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 )

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