Have you ever noticed how when your friends learn you know how to do a certain craft, they automatically assume you're capable of making anything? I was recently asked by my dear fiend, I mean friend, if I would make her a crocheted banana. Specifically, a rotting banana she could give to a friend - an inside joke between them. I don't judge, I just crochet. So when she kindly supplied the yarn, and I regrettably said I would make her dirty stinky rotten banana. At least that is how I've come to think of it. I spent HOURS working on it, over the ccourse of many weeks, trying to figure out how to make a banana. Finally after much consternation, foul words, and much frogging ( a knitting term that here means to relentlessly tear out your stitches while crying), VOILA! A plushy banana.
Step 1: A Bit of Yarn
A - Find a yarn you're comfortable working with. For a plushy like this, I prefer working with cotton yarns. Cotton is sturdy, washable, soft and inexpensive. In the pictures shown you will see I chose a nice banana-esque yellow from the makers of Peaches & Cream yarns. It will run you about $2.00
B - Chose your hardware. I used a 4mm or G hook and got a 4" banana. You can enlarge your project by using a J hook and two strands of yarn and get a 6" banana.
C - Get fluffy. A handfull of Poly-Fil Fiber will make your banana nice and squishable, without the mess of a real banana. A 12oz bag will run you roughly $3.00 and will make you bunches of bananas.
Step 2: Get Stitchin!
This pattern will require you to crochet in the round. If you are a beginner, this pattern is good practice. You'll get your feet wet, without wanting to never crochet in the round again. You shouldn't need stitch markers. Tip : usually when crocheting you work one side or the other, dipping your hook between the two loops on top to pull your yarn through. For this pattern you will pull through beneath both loops, It gives you a tighter stitch that won't ripple.
Ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook 3 times.
Sc (yo, pull up loop, yo and pull through both loops) in each st around - (3 sc)
Sc twice in first st, sc in last 2 - (4sc)
Sc twice in 1st st, sc in last 3 - (5sc)
Doing ok so far? Good, you've just completed your stem.
But wait there's more!
Step 3: Body Work
4 Sc in 2nd ch from hook. (Bottom of banana)
Row 1 - Sc back across chain to stem, sc in nearest st of stem, turn
Row 2 - Sc in next 3 sts, hdc (yo, pull up loop, yo and pull through all three loops) in next 14 sts, sc in next 3 sts, sc in bottom of banana, turn
Row 3 - Sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next st, dc (yo, pull up loop, yo and pull through two loops twice) in next 12 st, hdc in next st, sc in last 3 sts, sc in in stem, turn
Row 4 - Sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next st, dc in next st, htc (yo twice, pull up loop, yo and pull through two loops, yo, pull through last three on hook) in next 10 st, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sc in next 3 st, sc in bottom, turn
Row 5 - Sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next st, dc in next st, htc in next st, tc (yo twice, pull up loop, yo and pull through two loops three times) in next 8 sts, htc in next st, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sc in next 3 st, sc in stem, turn
Half way there!
Step 4: Flip That, Rewind It Back
The rest is easy. You will basically be doing what youv'e already done, but in reverse.
Row 6 - repeat row 4
Row 7 - Repeat row 3
Row 8 - Repeat row 2
Row 9 - Repeat row 1
Now fasten off, leaving a tail that is twice as long as your banana. We'll be using that to sew the seam shut.
Step 5: Now I Stuff You.... With Fluff
Some like to use a yarn needle for this, and you're more than welcome to, but I just use my hook to pull the tail end of my project through, sewing up the seam. Before you sew it all the way up, Take your poly-fil that's been patiently waiting, watching and biding it's time, and channel the chef from little mermaid, stuffing that banana like a crab with bread. I find that laughing maniacly at this point is a great stress reliever.
I may need counseling.
Also, now would be a good time to pull in your starter tail. This part can be tricky, especially if your beggining stitches are tight. Then finish sewing things up, and trim your tail to a reasonable length so you can tuck it inside the nearest stitch.
Ta-Da! A banana. Good amo for a monkey ninja, or for dialing up your simian pals.
Never stop crafting!