For my part, I'm a Fairfield Poly-fil kind of gal. The Fairfield site gives the following specifications on the stuff:
- 100% Polyester
- America's best selling polyester fiberfill
- Does not shift or bunch
- Available in many package sizes
Now I know there are a lot of folks who swear by natural fibers and I'd live to get your experiences too -- so please give me a shout in the comments!
Another added bonus for using the steel tapestry needles is the breakage factor. Because amigurumi crochet uses some pretty dense stitches, it sometimes gets tough to poke through multiple layers (for example, where the owl's eyes are sewn to the head). Add to it that I like to keep my stitches on the surface of the project as opposed to going all the way through (more about this once we get into the project) and you're looking at a recipe for plastic needle disaster.
Whichever way you decide to go, Susan Bates brand (available from most craft sellers) offers the goods.
If you are going to shop for stitch markers, make sure you get the SPLIT RING variety. The other option is a stitch marker that makes a complete circle and is used in knitting. This will NOT work on your amigurumi project unless you want to go through with pliers and cut them out when you're all done.
If you don't want to invest in stitch markers (and there really is no reason to), you can also use a paperclip, safety pin, or just about anything else that you can easily work in and out of a loop of yarn. One caution on these options though -- paperclips and safety pins have rough edges and can snag your project -- so be careful!
Just like with everything else, I have broken LOTS of my plastic stitch markers (I suspect that's why they give you so many). After my third or fourth package of stitch markers, I found it was more economical to buy some removable metal stitch markers like these. Trust me when I tell you that if you're going to be doing a lot of amigurumi, this is a worthwhile investment!
I think that should about wrap up the shopping list for your owl project, but stay tuned for a special bonus post from Clara of 6060 on how to select eyes for your amigurumi. Even though eyes are not on the official shopping list, I know some of you may want to use pre-made eyes instead of sewing them, so we'll make sure that base is covered too. See you soon!