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Bumble Bee Pattern Tips And Time Savers

Updated: Sep 23, 2023


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Hello and Happy New Year! It's been quite a while, but we're back and ready with many more blog posts for the year ahead. We are filled to the brim with ideas, and can't wait to share everything with all of you. With a new year comes a fresh start, and we have plenty of goals to accomplish at Love & Crochet. From our blog to our patterns and new innovations, we hope to improve and build upon what we do for you on this website.


As a quick recap of what we did last month, Love & Crochet held a raffle for one giant crocheted avocado and donated 50% of the proceeds to Coalition for the Rainforest Nations, an organization that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by protecting rainforests. We are so excited to be a part of stopping climate change, and we couldn't do it without everyone who purchased tickets. Thank you! We can't wait to continue supporting this amazing organization in the future.


Before we begin discussing the pattern this week, I'd like to give you the pattern link. I am not receiving a commission for suggesting this pattern, but as an Amazon Associate, Love & Crochet may earn commissions (at no extra cost to you) from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. This does not affect the products we recommend. We only suggest good products that we have tried in the past. Please know that purchasing through some of the links below will support us. We may also display advertisements on this page using third-party cookies to show relevant content. Thank you for being here and enjoy the article!


With that said, let's get into the post for this week!



I decided to crochet this adorable little bumble bee for my sister as a holiday gift. She always loves a little cuteness in her life, and when I saw this pattern I thought, what could be better than this?! Overall I enjoyed this project, but as with any pattern, there are always ways to make it simpler. I hope the following post makes this little project even quicker and easier for you! I'll start with the materials you need and my suggestions relative to them.



Materials


Yarn

The first material you'll need is yarn. On the pattern website, the yarn they call for is "chunky yarn," (size 5) in the colors yellow, black, and white (plus a small amount of pink for the blush). I didn't have the colors available in that size, so I took the risk and crocheted with size 4 yarn. I was thrilled to find out that this works perfectly fine with a smaller hook and eye size, as I will explain in more detail shortly. The final bumble bee is slightly smaller than the original one, but just as cute! The specific yarn choice doesn't matter very much, but if you're curious I used Joann's Big Twist Value Worsted Yarn. I use this yarn for general use in my crochet projects because it has such a great price and comes in many colors.



Crochet Hook

As I mentioned above, your hook should change with your yarn size. If you're sticking with the original size 5 yarn, the pattern suggests to use a 4.5 mm crochet hook. If you decide to step down to size 4 yarn, I would advise that you use a 3.5 mm crochet hook. As you can see in the pictures throughout the post, this worked out well for me. I don't have a specific recommendation for the hook, but I usually opt for metal ones for amigurumi projects.



Plastic Eyes

Another material in this project that changes with your yarn is the eyes. Get a pair of 10 mm plastic eyes if you are using the suggested yarn, or use 8 mm eyes with size four yarn. Whether you're sticking with the original materials list or not, I strongly recommend the plastic eye set linked to the left. I discovered this great and affordable product a few months ago when I was in need of a new set of plastic eyes. There are multiple sizes and colors, and everything is clearly labeled.



Stuffing

As with any other handmade stuffed animal, you'll need stuffing. The stuffing you use in this project isn't crucial because of the simple shape. However, my suggestion for general use stuffing is Poly Fil. You can purchase it at your local craft store, or buy it from Amazon using the link to the right. Whether you're looking for a large amount to last you forever, or a small amount for a few projects, they have it all online.




Tapestry Needle

You also need a tapestry needle for this project. I highly recommend that along with the standard ~2 inch embroidery needle you also get a specific 6.8 inch embroidery needle which makes hiding the final tail end in the bumble bee MUCH easier. I've used this type of needle so many times, they make this step seem like nothing. The link to the left takes you to these wonderful time savers.



Finally, you'll want a pair of scissors on hand, like during any other project. Now that I've discussed the materials, let's get into the tips for this pattern!



Pattern Tips and Suggestions


These bits of advice are sequenced in order from the tip you would use at the beginning of the pattern to the last tip you would put to action. It's a great idea to read this section as you work through the pattern yourself. One last thing, if you decide to watch her video tutorial, keep in mind that although she has a British accent, the pattern is written in US terms.



Creating the Face

In this section I have a few techniques that will definitely give the face a cleaner look. I'll start with where to position the face.


My first suggestion is to make sure the spot where you color change later in the pattern is facing the bottom. At this point in the pattern, you haven't changed colors yet, but when you do there will be a slightly off-looking spot along the line of where each row begins (pictured below). To ensure that this doesn't interfere with the aesthetic of the final product, have the starting stitch of the current row underneath the face when you embroider it. Don't worry if the "why" doesn't make sense right now, just be sure to follow through with this and you'll be glad when you finish. The picture below should help you understand as well.



Now, about embroidering the face itself, here are my suggestions. I highly recommend that you watch this video, and go to the time 10:33 to see a live tutorial on creating the bee's face. The step by step footage of this step is very helpful, but I would make one change. While the following tip could be frustrating for some, it's perfect for people who want to work a little more for a perfect curved smile. I used a small amount of Tacky Glue so I could shape the smile and secure it there. Fair warning, it's tough to get under the yarn, BUT it totally pays off in the end. Use the photo below for a visual, and the picture link for the Tacky Glue.



That's it for the embroidered face! When you're ready, move on to the next tip, which dives deeper into the color change.


Color Change

In regards to the color change, I have two quick suggestions for you. Read on to learn more about this step.


First, if you are following along in the video, you'll notice that the pattern creator advises to tuck in the tail ends after every color change. I don't see a reason for doing this, because the remaining yarn will be hidden inside the bumble bee anyway after stuffing and closing it up. Refraining from threading the yarn into the stitches after each color change will save you a lot of time and energy while creating the bumble bee.



The following tip relates to another suggestion I had in the "Embroidering the Face" section of this post. While the technique for switching colors is great for beginners, there are definitely better techniques for doing so. If you are interested in learning more about changing yarn in projects, I would love to know so I can write a post discussing that topic. For a beginner though, position the area of color change so that when the bumble bee is face up, it's hidden underneath the project, similar to what was mentioned previously in the post.


After you finish the main body, head down to the stuffing section for another quick tip for this pattern.



Stuffing

Stuffing your projects can be a challenging task. Luckily, this one is probably the easiest stuffing job I've ever had. It's not really possible to under or over stuff the bumble bee, because of the shape. If you overstuff, then you would just have a chubby bee, and if you understuff, your bee would be a bit squishy. Don't worry, it's not easy to do such a bad job that it becomes misshapen, like many other amigurumi can be :)




When you're finished, use your long metal needles to hide the final tail end easily and neatly. The needle set is linked again to the right in case you haven't purchased them yet.





Wing Positioning

Congrats, you're on the final step! This one is as simple as using the close-ups below as a visual guide. Feel free to change the wing position up a bit to give your bumble bee some character.



I hope you enjoyed this post, and love the beautiful bumble bee you just crocheted. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email or the comments down below. Thank you for being here, and thanks to all who purchased anything through the links strung throughout the post!



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