"Crocheted or knitted doll" is a simple definition for a slightly loaded term. Amigurumiare almost always tightly crocheted in a spiral, without joining rounds. They use any of several variations of an adjustable loop cast-on, and the stitches are almost exclusivelysingle crochet.They usually follow the
aesthetic - the word just means "cute" in Japanese, butto English speakers, the connotation tends to be "cute in a Japanese pop-culture way."This often means strange proportions, like oversized heads, or wide-set eyes with amouth almost on the same level. Hello Kitty is a good example.It's possible to knit amigurumi, but the overwhelming majority of patterns are for crocheters. In fact -- and this is embarrassing to admit -- I only learned to crochet in thefirst place so that I could make amigurumi. While on vacation in New York City in2001, I found an adorable book in Rockefeller Center's Kinokuniya bookstore called
, which included both knit and crocheted amigurumi and some patterns for crocheted accessories. It made me want to try to crochet, but it took meseveral years to pick up the skill.I mentioned that several books on this topic will be hitting stores in the next fewmonths.
was released in July. About half the book is devoted to amigurumi: nine basic patterns with several variations. The comingmonths will see the release of
(December, a translation of a popular Japanese book), with more to come in 2008.To make amigurumi, you'll need a few tools. Most amigurumi projects are inexpensive,using only part of a ball of yarn, some filling, and some embellishments.
: Worsted weight yarn with a smooth texture is a good choice. Most amigurumimakers use inexpensive acrylic yarns, like Caron's Simply Soft.However, several people have commented that the wool content in Lion Brand's WoolEase wool/acrylic blend makes it a little more elastic, and therefore easier to work with,so it's the inexpensive yarn I recommend.If you don't mind spending more money, you could try a superwash wool; use a real,untreated wool like Paton's Classic Merino if your pattern calls for felting.Whatever you choose, it's good to have a selection of colors.
Hooks or Needles
: Whether you're knitting or crocheting, and whichever yarn you'reusing, use needles or a hook at least two sizes smaller than the one normallyrecommended for your chosen yarn. Knitters will require a set of double-pointedneedles (DPNs), while crocheters will just need a hook.In the tutorial below, I used an I hook, because J was recommended for Wool-Ease, andI didn't have an H. This turned out to be much too loose (you can see the stuffingthrough the stitches in some of the photos). F, G, or H would be ideal, depending onhow tightly you crochet. You should not be able to see stuffing through your stitches.