What do you want to do, Amigurumi crochet or Knit?

Are you looking for a new hobby?  Consider making small stuffed toys using only yarn and a hook or pair of needles.  Amigurumi is easy and fun—and the products make wonderful gifts.

image credit: https://www.amigurumipatterns.net/

Amigurumi Defined

Amurigurumi is a Japanese word used to refer to small crocheted or knitted items that are stuffed.  Many such items depict animals or people. Most amigurumi is crocheted at a tighter gauge (using a smaller hook) than is usual for the yarn used.  This creates a firm fabric that will hold its shape once stuffed.  Knitters have also adapted the craft to their own skills by knitting at a tight gauge and stuffing the resulting pieces firmly.  Anyone who can knit or crochet both in rounds and in rows can successfully complete a project.  A few embroidery stitches and the ability to sew pieces of fabric together are the other requisite skills.

Amigurumi Patterns  

As this Japanese craft becomes popular worldwide, designers are producing a wide variety of patterns.  Items you may craft include cartoon characters, animals, fruits and vegetables, alphabet letters, and much more.  Super Bulky, an online shop, offers a curated collection of free knitting patterns, including whimsical amigurumi bears and much more.

Amigurumi Kits

One way to get started with amigurumi is by purchasing a amigurumi crochet or knitting kit.  The kit will include a pattern, polyester or cotton stuffing, and all the yarn in sufficient amounts of each color to make the pattern item or items.  Some kits also include the crochet hook or knitting needles.  Check your kit packaging to see if it includes everything or if it assumes you already have some of the necessary tools.

Try for yourself

Whether you choose a kit or not, amigurumi crochet is a craft you can confidently take up.  The supplies are not expensive.  If you don’t have a kit, consult your pattern for a list of the necessary supplies.  Generally, you need a hook or needles; a tapestry needle for sewing the small stuffed pieces together,  hiding the yarn ends, and embroidering small features such as eyes or mouths; small amounts of yarn in  the suggested colors; and small amounts of stuffing material.  

Work a gauge swatch to be sure your finished item will be the right size/scale.  You need to achieve the number of stitches per inch/cm to match the pattern gauge, otherwise you item will be bigger or smaller than the pattern example.  Change needle or hook size until you get the gauge you need—or decide you are willing to have the finished item in a different size than the pattern.

Best of luck in your crafting!  Whether you keep your tiny stuffed dolls or give them away, the creating is sure to be enjoyable.  

Check out Super Bulky  for more amigurumi crochet ideas and inspiration, too.