Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Patterns and Tips for Crocheting Different Eye Styles (with Examples)



     This post contains tips and patterns for making various eye shapes (basic round, oval, half-moon, cat's eye, embroidered) in crochet and I've included examples of each. I absolutely cannot cut up felt to save my life, whenever I try the pieces never end up the same size or look the way I want. So over the years I've come up with my own way to crochet them instead, I hope this will be helpful to those of you who struggle with felt as well.

Simple eye (Pikachu and Togepi)


     For this type of eye all you need is a circle. For a small eye just crochet 6 sc in a magic ring (if you don't know how to make a magic ring, look it up on google, it's quite a useful technique. You can also check out my post here which has a link about making magic ring at the bottom. ) From there if you need a bigger eye follow this pattern:

R2: inc in all (12 stitches total)
R3: *1sc, inc* repeat (18)
R4: *2sc, inc* repeat (24)

and so on, increasing the number of sc between increases by one each row. So the 5th row would be 3sc, inc and the 6th would be 4sc, inc and so on. In this way you can also make large, flat circles. The trick to a flat circle is to add as many stitches as your first round. You can see I started with 6sc in a ring so I increase by 6 sc each round to keep the circle flat.

For Pikachu's eyes I've made one large and one small circle (I'm actually thinking about redoing them, I'm not totally happy with them right now :/ ), for Togepi I've only made one small circle and embroidered the catchlights (white part).

Pattern for Pikachu is from Wolfdreamer here, I made it with either 3 or 4 strands of yarn held together (an easy way to make a pattern bigger) and it turned out life size. Togepi was made with two strands held together from a pattern in a Japanese Crochet book, you can find similar patterns online via google.


Half moon eye (Snivy)


     For half moon eyes, it's the same pattern as the regular circular eye with one exception. When you pull the magic ring closed, you don't let it form a circle, you keep it in a half-moon shape. Then when you crochet the eye you do so in rows not rounds. For example
R1: 6sc in ring, pull tight into half moon, ch1 and turn
R2: *1sc, inc* repeat (12sc) ch1 and turn

     Since you are no longer working in rounds you get a half circle instead of a full one. You can alter the starting number of single crochets to get a larger or smaller half circle, which I did here to get the brown part of Snivy's eye.

Snivy was made with this pattern found here, I made it with two strands of yarn instead of one and it's about life size, about a foot and a half tall I think?

Oval eye (Axew and Piplup)

     This is a pretty common eye shape, seen here in Axew and Piplup. It's a simple shape but quite effective. Both the white of the eye and the pupil (black part) are ovals, just of different sizes (Though the white part for Piplup's eye is just embroidered on). The basic pattern for an oval is this:

R1: ch6 and sc in 2nd chain from hook and rest (5sc total)
R2:ch1 and inc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, then put 3sc into the last sc in the row (the 5th one).

      Now you will continue to work in the round, going along the other side of the chain to form the other side of the oval. Sc in the next 3sc and add one last sc into the first stitch (the one you put the increase in in round 1, so that it now has 3sc total) 
If you want to make your oval bigger simply continue the rounds and increase at the ends just as you did before. You can make the oval longer or shorter by varying the initial chain length. If you need more info about making an oval, simply google it or check out the shapes link at the bottom of my post about making your own patters found here.

     Axew's eye is different from Piplup's in that it has a bit of color to it or an iris instead of just a pupil. All you need to do to accomplish this is just make a chain of the color you want and sew it around the pupil. It's as simple as that! Sew the pupil (black part) onto the white of the eye first though, then add your catchlights ect. You could also just join the color you want for the iris to your black oval and crochet around, though I've never tried this.

Sometimes when you make the oval eye you will have some holes in the middle, where the starting chain is. This usually happens to me but you can either crochet tighter to start with/use a smaller hook or just start out with a longer yarn tail at the beginning when you make your chain. This way when you're done you can weave in that tail to fill in the holes.

Axew pattern here, done with two strands of yarn. Piplup found here, done with three strands of yarn. 

Cat eye shape (Umbreon)




Eye pattern:
 R1: 6sc in ring
 R2: inc in next 3 sc
 Point: Now ch 2 and crochet into 2nd ch. sc in the single crochet that you made the chain from, now it will have 3sc total in it. 
Inc in next 3 sc and repeat point on other side. Slip stitch in next sc after the one that has 3 in it (the one with the point) to get a smoother look.

Since I've been asked, here's some pictures to clarify how to make the cat eye.
This is after you've made your 6sc circle and you've made your chain 2. Now you will sc once in the chain.

Now you've sc again in the same sc you made the chain from, that sc has 3 single crochets in it now, you've made one point of the eye.

Now you've inc in the last 3 stitches of your beginning circle and repeated the point again. After you add the sc to the single crochet stitch which already has 3 you should slip stitch in the next one to get a smoother look. Note! On this one I've done two different types of points. The one on the left is made by chaining 3 instead of two and crocheting two sc before joining. The one on the right (smaller one) is made by just chaining 2 and sc one before joining. So depending on how you want the eye to look you can use one or the other.


  The black part of Umbreon's eye is just a circle. You can combine the different techniques above to get different types of eyes.

Umbreon pattern found here, I did this with either 3 or 4 strands, I think it was 4. Without the use of extra strands this will yield a palm size Umbreon. Wolfdreamer also has a Umbreon plush with a standing style instead of laying if that appeals to you. You can make the rings by crocheting a chain and joining it in a loop instead of using felt if you like.

Embroidered eye (Lapras)


     This is the simplest type of eye and I did this one a lot before I started crocheting them. I didn't have to use felt and it was super simple! So if you don't want to use felt or crochet you can do a simple eye like this. Other options include a U shape either rightside up (for kind of sad or sleeping eyes) or upside down (for happy eyes), the same can be done with a V shape. Play around with simple embroidery to get the look you want. You can even make one eye in crochet and embroider the other to get a winking expression!

Lapras pattern found here, done with two strands of yarn (if you make it big though try to put some weight in the body so it sits better, mine can be a little top heavy). 



General tips for making eyes:
  • When making eyes always use only one strand of yarn if you can, you want the eyes to be flat and not stick out too much. And be sure to change your hook if you need to obtain a tighter stitch.
  • Sew all parts of the eye together before sewing it on the plush. This may seem like common sense but I know it's a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
  • Do any embroidering prior to sewing eyes on the plush, add your catchlights ect
  • When sewing the eyes on, pull all the loose threads to the 'right' side of they eye, the side you want out. This keeps them out of the way when you're sewing and makes it easier to thread them into the finished plush and get them out of sight when you're done.
  • Pay careful attention to how you pin the eyes on, play with different spacing and placement until it's just right. The eyes are arguably the most important part of the plush, make sure they convey the feeling you want.
     I hope these tips will be helpful to those of you who aren't very good at felt eyes, if I make any other eye shapes I will continue to update this post. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or problems! ^_^


Pokemon are copyright Nintendo and all pattern designs shown here are copyright of their respective owners. Please don't sell these patterns or anything you make from them, their owners put them up for free out of kindness, thank you.

15 comments:

  1. This is great!Is there any chance of you making a dearling? (it's my favorite pokemon from pokemon black & white.)

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  2. Oh my gosh, Deerling would be so cute to make!! And you could easily change the color to your favorite season! I'm not sure how to do the different colored belly and the face marking though and I'm not sure how to make that head shape? You must forgive me I'm just starting out! I'm working on Pansage for myself now though and already got requests to do the mods for Pansear and Panpour so I'm going to do those first. Then I have a few patterns that I personally want to work on. I can't promise anything but I'll work up some sketches for Deerling, it would be a while before I got to it though, I hope you can understand, I also have a full time job and I'm planning my wedding, this is just a hobby >_<;

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    1. That's okay, I didn't know you had pansage to do. Well good luck planning your wedding!

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    2. I was thinking about it and I've got some good ideas about how to make Deerling. If you don't want to wait until I get to the pattern (it might be a little more than a month?) I can write you up a sort of half pattern. I'd write up the shapes and pieces to make as well as how to start them. It would sort of be an untested pattern, somewhere between a pattern and an idea. If that sounds good to you let me know and I can work on it. Or if you want to wait then just follow the blog or keep checking back. I know exactly how it feels when you want to make a plush so bad but there's no pattern for it anywhere! ^_^ Please let me know what's best for you and if you want I'll get going on that half-pattern for you!

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    3. Just FYI on the blog Kat's Creations she's made a really cute deerling crochet plush! http://katscreations.blogspot.com/2012/07/deerling.html

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  3. I think I will wait until you get it on your blog. Thanks soooo much!

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    1. Thank you, I'll do my best to make it work, I'll try to keep everyone updated on the progress and if I can't make it I'll let you know.

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  4. I adore how you did your Umbreon eyes! I hope I can figure out how to use those when I go off to make my Gatomon plush. Did you use a smaller hook for the eyes than what you used for the body? Or did you just not double up on the yarn?

    I am slightly confused by the end of your pattern for the eye, "sc in space between chain and circle you made. Finish off.
    Repeat R2 onward all for other side to get the other point." Do you mean to attach yarn on the other side to make the point?

    One more question. Mostly your thoughts really. I have some red heart yarn that I plan to use for my Gatomon doll, but then other yarns I have for things such as the claws or ears is a different thickness. Would you suggest I double up my yarn for those parts to try and match the thickness of the red heart?

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  5. Thank you so much, I really wanted Umbreon's eyes to look right, they're always so pretty and sleek in the illustrations! Gatomon is the kitten like digimon right? I don't know much about digimon but I like the design of that one, it's quite cute!

    I uploaded more pictures to help explain making the eye, I had part of the pattern wrong but I fixed it, I'm quite sorry! I should have checked it first, it should make more sense now! ^_^

    Is the yarn you have for the claws and ears sport weight? If so doubling up should make it about the same thickness. It's much easier to use all the same type of yarn throughout but I know sometimes what you have is what you have. Also, are you following a pattern or making your own? If you're following a pattern then try either getting yarn of the same weight or doubling. But if you're making your own you can just go with it, you'll just have to make the ear bigger (it will need more stitches compared to if it was made with redheart). But then your pattern will be a little weird for someone else to do since most people use all the same yarn. So my final answer would be to double it I guess, haha sorry for such a long explanation!

    Anyways I hope all of that helped you and I hope the new pictures make the eye construction clearer, thanks for your interest and good luck with your patterns!

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    1. Sorry I missed one of your questions! Yes, when I crochet with two strands for the body I use only one to make the eye. You should always do it that way so the eye remains flat and doesn't stick out too much.

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    2. Oh and hook size doesn't matter as long as the crocheting is tight, if you need to change hooks to get that then that's ok too.

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  6. Where did you get a togepi pattern?

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    1. My pattern was from a Japanese crochet book but here is a link to another togepi pattern http://tifftastic21.blogspot.com/2011/03/togepi-pattern.html

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  7. WOW...totally awesome post...i love how you have explained in details :) I love creating amigurumis,so I will be using these techniques(specialy the cat eye) : here is my blog http://deltazelta.blogspot.in/ ,do visit :) I am going to subscribe to your blog,its wonderful :)

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  8. Awesome, just what I was looking for :D The oval eye is what I wanted, thank you!

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