In my almost decade of crocheting, I’ve never had a very successful relationship with furry yarn.
There are so many times I’ve wanted to use it, and I’ve bought more variations of it than I can count over the years, but the skeins have never amounted to much of anything because I always end up deciding that whatever I was going to make just wasn’t worth the trouble.
Can you relate?
I’d love to tell you that I have a magic solution for you, but I don’t.
That said… I think I’ve found a yarn that is easier to work with than anything I’ve tried before.
I made a pillow with it!
And then I made another, bigger pillow!
That’s right; I finished the first one and still had enough patience in me to make another. And trust me, when you make this pillow… you’re going to want to make another, too. And another. They are sooooo soft and plushy. And with the #6 super bulky yarn, they work up so darn quick once you get the hang of that yarn!
About the Yarn
The yarn I used is Big Twist Sherpa. If you didn’t know, Big Twist is one of Joann Fabrics’ store brands. The Sherpa line showed up in my local store this fall in a big, hard-to-miss center aisle display and the big, fluffy skeins drew me in.
As I mentioned, I’ve never been great with fur yarn. You really have to feel for your next stitch, because the soft faux fur just blends everything together and there is literally zero stitch definition. Big Twist Sherpa made it a little bit easier, though, by using a dark color for the actual thread, and then blending that same dark color out to white. So the darker it is, the closer you are to your stitch… which really helps.
One neat thing about the way the yarn is constructed is that when it’s worked in unturned rounds (as we will with this pillow), the “right” side of the resulting fabric is significantly more color-saturated than the “wrong” side, which brings in a lot more of the white. You’ll see this as you work the pattern, but you won’t have to decide which side you like more until the very end. (I ended up choosing the “wrong” side because I liked the brightness of it.)
One word of caution: be sure to grab enough skeins of the same dye lot for your project. I didn’t pay attention (oops) and let me tell you, the difference in the two skeins when I started to add on the second one was jarring. It’s not so much that the color was different, but the second skein had a much bigger concentration of white. I went back to my store and was very lucky to find a skein that matched my first one!
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Classic Sherpa Pillow
View on Ravelry
Difficulty: Easyish (The pattern is easy… the yarn takes some focus!)
Crochet Language: American Standard
Finished Sizes: For 12″ and 18″ pillow inserts
(The opening should measure about .5″-1″ smaller than your pillow insert; it will stretch.)
Yarn: Big Twist Sherpa, a very thick, #6 super bulky yarn. You’ll need 2 skeins for the 12″ pillow, or 3 skeins for the 18″. I used “Sea” and “Wine.”
Hook: 9.0mm (M or N depending on brand; go by mm measurement)
Gauge: 9 CSC x 9 rows = 4″ square
(Note that there is no stitch multiple for this pattern, so it would probably be easier to adjust your initial chain to the correct width than to try to match gauge exactly.)
You’ll also need: 12″ or 18″ pillow insert, yarn needle for weaving in super bulky yarn
Terms and Abbreviations:
SL ST (slip stitch)
CSC (crossed single crochet: Insert hook into stitch. Yarn UNDER, pull through; 2 loops on hook. Yarn over, pull through both loops.)
(1) Fur yarn is challenging, but you’ll get better with practice. Big Twist Sherpa has been one of the easier fur yarns I’ve used, because the fur gets darker the closer to the actual thread you get, and you can use that dark thread and a sharp eye to locate your top loops. However, I find that most of the time I’m using my fingers to feel for where to insert my hook.
(2) This pattern is worked in a seamless round. Do not join, chain or turn unless instructed.
(3) Pattern is written for a 12″ pillow insert, with instructions for an 18″ insert written in parentheses.
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To begin: CH27 (CH41), or to 11.5”-12” (17.5”-18”)
For Round 1, we’re going to CSC across the length of a chain, and then CSC back down the other side of it until we are back where we started.
Round 1: CSC in 2nd CH from hook (mark this first ST with a stitch marker) and in each remaining CH. Working down the other side of the chain, CSC across. You have now worked in both sides of each chain. DO NOT join.
Stitch count: 52 (80)
In the inset image, you can see that I’ve crocheted along the entire chain, completing the first half of Round 1. The illustration shows you what the stitches look like underneath all that fur.
To begin working down the other side of the chain, insert your hook where the pink line at the top is pointing. (If you’re thinking “that’s the same place I made the last CSC”, you’d be right!) Continue to place a CSC in each chain until you are back where you first started.
Rounds 2-27 (2-41), or until pillow measures 12” (18”) tall: CSC in each ST around.
Stitch count: 52 (80)
Fasten off, leaving a long tail for weaving top of pillow closed. Choose which side you like best, and weave all other tails on whichever side of the pillow you have determined to be the “wrong” side.
Turn pillow right side out. Add pillow insert, then hold open edges of pillow together and seam closed with your preferred method. Here’s how I seamed mine:
Weave in tail and hide excess yarn inside pillow.
That’s it! Enjoy your soft, cozy new pillow!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you’re sharing your project on social media, be sure to tag me @yarnandchai.design!