Here is what I consider some of the important things to know when working up an amigurumi doll. There are many more but I think these fit the bill for my top tips I would tell a friend about, and well you are my fiber friend so I hope you find this helpful! We are going to go over each one by one. And just as a quick reminder, these are all my own personal opinions on preferred methods and materials to use. This post is to hopefully inspire you to try a new technique in your next amigurumi project!
Have fun Crocheting!
1. Magic circle/ Magic Ring
The magic circle is essential for amigurumi. Also, known as a Magic Ring. I personally use it at the beginning of most of my own Amigurumi patterns. It is a quick and seamless way to start a project versus chaining, joining, and making a circle this way. I have a video that I have made where I talk you through the steps of making a magic circle. It leaves a tail when first starting out and when you are finished with adding stitches to it, you can pull the tail to close the center creating a seamless center.
2. Invisible decrease
The Invisible Decrease is another gold nugget of information when making amigurumi. It helps shape the amigurumi whatever it may be, but it allows you to do it in a very seamless way. I like to abbreviate it to, INV DEC, in patterns.
When you are ready to do an Invisible decrease you will:
- Insert your hook through the front loop only of the next stitch,
- insert your hook again through the front loop of the next stitch, with two front loops on your hook + one,
- yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook, yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook.
And that is how to make an invisible decrease when making an amigurumi.
3. Seamless Joining
I know this may be why most crocheters stay away from making amigurumi is because of joining limbs and other pieces. I understand it can be intimidating sewing all those pieces together. Here are a few things I use and do.
- Use pins or your extra yarn needles to help keep pieces, especially larger ones, in place. If it is a smaller piece, like the snout for the piggy pattern, I hold it down gently with my thumb to hold it in place as I sew around it.
- The pictures down below show how I use a similar method as the ladder stitch.
- Start with inserting the yarn needle through one stitch of the head.
- Insert the needle through the single crochet post of the last round of the ear, parallel to the stitch made on the head.
- Continue around the entire ear, forming a series of stitches that look like a ladder.
- Every few stitches make sure to pull enough to hide the ladder-looking stitches, turning them into a seamless join.
- When finished, insert the needle to meet the other end of the yarn.
- Secure with a knot.
- Use a crochet hook to weave the ends inside the head.
4. Yarn Under, Yarn Over
This is my favorite tip! If I could pick one it would be this! It really changed the outcome of my amigurumi. Stitches were a little tighter without changing my tension. (Disclaimer: I have a very tight tension naturally when crocheting.) There are many combinations you are welcome to try and see what best is for you. I think the goal is to have close enough stitches so when you add the stuffing, you have a minimum to no stuffing showing through. It also helps so you are able to add as much as needed to shape your amigurumi.
- Yarn over, Yarn Over
- Yarn Under, Yarn Under
- Yarn Under, Yarn Over. - This is my preferred method and what I use when working up my amigurumi.
It does have slight differences, yarn under, yarn over feels the most comfortable to me, and highly recommend trying it out in your next project.
I feel like this one here is not much talked about when working up Ami's and it's just as important as all of the above. I have worked with several different Poly-fil and The one designed for doll making is my go-to. It is a little denser than the standard but it still allows for some squish but without being too squishy. You want that bit of a denser poly- fil especially when it comes to the neck. If you don't want your doll having a wobbly head, you need this kind of poly-fil or just make sure to stuff generously in the area to prevent a wobbly head, arms, or legs.
- When working with limbs, body, or head. Especially if it is a one-piece project, you may/should be instructed to stuff as you go. Stuff the poly-fil as if you can't go back into that section anymore. For example, if you are working with the head in one piece, you do not want to wait until you reach the head portion and start stuffing, it would be very challenging and not fun.
- Sometimes you may need more than you think. Use the poly-fil to your advantage and use it to shape out the doll! The stuffing is so important in how your amigurumi is going to look like when you are finished. Trust me, keep adding and shape as you go. Remove if needed.