Crochet Amigurumi Tips & Tricks for Beginners Plus!
Earlier this month, we revealed some crochet amigurumi Apricot Lane Amigurumi, kicking it off with Felix the Fox.
Amigurumi is something that hasn’t been a regular around here, but we are excited to feature it more over the next year! And after seeing some comments and questions in the Marly’s Minions: Marly Bird BiCrafty Community Facebook group, we wanted to bring you some tips and tricks to make it the best experience!
Getting Started With Crochet Amigurumi
Just like any project, you want to start off making sure you’re using the right hook for your yarn. For amigurumi, typically, you want to use a smaller hook size than is on the yarn label. This is because you want a denser fabric so that when you stuff, you aren’t left with holes showing the stuffing.
Stitch markers are great for a lot of projects but are vital for crochet amigurumi since typically (unless instructed otherwise in the pattern) you’re working in continuous rounds. Being off in your count in amigurumi can have really detrimental effects and often leave you frustrated and ripping out your work. Stitch markers will really alleviate the constant need to count each stitch.
Magic ring is the best method to use when starting amigurumi.
Unlike using a ch3 or ch4 and joining to make a circle, which often leaves a gap, the magic ring makes a tight cinch which gives a cleaner look, especially for the top of a head or the end of a limb.
Off and Running
Crochet Amigurumi Invisible Increase & Decrease
Sometimes, our increases and decreases can cause a gap or hole. Remember, those are the enemy when it comes to crochet amigurumi! Any hole will allow for the stuffing to show through, and we absolutely don’t want that! Using an invisible increase or invisible decrease can eliminate that issue.
How do you make an invisible increase?
I’m so glad you asked! Typically, an increase is done by making two stitches in the same stitch. To make an invisible increase, you’re still making two stitches in the same stitch, but in this instance, the first stitch you make is in the front loop only of the stitch you’re working into, and the second stitch is worked under both loops as normal.
How do you make an invisible decrease?
In a typical decrease, you’re working one stitch over two stitches by pulling up a loop in each stitch and crocheting them together to make one stitch. In the invisible decrease, you’re following the same process but working in the front loops only. This gives you a nice neat stitch that gives you no gaps!
Yarn Under vs. Yarn Over
This is a technique that you really only use in crochet amigurumi, so you may not be familiar with it! When crocheting regularly, you are likely very familiar with the yarn over. So much so that it is likely just habit, and you don’t even think about what you’re doing. But did you know that by doing a yarn under, you can create slightly neater and tighter stitches (using less yarn!) and create a denser fabric?! It takes a little intentionality and retraining your brain to yarn under rather than over, but you just may be pleasantly surprised by how it looks!
Jogless Color Changing In Crochet Amigurumi
When you work in continuous rounds, color changes can often look sloppy. The best way to fix this is to use the jogless stripe method. Essentially, before you finish the last stitch before your color change (let’s use sc since that’s the most typical stitch) with two loops on your hook, you’ll yarn over/under the new color and pull through to finish the sc. You’ll slip stitch into the next stitch and then carry on with your sc through the remainder of the round. When you get back to the slip stitch, you’ll work sc into that stitch as if it was a regular stitch. This will give you a nice clean line!
Stuffing Crochet Amigurumi
Don’t OVERSTUFF! This is the most common mistake that people make when making amigurumi. Not only will overstuffing stretch the fabric and cause gapping, where you will see the stuffing through the fabric, but it can also alter the shape of the item itself. You can always add more, but once you stretch it out, it’s hard to get the shape back, so start light and increase slowly! Think of it more as sculpting your work than stuffing it.
You can use pantyhose to keep your stuffing from poking out! You can fill knee highs with your stuffing and use that to fill your item to keep the stuffing from poking out.
Pin Your Limbs
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours making each individual piece of crochet amigurumi, putting it all together, and finding things that are crooked and wonky. One of the best ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to take pins (straight pins, safety pins, whatever you’ve got on hand) and pin each limb to your body to make sure that everything is lined up correctly! Use your fabric to help you by counting down how many rows or how many stitches apart they need to be.
At the end of the day, as I always say, it’s just sticks and string! You can do this, and this is just another fun skill set to add to your toolbox!
Got any other crochet amigurumi tips & tricks that have helped you over the years? Share them with us!
Check out these recent additions to our Apricot Lane Amigurumi collection: