Crochet Tips & Tricks
Easy Guide to Crocheting 3 Basic Shapes

Easy Guide to Crocheting 3 Basic Shapes

One of the first key concepts they teach you in art school is that everything can be broken down into basic shapes. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of seeing it, but once you do, even the most complex forms won’t seem as daunting. Let’s get started with this easy guide to crocheting 3 basic shapes!

Easy Guide to Crocheting 3 Basic Shapes

How to See Simple Shapes in Complex Forms

Everything can be broken down into basic shapes.

Basic shapes:

3 basic shapes graphic for blog post
Graphic by Chanel of cbfiberworks.
  • Sphere
  • Cone
  • Cylinder/Tube

With these shapes in mind, lets look at a real life example.

seeing basic shapes real life example for blog post
Image by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

My dog didn’t want to sit still for a proper picture, so you’ll have to forgive the awkward pose, haha. In the photo above, her head can be broken down into a sphere and a cone while her legs are basic cylinder shapes.

Don’t get too bogged down in realism, especially if you’re just starting out. Just focus on the major shapes and forms.

Now you might be wondering, “Ok, I see it, but how does it all go together?” Well, let’s dive into making some basic shapes on their own.

How to Crochet Basic Shapes

The following sample projects are created with the assumption that you already know how to crochet, specifically in the round (either with slip stitch joins or continuously). If you don’t yet, don’t worry, there are some awesome tutorials available on YouTube. Here’s some great ones to start with:

And if you’re new to reading crochet patterns, check out my post: How to Read a Crochet Pattern

For amigurumi, you generally want to crochet in the round continuously to avoid a seam, so the samples below are written as such. You’re welcome to use the joining method though if you’re more comfortable with that.

Supplies & Abbreviations

3 shapes example for easy guide to crocheting 3 basic shapes
Image by Chanel of cbfiberworks.
  • any yarn (I used some scrap Red Heart Super Saver, which is a worsted 4 weight)
  • a hook appropriate for the yarn (I used a 3.75mm)
  • stuffing (I used polyfill that you can get at most craft stores or walmart)
  • scissors
  • tapestry needle
  • stitch marker (a scrap of yarn, bobbin pin, etc…)

Abbreviations

  • MR
    • Magic Ring: Create a magic ring and work the specified number of single crochet into it (ex. MR6 = 6sc into the ring). Always place your stitch marker in the first single crochet and move it up each row as you go.
  • sc – single crochet
  • Inc – Increase
    • Work 2 sc into the same stitch
  • Dec – Decrease
    • Unless otherwise specified, use the invisible decrease method. Insert your hook into the front loop of the next stitch, then insert your hook into the front loop of the following stitch, yarn over and pull through the first loop (3 loops on the hook), then yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on the hook.
  • BLsc – back loop single crochet

Sphere

A sphere or ball is one of the easiest shapes to crochet and an excellent way to practice before diving into amigurumi.

Sample Pattern

sphere pattern graphic for blog post
Graphic by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

Spheres are great because it’s so easy to adjust the size. Basically, just increase each row until you reach the width you want, then work as many single crochet rows as it takes to get the height you want. Finally, decrease in the same fashion as your beginning increases! You don’t even have to do a bunch of math!

If you want to practice making sphere shapes with a super simple amigurumi project, check out my free pattern: The Mini Octopus.

Cone

Cones are great for things like beaks, snouts, horns, etc… This shape can be worked from the bottom (base) up or from the top (point) down. To make this simple, we’re going to work from the top down.

Sample Pattern

cone pattern graphic for easy guide to crocheting 3 basic shapes
Graphic by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

This cone is pretty short and wide, but it’s pretty simple to alter. For example, if you wanted a skinnier cone, you could do 2 or 3 rows of single crochet in between each increase row instead of 1. By spacing out the increase rows, your project gets wider more gradually than the sphere.

Want to test out your new cone-making skills? Try this my free pattern: Nico the Narwhal!

Cylinder/Tube

Cylinders or tubes are perfect for limbs, necks, and other long appendages like tails.

cylinder pattern graphic for blog post
Graphic by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

Ok, so I may have lied. Cylinders might be easier than spheres, but it kinda depends on your preference. Either way, this sample project is also easy to alter. Want a longer tube? Just keep adding single crochet rows to your hearts’ content.

Making hollow tubes is a little different, but I hope this gives you the confidence to try other amigurumi projects.

Wrap Up

Whether you’re brand new to amigurumi or a seasoned toy-maker, I hope you found this guide helpful. I know I spent a lot of time practicing simple shapes before I tried to make an actual amigurumi. It was great for getting my tension down and getting comfortable working in the round.

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