How to read amigurumi crochet patterns ?

Once you’ve learned the basic crochet stitches, you’ll want to start your first pattern. (If you are new to crochet, learn the basic crochet stitches here).
I strongly recommend you choose a beginner level pattern as a first project, for written patterns may look almost as a foreign language when you see them for the first time.

They usually use many abbreviations and technical terms which save space and make patterns easier to read and memorize.
So the first thing you need to do is become familiar with the abbreviations and terms. Here are a few of the basic abbreviations I use in my patterns & tutorials :

Though you may find similarities between 2 patterns, there is no consensus about how to write a a pattern : each designer has its preferences and lists the abbreviations used in the instructions, giving additionnal information when needed.

There are 3 main families :

  1.  Descriptive instructions : the rows or rounds are explained step-by -step, it’s the easier to follow kind of writing pattern as a beginner. But you’ll see as you get experience it becomes really boring , and you’ll crave for some more condensed instructions.
    E.g. :
    Round 1 : work 6 single crochet in a magic ring (6 stitches in the end)
    Round 2 : work 2 single crochet in every stitch around (12 stitches in the end)
    Round 3 : work 1 single crochet in 1st stitch, work 2 single crochet in next. Repeat the sequence 6 times. (18 stitches in the end)

  2. Abbreviated instructions : this kind of written pattern goes straight to the point, using abbreviations rather than long descriptive sentences. It’s easy to follow once you know the basic abbreviations. It’s the kind of writing I choose for my patterns.
    E.g. :
    R1 : MR6 (6)
    R2 : inc around (12)
    R3 : *inc, 1sc* x6 ( 18)
  3. Symbol instructions : half way between the abbreviated tut and the diagram, this kind of writing uses symbols instead of abbreviations. It can be easier to understand for any foreign language speaker.
    E.g. :
    R1 : 6Ø
    R2 : V (12)
    R3 : *1X, 1V*(18)

Make sure you read the abbreviations key and notes at the beginning of each pattern before you start crocheting. Even better : read the whole pattern thoroughly before beginning ! It will be time and frustation saving in the end.

Let’s see how it works using my basket pattern :

Round 1 : make 6sc in a magic ring

Round 2 : make 2 single crochet in every stitch of the row (you should have 12 stitches at the end of that row)

Round 3 : make 2 single crochet in first stitch, 1 single crochet in next and repeat that sequence between asterisks 6 times (you should have 18 stitches at the end of that row)

This round is worked in the back loops only . This is what will shape the bottom of your basket : Round 8 : single crochet in every stitch around, working in the back loops only (you should have 42 stitches at the end of that row)

Here the instructions has to be repeated on several rounds :

Round 11 to 15 : single crochet in every stitch around (you should have 42 stitches at the end of that row)

Rounds 16 and 17 are a bit more complicated : they shape the handles of the basket (if you don’t want handles, just keep crocheting as before until you reach the height that suits you).

On round 16 you will create the opening of the handle by joining the 6 chains in the 7th stitch after skipping 6. You’ll have to do it twice because we want 2 handles, of course (you should have 42 stitches at the end of that row)

On round 17 is an instruction that often confuses beginners. You’ll have to work in “chain-6 space”, that is the the space underneath the chain, not into the chain! This typically is the kind of implicite instructions that is not explained in patterns, as they assume you just know it. Well, now you do  !

I hope this blog post helped you understand how patterns work !
Please let me know in the comments how your first project is going, and if I forgot to talk about something, or if anything isn’t clear yet !

Rendez-vous sur Hellocoton !

Kitty cat : a tutorial to discover assembling amigurumi parts

Here is a pattern that will help you learning how to assemble amigurumi parts ! Yes, this every crocheter’s nemesis ! At first I hated it too, because I was completely lost and the patterns rarely explain how to sew parts together. Now that I know a lot better what to do or not , it’s a much easier pill to swallow!



Yarn : Phildar’s coton 4 for main color + Phildar’s coton 3 for embroidered details
Hook : (or any hook siez that suits best your way of crocheting)
Safety eyes : 6mm

Embroidery Needle
Optional : 0.50 mm jewellery wire.


R : round/row
Ch : chain
MR : magic ring
Sc : single crochet
Inc : increase
Dec : decrease
*…,…* : repeat instruction around


R1. MR 6 (6)
R2. *inc around (12)
R3.*inc, sc* (18)
R4. *inc, 2sc* (24)
R5. sc around (24)
R6. *inc, 3sc* (30)
R7 – 9. Inc around (30)
R10.*dec, 3sc* (24)
R11.*dec, 2sc* (18)
R12.*dec, sc* (12)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

EARS (make 2)

R1. MR 3 (3)
R2. inc around (6)
R3. *inc, 2sc* (8)
R4. *inc, 3sc* (10)
R5. sc around (10)
R6.*inc, 4sc* (12)


R1 . MR 6 (6)
R2. Inc around (12)
R3-9. sc around (12)

Fasten off leaving long tail to sew on head.


R1. Ch9
R2. Slst in 7th stitch of the chain (=the 3rd after hook), “ch3, slst in the 1st ch stitch* x2
R3 . sc6 back to beginning of chain

Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing on body.


R1. Ch8
R2. Slst in 6th stitch of the chain (=the 3rd after hook), “ch3, slst in the 1st ch stitch* x2
R3 . sc5 back to beginning of chain

Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing on body.


  • Option 1 (without wire) :
    R1. Ch 13,  turn
    R2. Sc12, ch 1 and turn.
    R3. slst12 back to starting point.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

  • Option 2  (with wire) :
    R1. sc12 around wire, ch1 and  turn
    R2. Fold wire so that you can crochet R2 around it,  sc12, ch 1 and turn.
    R3. slst12 back to starting point.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.
Cut wire or insert and hide it into body. Curl tips to prevent them from popping out.
Sew tail on body.


With black yarn, embroider eyes with a  French knot.
If using safety eyes, insert them between R8&9, leaving 8sts in between.
With pink yarn, embroider the ears and nose.
Place ears and sew them on place.
Stuff head and body, and sew them together.

Sew legs and tail to body.

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Crochet basket pattern – beginner level

As a beginner you’ll probably want to start with small projects, that’s why I suggest this pattern that combines simplicity and usefulness : a small basket to store all your little stuff!

My basket is really tiny : it measures 8.5 cm in diameter and 6 cm high. I made it with mercerized cotton thread supposed to be crocheted with a  3.00mm hook, which I doubled and crocheted with a 4.00mm hook to get a sturdy fabric.

To make a larger basket, you can choose a bigger thread(and  choose accordingly the size of your hook ), and / or add rounds to the bottom.

In this pattern, the bottom is made from rounds 1 to 7. To widen it, you should keep distributing  6 increases evenly on each new turn. Once you reach the diameter you want, stop increasing and crochet a row in the back loops only. Then, crochet as usual, inserting hook through both loops  until you reach the desired height.

Is that okay for you ? Let’s go!

{ crochet basket }

To make this pattern you’ll need to know how to :


R : round
MR  : magic ring
ch : chain
sl st : slip stitch
sc : single crochet
inc : increase
st(s) : stitch(es)
BLO : work in the back loops only
FO : fasten off


R1 : MR6
R2 : inc around (12)
R3 : *1sc, inc*x6 (18)
R4 : *2sc, inc*x6 (24)
R5 : *3sc, inc*x6 (30)
R6 : *4sc, inc*x6 (36)
R7 :*5sc, inc* x6 (42)
R8 :  BLO : sc around (42)
R9 -10 : sc around (42)

Change color

R11-15 : sc around (42)
R16 : 7sc, 6ch, skip next 6 sts, 15c, 6ch, skip next 6 sts, 8sc (42)
R17 : 7sc, 8sc in the chain-6 space, 15sc, 8sc in the chain-6 space, 8sc . (46)

FO, weave in ends.

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Amigurumi essentials : all you need to know before starting

{ how to choose your hook size }

Generally, gauge is not crucial for amigurumis. That means you can use any hook size you like providing you use the matching yarn. You’ll find recommended hook size on the skein label. However, depending on how you crochet (tight or loose) you may be more comfortable with a larger or a smaller hook.

What’s really important is that you get a nice sturdy fabric that won’t show the stuffing.

{ stitch markers }

Stitch markers are mandatory if you don’t wanna go crazy like hell. A stitch marker basically is something that helps to know the end of a row. You can buy some in craft stores or you can use paper clips, safety pins… whatever works for you.

Now, there’s an even simpler and more effective way not to get lost in your work : yarn ! Cut a piece of yarn of a contrasting color from your work’s, and use it to mark your rounds AND keep track of previous rounds. This way, you can pause your work any time and always know which round you stopped. Plus, if you got confused in your pattern and have to go a few rounds  back it will be very quick.

{ the magic ring }

Amigurumis are crocheted in the round. Some people like to begin with a chain and slip stitch, but I like magic rings better. It’s simple, effective, and neat : everything I want !

There are many ways to achieve a magic ring, this is the method I use :

  1. Wrap the yarn twice around your finger, yarnt tail on the outside
  2. insert hook through both strands and pull the one close to the palm under the other one
  3. yarn over
  4. pull yarn through the loop
  5. yarn over again
  6. pull yarn through the loop
  7. remove your finger
  8. crochet your sc’s inserting the hook inside the ring, make sure you are crocheting around both strands
  9. keep going this way until you get the amount of stitches your pattern requires
  10. pull the yarn ends
  11. pull until the ring is very tight
  12. insert a stitch marker under the last stitch’s V to indicate the end of round 1


{ invisible increase }

I usually don’t really have problems with regular increasing, but in some cases invisible ones can be useful : to invisible increase, you’ll have to sc in front loop only of next stitch, then sc in both loops of same stitch.

{ invisible decrease }

To decrease, you could skip a stitch or crochet 2 stitches together, but invisible decreases are so easy and neat that it would be a shame not to use them.

{ how to tell the right side from the wrong side }

This can be confusing at the beginning, for your eyes and brain are not used to distinguish the slight variations of your stitches. On the right side you can see little “V‘s”, whereas on the wrong side the V‘s are upside down with an horizontal bar on top :

Turning your amigurumi wrong side up may give it a curious look. Right side is supposed to be very clean and regular, while on the wrong side for example decresaes will pop out with their two little bars. Also, wrong side up isn’t as stretchier, so you may have troubles shaping with your filling.

When starting the first rounds after a magic circle, the right side is the side facing us. As soon as the piece begins to curve, the right side becomes the inside. If you want to have it on the outside, just turn the piece inside out, either during work or at the end. Beware parts with a very small number of stitches: it can be very difficult to turn them at the end. Turn them outward after a few rounds only, using a pencil or hook handle to help.

Some designers like the wrong side up better, and build their patterns accordingly. They specify it in the tutorials because one generally agrees that it is the right side that’s supposed to be outside. If nothing is mentionned, turning and assembling your work wrong side up may give a very irregular look to your work. Plus, if the pattern requires working entire rows in front and / or back loops only, you may not be able to assemble the parts as expected. In addition, the back is not as malleable as the place, which complicates the modeling when stuffing.

{ fermer le haut d’un amigurumi }

The very last row of a closed piece almost always requires to decrease until you have only 6 stitchs left. I never had a really clean result proceeding this way, whereas the technique shown in this video is absolutely perfect !!

( Technique & video by Repeat Crafter Me )

back to summary

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How to read a crochet in the round diagram ?

What is really interesting in diagrams, it’s that they use international symbols, so that when you know how to break the code of them you’ll get to understand diagrams from all around the world ! Another advantage is that it’s very visual : you can really SEE what you’re doing. Here are some of the most used symbols :

When reading a crochet in the round diagram, like a granny, the start is at the center, and then you follow rounds counterclockwise.

Breaking the code round by round :

Pay attention to the last group of double crochet’s : unlike other groups, it is made of only 2 double crochet joined to initial chain by a slip stitch to close the round.


ch : chain
st(s) : stitch(es)
sl st : slip stitch
dc : double crochet

START : (figured by a circle in the center) Ch3, join with a sl st to make a ring.

Round 1 : sc4, inserting hook in the middle of the ring.

Round 2 :
Ch 5.
In 1st stitch, dc3, then ch2.
Repeat this on the next 2 sts.
In the last st : dc2 and join to initial chain with a slst in the 3rd st of the ch.
*…* : repeat sequence as many times as indicated

Round 3 :
Change color by joining a new color with a slst in the 2ch space from previous round OR if you don’t want to change color : slip stitch in in the ch2 space from previous round.
Chain 5, make 3dc in ch2 space from previous round.
Then repeat *ch1, and in next space :3dc, ch2, 3dc* x2
Ch1, dc2 in initial space, join with a sl st in the 3rd stitch of chain .

Round 4 :
Change color again (or not, as you wish).
Ch5, 3dc in ch2 space from previous round.
Repeat : *ch1, 3dc in next space, ch1, dc3 in next space, ch2, dc3* until you come to the last space wher you dc2 and join with a slst in 3rd st of initial chain.

Once you have understood the general idea, you can go on for as many rounds you’d like !

Back to summary 

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Hortense the jellyfish, a tribute amigurumi pattern

After I made several octopuses after Maria Hvolbek ‘s pattern, I wanted to give them some jellyfish friends. This is how Hortense was born.
Idea : Hortense is very social : make her a few friends and turn them into a mobile for a child !

Download pattern

{ Hortense The Jellyfish }


Yarn : 2 colors of Phildar’s Coton 3 (sport weight)
2.5mm hook
6mm safety eyes
yarn or tapestry needle

HEAD ( with blue yarn)

R1 : MR 6
R2 : inc around (12)
R3 : *1sc, inc*x6 (18)
R4 : *2sc, inc*x6 (24)
R5 : *3sc, inc*x6 (30)
R6 : *4sc, inc*x6 (36)
R7-8 : sc around (36)
R9 : *5sc, inc*x6 (42)
R10-11 : sc around (42)
R12 : *6sc,inc* x6 (48)
R13 : sc around (48)
R14 : FLO *skip 1st, [5hdc], sk 1st, 1slst* x12 (72)

FO, insert safety eyes between R10&11, spaced by 8sts.

BASE AND TENTACLES (with blue and yellow yarn)

R1 : MR 6
R2 : inc around (12)
R3 : BLO *1sc, inc*x6 (18)
On left unworked sts of R2, make 3 tentacles :
ch49, turn, 26sc, 10hdc,12dc, ch1, turn, 12dc, 10 hdc, 26sc.

FO, and change color to yellow.

Fold the tentacle and single crochet accross the side up to the base.
Slst in next front loop, cut yarn and hide ends.
Skip 2 sts, make a 2nd tentacle, skip 2sts, and make the 3rd tentacle.

R4 : *2sc, inc* x6 (24)
R5 : *3sc, inc* x6 (30)
R6 : *4sc, inc* x6 (36)
R7 : *5sc, inc* x6 (42)
R8 : *6sc, inc* x6 (48)

FO, leave long tail for sewing.


Embroider little cheeks with pink yarn.
Start sewing the base to the back loops left unworked on R14 of the head, stuff as you go.

Rare Photo d’une méduse en plein bain de soleil.

Sombrero is part of my Mexican Cactus pattern.




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How to crochet basic stitches

{ Chain stitch and slip stitch 

1-7 : make a slip knot
8 : yarn over
9 : pull yarn through the loop that’s on your hook

Repeat from 8 to 9 as many times as the number of chains needed. The chain should be a bit loose and even to facilitate inserting hook on next row.

The chain stitch is the basis for almost every pattern, that’s why it’s sometimes called a foundation chain. When working in rows, the 1st row always is a chain, and you’lluse the chain 1.stitch again to turn at the end of each rows.

The slip stitch is almost the same : the only difference is that you insert your hook in a stitch before yarning over, then you pull the yarn through your work AND through the loop on your hook. The slip stitch is the flattest of all crochet stitches, it’s also this stitch you’ll use to fasten off your work.

Single crochet } 

  1. Insert your hook under the 2 loops ( = the ones that look like a little “v” ) of next stitch
  2. yarn over
  3. pull the loop through your work ( you now have 2 loops on your hook)
  4. yarn over again and pull the loop through both stitchesEt voilà, you just made a single crochet !

{ Half double crochet,double crochet, trebles… } 

These stitches belong to the same group of “high stitches” : at the beginning of a row, you’llhave to chain a few stitches before making your first double crochet. But first, let’s see how to make these stitches :

The half double crochet :

  1. yarn over once
  2. insert hook in the next stitch, yarn over again
  3. pull the yarn through your work (  3 loops remaining on the hook), yarn over for the 3rd time
  4. pull the yarn through all the loops
  5. you’ve just made a half double crochet !

The double crochet :

  1. yarn over once, insert hook in next stitch
  2. yarn over, pull yarn through the stitch
  3. yarn over, pull yarn through 2 stitches
  4. 2 loops remaining on the hook
  5. yarn over for the last time, pull yarn through the last 2 remaining loops.
  6. you’ve just made a double crochet !

The treble :

  1. yarn over twice, insert hook in next stitch , yarn over, pull yarn through the stitch
  2. yarn over, pull yarn through the first 2 loops on the hook
  3. yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops on the hook
  4. yarn over for the last time, pull yarn through the last 2 remaining loops.
  5. you’ve just made a treble !

Proceed the same for all other trebles, adding “yarn over’s” before inserting hook to make higher trebles.

{ turning at the end of a row } 

When you finish a row, you have to turn your work to make next row. You’ll need to make 1 or more chain stitches for that. The amount of chains needed generally depends on the height of the next stitch you’re making :
1. if making a single crochet : chain 1
2. if making a half double crochet : make 2
3. if making a a double crochet : make 3…and so on.

Depending on the pattern, these chains may be considered as the first stitch of your row. If so, you’ll have to insert your hook in the 2nd stitch from the hook (= second to last stitch from previous row) to make the 2nd stitch of the ongoing row.

Back to summary 

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How to change color

To change color, wheteher it is at the beginning, at the end or right in the middle of a row, it’s very simple : you just have to finish the last stitch of color A by pulling a loop from color B.

It may be difficult for a beginner to hold every strand of yarn so if it’s easier to you you can tie a knot with the yarn ends, but know that it will create an irregularity on the side of your work.

The last step is to weave in ends with a yarn or tapestry needle (whichever is big enough for your yarn), or, if you want to save time , weave ends on the go : 

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Freaky Easter Bunnies



begin with a magic ring ⋅ chain ⋅ single crochet ⋅  increase ⋅ invisible decrease ⋅ work in continuous rounds

MATERIALS :                                                                                                                                                               Crochet hook : 3.00 mm
Yarn : Main color of your choice, Purple, White, Black
Yarn needle
Stuffing material ( fiberfill )

FINISHED SIZE : about 10 cm height

GAUGE : not essential for this project

You can use any size of hook you want as long as your yarn choice is consistent with it.
Be careful to work tight stitches so as the stuffing doesn’t show through.
The bigger hook size you’ll choose, the bigger your amigurumi will be ! 🙂

R : round
MR : magic ring
st(s) : stitch(es)
sl st : slip stitch
sc : single crochet
inc : increase ( = single crochet 2 stitches in same sc)
dec : decrease ( = single crochet 2 stitches in front loops together )
BLO: back loops only
FO : Fasten off
*… , …* x… : repeat instructions between * * as many times as indicated
(… , …) : make the 2 different instructions in the same

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Please note this pattern will guide you through the steps of making the freaky bunnies basic shapes. You’ll find instructions for making the body, ears, arms and eyes, but feel free to play with the details (colors, number of members, embroidery, etc.) and create a new member of the crew !
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(using main color yarn)

R1 : MR 6
R2 : inc around (12)
R3 : *sc, inc* x6 (18)
R4 : *sc2, inc* x6 (24)
R5 : sc around (24)
R6 : *sc3, inc* x6 (30)
R7 : sc around (30)
R8 : *sc4, inc* x6 (36)
R9 -11 : sc around (36)
R12 : *sc5, inc* x6 (42)
R13 – 15 : sc around (42)
R16 : *sc6, inc* x6 (48)
R17 – 19 : sc around (48)
R20 : *sc6, dec* x6 (42)
R21 : *sc5, dec* x6 (36)
R22 : *sc4, dec* x6 (30)
R23 : *sc3, dec* x6 (24)
R 24 : *sc2, dec* x6 (18)
R 25 : *sc, dec* x6 (12)
R 26 : dec around (6)

FO, weave in ends.

(make 2 using main color)

R1 : MR 4
R2 : *sc ,inc* x2 (6)
R3 : *sc2 ,inc* x2 (8)
R4 : *sc, inc* x4 (12)
R5 : sc around (12)
R6 : *sc4, dec* x2 (10)
R7 – 8 : sc around (10)
R9 : *sc3, dec* x2 (8)
R10 : *sc2, dec* x2 (6)

FO and keep a long tail for sewing.

(make 2 using main color)

R1 : MR 6
R2 : *inc* around (12)
R3 – 7 : sc around (12)
R8 : *sc2, dec* x3 (9) Stuff lightly.
R9 : *sc, dec* x3 (6)

FO, and sew closed.

(make 2 using white yarn)

R1 : MR 6
R2 : *1sc ,inc* x3 (9)
R3 – 4 : sc around (9)

FO and keep a long tail for sewing.

(make 2 using purple yarn)

R1 : MR 4, ch 1, turn
R2 : inc around, ch 2, turn (8)
R3 : sc around (8)

FO and keep a long tail for sewing.

(make 2 using the color of your choice)

Pull a loop and slst in any sc of the last row of the eye, then :
R1 : (sc, hdc), (dc,tr), (dc,hdc), slst

FO and weave in ends.


∗ EARS :
To make the inside of the ears, cut your shape in paper to create your pattern. When you’re happy with the size and shape, use it to cut out 2 pieces of felt and glue them in place.
Sew ears on top of the head.
∗ ARMS :
Sew arms on both sides of the body. They should be placed in the alignment of the ears.
∗ EYES :
Embroider pupil on eyes with black yarn (you can use a French Knot)
Stuff eyes lightly and sew them on head.
∗ NOSE :
Either embroider it, or cut a small triangled shape piece of felt. Glue it on the face between the eyes, slightly below the midline of the pupil.
Let your creativity speak for itself ! Use felt and embroidery to create your very own expressive bunny 😀

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