What is an Amigurumi? Learn more about cute crafting and amigurumi patterns

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Learn crafts like crochet can bring you the joy of a lifetime. The skills learned give you the opportunity to exercise your creativity while challenging you to produce bigger and better things. Although the endless possibilities may seem daunting, crochet is easy to get started; there are only 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 learning to crochet for the first time, scarves are a popular starting point. after all, it is simply a long rectangle! But once you feel more comfortable with your crochet and are ready to take on more challenging projects, there are ways to create your own little sculptures. Using the techniques of amigurumiyou can build plush toys that are as cute as they are fun to make.

What is an Amigurumi?

Amigurumi is a popular type of crochet. The word is a portmanteau of two Japanese terms: am i, meaning crocheted or knitted; and nuigurumi, a plush doll. It often takes the form of an animal or fantasy creature with an aesthetic that is best described as kawaii or cute. This makes amigurumi great for kids or anyone who likes button noses and rosy cheeks.

Amigurumi exploded in popularity in the early 2000s, especially as it spread to the West. Through sites like Etsy, pinterestand the online knitting and crochet community Ravelry, the influence of these dolls only grew. Now you can buy them fully formed by a crocheter or make your own using a pattern – many of these instructions are available for purchase online. (We’ve picked out some of our favorites here!)

crochet amigurumi

Photo: Image bank by Oksana_Slepko/Shutterstock

Supplies Needed for Amigurumi

Amigurumi is an accessible form of crochet that both beginners and seasoned crafters can enjoy. It uses basic techniques that include single stitch, double stitch and invisible decrease. Before you start crocheting, make sure you have these tools handy.

Thread — There are many yarns out there, and not all of them are good for crochet amigurumi. Yarn that’s too fluffy can be difficult to work with (especially when using a small hook), and the fuzzy fibers can obscure your doll’s detail. Here are three popular types of yarn 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 select this yarn, it will be lighter and can be machine washed. Depending on your project, semi-cotton blend might be the best choice. It’s not as heavy as 100% cotton yarn, which means the stitches won’t warp as easily the larger your project.
  • acrylic yarn. If you are budget conscious for your crochet, acrylic yarn will give you the most bang for your buck. There are a few downsides though; it can be fibrous and hard to see details, and the thread can easily deform if not sewn tightly enough.

Small gauge hook — You’ll need a small amigurumi gauge crochet hook because you don’t want the stuffing on the doll to be visible. Refer to your pattern for the size hook to use.

Padding — Stuffing (like polyester or cotton) will give your doll shape and bring it to life.

pipe cleaners Where floral yarn — Some, but not all, amigurumi have poseable features. Pipe cleaners or floral wire can be used as armatures to make the doll “move”.

Pebbles — If you want to make sure your creation will stay upright, small stones can be used to distribute the weight on the bottom of the doll.

Where to learn amigurumi

What is Amigurmi?

Photo: Kawaii Amigurumi Crochet: Cute Animals and Friends

Online learning

The online learning site Skills sharing has a few courses that will teach you the basics of the craft and show you how to design your own creature.

Try these classes:

Video tutorials

YouTube also has tutorials availableand many free videos break the process down into simple steps.

Studio Crafti, for example, explains how to create a standard head and body shape.

Chisette Designs demonstrates the best way to connect your amigurumi pieces.

Educational books

There are also several books that can tell you how to start making your own amigurumi pieces.

15+ Amigurumi Patterns to Try Today

Ready to start crocheting your cute doll? Here are some of our favorites amigurumi patternskits and dolls available now!

Boss André Le Fourmilier

Crochet Amigurumi

strange irene | $5.57

T-Rex Dinosaur Starter Kit

Amigurumi pattern

the woobles | $25+

bull pattern

Amigurumi pattern

IamSulu | $1.50

Happy Veggies Toys

What is an Amigurumi?

Rainbow Happiness | $68.80+

Ollie the Soth pattern

Amigurumi Patterns

strange irene | $5.57

Carlotta the fawn pattern

Crochet Amigurumi

Amalou Drawings | $5.59

Cow pattern

Parakeet pattern

Amigurumi Patterns

TNGifsUA | $5

crochet bunnies

Amigurumi Patterns

A Ball Of Yarn | $40.86+

Giraffe pattern

Amigurumi pattern

ChiquiPork | $5.21

octopus pattern

sheep pattern

Oh my llama pattern

crochet cat pattern

Percy the squid pattern

Crochet Amigurumi

strange irene | $5.57

Horace the Stegosaurus pattern

Crochet Amigurumi

strange irene | $5.57

Nutcracker pattern

duck pattern

Amigurumi pattern

JuliaPyha | $3

pixie pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between crochet and amigurumi?

Amigurumi is a type of crochet that is used to create 3D objects like stuffed animals.

What does amigurumi mean?

The word amigurumi is a portmanteau of two Japanese terms: am i, meaning crocheted or knitted; and nuigurumia plush doll.

Is amigurumi suitable for beginners?

Amigurumi is an accessible form of crochet that both beginners and seasoned crafters can enjoy. There is a lot of online classes and video tutorials who can teach essential techniques to get you started.

This article has been edited and updated.

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About Tracy G. Larimore

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