When I first started to crochet, I never imagined how much I would like it. I figured I didn’t need much when it came to materials, just some yarn, filling and a single size hook. I have never been so wrong…
The first thing I started desperately needed was: eyes. I figured I could sew the eyes onto my little amigurumi’s and it would still look adorable. Error number two, they look right out freaky.
People’s exibit A:
Then again, sometimes it doesn’t look too awful, but because my embroidery skills are below zero, it turns into something like this:
I have to admit that I have gotten better at it, but still, it’s not the look I’m going for.
So the search was on to find some decent safety eyes. Apparently, no one uses them in the Netherlands. When I did finally found some, they were expensive, one size and still not really what I was looking for. They have these little loops on the backs of them that you need to sew through a million times before they’re secured. I still don’t like using them for baby gifts because I can never be sure how well they are attatched. Sometimes, they seem to pop out of the face, making it look like I made some animal with googly eyes.
But, the internet is your friend and after some searching, I ended up at a site I hadn’t been to in a long while: Etsy. I knew it’s a community site where you can buy and sell all sorts of handmade products. But it never occured to me that I could find materials there as well. Now, my favorite shop there is 6060. Here you can find pretty much any size, shape and colour when it comes to eyes, but also a lot of other stuff like noses, eye lashes, joints, beads.. I could go on forever.
What I mostly get from this store are the simple black safety eyes with washers. They’re easy to fasten (mostly) and look good on pretty much any project.
There are two kinds of washers: plastic and metal. I don’t really have a preferance for either one, but when it comes to small eyes, I think I like the metal ones better. They are a bit easier to press on, so you don’t have to endlessly fidget to get the washer on.
When you do have small eyes with plastic washers, here’s a trick that saved me while making the Lemmings set a while back. Just take something with a hole that’s small enough to fit onto the washer, to give you some leverage. I used the back bit of a clicky-pen:
You just put the eye in place, put the washer on top and fit the hole of whatever you’re using onto the washer and push. Do make sure you’ve got a sturdy underground, I could have easily made a nice couple dents in our coffeetable if I hadn’t used a coaster underneath.
Every once in a while, a project just calls for a little colour in the eyes. Luckily, now that I know where to look, it’s easy to get them in all sorts of colours, with washers ^_^
Of course, there are always other ways to make eyes. Like using felt, I did this when I made the My Little Ponies, some of my pokémon patterns (Vulpix and Charmander) and of course for my Kyubey pattern:
Or using iron-on cloth and painting the eyes:
I have also read about making eyes out of some sort of clay, but I have never tried it myself. Could be a lot of work to make them, but on the other hand, you’ll always have the right size ^_^
I guess it all depends on what kind of look you want your eyes to have. Can they be simple, or do they need a lot of detail?
What kind of eyes do you guys like to use?
Today I went to a newly opened craftshop in my home town. I got to talking with the owner, a sweet little lady, and we got to the subject of safety eyes. She told me she’d made a monkey pattern and the book called for 9 mm eyes, but she hadn’t been able to find them anywhere and was actually told by someone that they didn’t exist. So once again, I got to share a bit of my ‘crocheting wisdom’ and told her where she could get them. It’s so important to know where to look for things and to not be afraid to think outside of the box 🙂