Here are 10 tips and tricks to make you an Amigurumi pro. Have you always wanted to try crocheting Amigurumi? Maybe you have already ventured into the world of crochet amigurumi and have had some success or maybe some failures.
Today, I want to share some helpful tips to make your crochet amigurumi so much better. Follow these tips and tricks and you too can become an Amigurumi Pro.
Amigurumi is a method in crochet used to create mostly toys. It can be used to make play food, dolls, etc. The list is almost unlimited. However, crocheting amigurumi can come with some unique challenges. I’d like to offer some solutions to the most common problems. Please note: Tips are not necessarily in order of importance.
Here we go.. 10 Tips & Tricks to make you an Amigurumi Pro
Tip 1: Don’t overstuff your items. – I get this question so often that I think it bears repeating. So many people write to me to complain that the stuffing in their amigurumi are showing thru the stitches of their items.
I think it’s natural to want to really stuff toys tightly. Overstuffing your toys is a sure way to stretch out the stitches and have the stuffing show thru to the outside. Please resist the urge to overstuff. Use your hands to help give your toys the correct shape.
Remember, most of these items are toys and babies and children prefer soft, cuddly toys as opposed to stiff, hard toys. (Free YouTube Video tutorial on last page of this blog post.)
Tip 2: Use a smaller hook – Many crocheters have gotten used to having larger hooks when they crochet. By larger I mean anything over a size F – 3.5 mm hook.
Large hooks are sometimes prefer because your items seem to work up faster and it seems that big, chunky yarn is very popular at the moment. However, most amigurumi toys actually use smaller stitches and therefore a smaller hook will help you make tighter, smaller stitches that will allow you to stuff your toys without filling showing thru to the outside.
Smaller hooks will also be helpful in allow for more detailed definition of your toys. You can practice using smaller hooks and it will become very natural. If you are already using crochet thread this will be no problem for you. Crochet thread is used to make many beautiful doilies.
Tip 3: Start with a Magic Circle/Loop – I know many people are reluctant to use a magic circle / magic loop. It may seem awkward to learn and use. My advise is to really keep practicing until you master this method.
There are several ways to work the magic circle and it is worth the effort to learn. The magic circle / loop allows you to be able to create very tight closure on your beginning stitches. This will avoid any holes, of hollow spaces in your amigurumi.
Many people continue to start their circle by chain 4 and slip stitching into the first chain.. or they may try chaining 2 and then beginning all their beginning round stitches into the first chain; Unfortunately these methods do not give the small tight, smooth closure to your beginning round of stitches.
I have created a free YouTube video and in it I share these tips along with a quick tutorial on the method i use to circle a magic circle. I have found this to be the easiest and fastest way to make the magic circle. The magic circle tutorial begins at 4:40 time on the video.
Find a method that you are comfortable with and practice until you become a master. Your amigurumi will thank you. No more unsightly holes in your work.
Tip 4: Use embroidery floss to embroider the facial features – I know that it might be a little less convenient than just using the yarn you probably already have handy but embroidery floss was made for… well, embroidery.
Yarn may not have the small shine, of texture needed to create nice, finished embroidery. There are many small starter floss sets that you can readily purchase at your craft stores.
You can also just purchase embroidery thread as you need it. It is very economical and a little goes a long way. Embroidery thread is easy to use and slides very nicely in your work. It is also great for detailed work. Yarn may be too thick.
Tip 5: – Keep track of your rounds – You need to have a method to keep track of how many rounds you have worked. Since most amigurumis are worked in the round (meaning you continue working in spirals) keep track of your rounds is essential.
I use a little row counter that I purchased at my local craft store. There are many different types. Some you can even wear as a small ring on your fingers and have small digital displays. The one I use is just a manual one that I just change the counters by twisting the end.
If you don’t have a row counter you can just keep track on a piece of paper, by either marking lines or adding the number after each round. Getting lost is very easy to do when working in the round. You want to be sure you are working the pattern correctly.
Tip 6: – Use stitch markers – This tip is really part of Tip 5 which was keeping track of your rounds. I always use a stitch markers to keep track of my stitches.
I put a stitch marker into the first stitch of each round. This will make it easy to know where my first stitch needs to be inserted in each round. It also will help you to be able to count how many stitches are in each round.
So much of amigurumi shaping is done by increasing or decreasing stitches in each round that being able to quickly and easily count how many rounds you have completed in each round will be of great benefit to know you are correctly working your pattern.
I have known people that are able to keep track of the rounds in their head… I’m not one of those and you probably aren’t either. No shame in that, just use a method of keeping track of your rounds. Better safe than sorry.
Tip 7: Start with Easy / Beginner level designs – It’s so important when you are trying something new to begin at a level that will allow you to understand and learn the fundamentals without becoming frustrated.
Instead of trying to have your first project be a complex doll with advanced features, begin with a small easy project. Perhaps something like a ball or an easy design. This will help you build confidence as you master the stitches and techniques.
Once you have completed a few items you will feel more confident and better prepared to go onto more complex designs. You need to learn to crawl before you walk or run. Same is true when learning new techniques. Be easy on yourself. All new skills require time, and practice. Don’t give up.
Tip 8: Leave a tail after your last stitch to sew body parts / pieces to other pieces (if required in pattern). I usually leave a tail long enough to be able to sew my pieces together.
For example a doll might require you to stitches the limbs to a main body pieces or a head to the body. If you don’t leave enough yarn at the end you’ll have to thread your yarn into a separate piece of yarn which will mean there will be more tails to sew into your amigurumi.
Tip 9: Use your imagination – Just because a pattern (let’s say for example a dog) asks for you to use brown and tan, doesn’t mean your doggie has to be those colors.
You can use your own color combinations to extend what you can make. For example perhaps you can make the doggie amigurumi in your school colors or favorite team colors. I have used the same pattern to create many different amigurumi combinations.
You can use for example the instructions for hair on one dolls and switch with another. Some patterns I have switched the straight hair for curly hair. I always change up the colors since I like to have each one of my amigurumi to be unique.
Switch it up.. find your own favorites. I have a friend that loves to create separate little wigs for her dolls.. she just like that method. I do both. Sometimes I’ll crochet a separate little wig and other times I attach the hair directly to the doll’s head. This is your project, make it how you want.
Tip 10: Have Fun! This is the most important tip of all. Have fun!
Hopefully these 10 tips & tricks will help you become an Amigurumi Pro. Amigurumi crochet projects are so fun. They make the perfect gifts at Baby Showers and for your own kids and grandkids. Even adults love them.
If you enjoy crocheting Amigurumi here are a few other projects you might enjoy:
I have decided to list items in my etsy shop. All items are handmade by me and are mostly a lot of samples that I have created for videos or sponsored posts. I will be adding more items weekly including new shawls, wraps, sweaters, etc. Check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YolandasAllCrafts
Are you a visual learner? Then you might enjoy watching my Free YouTube Video tutorial on this subject. It also contains a quick tutorial to learn how I do the magic circle / loop.
Click on the video to watch now. Remember, Subscribe, click the bell notification and share with your friends.