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

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Beginner’s Guide for Knitting Hat

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my all handmade winter outfit (cardi knitted by my bf’s mom)

Okay, so here we go. As I also started knitting not so long ago, I do notice the up and downs in knitting. There are many interesting projects to try, as there are abundant amount of free tutorials accessible online. However the classic problem with yarn is, it’s always rather tricky to get the yarn you actually want, in the size like what the tutorial’s suggested. So in this guideline I’m practically gonna tell you how to create your measurement to knit a basic winter hat, despite the thickness/size of the wool. You are free to pick any yarn you like, yay!!

Quite often, I also get questions, what is the difference between knit and crochet. Well, in crochet you basically create a knot, but in knitting you actually drop a knot, if not more like a loop. If you view this beginner’s video for knitting you will see why (scroll down where there is a clickable link to the two types of stitches required to make the hat).

Basically for hats, all you need is buy the yarn you like (I like chunky yarns) and then follow this simple steps to make your own measurements. When you buy your yarn the label would tell you which needle to get. You don’t always have to follow this suggestion. For example, if your yarn says size 10-12 then you will get big chunky braids with size 12 and a rather tighter braids with a size 10. The needle size will determine how the braids look, but it also means it determine how big the holes in between are. For a yarn suggested with a size 10-12 you can use a size 8 for example, for a much tighter braid. It won’t look that pretty since you see less of the texture, but on the other side, the hole in between also get much smaller, which also means your hat will get much warmer. This is what I exactly did with my hat. While I came from a tropical country, the truth is I live in a cold country in North Europe, so I want to keep myself as warm as possible.

In this picture below you see a small knitted blue rectangle. This is a ‘test piece’ and you only use the right/knit stitches for this. Related to the previous paragraph, the test piece below is the same yarn I used for my hat, knitted with a size 12 needle (compare how the braid looks with my hat which used a size 6 needle). This piece is made by making 10 stitches in 10 rows. When you have this, measure the length. Mine is 11 cm. Simply then, it means that 10 stitches makes 11 cm. So to make a hat with my head circle (52 cm) I will need 47 stitches. Simple math 🙂 I normally add 1 stitch (so I actually work with 48 stitches cause you technically stitch two stitches together to make the shape circular) but its optional. Some people like their hat to just sit right, some like it rather tighter.

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DIY Crystallized Doily

I know it’s basically just an elementary school project level that you can actually found like, a lot in pinterest or any other blogs. But I do notice that most of them use pipe cleaners, which is not that easy to get here. Since I’m now a crocheter, why not try making it with a simple doily?

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Okay, first of all this project is technically still in the run. I have yet to try it with a complicated doily design, its not even a proper doily yet – but I  know at this stage it will work out eventually. I was already in the stage to test forms, see if the crystal can actually grow on yarn, which yarn is actually firmer than the other, and so on. However, I do know if I harden a bigger or more complicated doily design with a simple sugar solution or white glue before I dip it in the borax solution, the crystals willl grow on it without problem.

Now, even though I am not experienced in science projects, but this project is basically a simple chemistry – which I have learned a bit from baking. So one thing I do know is the smallest detail matters. I’m trying to break down the process into smaller parts, why each detail matters. Continue reading