PROJECT #015: 6 SKILLS THAT WILL HELP YOU MASTER AMIGURUMI
Never again be intimidated by an amigurumi pattern! With these 6 skills, you’ll be unstoppable – ready to conquer the amigurumi patterns of the world, and even design your own. Whether you’re a newbie, or a seasoned designer, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without these 6 secrets.
Well, they helped me and you might find them useful too.
#1 MAGIC RING
Literally the foundation of nearly all amigurumi, it’s well worth learning the correct way to do a magic ring. Planet June’s tutorial is my favourite, and it truly is the neatest method for starting a piece that’s worked in rounds. Speaking of which, I cannot recommend June Gilbanks tutorials highly enough – her website is thee best resource for beginners to learn something new, and for experienced crocheters to take their work to the next level. Take Mars the bunny for example: he has a magic ring smack in the middle of his face, and there are no worries about unsightly knots showing here!
#2 CROCHETING INTO A CHAIN
For flat amigurumi pieces, this is a vital skill. Knowing how to recognize exactly where to insert your hook into a starting chain will give your work a neat finish. This tutorial at Annie’s Craft Store teaches the most common way to work into a chain, with very clear illustrations and a great video. Head over there for the full instructions.
#3 JOG-LESS COLOUR CHANGES
A very valuable skill, not only for amigurumi, but for any crochet project where changing colours makes an untidy jog that sticks out like a pink river dolphin in your sea perfect of stitches. Check out Needle Noodle’s tutorial to learn how.
This technique is great for stripey projects like these CritteRattles.
#4 INVISIBLE DECREASE
Decreases can make big, ugly holes that stand out in your amigurumi. You can see them from a mile away – they make dark spots and sometimes they even let the stuffing show through. There’s nothing worse than when these holes happen to be in the middle of your little cutie-pie’s face. Once again, Planet June’s solution is my favourite and I use it on every single one of my amigurumis. Octobubble here, has a belly full of decreases, and Longing Lion Cub’s face is covered in them – but just try and spot them!
#5 COUNTING STITCHES CORRECTLY
Working in the round, as is traditional with amigurumi, can make it challenging to keep track of your stitches. Knowing how to recognize the specific parts of a stitch to count can really help. Simply Crochet’s short and sweet tutorial (left) shows how to count your stitches, but if you need more explaining, Fresh Stitches (right) really breaks it down into baby steps. Check out the full tutorial here.
#6 RUNNING STITCH MARKERS
Even if you know how to count stitches, there are still cases where you need stitch markers. I use them to mark the beginning of each round so I don’t have to keep count of my stitches. That way, I can drop my crochet when my dog cries for cuddles, knowing that I’ll find my place again easily after she’s had enough chest-rubs and ear-scratches.
I for one, can’t be bothered with something I physically have to clip onto a stitch and keep moving with every new round; that’s why I love running stitch markers – they’re the only method I use. They’re basically free, you can’t really lose them, and they mark the beginning of every round – not just the round you’re on. Check out Little Owls Hut’s tutorial to learn more.
I use them on just about everything, but I found them especially helpful with keeping track of what I was doing on Slinky the giraffe’s neck. Designing the shape of this girl’s body was no joke!
That concludes the list of my personal top tips to demystifying amigurumi. They might seem elementary to some people, but I for one am always looking for ways to improve my skills, and what seems obvious to some is still a mystery to others. I only recently learned how to do a magic ring properly and I’ve been crocheting for about 4 years already! What are your secret tips to making better amigurumi? Share with us in the comments!