Amigurumi involves the art of using yarn to crochet or knit stuffed toys. This form of art originated from Japan, and the translation of ‘amu’ means ‘to knit’ while nuigurumi means ‘stuffed toy’.
Crocheting amigurumi can take many forms and are not limited to humans, animals, vehicles and even fantastical creatures. Many decide to make their final amis ‘kawaii’ or cute or even ‘chibi’ which refers to the exaggerated form of a chubby body and an enlarged head.
How is crocheting amigurumi different from crocheting garments or scarves?
For the initiated crocheter, the basic techniques involved in making amigurumi are very similar to that for making garments, like single crochet, double crochet, changing colours etc., except it involves crocheting in rounds rather than rows.
Also, making amigurumi involves working certain 2D techniques in 3D, for example from circles to spheres.
These four images show the progression of an ami starting off from a magic ring, to a sphere, to the body and finally to the detailed amigurumi.
What can I create with using amigurumi crocheting techniques?
After getting the basics down like making the body and the limbs, it’s really up to your imagination what you can create! Tackling some human figures would start off being the easiest but as you get more skilled and creative, animals and fantastical creatures can get pretty fun and challenging!
Benefits of trying out amigurumi
Apart from all the benefits of crocheting in general, which I would like to say helps with relieving stress and creating beautiful artwork at the end of it, amigurumi have some additional benefits that make it an easy hobby to pick up. They are great forms of stash busting, meaning you don’t need a lot of yarn to get it done and sometimes just a little bit for detailing over the body.
They work up really fast, usually a couple of hours or sometimes even less than an hour, especially for folks with short attention spans because we know how long blankets can be! Also, depending on the size of the crochet hook and yarn, they could be made into minis which mean storage space is much easier.
What does starting out Amigurumi look like?
Starting off with magic rings and circles may be tricky and figuring out the tension may lead to something that bulges but gauges are not that crucial for Amigurumi. Finishing off your first ami may simply end up like the little snowman I started out with! Then really it’s just a matter of practice makes perfect!
About the Author
Huipei is a practicing family physician hailing from sunny Singapore, mother to a 3-year daughter and an avid self-taught crocheter for the past 6 years. She started out doing little amis as a side hobby to relieve some stress from work and as she made more and more of them, she realized the possibilities of creations are endless and incorporating special stitches usually used in textured garments like bobble stitches and popcorn stitches can be worked into amigurumi as well!
She particularly enjoys working with miniature amigurumis and is a huge geek and often draws inspiration from various geeky characters; of late, her inspiration mostly comes from her daughter in various animal costumes! When she’s not playing with her daughter or seeing patients, she sometimes indulges in crocheting little yarnlings and making stop motion animations of them. Follow her on instagram @pocketyarnlings or her blog at pocketyarnlings.com for more shenanigans.