Monsters In The Puddin’

“I think it needs a little more puddin’.” is a phrase the husband hears often from me as I stuff my amigurumi projects. I always thought stuffing was stuffing, so when I saw some on sale at M&L fabric, I picked up a couple of extra bags, but as I finished the last bag purchased at Joann’s and opened the bag from M&L, I quickly learned that all stuffing is not the same and the technique for stuffing with the different stuffings is unique to the type of stuffing being used.


The brand of stuffing I have purchased previously from Joann’s is Polyfil brand. It is light and fluffy but a bit grainy. You can feel the fibers. It has always worked well for me and my amigurumi’s seem soft enough when using it. The brand from M&L is Hobbs Simply Stuffing. It is a bonded fiber and fills just like a cotton ball, very soft but much heavier compared to Polyfil. Thinking that stuffing is stuffing, I opened the Simply Stuffing bag and started to stuff my latest amigurumi project, some little monsters, with it.


I quickly learned that stuffing with the Simply Stuffing required a different technique than stuffing with the Polyfil. I started to push the Simply Stuffing into the monsters as I would have when using the Polyfil and the results were terribly lumpy. I learned that the Simply Stuffing had to be pulled apart more before pushing it into the amigurumi, and that stuffing with smaller pieces worked better. I then got out my chop sticks. I have used the chop sticks when stuffing with Polyfil to help get the stuffing into smaller pieces like arms and legs, but would not have used it with as large an opening as the monsters had. But, I needed the chop sticks with the Simply Stuffing to work same pieces of the stuffing deep into the monster to smooth out the lumps. With these techniques, I was able to stuff the monsters using the Simply Stuffing and get the results that I wanted. Even though the Simply Stuffing is softer with a less grainy feel than the Polyfil, the finished monster did not seem any softer than my other amigurumi’s stuffed with Polyfil.


With the stuffing done, I went about creating my monster’s mouth. I threaded my yarn needle with six strands of black embroidery floss and started to stitch. This was not working out well at all. When I pulled my needle through the Simply Stuffing, it left a hole so the embroidery floss just pulled right though it. The Polyfil did not make these holes and seems to grab the floss and keep it from pulling out. I knotted the floss and tried again but it just pulled through again, so I double knotted the floss but again I had no luck. It finally dawned on me that whatever thread I used to make the mouth with was going to have to be thicker than the needle pulling it through. So, I tested out my theory. I got a thin sewing needle out rather than my large yarn needle and threaded the sewing needle with the six strands of embroidery floss. (Now, that was a chore.) I knotted the floss and pulled it through the monster. It worked. The hole that the needle made was smaller than the knot so the knot held and I was able to stitch the mouth on the monster. To test my theory further, I threaded my yarn needle with yarn, knotted the end and pulled it through the monster. It held because the knot in the yarn was bigger than the eye of the needle. The husband liked the yarn mouths better than the floss mouths on the variegated yarn so I left the monster’s the with thick yarn smiles.


Now some words about the pattern. This was a free pattern that I found on Ravelry. It crocheted up very quickly, in less than an hour. The time and thought comes in as you design your monsters features. The possibilities are limitless. Do you want a happy or mean monster? Boy or girl? One eye, or two or three? Teeth or no teeth? hair? bows? eyebrows? eyelashes? and so on. I enjoyed creating these monsters and would happily make more but then what do I do with them once they are completed? Any suggestions?


So, a simple amigurumi turned into a major stuffing lesson, but a lesson that needed to be learned and will make me a better stuffer in the future. And, although I feel confident using either brand of stuffing, at the moment, I like the Polyfil the best. I will finish up using the bag of Simply Stuffing first, but when it is gone I will go back to Polyfil.


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