with and without tentacles!
I've blogged about the crochet ammonites I've made before, but I thought it would be handy to have my pattern notes together in one place. The first ammonite I made followed this pattern by PauPaul faithfully but I made a few changes as I made the other two.
The first ammonite was teeny-tiny, and was one of the mini sea creatures I made for a yarn-storming event. The second I made with added tentacles as a toy for my son, because he had been sad to see the first one go. The third I made as a cushion for my mum, and it was huge!
Yarn and Hook Size
The first two ammonites were both made with Stylecraft Special DK yarn and a 3.5 mm hook. The teeny ammonite was made with shrimp. The ammonite with tentacles is mustard, and for the tentacles I used shrimp for some and tomato for the rest.
For the cushion, I used Fileco from Bergere De France, which is an aran yarn, in two colours, Ecomauve and Ecogris. I used a 4.5 mm hook for the shell, and 6 mm hook for the end piece.
The ammonites all use the following stitches (in US terms):
CH – chain;
SC - single crochet;
SC BLO - single crochet in the back loop only;
INC - 2 SC in the same stitch.
To form the ammonite shell, you crochet rows of single crochet, in the back loop only, to make a long, thin triangle. The SC BLO creates the texture for the shell's ridges. Then join the two long sides together, to make a cone shape, and add a SC circle end piece to close the cone. The cone is then rolled into the spiral shell shape and sewn to hold it in place.
Following PauPaul's pattern, you start with ch 3, skip one chain and SC twice, then ch 1 and turn. From then on, each row is worked BLO: [SC BLO across, ch 1, turn]. INC in one stitch every other row. Continue until you reach the size you want, and aim for your last row to be a multiple of 6, to join neatly to the circular end piece.
This works well for the smaller ammonites, but a large ammonite will need a sturdier middle. For the cushion I started with ch11, and 10 SC for the first row, before continuing as above. When you come to join the two sides together you will now have a tube rather than a cone, open at both ends, and so will need two end piece circles rather than just one.
If I was making this again, I would start with a chain in a multiple of 6 (+ 1), to have the first row of SC as a multiple of 6, just as the last is, to join neatly to the end piece.
teeny-tiny - the first ammonite I made
ammonite with tentacles
monster ammonite cushion
The end pieces I crocheted in continuous rounds, starting with 6 SC into a magic circle, then increasing by 6 SC each round until you reach your desired size. For the cushion, the last round of the large end piece was 72 SC.
The main change I made was to sew the sides of the triangle together rather than slip-stitching. Using a slip stitch meant that the ammonite had a 'right' and a 'wrong' side, as it creates a noticeable seam (which you can see in the photos here). Sewing the sides together makes it easier to disguise the join. As the seam is much less bulky, it can be disguised completely by keeping it in the inside of the ammonite as the ammonite is rolled into the shell shape.
For a large ammonite I recommend sewing the sides, stuffing, and rolling a bit at a time, rather than sewing along the whole length first. This makes the big piece much more manageable.
If adding tentacles, attach these before sewing the end piece on to close the ammonite up.
To make the tentacles I used this tutorial for the Perfect Crochet i-Cord. It's a simple technique that makes a nice chunky and stretchy tentacle.
Leave a long yarn tail when making your slip knot, as the cord is made up from both the tail and the working yarn. Using the yarn tail, yarn over from the front to the back (two stitches on hook). Then with the working yarn, yarn over from the back to the front and pull through both stitches on the hook. Repeat until you reach your desired length.
I attached the tentacles to the end piece of the shell. Feed the two strands of yarn separately through and you can secure tightly with a knot. The knot will be on the inside once you have sewn the end piece to the rest of the shell.
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