If you’ve crocheted amigurumi before, you already know how addictive it can be. One monster turns into ten monsters, and you just can’t seem to stop yourself!
For crocheters who haven’t tried amigurumi yet, what’s stopping you? Amigurumi covers all the basics that you probably already know — single crochet, double crochet, working in the round — so in that way it’s no different than a hat or any other project.
Whether you’re already hooked on amigurumi or you’re a beginner, check out these tips to make crocheting your new pal a little easier.
1. Check your gauge.
It’s less important that your gauge matches the exact gauge of the pattern and more important that your stitching isn’t so loose that you end up with lots of space between stitches. Remember that your amigurumi is going to be stuffed eventually, so you want a nice, tight gauge that won’t show what’s on the inside.
2. Check for holes.
That first or last round of crochet for any body part — legs, arms, head — is very important. If you have a hole in one of those, your stuffing is going to show through. Give those ends a quick check when your beginning and ending each piece to make sure everything is closed up properly. (If you find a hole later on, you can always use a yarn needle to seam it up for a quick fix.)
3. Use those stitch markers.
Whether you’re counting rows or stitches, it’s easy to lose count in crochet. You can use the stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round, mark the beginning of a group of increases or decreases — whatever you need to make sure you stay on track.
4. Leave long tails.
Seaming is one of my least favorite tasks, and amigurumi tends to have lots of seaming! Save yourself a bit of a headache by leaving long tails when you fasten off, then use those tails to seam the amigurumi.
5. Stuff evenly.
You’ve seen an improperly stuffed amigurumi before. It’s the one that’s slumped over and looks a little tired. Stuff your amigurumi evenly, and over stuff it just a bit.
6. Clear the way.
Have you ever accidentally pulled your stuffing through the last few rounds of stitches when closing up an amigurumi part? Instead of battling that stuffing, push it down with the index finger of the hand that’s not holding the hook. If that doesn’t work, you can always use a piece of felt to block the stuffing from your hook. See more about this awesome tip on Stacey’s blog.
7. Play around.
It’s easy to stick with the same eyes, nose, and mouth placement every time you crochet an amigurumi or refer to a pattern. But remember that the slightest change in any of the facial features can completely change the look of your creation. Use sewing pins to experiment with placement, and don’t be afraid to make your friend happier or even scarier!
8. One step at a time.
If you still feel intimidated by amigurumi, just take it one step at a time. Instead of thinking of one amigurumi pattern as an overwhelming project, break it down. A leg can be one project, an arm another. If you focus on one piece at a time, you’ll make it easier to tackle. You can do it!