4 Skills You Need to Make Amigurumi
Do you love amigurumi, but think it looks way too hard? I totally get it. Fortunately, amigurumi is something that often looks way harder than it is. Of course, there are super complicated projects out there, but for the most part amigurumi is totally doable even if you’re a beginner. Don’t worry, in this article, we’re going over 4 skills you need to make amigurumi!
You’ve got this! Grab some yarn, a hook and let’s go!
1. Crochet Basics
This may sound completely obvious and you might be thinking, “Um…duh”
And you’re right, it is obvious. But it’s also important.
If you already know how to crochet, I bet you’ve made a hat or a scarf, or even a blanket (kudos, my hands hurt just thinking about blankets).
And if you’ve made those things, I bet you know how to single crochet, which is the PRIMARY stitch used in amigurumi. Sure there are tons of types of amigurumis with all sorts of stitches, but 100% of them at least use the single crochet stitch.
My point is, if you’re nervous about trying an amigurumi pattern, DON’T BE. You already have the most important skill!
For reference thought, here’s some basic crochet stitches and techniques you’ll need to know to make a simple amigurumi:
- MR – magic ring
- Love it or hate it, the magic ring is usually the start of every amigurumi project. There’s a ton of tutorials over on YouTube if you need a refresher or more practice.
- Sc – single crochet
- Sl St – slip stitch
- Inc – increase
- work 2 sc into the same stitch
- Dec – decrease
- insert your hook into the next st, yarn over and pull up a loop, insert your hook into the next st, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on the hook
- FO – fasten off
- There’s lots of ways to fasten off and different projects require different methods. A super easy beginner method though is to slip stitch into the next stitch, cut your yarn and ch 1, pulling the yarn through the chain.
Chances are that if you crochet or knit, you know how to sew, whether that is joining granny squares, seaming a sweater, or weaving in your ends. You’re handy with a needle.
Amigurumi are often created in several parts that are seamed together and you often use sewing pins (or longer quilting pins) to hold pieces in place.
There are a bunch of different joining techniques, but that is a topic for another post. If you want to dive into some sewing tips, check out this article: How to Sew Your Amigurumi Together Like a Pro.
For now, just know that if you can do a basic mattress stitch, you can make an amigurumi.
I think this could be said for any craft, but amigurumi in particular take a lot of patience.
Crocheting is the easy part.
Pinning everything together in just the right place can be frustrating to say the least. And sometimes you’ll be absolutely positive that it looks perfect and you’ll sew everything on. Then you look at your finished toy and realize the eyes aren’t level or one arm is more forward than the other…
It’s super annoying, especially if you’re a perfectionist like me.
But please don’t get discouraged. And honestly, as makers we see every flaw and imperfection, but no one else does. The beauty of handmade items is that they’re handmade.
Here’s a photo of a toy I made back in 2020 for my stepdaughter.
I didn’t realize until I finished it that the other ball of yarn I used was much smaller than the original, so the legs don’t match AT ALL.
Guess who thinks it’s the coolest toy she’s ever gotten? You guessed it. My stepdaughter.
Kids especially don’t care if one ear is wonky or if one leg is fatter than the other. So give yourself some grace and remember that those little imperfections can disappear as your skill grows.
Either way, you took the time to make something special and that should always be celebrated!
4. Knowing how to read a pattern
If you crochet intuitively, make up designs as you go, and never follow patterns, that’s amazing. You can disregard this tip and keep rocking your craft.
Patterns are great though. Maybe you see a design on Etsy that you just HAVE to make, but you’ve never made an amigurumi before. Or you have, but it looks crazy complex.
Well this is where this skill comes in. If you don’t know and would like to learn how to read and pattern, check out this article, How to Read a Crochet Pattern.
Not everything has a free video tutorial and patterns are filled with information so it’s important to know how patterns are structured and how to use them. Even the most complex amigurumi pattern will likely have incredibly detailed instructions, tons of photos, and maybe even video content to help.
If you can crochet, sew, practice patience and read a pattern, then you can make any amigurumi pattern you want! And remember it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. Chances are everyone will love seeing what you make.
Want to give it a shot? Check out my free Mini Octopus pattern for a super simple project!