Making Sense of Amigurumi #1

Many have asked how I managed to designed so many things just by the first few months of learning crochet. Here I am going to share with you my learning process, and how I managed to create many designs with simple modifications. Most beginners in amigurumi tend to rely on existing patterns, and feel intimidated to try creating their own.

Amigurumi or crochet stuffed animals actually often constructed of simply designed limbs that match each other. The real trick is to find your own formulation. In this part I will explain the basic form which technique is often used to make heads, and with a simple modification can also be used to create the body and limbs.

ami chart

Magic Ring

Now, it’s important to understand how nearly all forms of amigurumi parts starts with a mere Magic Ring (MR). The amount of stitches in MR highly affects the outcome of the form. Most MR for heads used four to six stitches, but yes – six is the most popular amount used in MR. That said, 4-6 stitches in MR tends to form a roundish shape, except intended to be otherwise (oval, for instance) with combining the static phase (I will explain about this later below).

Of course, you can make MR with stitches more than 6, if you get back to around two previous posts you will see my free Pusheen pattern which used 7 stitches in the MR body. This is because Pusheen is fat, and I need the body to be more than just round. So, more stitches you put in MR (above six) would form a big, wide body which is more commonly used for either fat bodied amigurumi or winter hats. This is also because, amigurumis are usually made from bottom to the top, see the two pictures to imagine it clearer (if you haven’t really started making any amis).

How about less than 4? The lowest amount of MR you can use is 3, however this will not form a round shape anymore. Rather, it will form a triangular shape like cat or fox ears so they are rarely used unless you want to make these particular animals.

MR

Expanding/Increasing Phase

After forming your magic ring (I like to add the stitches on the second stitch after making two chains) you will start to expand the form of the ami. This is actually merely simple math. In the beginning, try to simply make sense that expanding means you will simply make use of increase (inc) which is putting two single stitches instead of one. After the magic ring, you normally do increase in every stitches. The next round, one increase after one normal sc, after that an increase after two normal stitches, etc.

So simply in the next round, you add the amount of sc in between the inc until you get a certain amount. This means you should stop when you think it’s big enough. I tend to use not more than five sc in between the inc because I’d like my amigurumis to be small (I normally use a size 3 yarn and needle).

Of course, there are other combinations on how you do this, but since this is the basic form it makes it easier to understand in comparison of explaining the use of the next phase in between. Okay, let’s just move on.

Static (sc around) Phase

I named it static for the reason that you actually stop expanding here. As I mentioned above, of course you could put sc’s in between the expanding phase/increasing rounds. However, I’d consider this to be unnecessary for now because if you could go this far means you would have already understand the basics well enough. For instance, rather than round, you may create different oval shapes by doing this. But for now, let’s go on with the basic round one.

As any round forms, there is that small part in the middle where the form relatively stays like that, it neither goes bigger or smaller. This is the reason why we do sc around in the middle part (in whichever rounds) whether you make oval or round shapes. The normal amount would be 3-4 round, and though for a completely round form you put them consecutively in the middle but since amis normally don’t use a completely round head or body, you usually put them in between other rounds in either of the phases or both (expanding/increasing and decreasing).

Decreasing Phase

This part is probably the simplest. You do the expanding phase backwards. If the last amount of stitches you put between the increase was five, then this is the amount you will need to start with, while replacing the increase with decrease. So in the first decreasing round you make five normal stitches, then decrease then four stitches before decrease in the following round, etc.

Now decreasing or skipping one stitch is the easiest method to make the sphere smaller, but it also leaves a hole, whether it’s visible or not it depends on how tight your stitches are and how big your yarn/needle combined. My favorite method in this phase would be invisible decrease, but other people also used sc2tog (stitch two together). I’m not sure if there is another method, but these are the most commonly used.

Suggestion projectTotoro Squishy Bun Crochet Pattern

This is a very easy and fun project you can try out after digesting all my rambles above  (even maybe easier than the Pusheen Crochet Pattern ):D

If you are a pure beginner, no worries. Here is a Crochet Guide for Beginners. It will help you get the ideas on how to pick each materials, videos on how to do MR + basic stitches and the sorts.

Alright, I think this should round up the first basics. I hope I explained it well enough. I’m still thinking what should I write next, but if you have any request feel free to comment below or contact me through any of my social media pages (facebook and instagram). 🙂

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