Top Amigurumi Tips from Zoe Bateman
Cross Stitch | 2 min read time
If you’re new to amigurumi and feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are some tips for you to read through before you get started, to help you tackle your crocheting like a pro.
Pack a project bag
Amigurumi usually require a selection of yarn colors, as well as additional tools like hooks, stitch markers, scissors and yarn needles, not to mention stuffing. Before I start a new project I gather all the supplies and tools I need, and pop everything into a project bag, along with a copy of the pattern. My current favorite is the Hello Kitty x Pusheen Drawstring Project Bag – it has lots of space to fit everything I need in. Whenever I want to work on my crochet, everything is there ready to go, and it’s easy to grab if I am commuting and want to crochet on the move. Plus I can keep all the parts of my amigurumi together, so no more random lost arms or ears!
When it comes to hooks - size matters!
Use a hook that is at least one size smaller than the recommended hook size for the yarn weight you’re using (you can find the recommended hook size on the yarn ball band). For this project I used The Cotton One, which recommended a 5mm hook, so I’ve sized it down to a 4.5mm to ensure my stitches are tight. This is important as tight stitches mean less gaps for your stuffing to poke out of, and helps to give your amigurumi a neat and even finish.
Mark your spot
Always use a stitch marker – because amigurumi are crocheted in a constant spiral, it can be almost impossible to tell which was the first stitch of your round. Use a stitch marker (like these adorable Hello Kitty x Pusheen ones) to mark your first stitch – simply clip it on under the top part of the stitch so you can always find the beginning of your round.
Stitch markers are also super handy for holding your working loop (the one that goes on your hook) when you are transporting a WIP, to make sure your work doesn’t unravel. Simply remove the loop from the hook and attach your stitch marker. When you’re ready to start crocheting again just take out the stitch marker and slip the loop back over your hook.
Track your progress
Make notes on your pattern – keep a pencil handy so you can tick off each round that you’ve worked, to help keep your place. When rounds are repeated (eg. Round 7-12) keep a tally on the pattern so you don’t lose count of how many rounds you have worked, particularly if you have to stop part of the way through your crocheting.
Know your arms from your legs!
Label your amigurumi parts after you’ve finished them – sometimes it’s obvious which part is which, but often a leg can look a lot like an arm, and a tail can look like a leg. Write down what part it is on a scrap of paper and pop it inside the piece so you can easily identify what is what when you come to assemble your amigurumi.
Add your stuffing little by little
When stuffing your amigurumi parts, take small pieces of stuffing at a time rather than trying to shove in a huge handful all in one go. Smaller pieces are easier to move around and fill the shape of your amigurumi more evenly, so you don’t have lumps and bumps of stuffing. They are also easier to fit into small areas of your amigurumi, like the ends of legs and arms, so you don’t end up with a hollow part.
About Zoe Bateman
Zoe is a freelance multi-crafter, and author of ‘You Will Be Able To Crochet By The End Of This Book.’ An avid crocheter for over 15 years, Zoe loves nothing more than sharing her love of crochet, and craft in general, through workshops and events. You can keep up to date with her creative endeavors on Instagram @toocutecrafting