What is amigurumi crochet? The word amigurumi is Japanese in origin and can be broken down into two root words. Ami, meaning crocheted or knitted and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. They can be in the shape of animals, mini foods, scenery, shapes, or household objects.
Amigurumi can either be done in knitting or crochet. Crochet is much better suited for the craft because it creates a thicker and tighter end result.
Thought to have started in Japan, amigurumi became popular in the United States in the early 2000’s. Amigurumi make excellent items to sell at a craft fair, are great for gifts, and fun to collect.
Is It Easy To Make Amigurumi?
Although amigurumi may look complicated to master, it truly isn’t Once you are able to learn how to make a magic circle or ring, you’re off to a good start. Not all patterns begin with a magic circle however, some begin with a chain and a slip stitch. Most amigurumi patterns use the same stitch for making the object. This would be the single crochet stitch. All of these stitches are basic beginner crochet stitches, making it easy for new crocheters master amigurumi.
Once you’ve choosen the pattern you’d like to work on, you’ll be able to decide on the colors you will need. After the body is complete, it will require stuffing. Depending on what pattern you’ve chosen, you may have to add a tail, legs, arms, or ears. You’ll need to add eyes, maybe even a mouth to complete your project.
What Do I Use To Stuff My Amigurumi?
With your amigurumi finished, you are now ready to stuff the body. There are multiple options of materials to choose from.
- The most common material use is Polyester fiberfill or Polyfill stuffing. This is made from a mix of various synthetic or polyester fibers. These are loosely spun to keep the material light, airy, and soft. It is very lightweight and plush. Uses for Polyfill stuffing are, baby toys, pillows, and stuffed animals.
- Another option is Polyester cluster filling. This is made up of small individual clusters of stuffing materials that form the main bulk of the product. This is a different texture from Polyfill stuffing. Using this product, you can stuff a little bit at a time, and maintain the shape of your amigurumi.
- Poly pellets are good for toys that need to be held down or weighted for display purposes. Made from plastic or silicone pellets, it gives the toy more of a bean bag feel. Poly pellets are not recommended for children’s toys because they are a choking hazard. They can be used in combination with Polyfill stuffing, using the pellets only on the bottom of your projects to help it stand up.
Eyes for your animals can either be sewn on with yarn or attached. If the animal is being made for a child, buttons are not recommended. For safety purposes, sewn eyes, using yarn is a safer option. Another product that is safe to use for your eyes is called safety eyes. They resemble plastic screws with plastic washers. Once you are sure that the eyes are positioned in the right place, the washer is slipped onto the post of the eye. It clicks into place and is not able to be removed.
Safety eyes come in different sizes and colors. They come with the pupil or in solid colors. You can buy safety eyes at Walmart, on Amazon, at Michaels, or at online shops. It’s all a matter of choice as to which eyes you prefer to use.
Just like with other types of patterns, a google search can be done to find tons of Amigurumi patterns. Once you find them, it will be hard to decide on which one to begin with. They are adorable, cute, and fun. Children as well as adults love them. If selling your work, Amigurumi is a great to have on hand.
Below are a few of the sites that came up when I did a search. They are just a sampling and there are many more sites out there.
Amigurumi Equals Joy
Amigurumi is a fun and addicting hobby. Once mastered, you’ll want to continue to create them all. They’re easy and quick to make. The toys make terrific gifts, collectable, and are great for flea markets, craft fairs, or to sell online. Now that the world of Amigurumi has opened up for you, the opportunities are endless.
The craft enables the crocheter to be creatve, to make collections such as tea sets, fruits, vegetables. You can create a zoo or a jungle. There are puppies, kittens, bunnies, and bears to be made. Let the imagination run wild and create your own amigurumi community. Just remember to have fun while doing it.