I tried... but I just couldn't come up with a clever title for this morning's post... thoughts about belly dancing and beer bellies are going through my head, but I guess the coffee just has not settled in enough you for me to be clever. But, I don't need to wait for more coffee to tell you about making your owl's belly patch.
Ovals in amigurumi require a bit of a different approach than what we've been doing so far. Instead of starting with what is essentially a very small circle, we need to start with a foundation chain. Your foundation chain is a critical part of this piece and will determine how things look as you begin to add more stitches. So, relax... keep your stitches even, and try not to pull things too tight.
To get the oval rounded on both ends, we need to load up the first and last stitches in the chain with some extra single crochet stitches. On your way across the chain for the first time, you'll add an extra stitch at the beginning and the end. I don't deal a lot in diagrams and I don't have the best tools for making them, but the following should give you the gist. The green lines are chain stitches and the 'T' shapes represent your single crochet stitches:
Instead of chaining and turning when you get to the end of the row, you need to rotate the entire piece 180 degrees clockwise -- so that you're looking at the bottom loops in your foundation chain. Then, echo the pattern back.
Now, you've got yourself an oval and can start working in "official" rounds.
In round two, I've added my increases evenly (as opposed to increasing at both ends). I've found through trial and error that if you increase evenly in round two, you don't end up with gaps in your work from stitches being "bunched up" at either end.
You just need to go one more round to finish your owl's belly patch and -- ta-da!
I've recently gotten into the line of plush owlets released by Harley and Boss and I'm thinking about using some inspiration from them to embroider one of my belly patches. I'll let you know how it goes! In the mean time, I'll leave you with a picture of some of the newest additions to the Flikr group. Both owls are by Denise of YummyPancake and the one on the right uses glow-in-the-dark yarn!