Amigurumi is a fun way to create toys, decor, and gifts with your crochet skills. It’s not too difficult for crocheters to learn once you’ve mastered the basics of crochet, but beginners can also get started by jumping right in.
Here are the skills you need to learn or know to be able to make amigurumi and start creating your own toys:
Working in Continuous Rounds
Magic Circle – to avoid a hole in your work
Invisible Decrease – to avoid gaps in your work
Running stitch marker – to mark the start of each row
Whipstitch – to connect your bodyparts
Amigurumi supplies you will need:
- Yarn – you can use any yarn for amigurumi. If you are making toys for babies and kids, it’s best to use cotton yarn because parents don’t necessarily want their babies to chew on plastic, acrylic yarn. Cotton yarn is also affordable and available in a wide range of colours. My favourite yarn for amigurumi is Elle Premier Cotton because it shows your stitches nicely since it has a bit of a shine to it, it doesn’t pill at all, and it’s safe for babies. It’s also safe to wash in the washing machine and tumble dry. Elle Premier Cotton is available in 4ply and DK (8ply).
- Hook – for amigurumi, you need to use a hook that’s three to four sizes smaller than the hook that’s recommended for your yarn. So if your yarn calls for a 4mm hook, it would be best to use a 2mm hook to ensure that the stuffing doesn’t show through your stitches. For Elle Premier Cotton, I use a 2mm hook for 4ply (recommended size is 3mm) and a 2.5mm for DK yarn (recommended size is 4mm).
- Stitch markers – you can use anything from a paperclip to a piece of leftover yarn for a stitch marker. Because amigurumi is crocheted in continuous rounds (spirals), you need to mark the start of each row to avoid losing your place. There are two techniques that you can use: a running stitch marker or a normal stitch marker. A running stitch marker is a piece of yarn that you thread through the first stitch of each row without removing it from the previous stitch, as shown in the video above. A normal stitch marker is inserted into the first stitch of each row and moved up with each new row.
- Scissors – you always need scissors when you crochet to cut the yarn. You can use any scissors that you have at home, but I prefer to use small, cute yarn scissors that are only used for my amigurumi projects. In a pinch (or on a plane), you can also use the cutter on dental floss.
- Steel tapestry needle – you will need a tapestry needle to sew your amigurumi’s body parts together and to add facial features. I’ve seen many crocheters break their plastic needles when sewing body parts together, so it’s best to get a good pair of steel tapestry needles. They usually come in a pack with two sizes, both of which are great to use depending on the size of your amigurumi.
- Safety eyes (and noses) – you can add plastic eyes and noses to your amigurumi to make them more attractive. It’s best not to use safety eyes for baby toys though because there’s still a risk of the plastic eyes slipping out between the stitches although this would require some force. But you never know, so rather err on the same side.
- Stuffing – you will need something to stuff your amigurumi with. You can often find polyfill or fiberfill at your local yarn shop, but you can also buy cheap hollow fiber pillows and use that instead. For pieces that need a bit more structure, like Comet the unicorn’s legs, you can use coarse stuffing like batting or wadding.
And that’s it!
All of these supplies shouldn’t cost you more than R100 ($10) depending on where you shop. Crocheting is a very affordable hobby and craft, so don’t be daunted by the price of luxury yarns and expensive crochet hooks. You don’t need the best of everything to create great amigurumi.
But there’s also nothing wrong with spoiling yourself with a beautiful pair of scissors or handmade crochet hooks once you’ve fallen in love with the craft.
Now you can stock up, upskill and enjoy your new craft. Welcome to the wonderful world of amigurumi!