I made a couple of little amigurumi ammonites recently, which I blogged about here and here. I decided for my next make to make a big one! My mum collects rocks and fossils and I thought I would make her an ammonite cushion for Christmas.
I usually use Stylecraft Special DK yarn for my amigurimi, as it is good value and comes in such a wide range of colours. For this project I wanted something more special, and I used Fileco from Bergere De France. This is an aran yarn, made from wool and acrylic with some recycled materials. The yarn is slightly mottled with a subtle iridescent effect that I think works really well with the structure and shape of the ammonite. I used two colours, Ecomauve and Ecogris.
I based the ammonite on this pattern, which I'd followed for the other ammonites I made. This time I didn't follow it exactly but I still followed the basic principle of the pattern, working in rows of single crochet, back loop only, increasing by one stitch every other row, to make a long triangle.
I used a 4.5 mm hook for the shell, to keep the fabric quite tight so that the stuffing wouldn't show through when it was finished. The original pattern starts from a chain and a row of two single crochet. As I was making a cushion I wanted it to be reasonably solid with a sturdier middle, so I started instead by chaining 10, and single crocheting 10 for the first row. This meant the triangle would be more like a tube than a cone, so I also crocheted a small circle to attach to the start to stop the stuffing falling out!
The main change I made was to sew the sides of the triangle together rather than slip-stitching. The slip stitch meant that the ammonite had a 'right' and a 'wrong' side (which you can see in the photos here), while sewing the sides together hid the join much more neatly. As the join was much less bulky this way, I was then able to completely disguise the join by keeping it in the inside of the ammonite as I rolled it up. I sewed, stuffed and rolled as I went along, rather than crocheting the whole triangle shape first, which made the big piece more manageable.
I used four 50g balls to make the cushion, three of Ecomauve and one of Ecogris. I made the end piece in the grey, and I crocheted this before switching from the mauve to the grey on the main shell. I wanted to make sure that I had enough grey for the end piece, and then I would just crochet the grey on the main shell until it ran out. It didn't quite work out like this, as after I'd made the end piece I realised it was too loose, and I re-did it with a smaller hook so it ended up slightly too small to fit. Luckily I still had a little of the mauve left and so ended up with a two-tone shell and end piece. The end piece was crocheted as a spiral, starting with six single crochet into a magic circle, increasing by 6 SC each round until the last round of 72 SC. For the final version I used a 6 mm hook.