Quick Guide to Big and Chunky Amigurumi
Even if you don’t frequent social media, I’m sure you’ve noticed the trend of fiber artists using blanket yarn to create giant, squishy amigurumi. It’s hard to tell where the trend originated, but it’s not hard to see why the internet lost its mind over these cuddly creations. This quick guide to chunky amigurumi will tell you everything you need to know about switching to blanket yarn.
Quick Guide to Big and Chunky Amigurumi
I use ‘blanket yarn’ as a blanket term
So while blanket yarn is the most common type used to make these chunky amigurumi, it’s by no means the only kind of bulky yarn being used.
- Blanket yarn: ex. Bernat Blanket/Baby Blanket Yarn…
- Velvet yarn: ex. Bernat Velvet, Mainstays Super Bulky Velvet Yarn…
- Chenille yarn: ex. Mainstays Chenille, Cuddly Chenille by Loops & Threads…
These three of used for their bulky, soft, texture, but you could used practically any super bulky yarn. Or if, you’re looking to stash bust, you can hold several strands together which creates a unique, bulky appearance.
One of the great things about using this kind of yarn is that it’s easily accessible in the U.S. (not sure about other countries, comment below if you have access to these yarns).
Mainstays is a Walmart brand and Bernat Blanket yarn is also generally available there as well as at Michaels and Joann Fabrics. Walmart also sells chenille and velvet yarn if you don’t have access to big box craft stores.
Isn’t chunky yarn expensive?
Yes and no.
While yes, chunky yarn is generally more expensive, you have to take a couple things into account. Let’s look at an example:
As of today (7/18/2021) Bernat Blanket Yarn is $10.99 each on Joann.com.
What we need to consider is: yardage, project type, and sales.
Yardage: using our example, this skein has 220 yards.
Project Type: simple amigurumi (let’s say Nico the Narwhal: which needs 100 yards of Color A & 25 yards of Color B)
Sales: where are you shopping from? Are there regular sales or coupons available?
Each skein has more than enough yardage for our example project and we only need 2 colors. However, that’s at least $22 not including shipping (if you need to order it). That’s pretty steep, I’ll admit.
But this is where that last category comes in and it’ll take a bit of digging, but it’s so worth it if you’re on a budget.
Michaels and Joann Fabrics have sales all the time, including individual coupons that will save you a ton of money, but if you look and there’s no sales at the moment, you’ve got 2 options: wait or go on a hunt.
If you decide to hunt, here’s a few other places to check:
- Company website: (Yarnspirations in this case) sometimes the company will hold special sales so it’s a good practice to check here.
- Lovecrafts.com: they hold frequent sales and are generally under retail price anyway. Plus, there’s a discount if you sign up for their newsletter and you can get free shipping over $60.
- Dickblick.com: I know this one seems out of left field, but they actually sell yarn at a discount. While they have a limited selection, they do sell a few chunky yarns like Premier Retro Velvet.
- Herrschners.com: (my personal fav) this site is great for finding all sorts of yarn at a discount AND they sell smaller (and cheaper) skeins of Bernat Blanket yarn, so carefully read the weight and yardage in the description.
So while yes, individual skeins of chunky yarn ARE more expensive, you’re only going to need a few skeins for your project (as opposed to a blanket) and you can get these yarns at a great discount if you know where to look!
What kinds of amigurumi patterns are best for this yarn?
Anything with a LOT of shaping, tons of parts, or lots of color changes will be a bit much for this yarn. I mean, you CAN do it if you want to, but it’ll probably be more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Also you don’t have to stick with patterns that were designed with blanket yarn. If you find a really cute and simple pattern made with a DK or worsted weight, you can absolutely sub out for blanket yarn and a bigger hook.
Lovecrafts.com has several free, downloadable patterns using blanket yarn. You can also find lots of free patterns on Ravelry.com.
What hook size should I use?
It kind of depends on the yarn and you’re personal preference.
Like I mentioned in my article: 5 Easy Tips to Make Your Amigurumi Better, with amigurumi you want to always go smaller than what the yarn recommends. This creates tighter stitches so you won’t see the stuffing inside.
I’ve personally created projects with Bernat Blanket/Baby Blanket Yarn and used an 8.00mm and a 6.00mm.
Below is an image of Sir Duckington where I used an 8.00mm hook and I thought the stitches turned out great with no serious gapping.
I used a 6.00mm hook when I made this pink Sugar Bee and while it turned out a little smaller than it would have with the 8.00mm, there weren’t any other noticeable differences.
Overall, I suggest doing a quick test. Crochet a small swatch with each hook size and see which looks and feels better. For example, if you find your yarn slipping off the 6.00mm, then go up to an 8.00.
Pros & Cons
I want to be honest here and while there are some great pros to doing chunky amigurumi, there are also some cons. I’ve made several projects with Bernat Blanket yarn and velvet yarn and what I have listed below is just my opinion. You may feel differently, but if you’ve never tried this before, I just want you to be aware.
- Versatile: blanket yarn creates a much bigger project while being SUPER SOFT and many amigurumi can double as pillows
- Adaptable: this yarn can be used on almost any amigurumi project (provided it’s simpler)
- Trendy: people LOVE these big, squishy creations, so if you sell you’re projects, it’s a great way to increase your profits with quick projects.
- Texture: because this yarn is so fluffy, it is very hard to see stitches, which means you need to feel them. This can be difficult for new crocheters.
- 100% Polyester: most of these yarns are polyester and all that fluff is attached to a strand on the inside of the yarn which can bite into your hands the more you work with it.
- Fragile: when sewing on parts, it is very easy to snap this yarn if you tug a little too hard.
- Lots of stuffing: this isn’t necessarily a con, but you’ll need to consider getting a LOT more polyfil if you plan on making multiples of these chunky projects.
I originally had this listed as a con, but I found a solution!
Because the parts are so much bigger, it can be difficult to pin pieces in place for sewing. Regular sewing pins are just too tiny to hold them.
Then I discovered quilting pins! They’re much longer and have a very slight serration so they hold pieces in place better than any pins I’ve ever used before. They’re pretty inexpensive and can be found at most craft stores.
Get some! You’ll thank me later.
In this quick guide to big and chunky amigurumi, we discussed:
- Types of chunky yarn you can use
- Prices and where to look for the best deals
- What size hooks to use
- Pros and Cons of using chunky yarn for amigurumi
- Bonus tip about sewing pins
Are you ready to grab some blanket yarn, join the trend, and make some adorably chunky creations? I hope so! It’s fun to just give it a try.
If you’re fired up and looking for an easy pattern to use chunky yarn with, try my FREE Nico the Narwhal pattern!
I hope you found this article helpful. Have you tried chunky yarn before? How was your experience? Leave a comment below!
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