If you mention the word “Amigurumi,” most people do not know what it means. Yet the cute crochet dolls are in vogue all over the world. In this article, you will learn everything about Amigurumi and the essential Amigurumi basics, which will help you get started with Amigurumi crochet.
Amigurumi refers to a Japanese knitting or crocheting art that is used to make tiny animal dolls, objects, food or even anthropomorphic objects. An amigurumi is usually between 5 and 15cm in size.
Amigurumi (Jap. 編み包み) is a compound of the two Japanese verbs amu (編む, Engl. knitting) and kurumu (包む, Engl. to wrap, wrap up).
As a rule, amigurumi figures correspond to the child scheme or resemble manga characters and creatures. Therefore, the petite dolls are suitable for playing, collecting or, for example, as a keychain. As a rule, amigurumi are between 10 and 15 centimeters in size.
There are many different Amigurumis, yet they all have something in common. Amigurumis are more or less abstract and often correspond to a childlike simplified worldview. Especially faces and figures mostly correspond to the childish scheme and are particularly cute. The color scheme is not infrequently unnaturally flashy and colorful, like the world of mangas.
Only a few Amigurumis have an actual function, but they are still suitable for playing and cuddling. Amigurumis are mainly intended for collecting, although the fascination is not necessarily in collecting but instead in their handmade production.
The first amigurumi originated in Japan. Presumably, thanks to trade relations between Japan and Denmark, needlework techniques such as crochet and knitting also established themselves in Japan.
A real boom experienced the figurative crochet in the course of the development of belittled figures (Chibis) such as Hello Kitty.
In the meantime, there are a variety of great Amigurumi designs. Whether animals and fantasy creatures or food with embroidered faces – the choice is vast.
Below, we have linked a few instructions that we find really fabulous.
Sure, dolls are something for children – quite clear – right? Well, with Amigurumi, this is not quite true. Sure, it’s a great toy for kids, but you can also give adults a little joy.
If you take a small design or reduce yarn thickness and needle size, you get not only a doll but also a key chain or a brooch to pin.
Amigurumi crochet is really not difficult and can be learned very quickly. Besides a few special initial stitches, only solid crochet stitches are used.
Other crochet stitches or complicated patterns are rather the exceptions.
The basis of an Amigurumi are simple geometric solids, which are attached to each other or merge into each other. In this way, complex figures are created, which are then shaped by stuffing with filling material.
Finally, you give the Amigurumi its special character by designing the details. This includes small embroideries, decorations, eyes, hairstyle and much more.
The best way to get started with Amigurumi crochet is, of course, to take a basic Amigurumi course. But you can also learn to crochet Amigurumi by learning the basics of crochet yourself and just trying it.
Since there are already many Amigurumi instructions on the Internet, these invite you to replicate. As soon as you are a little practiced in Amigurumi, you can make changes to Amigurumi instructions.
Try a different color or test a new yarn. Soon you can give your Amigurumi an individual hairstyle, special eyes or even change the shape. Your Amigurumi will now have a character all its own.
If you want to go one step further, you can now design and crochet your own Amigurumi. Just because an amigurumi is crocheted so quickly, you can take your time to try and experiment.
For the basic equipment, you do not need much. With a crochet hook, wool, filling material and a darning needle, you can already make amigurumi yourself.
For decorations of the face and on the body, use different materials according to your own taste. Ideas for accessories can be found below. Amigurumis are basically excellent for recycling scraps.
Crochet hooks should be nice and sturdy and fit well in your hand. Especially with the thin models that you use for Amigurumi, this is very important. However, the crochet hook should not be too heavy, because as a beginner, you quickly cramp up with concentration.
The wrongly purchased needle then quickly becomes a test of patience. Crochet hooks are offered in different materials. Metal and plastic have proven themselves because they meet the above requirements, so they are light and at the same time stable.
In addition, the tip of the crochet hook should be super smooth. Especially with plastic models, you must make sure when buying that there is no barb in the material.
Crochet hooks come in different strengths. The thickness of the crochet hook must match the yarn so that the desired stitch pattern is achieved later. Thick crochet hooks naturally produce larger stitches, while thinner ones can be used to crochet finer work.
Basically, however, it is advisable to test before starting work which strength of the crochet hook leads to the desired stitch pattern. You should not blindly trust the instructions or the information on the yarn bands.
For the small Amigurumi crochet animals, you need especially the thinner needles. Basically, it is advisable to have different sizes in the house because just the stitch pattern can turn out differently, or you want to crochet parts even with coarser stitches.
For Amigurumi, you usually need crochet hooks in the strengths 2.0 to 3.5 mm. Nevertheless, it is not wrong to have other sizes ready.
You can find the right crochet hooks in all sizes here.
The color, fiber and texture are important when choosing the best yarn for your amigurumi project. Cotton and acrylic yarns are great for stuffed animals, thanks to their smooth stitch definition and durable and soft texture!
If you want to make a toy for children, be sure to choose a yarn that is machine washable. Many yarns that are suitable for amigurumi also come in small bundles of various colors and packs that are the perfect size for amigurumi projects!
Quality yarns are easier to work with and don’t rib up during crochet. In addition, your crochet piece will be more durable, and you will enjoy your handmade piece longer.
Often you won’t find specific information about yarns in crochet instructions because basically any wool can be used. If you are unsure whether your chosen yarn is suitable for amigurumi, you need to adjust the needle size to your wool and make a test piece, i.e., a stitch test.
If you deviate from the given sizes of a tutorial, that’s not a big deal at all. However, it can happen that your amigurumi will be smaller or larger than originally indicated in the instructions.
With fancy yarns, your Amigurumis can glitter, become shaggy or get fuzzy hair. For example, the wool …. is suitable for this.
* Disclosure: Links marked with Asterix or some picture links on world’s-finest-wool are affiliate links. All our work is reader-supported – when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The decision is yours – whether you decide to buy something is entirely up to you.
Of course, the little crochet animals also need to be stuffed; the filling material also determines the shape and is an essential component. There are several ways to fill Amigurumis. First, of course, you can also use fabric or wool scraps. But for this, the Amigurumi must have a very tight stitch pattern; otherwise, it will not have enough stability and will look shapeless.
Therefore we recommend the following materials for filling Amigurumis:
Polyester Fiberfill is the most common filling material for Amigurumi. It can be stuffed easily and is nice and fluffy. It also provides enough stability for your Amigurumi.
The material is made of synthetic fiber, washable and does not clump after washing. The Fiberfill is also available in gray or brown. For darker yarns, this color is more inconspicuous as a background.
As an alternative to the classic Polyester Fiberfill, there is also Organic Filling Cotton if you want to avoid synthetic materials.
To stuff the Amigurumis, you can use the backend of a pen. However, if you want to stay true to the amigurumi hobby, you should get a Stuffing Tool to make the work easier. This is a little more delicate and has a flat tip for more precise stuffing.
After stuffing, the amigurumi is almost ready. You may have to crochet a few more rounds; then, you just have to sew the individual parts together.
At least if you want your amigurumi to have arms, legs, paws or something similar. For this, you need a Darning needle. You can also use it if you want to embroider mouths, eyes, noses or decorations on the crochet animals. For the design of Amigurumis, you can use the most different materials and objects. Here are some possibilities for decoration:
Ideas for eyes and facial expressions:
Ideas for face and body surfaces:
Ideas for decorations and accessories:
Some crocheters have questions about is amigurumi easy for beginner crocheters? Yes, amigurumi is perfect for beginners because it’s quick to make and you only need to know a handful of stitches and techniques to get started.
Before you begin an amigurumi project, you will need to know the sort of pattern you need and start learning the common amigurumi crochet stitches, including the magic ring, and other simple crochet techniques.
One of the reasons that make amigurumi so popular among crocheters especially beginners is that the patterns require only a few basic crochet stitches with some increasing and decreasing techniques.
Once you master them, it’s possible to make hundreds of amigurumi patterns.
Let’s learn how to start!
Amigurumi projects typically start with a slip knot, and it doesn’t count as a stitch.
To do this, start by creating a loop with the yarn, be sure that the free end of the yarn is dangling behind your loop, then insert the hook through the center of the loop and hook the free end.
Then pull through and up onto the working area of the hook, then pull the free yarn end to tighten the loop, now you finished slip knot.
You have two methods for beginning any crochet amigurumi project. The first of them is the Slip Knot and chain stitch.
To do this, make a slip knot and bring the yarn over the hook from back to front and hook it, then draw hooked yarn through the loop of the slip knot on the hook that was your first chain.
For a chain of chain stitches, just continue in the same way until you have the desired number of chains. To turn the chain into a ring, place the end of the chain of chain stitches at the beginning. Then you stitch into the first stitch as for single crochet.
Once you’ve learned how to make a single crochet stitch, you’ll need to know how to increase stitches in each row.
This method is used to make the body and head sections wider. To do this, all you need is to make two single crochet stitches in one stitch.
This method creates fewer stitches in the current row than in the previous one. There are several different methods of decreasing; the design should indicate the preferred method to decrease stitch but let us learn how to make these methods:
Amigurumi Basics for Beginners 7 Tips to Make Your Amigurumi Crochet Doll Cuter
With the following tips and tricks, it will definitely work out and give your amigurumi the perfect look.
Start the starting round for Amigurumi with a so-called Magic Ring instead of an air stitch chain. The Magic Ring can be pulled tight so that there is no unnecessary hole and you don’t see the fill batting peeking through later.
Being able to crochet invisible decreases is important when crocheting amigurumi. A good video tutorial can be found here.
Work on your amigurumi in a spiral, which means: Don’t end each round with a chain stitch to start the next round with an air stitch. This end of a round creates a clearly visible “seam” in your crochet texture that will be really unattractive later. It’s much better to use a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of the round and work in a spiral.
When you attach arms and legs, they should ideally (often) be at the same height. To guide you, count the lines in the crochet texture. These serve well as a guide to add symmetry to the body. A curvy saddlers needle can also help you to sew on body parts. Its curved shape makes it perfect for this.
If you want the doll to sit upright later on, or if its head is too heavy and it tips over quickly, fill the lower part of the doll with a small bag of sand. Be sure to sew the bag closed so that nothing leaks out later.
When crocheting, overhanging threads accumulate, which later have to be cut off and disposed of. Instead of throwing them in the garbage, you can simply add leftover threads to the filling batting.
You can use rouge or textile painter to create cheeks on the amigurumi face. Which you choose depends on whether the amigurumi is an object to look at or cuddle.
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