently asked questions pertaining to crocheted craniums.
Click here to go on to the tutorial....
Also, please feel free to leave comments with questions or suggested future topics!
Part 1: Why is this in rows instead of a spiral?
For those crocheters accustomed to amigurumi patterns, working in rows instead of a spiral might come as a bit of a shock. (For more detail on working in spirals versus in rows, please check the second half of this tutorial.)
However, if you flat out can't grok the rows, there is a work-around for this too:
Generally speaking, you translate pieces worked in rows to in a spiral in the following way:
1. Replace the "ch 1" at the beginning of each row with a "sc 1"
2. Remove the "sl st" at the end of each row
Doing this will change the shaping slightly, but should still yield serviceable results.
This method with work better for some pieces than others. In paticular, the Skeleton Groom and Day of the Dead Fellow's hats, the Monkey's fez, and the Robot's helmet will not have the ideal shape if converted
Also, one caveat: in the "Basic Head" pattern, you would want to replace the "sc 4" at the beginning of Row 11 with "dec, sc 3"
Part 2: "ch 1, sc 1 in same" ...where does that dang sc go?
If we were working in a spiral, this would translate to an inc.
....but anyway, the "ch 1, sc 1 in same" looks kinda like this:
1. We start right right after making the sl st to close the previous round
2. ch 1
3. The sc 1 goes at the base of the ch 1
4. Finish the sc normally and continue with the row
Part 3: Why aren't the stitches evenly arranged around each row?
In most amigurumi patterns, increases and decreases are spaced out evenly around a given row, which makes sense, because most amigurumi toys are comprised of more or less spherical shapes.
But, the Basic Head is slightly oblong, so the increases and decreases with be denser at the elongated ends. If you work the finished piece in rows, the seam should run along the narrower edge of the head.
Side View: (note the seam along this end)
Part 4: Finishing the head
How you stuff the head will greatly affect the finished shape.
Using about this much stuffing to fill a finished head:
...yields this result:
Ideally, the stuffed head should have a little big of "squish" to it when filled, and you should be able to "push" the piece into shape a little bit without it ballooning out again. This also allows you to fudge the final shape of the head by rolling it a bit in your hands.
Start: just after stuffing (note that the head is still a little bit pointier than it should be)
Roll and prod the piece into shape
The end result should look like this: