PROJECT #028: HOW TO MAKE FUR FOR AMUGURUMI
First of all: THANK YOU for the overwhelming response to Part 1 of this pattern. You guys are awesome! Welcome to Part 2 on how to make the fur, I hope you enjoy it! I’ve tried my best to cover everything but you’re welcome to ask me questions if you think I missed something.
Secondly: Wow, this post was a ton of work, and no doubt I missed something!! Please let me know if you spot any mistakes (including typos) so I can fix them! Welcome to your new job as my proof-readers – please accept this rad tutorial as payment XD
Making fur with yarn is easy and so effective. This dog’s pattern uses very simple shapes, yet adding fur makes it look quite complex and realistic. I recommend everyone tries it at least once because it’s really not that hard for the payoff you get, and it will unveil a whole new world of possibilities for your craft!
You’ll find the instructions for making this guy’s body in Part 1.
To felt or not to felt?
This dog’s tutorial will not teach you how to felt, it will only show you where to felt. If you don’t know how to felt, here’s a tutorial I wrote a while back on felting basics that might help:
After attaching and brushing all the fur, I felted the edge of the hairline in some places. You can see the effect here.
Left: Not felted, so you see the knots. Right: Felted, no knots!
The mouth will also be felted. If you don’t felt yours, you’ll just have a wild, fluffy muzzle which looks cute too! This is how the felted mouth looks.
SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED
Yarn in fur colours (I used less than a 100g ball of Light Grey and Beige; and Dark Grey left over from the body)
What type of yarn to use? Again, see Part 1.
Slicker brush AKA cat brush (one that hasn’t been used on real cats!)
Optional: Felting needle
STEP 1 – DON’T PANIC!
It may seem overwhelming, but just take it one thread at time!
I’ve done small amounts of fur work before, so I knew technically how to do it when I made this fuzzy dude, but with this guy I had no idea how the actual “hair growth pattern” should be, so I winged it and it came out perfect. The fur is all fluffy and crazy once you’ve brushed it out, so it hides imperfections well.
STEP 2 – CUT SOME THREADS
I started with the chest for no particular reason, so I used Light Grey first.
So, take the Light Grey yarn and wind it around your four fingers. Then cut the bunch at one end to make a pile of threads that are more or less the same length.
I didn’t count (are you crazy?!) but over all, I think I used at roughly a million threads of mixed colours and lengths on this pup. More on the different lengths later – just cut some Light Grey to get started!
STEP 3 – ATTACH THREADS TO THE BODY
This is what you’re aiming for. Yes, we’re actually making a mop, not a dog (surprise!)
Tip: Add less threads than you think you need at first. Although you can remove the fur after it’s all brushed out, it’s much easier to add more right at the end.
You don’t have to get every thread in the same place as mine, just try get it symmetrical and it will look great.
Insert your hook roughly in the middle of the chest, in line with the shoulders.
Fold a thread in half, grab the midpoint with your hook and pull a loop through.
Pull the 2 tails of the yarn through the loop.
Pull them all the way through til you get a little knot, and it will look like this.
Your first thread is attached to your first stitch! Yay! Only about 999,999 more to go XD
Note: Attach ALL the threads on the whole body before you start brushing the yarn out!!
Now attach a thread to the stitches on either side, and carry on until you have a whole row of them like this.
Flip this row up toward the dog’s head, then make another row, working into each crochet stitch on the next round of the dog’s chest.
Then add one more row below that one.
You now have three whole rows! Look at you go!
Flip all the rows back down, then continue adding rows to fill up the top of his chest, all the way up his neck, and stop at the join where the head is sewn on. Cut more threads as you need them.
I didn’t count how many threads I used at any point, so here’s where you get creative! I mean, you are creative right? Of course you are – that’s how you got this far! So use your imagination, refer to the picture above where my mop – er, my dog is all covered in threads, and Google some Schnauzer pictures to look at while you work. Place threads wherever you see that there is longer hair on the real dog.
Here you can see the basic hair pattern I did on the chest (it’s already brushed out here but you get the picture):
When you’re finished attaching all the Light Grey threads to the chest, add 1 row of Dark Grey threads on either side of the Light Grey patch, as a border to blend the body colour with the chest fur. You only have to add the Dark Grey to the right and left side of the chest patch, not the top and bottom
Wind some Beige yarn around three fingers this time, to cut shorter threads for the paws.
On the paws, I left the first few rows bald from the toe up (about 5), so he would have a small, dark paw, then added a row of Beige threads all the way around.
Then I flipped these threads down and added another row of Beige above that row.
Then I added 2 rows of Dark Grey above that (those will help blend the colours).
Wind some Dark Grey yarn around three fingers again to cut the correct length of threads for the muzzle. The Beige threads should be cut to the same length.
On the face, start with the Dark Grey. Make a V-shaped line of Dark Grey threads from the edge of the nose, along the muzzle towards the eyes (spanning about 5 crocheted rows on the muzzle). Notice that I attached enough Dark Grey threads to make a solid line at the roots, not allowing Beige threads to peek through.
Then do the side of the muzzle. Using Beige threads, make an outline first in the shape of the hairline you want.
The Beige outline should extend further along the jaw, passed the Grey when viewed from the side.
It should also go all the way straight down to where the chest hair begins
Don’t attach any Beige under the chin yet.
Now you can start filling in the muzzle with lots of Beige threads. Start by adding threads close to the outline you just made, attaching one thread onto each crochet stitch. Build up a good, solid border about 1cm wide inside the outline.
After that, you can start adding threads much more sparsely, leaving a gap of 2 or crochet 3 stitches between each thread, so each thread will have a bald circle around it. Keep going til the muzzle is covered in this manner, all the way down the chin and ending at the chest hair.
Again, wind yarn around three fingers to get the right length for the brows. Cut some in Beige and some Light Grey.
Do a few longer Light Grey threads too – the same length as you used for the chest.
The eyebrow should begin directly in line with the edge of the eye as illustrated below. Leave a gap about of 1 crochet stitch above the eye.
Starting with Beige, begin at the inner corner of the eye and attach a few threads (about 3) in a little arched line, following the eye’s curve. Then flip the threads down over the eye and do another row exactly the same above it. Flip those threads over the eye, and do a third row the same again, in Light Grey this time.
Continuing with these arched lines, add some longer Light Grey threads. Finish in line with the outer edge of the eye,
STEP 4 – BRUSH, BRUSH & BRUSH SOME MORE
By the time everything is brushed out, your hairlines will all look something like this. You will still be able to see all the knots where the threads are joined:
Start on the chest.
Flip all the threads up, except for the very lowest row, so they look something like this.
Now using your slicker brush, start brushing the lowest row only.
Start at the very tips of the yarn. If you start halfway up the length of the yarn, the yarn will clog up in a tight knot and it will break off instead of brushing out!
So, start at the tip and brush the yarn out til it’s all fluffy, then move up the yarn shaft and brush more until that part is also fluffy (just like brushing long, tangled people-hair!).
Here’s an example on some loose threads:
Keep going until the entire row is brushed out, then flip the next row down and repeat. It will take a while to brush everything out. Be patient – if you rush it, you’ll just break the yarn.
You’ll get a TON of fluff in your brush – keep it for felting later!!!
When you finish the chest, move on to the chin and work your way slowly up the muzzle in layers like before.
You can then brush out the paws, starting at the bottom-most row and working up the leg.
Then brush out the eyebrows.
STEP 5 – TRIM
Again, don’t panic! In this stage, imperfection is better because it looks more natural. Plus, the fur is all wild and fuzzy and bushy, which helps hide wonky cuts!
Cut small amounts at first. It’s much easier to cut it shorter later than to have to replace the fur!
Start on the chest and cut off all the wispy bits that are sticking out. Trim the edge into a V shape.
Trim all the wispy bits sticking out on the muzzle. It should naturally fall in the right kind of shape, but if you have dodgy bits, just trim those. (My dog’s mouth is already felted here – yours will still be all fluffy. We’ll get on to the felted mouth later.)
To trim the paws, I lifted up sections of the hair perpendicular from the skin and trimmed it all the same length. I brushed the leg itself as well, at the Gark Grey hairline, to blend it with the fur.
With the fur laying flat, it looks like this:
When trimming the eyebrows, make the Light Grey hair at the back, slightly longer than the beige hair in front.
Make the hair quite short at the forehead, and longer as you get closer to the temple.
I brushed the side of the face too, for some fuzz on the cheek area, and trimmed the wispy bits off.
STEP 6 – FELTING
Time to use some of that awesome fluffy rat’s nest you accumulated from brushing!
Felting serves two purposes for your beautiful creation. First, we’re going to conceal the visible knots along the hairlines by felting over them with matching fluff; and second, we’re going to shape that that cute mouth!
Tip: You can keep the leftover fluff for stuffing your other amigurumis!
FELTING THE HAIRLINES
Start on the eyebrows. Using some of your fancy Dark Grey “roving”, felt the gap that you left between the eye and the eyebrow. Don’t compact it too much and be careful not to felt your hard-earned fur away – make sure the felting stays light and fluffy, but intact 😉
Felt along the Dark Grey hairline on the muzzle with matching fluff.
Using Beige fluff, felt over the knots along the jaw.
Brush and arrange all the fur, then felt over any other conspicuous knots that you want to hide. I felted over the Beige at the edge of the safety nose as well.
FELTING THE MOUTH
Sit your pup down. At the front of the muzzle, brush all the fur neatly, straight down towards the floor.
Start right in the center, at the very tip of the nose. In the existing fur, felt a line straight down, about 15mm long.
Then felt a straight line perpendicular to that, making the mouth.
And now, your beautiful little dog is complete!
Congratulations – you did it!
Now you can bask in the glow of your glorious creation, and go show off that majestic little fuzzy beast!
I spent countless hours designing this dog, making it, photographing the steps, editing photos, writing up the tutorial, proof-reading, and doing all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes with that so COME ON GUYS! – at least give me the satisfaction of seeing how your critters come out?! 😀 Let me know how your crafting adventure went. Was it easy? Was it a massive learning curve? Did you make the pup for yourself or is it a gift? How long did it take you?! I’m very friendly and always respond to comments and messages!
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