Amigurumi | Patterns & Beginner's Guide

What is Amigurumi?

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of making super cute crocheted, or knitted, stuffed creatures. The word amigurumi is actually a combination of the Japanese words "ami" which means crocheted or knitted, and "nuigurumi" for stuffed doll. There are no rules about their size but they are often small, and crocheted in 4ply or DK weight cotton. The trend for making amigurumi has been around for decades in Japan, but gained popularity in the West in the early 2000s. It has been growing in popularity ever since for creating tiny animals, favorite characters from movies and games, and adorable little dolls too.

Techniques for Amigurumi Crochet

Before you begin to crochet amigurumi, it's a great idea to try out the techniques you will need: learn how to crochet in a spiral, a continuous stitch process that doesn't stop for the end of each round that is particularly useful for arms, legs and bodies! Practice your color changes too, to keep them as neat as possible, and take a look at sewing techniques too - for sewing up but also for embroidery, so that you can embroider faces and other small detail.

Amigurumi Patterns

There are so many amazing patterns out there to choose from, but here are a few great ones to give you an idea of what amigurumi crochet looks like.
Amigurumi Cats by Little Bear Crochet

Playing Cats Crochet Amigurumi - a free pattern by Little Bear Crochets

Little Bear Crochets has a fabulous range of amigurumi patterns to explore, including these adorable kittens! There are bears, frogs, pandas and rabbits to make - and the patterns include step-by-step photos and lots of information to help you!
Mike the Monster by Stacy Trock

Mike the Monster by Stacy Trock

Favorite characters from movies and video games are often brought to life by amigurumi magic! Stacy Trock has a fabulous collection of patterns including this fabulous Mike and some very tiny amigurumi too, for those of you who love a challenge with a tiny hook!

Minions by Melissa's Crochet Patterns

Melissa's Crochet Patterns'  Minions pattern

It's good to build a store of little accessories such as safety eyes when you're making amigurumi - but always ensure that your toys are safe for small kids if you're making them for that purpose.  

Amigurumi Owl by piggiesagogo

 

amigurumi octopus crochet
Amigurumi Octopus by Flying Dutchman Crochet Design

 

Amigurumi goldfish by Heather Sonnenberg
 
Amigurumi Goldfish by Heather Sonnenberg

Heather Sonnenberg has a range of darling amigurumi patterns! We love these goldfish, and they're a great first amigurumi project for beginners because they are created in worsted weight yarn rather than in fingering weight. The fish measure 7" from front to back, perfect for little hands to hold! Make a neat aquarium with Heather's sweet Amigurumi Whale and Amigurumi Jellyfish! All her patterns are written in American crochet terms, with lots of detailed pictures to follow!

Amigurumi Yarn and Accessories

When you begin to create your favorite amigurumi characters, it helps to have a stock of lots of different colors in your stash. Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK has 60 fabulous shades, and DMC Natura is a 4ply cotton with 74 shades. As you build up stocks of color, you'll have all the shades you need for your favorite little ami friends! A selection of hooks is essential, and most amigurumi patterns call for small hooks: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm and 4mm to create dense fabrics. Stitch markers are extremely helpful for color changes and keeping track of where you are, some small scissors and tapestry needles for sewing up! Of course having a nice selection of different sized amigurumi eyes helps bring those creatures to life!

Free Beginners Amigurumi Tutorial

cactus buddies crochet amigurumi

This wonderfully cute cactus pattern is a great pattern for beginners looking for a first amigurumi project. It comes from the awesome indie designer Flo and Dot.

You will need:

3.5mm crochet hook
1 x 50g ball green DK cotton yarn (I used Paintbox DK cotton)
Polyester filling Safety eyes
Black embroidery thread

Finished size: Approximately 18cm tall by 19cm wide

This pattern is written in UK terms (1dc is equivalent to 1sc in US terms)
ch - chain
st - stitch
dc - double crochet
dec - decrease (dc two together)
sl st - slip stitch

Now for the boring bit, please feel free to make and sell the items created from this pattern, but please do not reproduce or distribute the pattern as your own. Please credit Flo and Dot as the designer and link to her if selling online.

Cactus (front and back)


Ch 17
Row 1 Dc 1 in second chain from hook, dc in each ch to end, ch 1, turn (16)
Row 2 to 7 Dc 16, ch 1, turn
Row 8 Dc 16, at the end of the row ch 9, turn 2
Row 9 Dc 1 in second chain from hook, dc in each ch and in each st from previous row to end, ch1, turn (24)
Row 10 Dc 23, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (25)
Row 11 Dc 25, ch 1, turn (25)
Row 12 Dc 24, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (26)
Row 13 Dc 26, ch 1, turn (26)
Row 14 Dc 25, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (27)
Row 15 Dc 27, ch 1, turn (27)
Row 16 Dc 26, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (28)

To form the first arm upright

Row 1 to 10 Dc 8, ch 1, turn (8)
Row 11 Dec, dc 4, dec, ch 1, turn (6)
Row 12 Dec, dc 2, dec, fasten off. (4)

Rejoin yarn to the main body as shown above leaving a 4 st gap between arm and the body

Row 17 Dc 16, at the end of the row ch 9, turn
Row 18 Dc 1 in second chain from hook, dc in each ch and in each st from previous row to end, ch 1, turn (24)
Row 19 Dc 23, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (25)
Row 20 Dc 25, ch 1, turn (25)
Row 21 Dc 24, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (26)
Row 22 Dc 26, ch 1, turn (26)
Row 23 Dc 25, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (27)
Row 24 Dc 27, ch 1, turn (27)
Row 25 Dc 26, 2 dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn (28)

To form the second arm upright

Row 1 to 6 Dc 8, ch 1, turn (8)
Row 7 Dec, dc 4, dec, ch 1, turn (6)
Row 8 Dec, dc 2, dec, fasten off. (4)

Rejoin yarn to the main body as shown above leaving a 4 st gap between arm and the body

Row 26 to 33 Dc 16, ch 1, turn (16)
Row 34 Dec, dc 12, dec, ch1, turn (14)
Row 35 Dec, dc 10, dec, ch 1, turn (12)
Row 36 Dec, dc 8, dec, ch1, turn (10)
Row 37 Dec, dc 6, dec, fasten off. (8)

To finish

Attach the safety eyes and embroider a mouth. Place the two pieces together and sew together using a length of yarn, remember to stuff the cactus before you fasten off. Weave in any ends.


Congratulations, you've just made your first amigurumi crochet project!



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