Amigurumi

I’ve been on the lookout for projects that Otter can work on during the new school year – things like recipes, crafts, and other fun things for him to accomplish. During the process I found something fun for ME to do: amigurumi. Amigurumi comes from the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. These things are CUTE and some of the simpler ones are pretty easy to make. I think they’d make great stocking stuffers or presents this Christmas for kids and anyone else who likes cute things.
I went from not knowing how to crochet at all (unless you count crocheting a chain stitch when I was in about 5th grade) to making this bunny in about about 2-4 hours worth of practicing and learning the proper crochet stitches (that includes hunting around on the Internet for the proper instructions).

CUTENESS WARNING !!!

Amigurumi
If you have daughters (or sons!) who are looking for a fun craft, (or if YOU yourself simply can’t resist the cuteness) here are some great tutorials to get you started as well as the link for how to make the bunny.

What you’ll need:

  1. Some yarn -I used a worsted weight acrylic from Wal-Mart.
  2. A crochet hook – I bought a very small crochet hook, as these are what is recommended for making amigurumi. I got a size E, which is 3.5 mm, but you might also want a larger hook to first learn with so you can better see how the yarn is being grabbed, etc.
  3. Stuffing – I bought a $2.50 pillow and took the stuffing out of it
  4. Something for eyes – I bought rounded, black buttons, but you can use any buttons you have on hand OR you can use thread/embroidery floss to sew some eyes.
  5. Needle and thread for sewing on button eyes
  6. Tapestry or yarn needle for attaching amigurumi body parts
  7. Scissors
  8. Optional: embroidery floss (for sewing on a mouth and/or eyes), or another color of yarn to use as a mouth. If you use yarn as a mouth, you’ll either need to sew it on or glue it on.

What you’ll need to do/learn:

  • How to crochet This very clear video shows you how to make a slip knot, make a chain and then how to do a single crochet, how to add an additional row, how to fix a mistake and how to finish. These are the very basics that will get you started on your amigurumi journey.

Once you have the basics down you can start learning the next few skills:

  • Learn how to make a magic ring (If any of these instructions don’t do it for you, google a video. I watched several videos before I got the knack for it. As with anything, people have their favorite ways of approaching it.)
    1. Picture instructions
    2. Video instruction
  • How to increase (scroll down for the video)
  • How to make an invisible decrease
    This is an important skill for keeping your stitches looking good without gaps when you decrease. You have to learn how to decrease to make a ball shape (like bunny’s head).
  • How to read patterns and your first project of making a ball
    I had a little bit of trouble wrapping my brain around reading patterns at first, but things clicked after awhile. This video helped! Like anything, it just takes getting familiar with it and having your brain learn how to do the translating!
  • Your second project: Chibi animal – I made the bunny, but you can also make a kitty, bear, dog or alien following the same basic pattern.
  • Additional amigurumi video tutorials I haven’t gotten to these yet, but these tutorials should be helpful for more difficult patterns!

If you have a younger child who might be interested in crocheting, you may want to have him/her crochet a dishcloth or something a bit more straight forward to get the ball rolling. Just do a chain stitch and single crochet a square.

Making amigurumi is a lot of fun once you get the basic crocheting skills down and there are LOTS of free patterns on the web. It’s great to see a finished project that is so darn cute and really wasn’t that hard to learn and do. I am NOT a crafty person, so if I can do it, I’m sure you can too!