If you've never heard of amigurumi, it's simply the word for a knitted or crocheted stuffed doll. There's no limit to what amigurumi can be. From animals like the cute little knitted fox below to knit flowers and even cars, amigurumi can be as creative and wacky as you'd like.
Whether you're new to amigurumi or just looking for a bit of advice on your next amigurumi project, these amigurumi knitting tips are a great way to make sure your amigurumi is mega cute -- and well-stuffed!
Photo via Craftsy member Amy Gaines
Big to small
One great thing about knitting amigurumi is that the gauge of the project isn't super important. Depending on the yarn weight and knitting needles you use, your amigurumi could be mini or gigantic. For instance, if your amigurumi pattern calls for DK-weight yarn but you'd like your amigurumi to be a bit bigger, change to bulky-weight yarn. Just be sure that you also adjust the needle size. Using the wrong size needles can result in a creature with loose stitches and stuffing popping out. Yikes!
Experiment with features
Does your amigurumi have eyes? Hair? A nose? Some patterns will tell you to embroider the features, but you could also consider safety eyes, buttons, felt and beads. Experiment with different craft supplies you already have. The features are what give your amigurumi its own unique personality, so anything goes.
Photo via Craftsy member cheezombie
Stuffing is a very important part of amigurumi. If you're stuffing a tiny body part, like a narrow arm or leg, use your knitting needle to scoot that stuffing to the end of the appendage. Stuff your amigurumi so that all the parts are firm but still moveable.
Some amigurumi, specifically the ones that will be seated, require something a bit heavier to weigh them down so they don't topple over. If this is the case for your project, you can use plastic pellets, large beads or even bean-bag pellets. Whatever you decide to use, just make sure it's not so small that it will slide right out of the knitted stitches.
Don't break the bank
You're not going to wear amigurumi around your neck -- though cuddling with it is definitely not against the rules. But amigurumi is a great opportunity to use up scrap yarn from your stash.
If you need to buy new yarn to make your amigurumi, don't go nuts and use high-quality if the amigurumi is just going to hang out on a shelf for decoration. I use inexpensive acrylic for mine. Of course, if it's intended to be cuddled by a kiddo, then I encourage soft, snuggle-worthy yarns.
Photo via Craftsy instructor Susan B. Anderson
Ready to learn how to knit amigurumi?
Craftsy instructor Susan B. Anderson is all about knitted toys. If you want to become the ultimate knitted toy expert, check out Susan's class Wee Ones: Seamless Knit Toys, where you'll knit cute lil' elephants, bunnies and hippos. Susan also teaches The (Not So) Itty-Bitty Giraffe for all you giraffe lovers. With Susan walking you through every step from casting on to assembling all the animals' parts, there's no way you can go wrong. (And even if something does go wrong, your animal will be cute anyway!)
Craftsy also has some fabulous and fun amigurumi classes for crocheters that are perfect for beginners!
Tomorrow on the Craftsy blog we'll take a look at twined knitting.