I love to design and make cute little toys and mascots. Like many crocheters, I used to struggle to make my amigurumi look their best. Now, I’m sharing some of the hints and tips I’ve learnt with you. Amigurumi loosely translates as “small, cute stuff” and continues to be really popular with crocheters. The techniques is simple enough for beginners (just double crochet in spirals), but it can be tricky to work small pieces.
Hooks, Yarn and Notions
Amigurumi is often worked on tiny hooks, for this reason I like to use ergonomic hooks that are easier to hold. Clover are my favourites. Try a few and see which you prefer. When you’re working in rounds or spirals it’s essential to mark your place. I like to use locking stitch markers, some designers use a piece of yarn wrapped between the stitches, others use paper clips, safety pins or even hairclips. It doesn’t really matter what you use, so long as it does the job!
Designers will suggest a yarn for your project. If you can, try to use the same or similar yarn as this is the easiest way to ensure your project looks like the one in the photo! I like to use natural fibres and I’ll often choose wool for animals as it gives a realistic fur – like finish.
Amigurumi patterns will often tell you that is not essential to check your tension before you begin – not true! Your fabric needs to be dense enough to make sure that the stuffing doesn’t show through. I like to begin by making an arm or a leg (or other small part) first. Stuff according to the instructions and take a good look at your work. Can you see the stuffing? Do the holes between the stitches gape? If the answer is yes, then you need to try again with a smaller hook. Are your stitches too tight? You need a bigger hook – these steps will help you achieve a professional finish and a crochet project you’ll be proud to show your friends.
You can buy hollow fibre toy stuffing in most craft shops, or you can use oddments of yarn. My favourite toy stuffing is natural wool fibre, it’s becoming more widely available. I buy mine from Wool Warehouse (not an affiliate link – I just like their great customer service!)
I’ll be adding more hints and tips over the next few weeks – and look out for my Amigurumi feature in Inside Crochet Magazine soon.