If you don’t know already Amigurumi is the Japanese art of making something small and cute by crochet or knitting. Usually stuffed the creations can range from cakes to sea monsters. Anything goes! There are so many fantastic amigurumi ideas and books out there to help you create some fantastic cute and realistic creations. It is a fun way to create without using lots of yarn or taking up too much time. I have learnt so much about crochet from making these fun little pieces. if you are like me and have a fickle attitude to what you want to make then it is the perfect crochet style. I love the realistic plants and the fantasy creatures, the life size birds and faux taxidermy. I am like a kid in the proverbial sweet shop with amigurumi. Even the word amigurumi sounds intriguing to me! It certainly conjures up a world of crochet possibilities.
If you are new to crochet Amigurumi is the perfect way to learn lots of useful techniques that you need to know. Increasing and decreasing working in back loops only, shaping etc. Working on a small piece also means that if you make a mistake you haven’t wasted days of your life! Frogging your work can be so disheartening when you are learning!
One technique is working in the back loops only to create ribbing. Not only is this great for making cacti it is also one of the stitches used to make quick and easy pumpkins. If you move on to make garments it will form the ribbing on cuffs. It is amazing how a few simple techniques can be used for so many different things! You learn all about increasing and decreasing which is a very useful technique if you like hiding mistakes rather than frogging!
There are so many absolutely brilliant amigurumi crochet books and ideas out there. I am constantly in awe of all the talented designers creating modern and unique pieces of fibre art. I have always been interested by sculpture and this is just an extension of that. It is fibre art. We traditionally think of stuffed crochet as the toys you would see at jumble sales crocheted by old ladies but the new designers have absolutely blown that out of the water! Even the traditional toys have a new edge and I just cant get enough of it.
There are so many great amigurumi ideas on Pinterest and fabulous books available. Books such as Emma Varnam’s Crocheted Succulents, Kate Bruning’s Let’s Go Camping , Lalylala Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies and several books by Vanessa Mooncie. Magazines such as Simply Crochet and Inside Crochet regularly feature designs by the many of the talented designers that I avidly follow on Instagram and I have been delighted to see some of my favourite designers popping up in them.
Amigurumi inspiration is everywhere. I have made flowers, animals, insects and birds. My favourite creation has been a life size barn owl from a pattern by Vanessa Mooncie. I am honestly so proud of myself for managing to make him, I thought that it would be beyond my capabilities but as with everything if you give it a go you just might surprise yourself! He really is a beauty and I have him sat watching me now as I work. I swear he has his beady eyes on me!
I recently participated in voluntary medical trials. You are paid quite well to stay in a clinic where you are poked prodded and used as a human guinea pig. I used this time to create a human anatomical heart as I do love a good photo opportunity! I also made a human eye which would make a gruesome keychain! I will put the pattern for the eye on the free pattern page when we get nearer to Halloween.
Always use a smaller hook than is recommended for the yarn to create a nice tight stitch so that the stuffing doesn’t show through. Cotton is the best yarn to use if possible. Don’t worry if you only have acrylic in your stash , you can use that too but cotton is less fuzzy so better for intricate work. So if you are new to crochet or just fancy trying something new there is a whole world of possibilities with amigurumi. Let your imagination come alive!
You can get the free pattern for my little Beatrix Bee here.