Per request, I’ve been asked to embellish a bit on Amigurumi, and what it is, and how to do it.
Here’s a small tutorial WITH PICTURES! Yay for iPhones.
I realize a lot of my readers have never done Amigurumi. The fact is, it looks a whole lot harder than it really is.
There’s a few key things an Amigurumist (is that a word? It is now!) needs to know. You need to be familiar with reading a pattern, and with basic stitches like sc (single crochet) and sl (slip stitch). Very rarely will a pattern call for more than that. If it does, it will provide specific special instructions for the needed stitches (these are more than likely used to get texture and shape).
Tools you will need:
- Hook (generally small, depending on pattern. I usually use a D or E)
- Yarn in colors of choice
- Stitch markers
- Tapestry needle
- Polyester Fiberfill toy/pillow stuffing
Note on Yarn: Worsted weight yarn is most commonly used for Amigurumi. Use the same weight of yarn throughout your work, and because of variations between different brands, you may find it best to stick to the same brand of yarn if you can find all the colors you need. I mostly use acrylic yarn.
1. Amigurumi literally means working in the round. You’ll be making things in a circle to make figurines. Most patterns are made in pieces, stuffed as the Amigurumist works, and stitched together to make the creation at hand.
Helpful hint: To start the piece, you can start with a Magic Ring approach. Since you’re working in the round, this is very easy to accomplish. Ch however many stitches your pattern asks for (generally 4), and sl in to the first loop to create a ring. Begin your row 1 by working the number of stitches in to the center of the ring. working around the loose end to hide it when cut. Pull the loose end to pull the ring tight.
2. You will be working in both loops, ALWAYS (unless otherwise marked differently in a pattern). Slide your hook from the front to back of your work through BOTH LOOPS.
Helpful Hint: Stitch markers will be your lifesavers. Use frequently at beginning of rounds to keep track of your rows and stitches. I usually only use one throughout a piece and move it from row to row as I tend to start and finish a piece in one sitting. If you plan on doing your project over a course of time, I advise leaving stitch markers in place to make counting easier.
I found the markers pictured above at Joann Fabrics. I LOVE the fact that they form a full connected ring. This makes it very easy, and you don’t have to worry about your marker moving or falling out.
3. One thing an Amigurumist MUST know is the Right side and Wrong side of their work.
The Amigurumist works from the Right Side (unless otherwise noted in the pattern.) The Right Side is the side that is displayed on the outside of the piece.
Helpful Hint for changing colors: When changing from one color of yarn to another, work the sc before the change until there are two loops left on the hook. Then use the new color for the final yarn over hook and pull through. Tie a square knot with the ends. Work a few sc over the tails of the old yarn and the start of the new yarn to secure them.
With these steps and techniques, you should be on your way to creating your masterpiece. Most of what I have learned is by trial and error, and through extremely well written patterns like Lucy Ravenscar offers with her Star Wars Mini Amigurumi Patterns. If you’ve never done Amigurumi before, I highly advise these patterns to start with. They’re ADORABLE, for one. And for two, she has written the patterns literally step by step, and gives PICTURES for techniques that will ensure you get a perfect piece.
And before you know it, you’ll be Amigurumi’ing away!