You’ve probably heard the word amigurumi, but do you know what it means? Amigurumi are crochet or knit stuffed toys. They can be animals, plants, people, popular characters or inanimate objects.
By definition, amigurumi refers to a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll. The word comes from the Japanese words “ami” meaning crocheted or knitted and “nuigurumi” meaning stuffed doll.
Crochet and knitted toys are not unique to Japanese culture, so the word amigurumi has been adopted all over the world to refer to crocheted and knitted toys.
Amigurumi are handmade with love by knitting or crocheting, and they can be adapted to any style or object.
How do you pronounce amigurumi?
It’s easier than it looks – just say it like it is spelled.
If you are still unsure how to pronounce amigurumi, watch this video: How to pronounce amigurumi
What is the history of amigurumi?
People have been making dolls for their children for as long as people have had small children to entertain. Amigurumi, and the art of making
Amigurumi as a trend has been active in Japan for decades and in the United States, it has become popular in the past ten years, but the true origins are not known.
It is thought that amigurumi may have evolved from the combination of Western and Asian crochet techniques when women taught needlecraft to the Japanese in the early 1900s.
Crochet itself only became mainstream in the 1800s. The word crochet is derived from the Old French crochet, meaning ‘hook’. In 1842, one book discusses the beginnings of crochet:
“Crochet needles, sometimes called Shepherds’ hooks, are made of steel, ivory, orMiss Lambert, Hand-book of Needlework, New York City, 1842, p.92
box-wood. They have a hook at one end similar in shape to a fish-hook, by which the wool or silk is caught and drawn through the work. These instruments are to be procured of various sizes…”
In the 1970s, Hello Kitty and other “kawaii” Japanese products gained popularity in the US which may have increased the popularity of amigurumi creations too. The rise of the internet has greatly facilitated the sharing of patterns and the birth of an international community.
Amigurumi has some special techniques that creators use to make perfectly stuffed toys.
You don’t need a specific hook size or yarn type. You can use any type of yarn as long as you match your yarn with the right hook. For amigurumi, you will need a hook that is one or two sizes smaller than the yarn recommends.
The following techniques are mandatory if you want to start making amigurumi:
- Magic circle
- Single crochet
- Using a (running) stitch marker
- Whipstitch for attaching parts
- Embroidery & sewing skills to create faces
If you want to start creating amigurumi, you will need the following:
- Stitch markers (plastic, lockable or a simple piece of yarn)
- Hooks (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm depending on the yarn)
- Yarn (depending on the hook)
That’s it! Amigurumi is fun, easy to create and adorable to look at. They make great gifts for babies, children, adults and even yourself.
Anyone can do it! If you want to learn how to make amigurumi, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about upcoming workshops or leave a comment below.