owls

Inside In, Outside Out

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This is the story of how I turned my crochet creations inside in and outside out.

I bet when you started crocheting you didn’t pay attention to which way your amigurumi were supposed to face. I mean, when you start building up rows in the round, the form takes shape by itself and all that’s left to do is stuff the body and weave in the ends. Plus most patterns you follow will not specify and simply say, …’stuff and weave in ends.’ So after crocheting for 2 years, you can imagine my moment of “What the…no way” when I was following a pattern by NeedleNoodles.com and I couldn’t get my airship to look right.

The instructions didn’t say anything about making sure you’re working your stitches one way or turning it inside out (or right side in?). Once I did reverse it though it looked just like the picture. And it looked way better. Oh crap, have I been doing all my stuff like this? YUP.
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I did some research and it turns out that when you are crocheting in the round, the outside is facing you. So you either have to turn it right side out when you’re done or start stitching in the opposite direction. Let me tell you how difficult this was for me. When the outside is facing you, you work your stitches to the left, or counter-clockwise. That is how my hands learned and that’s the way they want to go. When the outside is facing away from you, you are still stitching left, but you end up stitching clockwise on your piece and it feels all wrong like you’re working on the outside of the piece and the stitches feel further apart and lord how does one do this.

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I tried my next few pieces this way. I worked my stitches slower and they were loose and it was just not good. It took me a while to get used to and make my stitches as consistent as they were when I was doing it the other way. I can do it pretty comfortably now but, when I’m doing bigger plushies I still keep it inside out and then turn it when I’m getting closer to the end. Just don’t plan on turning it when you have a really tiny or skinny piece because you’ll just make your life difficult.

Now. There really is no right or wrong way to do this. A lot of crocheters leave their stuff inside out and they look great! I notice that when they’re inside out, the silhouette looks smoother. When I started making my owls I did try to see what it would look like the other way, but I didn’t like the bumpy outline that the rows created. So I continued making all my creations inside out. Although now I think my owls are the only thing I prefer inside out.

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If you’re having a hard time telling the difference (which, don’t feel dumb, I can barely tell myself without the direct comparison) here’s how you can tell. The outside will show the ‘v’ of the single crochet stitch and the inside will show the horizontal ‘-‘.

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Supposedly the inside is fuzzier than the outside, thus you should keep the inside in. I barely notice a difference here, BUT. What keeping the inside in DOES do better is hiding your decrease stitches. I used to decrease completely wrong, but in a way that completely hid the stitch even when it was inside out (that’s it’s own post I believe) so just another reason I never noticed this before. Anyways, when you decrease normally, you can see the stitch when it’s inside out, but when you flip it, it mostly disappears. I learned that lesson after I made my Chansey’s.

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So I’ve decided to start crocheting all my amigurumi’s with the outside facing out and the inside facing in. That could be a kid’s song couldn’t it? Which way do you like to crochet?

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