Amigurumi Tutorial 2

Filed under: Crochet,Crochet,Patterns,Crochet,Tutorials — Alicia @ March 31, 2008

In part 1 of the Amigurumi Tutorial I showed some of the basic crochet techniques needed to make an amigurumi. In part 2, I’ll go over amigurumi patterns and how to read them. There are three basic kinds of patterns for amigurumi:

  1. Regular patterns: much like knitting patterns, they explain what to do in each row. These patterns are easier for beginners. Most patterns are written in this manner. See an example of a teddie bear here.
  2. Row charts: these are abbreviated versions of regular patterns, so instead of describing what you need to do each round, they only tell you how many stitches per row. Unless otherwise specified, you single crochet each row in the round. See a doll’s row charts.
  3. Charts: graphical representations of patterns. You usually only find them in books (or Japanese sites), which will explain the notation they are using. I find them tedious, so I won’t even attempt to explain them in this tutorial, sorry. If you like, you can see a chart example to make a cat’s toy.

Regular patterns

To be able to read a pattern you first need to know what the standard abbreviations are. The following is a short list of abbreviations common for amigurumi patterns. For a complete list of crochet abbreviations, go to Lion Brand’s illustrated abbreviation dictionary.

  • beg – beginning or begin.
  • ch(s) – chain (pulling the yarn through the loop once, like when making a chain).
  • dec – decrease (usually by crocheting 2 stitches together: sc2tog)
  • inc – increase one (usually done by making two stitches in the same stitch).
  • rep – repeat.
  • rnd(s) – round
  • sc – single crochet.
  • sc2tog – single crochet 2 stitches together (a decrease).
  • 2 sc in next sc – 2 single crochet in the next single crochet (an increase).
  • sk – skip a stitch (another way to decrease)
  • st(s) – stitches

Note: I’m using standard US terminology, which is different from UK crochet terminology.
So let’s analyze a line from a pattern:

Rnd 4: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc; rep from * around – 24 sc.

In round four you are to single crochet twice in the next single crochet (an increase of 1), then single crochet once in the next stitch, and single crochet once in the one after that (a total of 4 stitches). You then repeat that to the end or the row. At the end of that row, you should have 24 single crochets. Another, shorter way of expressing the same round is:

Rnd 4: [inc 1, sc 2] 6 times – 24

Some patterns will tell you to start with a chain of 2, but you can use the magic ring method instead:

Ch 2.
Rnd 1: Work 6 sc in first ch

Instead of chaining 2, you can just make a magic ring with 6 single crochets in it. As long as you have the number of stitches required in row 1 you can use whichever method works for you.

In the next video I follow a pattern to make a small ball. It not only illustrates how to follow pattern directions, but it also shows how to use stitch markers, right vs. wrong side, stuffing, and binding off.

Sorry, you need flash to see the video

Row Charts

These patterns are for more experienced crocheters with a couple of amigurumis under their belts. They assume you know when and how to increase and decrease. Here’s an example of the first four rows of a pattern:

  1. 6
  2. 12
  3. 18
  4. 24
  5. 30
  6. 30

Which means that you should start in the round with 6 single crochet (via magic ring or 2 chains). Then you’ll be increasing by six on each round as follows:

  1. Start with 6 single crochets – 6
  2. *2 sc in next sc * around – 12
  3. *2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc * around – 18
  4. *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc * around – 24
  5. *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc * around – 30
  6. sc in each sc around

As you can see it’s a bit harder, but it has it’s logic. Notice how the number of single crochets (after the increase) grows on each round (from 0 in round 2, to 3 in round 5).

Additional considerations

For amigurumis, unlike other crochet and knitting patterns, gage or tension is not important when doing amigurumi. It’s not like it won’t fit you. The only thing that you need to know when choosing yarn and hook size, is that it needs to be tight enough so the stuffing and/or pellets won’t show or fall between stitches. As a rule of thumb use a hook on or two sizes (half to one millimeter) smaller than recommended on the yarn’s label. As long as you keep your crocheting even, you should be fine.

For amigurumi you’ll usually need more supplies than just yarn and hook. Here’s a short list of some of the materials I keep handy:

  • Polyfill stuffing (find one that doesn’t feel lumpy)
  • Lentils (you can also use poly-peleets, but they are harder to find)
  • Embroidery thread and needle (for smiles and other details)
  • Safety eyes (you can use felt instead)
  • Tapestry needle (for joining all the parts)

Also, since you are going in spirals, you need to keep track of where the round starts. Place a marker (it can be scrap yarn or a safety pin) to indicate beginning of each round; move the marker up as each round is completed.

Patterns

Start with something easy, like BitterSweet’s Birds of a Feather, or Lion Brand’s Amigurumi Octopus. You can find other patterns at:

  • Lion Brand has a pretty good collection of amigurumi for beginner patterns. It requires registration, but it’s free.
  • Ana Paula Rimoli has some great patterns in her Etsy store, and some free ones in her blog. She also has a new book.
  • Owlishly also has very cute things in her Etsy store. Her patterns are a bit more challenging, though.
  • Ami List is a site that tracks down and lists amigurumi patterns. There’s a little of everything.

In part 3 I’ll cover some additional techniques you may need when making amigurumis.

Go to Amigurumi Tutorial 1, Amigurumi Tutorial 3

16 Comments

  1. I really enjoy your tutorials. They are clear and easy to follow. Thanks!!!

    Comment by Delia — April 13, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

  2. I really love your site! i just stumbled upon it today, and i wish i found it sooner, i just started amigurumi the other day, and found out the hard way about the stitches needing to be tight so that stuffing doesnt come out, and the magic ring, i didnt even know how to do that! Thanks so much for taking the time to show us! and thanks for it being free!

    Comment by hazel — April 30, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  3. Wow! No need to buy expensive books that I don’t understand anyway. Thanks heaps for your great website. Absolutely amazing.

    Comment by Heike — May 31, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  4. Thanks soooooo much for an incredibly easy to understand tutorial. I could already crochet and knit but really wanted to try amigurumi. I’ve tried so many other tutorials and still didn’t have a clue! Thanks again, keep up the good work!!

    Comment by Kayleigh — August 14, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  5. thanks so much! now i can make presents for my younger cousins! without this site, i would have never been able to do what i can now! <3

    Comment by L — August 22, 2008 @ 11:50 am

  6. I love this site I just got the seriously cute crochet book and I could not figure it out but I found this awesome site and now I think I can understand, I can’t thank you enough for what you have done thanks please send me E-mails I would be so happy if you did thanks again Love cat

    Comment by catherine sebring — September 4, 2008 @ 9:58 am

  7. Hi,

    Your instructional videos are just grate. I’m looking forward to hear the news about your instructional DVDs on the shelves. Because it is the most effective way to learn any kind of craft watching it while it’s been done.

    Thank you

    Comment by Zulal — September 18, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  8. wooah!! I can now crochet amigurumi!!! :)
    thank you, your tutorials are very helpful, understandable and fun!

    Comment by Shusha — October 11, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  9. [...] (Tutorial 1 Tutorial 2) [...]

    Pingback by » There’s a Bluebird on My Shoulder! Teacups and Toasters — November 5, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

  10. THANK YOU! I was struggling with getting the hang of amigurumi and I just made my first successful little ball. You have done a really excellent job of explaining how to do this.

    Comment by Heatha — December 26, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

  11. Your tutorial is fantastic!! I have crocheted for a few years now, but even I was confused with the directions of just numbers. Thank you so much for this site as now I know what to do. I taught myself crochet from a book, so it is very neat to see someone else crochet. Thanks again!!

    Comment by bgirlsquirrel — January 14, 2009 @ 12:56 am

  12. Wow, thank you so much for this tutorial! It was incredibly easy to understand, unlike other tutorials online or in books. Great job with the videos also.

    Comment by Karin — January 14, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

  13. Thanks for the tutorial! I never thought I would be able to crochet, but now I can do it! Good job with the videos too. Thanks!

    Comment by Alexis — January 17, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  14. The most helpful tutorials I’ve found! Thanks!

    Comment by kcbear — January 18, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  15. wow very clear tutorial
    it’s very easy and understandable
    Thank you :D

    Comment by Hessa — January 30, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

  16. Wow, thanks a lot, it’s so easy to understand

    Comment by carla — February 26, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

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