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15 September 2007 @ 10:17 pm
Amigurumi Primer  

I can't use text to teach you to crochet - but I can give you some resources to help you along the way...

My goal in creating this online primer is to pass along information to novice crocheters, beginners to the craft, or those curious for more knowledge! I want this post to be dynamic, and will accept any additions/corrections you have, and I'll edit and cite you along the way. So lets go!

What is amigurumi?

Amigurumi is technique in which pieces are made in the round (meaning you do not 'end' each round, but rather mark it and keep on adding!) using crochet or knit. I make crochet amigurumi! (so if someone has knit resources, please share!)

Wikipedia says this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amigurumi


How do you crochet?


To start, consider wikiHow's "How to Hold a Crochet Hook"

http://www.wikihow.com/Hold-a-Crochet-Hook



Then I'd recommend stopping by You-Tube for some visuals, because I need to see what I'm trying to do with the yarn - most often text doesn't cut it for explaining a stitch - sometimes pictures work though, so I use Google as a resource if I forget a stitch...here's a nice link I searched up!

http://www.learntoknit.com/instructions_cr.php3


Lion Brand has a nice resource as well:

http://learntocrochet.lionbrand.com/


Have a nice stitch guide menu!


So I can crochet, how do you start? (What's this magic ring thing?)


Many patterns recommend the magic ring technique, a fast, simple method to starting projects that are in the round that involves no knots, and can easily be taken apart in case of error. This is the page I see most cited as a great teaching tool to learn (oh oh me me I learned from it!)

http://crochetme.com/Dec_Jan_0405/reads_round.html

Planet June has a nice visual on why you'd want to create a magic ring too! She also has her own nice tutorials.

http://www.planetjune.com/blog/magic-ring-for-amigurumi/

I've also heard of the double-ring technique, but had never used it previously...so I tried it, and WOW! It gets rid of that annoying little loop pull I always seem to get when I connect my magic ring.  I have to pull it in two parts, but the time it takes I think is worth not having to worry about it looking imperfect. Once I got the hand of the technique, I just wrap it around on finger to reduce the length of the yarn tail, but save that for when you've got it down confidently. ;)

http://www.crochetme.com/amigurumi-double-ring

You can, of course, choose your own technique that makes you comfortable!


So I've got the 'decrease' stitch down, but it looks pretty obvious, what can I do to make it stick out less?

"I just learned about this by reading Elisabeth Doherty's amigurumi book. It's a method of making your decrease rounds look tidier.. Work the decrease through the front loops only. "

Quote by snuffykin  . Thanks for the input!

Now here is a visual of the Invisible Decrease Tutorial

Wanna see some visuals for changing colors? (by PlanetJune!)

Arg, how do I mark these stitches to stop losing my place?

A nice crochet stitch marking trick involving only scrap yarn, as well as a visual from my Flickr photos below  (click it to go to Flickr and see my notes).

 orange covered...orange?

You can also use anything else your heart desires! Paper clip parts, a safety pin without the loop, etc.

Would you like to make your own stitch holders?Just like the ones from the store, neat!  (from Zakka Life Crafts)

I made these pieces, how do I put them together all pretty?

Sometimes you get stuck, and need visuals on how to make your seams seem, well, invisible! Planet June has a nice tutorial on how to connect parts in a nice tidy manner.

http://www.planetjune.com/blog/joining-amigurumi/

How about some nice instructions to make an invisible finish?

Or, here's another hosted on Craftster of a Tutorial for Weaving In/Crocheting Over Yarn Ends.

What can I do for accents of eyes and noses?

The lovely June has made a great Amigurumi Eyes & Noses review of options over at Craftybits,

http://www.planetjune.com/blog/amigurumi-help/eyes-and-noses/

Where do you get those great safety eyes I see everyone using?

I spent $1.50 for a pack of six at A.C. Moore, that's fifty cents a project, and they only came in 12mm! So for my limited crafty resources, online is the best way to go! I ordered from http://www.crscraft.com/ and received a great product for reasonable shipping and an excellent price. I found their site difficult to navigate, so here are links to the 9 and 12mm sized black safety eyes, although they sell plenty of other different styles!

Plastic Safety Eyes, 12mm pack of 50 at CR's Crafts

Plastic Safety Eyes, 9mm pack of 50 at CR's Crafts

Also if you're looking for something special and unique, this artist offers amazing hand-painted safety eyes for your projects:

http://www.suncatchereyes.net/


Other resources:

Don't like what I put together? I found this Amigurumi Crash Course that has pictures!

http://www.pepika.com/free-patterns/amigurumi-course.htm


Fuzzy Yarn Tips (Planet June) - I totally recommend these pages, they are a must if you want to try to make amigurumi with fuzzy yarn (see my first results here.) My picture link also talks about my experience with fuzzy yarn and visibility! I recommend getting a post-it paper and jotting down your round numbers (I wrote down the number of stitches too), and crossing off as you complete them - that way if you have to put it down you don't lose where you are! Don't black out your information though, in case you need to make a second of that same pattern set (like another wing!) That way you can just draw a line in the other direction (or color) for your second iteration of the pattern.

http://www.planetjune.com/blog/fuzzy-yarn-tips/


Unidentified finished object amigurumi pattern:

http://lisaacrochet.blogspot.com/

Amigurumi hair tutorial:

http://owly.wordpress.com/2007/08/27/amigurumi-hair-tutorial/


Yarn ball winding tutorial - great for when those skeins get unruly and fall apart!

http://www.ariadneknits.com/blog/?p=62

Recycled Container Portable Yarn Holders:

http://www.instructables.com/id/EYGPNAEF3SYTKLF/?ALLSTEPS


Free crochet pattern resources:

These sites collect all those great free amigurumi/toy pattern links, and organize them!

http://acrochettoychest.blogspot.com/

http://amilist.blogspot.com/

http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/animals.php

http://www.suncatchereyes.net/Free%20Patterns.html
(thanks chezmichelle ! She adds a free pattern every month, woohoo!)

The current free crochet tutorials available on www.Craftster.org :

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=139166.0

An extensive list of crochet patterns with search capabilities:

http://www.myhq.com/public/c/r/crochetpoet/


Some of these links were saved from the wonderful people from
weloveamigurumi ! Stop on over to this community for help, patterns, and most importantly, inspiration!


Last Edited 07/25/08 2:00am
 
 
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Suncatcher Craft Eyeschezmichelle on July 6th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
What a great post. Thanks for including a link to Suncatcher Eyes!

I also have a page of free amigurumi patterns. If you would like to add a link to that on your page, please feel free. The link is: http://www.suncatchereyes.net/Free%20Patterns.html I add a new one every month.
rengawkkrysanya on July 25th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
Sounds good, thanks! (sorry this got lost in my inbox!)
Jessiesylviasushi27 on July 25th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
thanks for this post, adding it to memories. :D
Sister Nailgun of Enlightened Compassioncaitirin on August 28th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
This is an amazing resource! Thank you!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )