Friday, 25 October 2013

Making a yarn tail

As I mentioned before, I'm making a wolf costume for my friend because we're dressing up as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, so we need a big fluffy furry tail! I was going to just sew one with fur fabric but the silly fabric shops here don't stock fur in the summer :/ Luckily, I accidentally discovered yarn tails!!  

The video shows the movement of the tail

So obviously I am no professional since this was my first one ever, but it came out exactly how I wanted it so I decided to share the tutorial :)
The method can vary slightly depending on your preferences and the effect you want, and I'd probably do it differently next time, but here's how I did this one...

What you'll need:
1.5 balls of super chunky 100% acrylic yarn
cat brush
t-shirt yarn

First, you have to make a core to attach all the fur to. I used t-shirt yarn for mine
Cut a whole bunch of 1m lengths, (about 24) divide them into 3 bunches and then braid them
Use another piece of t-shirt yarn to tie each end tightly together so it doesn't come undone

To make the fur:

Cut lengths of yarn, about 25cm
Bunch about 6 threads together (use more if your yarn is thinner)
Tie a knot in the middle of the bunch
Make LOTS of bunches

Separate 2 strings from the bunch
Using a cat brush, start brushing the yarn
Brush the tips first and work your way up. It goes quicker this way because you get less knots (which also means less breakage)
The last picture shows a finished tuft, and all the wasted yarn that comes from brushing
{There will be tons of waste ~ I kept it for stuffing because I make amigurumi plushies too}

Tie the 2 separate strings around the core to attach the tuft
Make a few knots so they don't come loose and then cut the ends
Tie the fur tufts quite close together
Brush each layer gently before adding the next one

I wanted my tail to have a lighter tip, so I started with a beige colour wool on the tip

To cover the core completely and make the tip look a bit poofier, I sewed some fur right on the tip of the tail

By the time I got to this point, I wanted the tail to start tapering a bit, so I just cut the lengths of yarn a few centimeters shorter when making the bunches

When the tail is long enough, tie some yarn tightly around the braid to keep it together where you want the tail to end, and then cut it
This leaves a messy a pretty messy looking end though...

... so I crocheted a little disc to cover it, which will also work nicely for threading something through it for wearing

The crochet pattern is super simple, using super chunky wool:
Make a magic ring with 2 ch
Round 1: 6 sc into magic ring, ss to close it
Round 2: 1 ch, 2 sc in every sc, ss to close it, tie off

Use a thinner wool to sew the disc over the end of the tail
And you're done!

Most people flat-iron each piece of fur after brushing it and before attaching it. I wanted the tail to be really poofy and huge and wild, so I didn't flat iron mine but I'll definitely try it on the next tail!
You can also mix colours and make stripes and other extremely cool stuff that I can't wait to try.

Thanks for reading! Visit my Facebook Page for more Crayons stuff :)

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