Your First Amigurumi!

Harry and I have a love-hate relationship

Hey guys! How are we all doing today?

Those of you who have been following my blog for a little while will know about the Aldi crochet kits, the good, the bad and the ugly.

First I did the shark, not only was the pattern terribly written, it was incomplete! I eventually finished the shark and made up my own fins, tail and teeth patterns and published these on the blog with videos.

Next came the series of Harry Potter knitting and crochet projects. Just so we’re all clear here, I hated making these. The yarn was horrible, the crochet hook was almost useless and some off the instructions were…well not awesome.

Well it seems that Aldi have released their Harry Potter kits and their Sew Crafty kits again. Perhaps they were hoping everyone would by the kits to keep them busy during lockdown? Well, whatever their reasons, a whole host of new viewers have found my blog and YouTube channel and now they have questions!

This post is for you! Welcome to George Crafts!

Here we are going to unlock the secrets of Amigurumi.

            – what is it?

            – what should I know before I begin?

            – how do I start?

            – how do I read a pattern?

Q – What is amigurumi?

A – Amigurumi is a method of making little dolls through knitting or crochet, the style originated in Japan. Most commonly the term amigurumi is applied to crochet and that’s what we will focus on.

Q – What should I know before I start?

A – There are a few things to know before getting started.

1 – Amigurumi is made in a continuous spiral unless otherwise stated. It is important to use something to mark the end of each “round” of stitches so you don’t lose count of the number of stitches you have done. You can use stitch markers, a safety pin or scraps of yarn.

2- The stitches of each new round are made into the stitches of the previous round

3 – Most amigurumi is made using (UK) double crochet stitches. If you are following an American pattern the stitches will be called single crochets. A UK double crochet is the same as an American single crochet. If you don’t know how to make a (UK) double crochet this video will show you how.

4 – How to increase and decrease. This is very easy.

To increase, just make two (UK) double crochets into the same stitch.

To decrease, put the hook through one stitch, wind the yarn around the hook and pull it through the stitch as if you were making a double crochet. Then put the hook through the next stitch and wind the yarn around the hook. Pull the hook and yarn back through the stitch. There should now be three loops on the hook. Wind the yarn around the hook and pull the yarn through all three loops in one movement.

Sometimes a decrease is written as dc2tog (double crochet two together).

Here is a video to show you how to increase and decrease in more detail.

5 – Occasionally some patterns will ask you to make parts of the project in rows and sew this onto the main doll. Your pattern should always tell you whether you are working in rows or “in the round”.

Q – How do I start?

A – Most amigurumi patterns start with a magic ring. If you don’t know how to do that you can watch this video.

If you find the magic ring a bit complicated to begin with you can make (UK) double crochets into a ring. To do this, make two chain stitches, then make as many double crochets as you need into the first chain stitch. There is a video here which explains how to do this.

Q – How do I read a pattern?

A – Once you get the hang of it, it’s surprisingly easy.

Make sure you have all the supplies and equipment you need. Yarn, hooks, stitch markers, toy stuffing.

Then have a quick read of the whole pattern, this will help you to see what order you are going to make all the parts of the project in. The instructions will also tell you what order to stuff the pieces and how to sew them together, when you should sew on eyes etc.

Next you will make your first piece! Below I will give example lines from some amigurumi patterns and I will explain what each part means.

Example 1:   (dc 1, dc2 into next st) 6 times (18)

So to make this round, take the instructions in brackets as one unit. Each unit in this case contains three stitches. One double crochet in the first stitch and two double crochets in the second stitch (an increase!), if you repeat this unit six times you will end up 18 stitches, which is the number at the end of the row in brackets.

Example 2:   dc1 + (inc, dc 3) x 5 + inc +dc 2  (30)

This one looks a bit more complicated, but don’t panic. We can make it simple.

When tackling this round we would make one double crochet into the first stitch.

Next we have to tackle the unit (instructions in brackets). To make the unit we put two double crochets in one space – an increase. Then put one double crochet in each of the next three spaces. The first unit is finished and contains a total of 5 stitches. We need to make 5 units all together (so repeat what you did four more times). When you have made 5 units, you will have made 25 stitches plus the 1 stitch you started with, giving 26 in total.

After the units are made we make an increase (two double crochets into the same stitch). So that makes two more stitches to add to the other 26, giving 28 stitches.

To finish this round we need to make one double crochet into each of the next two stitches. So these two, added to the other 28 will make 30 stitches, the number in brackets at the end of the row)

This is as complicated as it will get for pattern reading. If you always approach your pattern in this way you should get on fine.

Remember, do things in the order that has been given to you. If you have to make multiple units, make sure you have made all the units needed before moving onto the next step.

Below is a video from the Harry Potter crochet series, if you want more help reading patterns this video will walk you through the steps we’ve talked about above.

You are all ready to go!

Thanks for reading guys! I hope this has helped some of you get to grips with your new projects. If you need any more help get in touch with me via my Facebook page.

Amigurumi is lots of fun, and once you master the basics it is easy. Amigurumi is the reason I wanted to learn to crochet. You can make literally anything!

If you have enjoyed making your amigurumi projects why not take a look at these blogs.

Sir Purl Grey is a Canadian crochet designer and he is an absolute amigurumi machine! He has hundreds of free amigurumi projects available on his blog and they are all super cute! If you are a Pokémon or Animal Crossing fan you will love his designs! Please remember that the patterns on this blog will use US terms.

Loopy Catherine is another amazing amigurumi designer. There are plenty of free amigurumi patterns available on her blog too. There are plenty of Pokémon and a few Disney characters too! These patterns use UK crochet terms.

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