Learning crafts like crochet can bring you joy for a lifetime. The skills learned give you the opportunity to exercise your creativity while challenging yourself to produce bigger and better things. While the endless possibilities can seem daunting, crochet is easy to get started; there are just a few basic tools and techniques you need to know. From there you can progress more and more in your work and try out different facets of the field.
When you are first learning to crochet, scarves are a popular place to start; after all, it’s just a long rectangle! But once you get more comfortable with your crochet and are ready to take on bigger projects, there are ways to create your own little sculptures. Using the techniques of amigurumi, you can build plush toys that are as cute as they are fun to make.
What is amigurumi?
Amigurumi is a popular type of crochet. The word is a coat rack of two Japanese terms: am i, which means crocheted or knitted; and nugurumi, a plush doll. It often takes the form of a fantastic animal or creature with an aesthetic that is best described as kawaii or cute. This makes the amigurumi ideal for children or for anyone who likes button noses and rosy cheeks.
Amigurumi exploded in popularity in the early years, especially as it spread to the West. Thanks to sites like Etsy, Pinterest, and the online knitting and crochet community Ravelry, the influence of these dolls has only grown. Now you can buy them entirely shaped by a crochet hooker or make your own using a pattern – many of these instructions are available to purchase online. (We’ve picked some of our favorites here!)
Supplies needed for Amigurumi
Amigurumi is an accessible form of crochet that beginners and seasoned craftsmen alike can appreciate. He uses basic techniques that include single stitch, double stitch, and invisible decrease. Before you start crocheting, make sure you have these tools handy.
Wire – There are many yarns on the market, and not all are good for crochet amigurumi. Too fluffy yarn can be difficult to work with (especially when using a small crochet hook), and the fluffy fibers can obscure your doll’s details. Here are three popular types of yarns for amigurumi:
- 100% cotton and mercerized cotton yarn. This type of yarn is tightly spun, so you won’t see any fibers.
- Semi-cotton blend yarn (50% cotton, 50% acrylic). If you choose this yarn, it will be lighter and can be machine washed. Depending on your project, the semi-cotton blend may be the best choice. It’s not as heavy as 100% cotton thread, which means the stitches won’t warp as easily as your project gets bigger.
- Acrylic yarn. If you are budget conscious for your crochet hook, acrylic yarn will give you the most bang for your buck. There are, however, a few drawbacks; it can be fibrous and difficult to see in detail, and the thread can warp easily if not sewn tight enough.
Small gauge hook – You will need a small gauge amigurumi hook because you don’t want the doll’s stuffing to show through. Refer to your pattern for the hook size to use.
Padding – Padding (like polyester or cotton) will give your doll shape and bring it to life.
pipe cleaners or floral wire – Some, but not all, amigurumi have movable characteristics. Pipe cleaners or floral wire can be used as frames to “wiggle” the doll.
pebbles – If you want to make sure that your creation will stay upright, small stones can be used to distribute the weight on the bottom of the doll.
Where to learn amigurumi
The Skillshare e-learning site has a few courses that will teach you the basics of the trade and show you how to design your own creature.
Try these courses:
YouTube also offers tutorials, and there are plenty of free videos that break the process down into simple steps.
Studio Crafti, for example, explains how to create a standard head and body shape.
Chisette Designs shows the best way to connect your amigurumi pieces.
Amigurumi models to try today
Ready to start crocheting your cute doll? Here are some of our favorites amigurumi patterns, kits and dolls available now!
André Le Fourmilier Patron
Master Yoda and model R2D2
Happy Vegetable Toys
Ollie the Soth motif
Carlotta the fawn pattern
Marla the Unicorn pattern
Flying Saucer Kit
Pedro the donkey model
Oh my llama pattern
Crochet cat pattern
Percy the squid pattern
Horace the Stegosaurus Motif
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