The term “extreme crochet” and “extreme knitting” has been popping up all over the internet these days and has become wildly popular. I love the look of extreme crochet, and when I see a big crochet hook and yarn, the first word that pops into my head is, “fun”. It just looks so fun to work with! While I’ve seen beautiful big blankets, rugs, cushions and other wearable or household items, I hadn’t seen many people try and create an extreme amigurumi. And once that thought got stuck in my mind I could not get it out again! I HAD to try it! I mean, what could be better than a giant, huggable amigurumi?
I decided that I was going to make a giant sloth because my Zippy the Baby Sloth had already been such a huge success! Plus, sloths are so popular right now.
I immediately started doing research on buying extreme yarn and extreme crochet hooks. Thankfully All About Ami had a very helpful blog post on extreme crochet and it made my searching a lot easier. My first step was to purchase a 40mm crochet hook. Yes, 40mm! I found a very affordable and good quality one at Wool Couture Company in the UK. Even with shipping, this crochet hook didn’t break my budget! I purchased this listing here. It’s amazing that they also offer 50mm and 60mm hooks as well! Can you imagine? I also purchased my wool roving from the same shop here, as it was the most affordable option for me. (I selected colors #2 and #9 if you’re interested in the exact colors I bought.) Surprisingly it only took about a week or so to get to me which was really exciting! I ordered 2.2 lbs. or the brown and 1 lb. of the cream which wasn’t nearly enough, so I had to make a second order after I realized my mistake. (More waiting, but it was worth it.)
Just look at the size of that crochet hook! It’s just fun to hold it, and even more fun to crochet with it! Although I must admit, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
The wool came tightly packaged up in plastic.
It’s so soft and luxurious!
You almost forget how to crochet when you first start working with it because each step is so deliberate. It’s not a mindless, repetitious action like crocheting normally is. And it’s actually exhausting if you do too much of it at a time!
When I posted pictures of my finished extreme sloth on my social media accounts everyone wanted to know how long it took me to make. I think that most people were thinking that it must have taken me forever because of the huge size! But using a crochet hook and “yarn” this big makes for a very quick project because it works up really quickly. I actually just used the same pattern I used for my miniature Zippy the Baby Sloth to make this giant sloth (with some slight modifications). But because the yarn and hook are so big, it, of course, comes out very large. In any case, if I was to calculate the time it took me to make him from start to finish (assuming there were no breaks), it would be around 5-6 hours.
I also got a lot of people asking me what I stuffed him with. Actually, I just used PolyFill. Hehe, if I ever did this again I don’t think I would do that. I think a pillow form would be a better option, at least for the head.
Here’s some of the mess I was making during this time. You can see my cuddle-sized Zippy Sloth to the right side of the sofa!
After finishing the crocheting part, it was time to add the eyes and the nose. I wanted my sloth to look as much like an amigurumi as possible and that meant I didn’t really want to have to use buttons or felt for his eyes. So naturally, I was thrilled when I found out that Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches sells 40mm safety eyes here! Have you ever seen such huge eyes!
I purchased some 100% wool felt from Felt on the Fly to use for the backings on his eyes. I cut out large ovals and then attached the safety eyes to the felt. It would have been impossible to attach them to the head because of the thickness, that’s why I could finish the head and stuff it before doing the eyes. Since Zippy is made entirely out of wool (except for the stuffing), I was able to needle felt the felt onto the head instead of having to sew it on. This worked out great! I used my Clover Amour needle felting tool that I bought on Amazon here. This is actually how I attached all the body parts together. I’m no expert on wool or needle felting, so if there’s a better way to do it, I haven’t heard of it yet. Anyway, it worked for me, although it did take some time. I used some black wool yarn for his nose and felted that down as well.
I was proud of my little needle felting tool for not breaking during all the heavy felting.
And here’s Zippy in pieces. (Please excuse the poor lighting, this picture was taken at night.) I just propped his head up on his body to get a better idea of what it was going to look like. His eyes weren’t fully felted down at this time either.
After needle felting all his body parts together, he was finished!
As someone said, “Sloth hugs for days!” He’s certainly cuddly and huggable! But you don’t want to be standing up holding him for long. This “little” guy is two feet tall and weighs around 7 pounds! I know, right!
And last but not least, here are Jumbo Zippy, Cuddle-sized Zippy, and Baby Zippy!
So would I do this again? Probably not, just because it was so expensive. I’m definitely going to be trying out some chunkier amigurumi in the future though, even if they’re not so extreme! It was an amazing experience though, and I’m so glad I did it!
What about you? Are YOU going to try extreme amigurumi? I hope you do!