If you love arts and crafts, it’s quite likely that you’ve already tried crocheting, knitting, or even embroidery. Handmade crafts are a lot of fun and are practised by millions of women (and men) all around the World. And if you’re interested in crochet in particular the chances are that you have already come across the term ‘Amigurumi’. So what is Amigurumi and should you give it a try? I am very excited that I have the opportunity to introduce you to Amigurumi and answer the questions people often ask about this wonderful craft. And hopefully by the time you have finished reading this post you will fall in love with Amigurumi, just the way I did!
What Is Amigurumi?
Amigurumi is a craft that involves either crocheting or knitting very small, 3-dimensional objects such as animals or dolls. This art form has been known in Japan for decades but only became popular in the west in the early 2000s. The exact meaning of the word Amigurumi translates as “crocheted or knitted stuffed toy.” It is often used to make different types of handmade toys for various occasions. Although most of the toys are made to be small, some are in fact a little larger depending on the design and the type of yarn used.
Amigurumi toys are mainly intended for children to play with, but anyone young at heart will appreciate a handmade gift that is as delightful as this. In fact, many people collect Amigurumi items simply to serve decorative and aesthetic purposes.
What Is the Difference Between Crochet and Amigurumi?
As mentioned earlier in this article, Amigurumi creations can be either crocheted or knitted. However, today I would like to talk about crochet Amigurumi as this is the more popular form of this art. And I bet the first question that comes to mind is: “So what is the difference between crochet and Amigurumi?” My answer would be that the difference is very little. After all, Amigurumi is a type of crochet. Crochet is a much broader term that includes many different crochet projects such as scarves, blankets and clothing. But both crochet and Amigurumi require pretty much the same materials and tools. That is with the exception of safety eyes and stuffing, which you will only need when making Amigurumi toys. In fact, one may say that Amigurumi is easier than crochet as you can make wonderful handmade toys with just knowledge of the basic crochet stitches.
What Is the Amigurumi Method and Technique?
The good thing about Amigurumi is that it uses basic crochet stitches. And that is despite of the fact that some of the toys may look quite complicated. So if you’re a beginner or someone with basic crochet knowledge, don’t be put off giving it a go. There are many Amigurumi patterns out there and although they vary from easy to more advanced levels, the basic technique is consistent across all. Most patterns start with a magic ring and a crochet circle and use single crochet, double crochet, and increase/decrease stitches. If you would like to learn how to crochet a perfect circle then visit my ‘How to crochet a perfect circle’ tutorial.
Amigurumi toys consist of several sections that are first stuffed and then either crocheted or sewed together to make the doll or animal.
Most of the patterns will have you work in spiral rounds and they usually require a smaller than recommended hook size. This will help to keep the stitches tight so when you place the stuffing inside the toy, it won’t show through large gaps in your work. The stuffing is usually made from material such as wool, polyester, or cotton craft stuffing. But polyester fibrefill is the most commonly used stuffing on the market.
Why You Should Try Amigurumi
If you like handmade crafts and enjoy learning new skills then Amigurumi is definitely for you! It is a fun and relaxing activity that doesn’t take too long to learn and brings you and your loved ones lots of joy. You’ll enjoy creating works of art and crocheting happiness with your own two hands. And believe me when I say that you will be super proud of every crochet toy you make. It is a wonderful feeling and I’m talking from personal experience. 🙂
Amigurumi is also a great introduction into the world of crocheting. If you would like to try crocheting but are not tempted by making items such as blankets or scarves, don’t be shy about trying Amigurumi. Another advantage of choosing this craft over traditional crochet is that it is a great way to use up small amounts of left-over yarn. Most of the patterns use a variety of colors and yarns, which means that every single one of your creations will be a unique item.
Is Amigurumi Easy?
The answer is simple: “Yes, of course it is!” Amigurumi is so easy that you’ll surprise yourself when working on your first project. Again, most patterns only require knowledge of the basic stitches so you should have no trouble following them. And if you ever get stuck most designers are happy to provide support with their patterns. Or you can always look up a “how-to” video on YouTube. There are plenty of useful videos and tutorials out there.
Most Amigurumi patterns are packed with step by step instructions that are easy to follow. They will provide you with information on what type of yarn to use and what materials and equipment you will need. You should look for a pattern that includes detailed explanation on the crochet abbreviations used. This will make it easier for you to read the pattern and understand the instructions. I would recommend starting with easy patterns to build up your confidence and skills before you go ahead with more advanced Amigurumi projects.
It Is an Ideal Crochet Gift for Kids
We all know that kids love cute toys they can play and cuddle with. And a handmade crochet gift such as a crochet animal or doll will certainly bring a smile to your child’s face! When I was a child I always felt very special when my mum made me a toy that was just mine and unique! I very much treasured my mum’s toys and have very happy memories of playing with them.
Crocheting Can Be a Form of Meditation
What I also love about Amigurumi is how it helps me relax and relieve stress. It is a great way to chill out and clear your mind at the end of a hard day. No wonder it has been recognised as a form of meditation! Crafts such as crocheting and knitting have also been known to lower your blood pressure, so they have numerous real health benefits. So if you’re looking for a hobby that can heal both body and soul and teach you how to make the most adorable toys on the planet, Amigurumi it is!
So Go Ahead and Give Amigurumi a Try
You are now familiar with the art of Amigurumi and it’s excellent benefits to yourself and your loved ones. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and are excited to give Amigurumi a try! So get your creative juices flowing and crochet an adorable farm animal or a playful doll. And if you need inspiration for your next project then check out my free Amigurumi patterns.
My free patterns range from easy patterns for beginners right through to a more advanced level. So you are bound to find some you will love. They are full of step by step instructions and photos that are easy to follow. You may also want to browse through my Amigurumi tutorials to learn the basics before you get started.
And if you prefer to download a printable version of my patterns that are ad free and inexpensive, then visit my Etsy shop here.
Happy crocheting! 🙂
Some of My Free Patterns for You to Enjoy: