Have you tried making amigurumi yet? Can you even pronounce it?!
I know, it is kind of tricky to say but if you haven’t come across amigurumi yet they are very cute. Here’s my “amigurumi for beginners” guide – a run down of the basic tools, a collection of some beginner tutorials to get you started, and some places online to get inspired to create these lovelies.
What are Amigurumi?
Amigurumi are small crocheted or knitted stuffed animals and toys. I’m not sure why we are using the Japanese word for these but it seems to be commonly used online and these are certainly on a par with cute Japanese cartoon characters so it seems to fit. Many amigurumi are animals or creatures of some kind, and even everyday objects are often given a face so they look like a creature.
Thanks to my friend Paige for lending me a couple of cuties to model for my pictures. Paige is a clever cookie – I have seen her make up an amigurumi as she worked. Once she made a set of Star Wars amigurumi for another friend out of her head. Amazing lady!
Tools you Need
Amigurumi are made of yarn and you will need either a crochet hook or knitting needles depending on your preferred crafting method. You will also need a large yarn needle
for stitching closed and joining pieces. You could find it helpful to use stitch markers to help you keep track of your pattern.
Once your pieces are created you need to stuff them before you join them together into your finished animal. Filling like you would use for cushions is great and blunt tweezers can come in handy for pushing your filling into the small corners of your pieces.
Most of the tutorials I have come across online for making amigurumi are for crochet. You need to have a basic understanding of crochet although most amigurumi use the same basic single crochet stitch. Perhaps more importantly you need to be able to increase and decrease your crochet rows by adding or removing stitches as you work. This is what will create the shapes. To increase you add in extra stitches, which is fairly easy to do. But decreasing is a little more tricky. Check out these photo tutorials by My Merry Messy Life.
Craft Passion has a great overview post on getting started with making amigurumi here.
Online Tutorials and Classes
There are heaps of tutorials out there to teach yourself to make amigurumi. I thought I’d link to some of the tutorials on YouTube to get you started:
These first two are part one and two by the same teacher. She shows you how to make simple ball by increasing and decreasing your stitches.
Moogly shows how to create some basic shapes here.
How to join your pieces of amigurumi together – video above or alternative written tutorial from Kristi.
This one is in Japanese but the video is so clear you can see exactly what she is doing so I found it useful even though I couldn’t understand it all.
Top 5 Websites for Amigurumi Inspiration and Patterns
Moogly – this site is great for all things crochet including amigurumi.
Mohu – has the cutest amigurumi for sale but also sells patterns to make them yourself.
Amigurumi Patterns – a whole site dedicated to patterns for these cuties.
Little Muggles – possibly the cutest website header I’ve come across – and really great patterns too!
Adorably Kawaii – another pattern maker who sells on Craftsy but also has some gems on her website.