5 Tips to Improve your Crochet Amigurumi
Crochet | 4 min read time
We share our tips and tricks to take your amigurumi skills to the next level.
Whether you’re new to crochet, or are so good, you could double crochet with your eyes closed, there’s always room for improvement and a chance to refresh your skills! Take a look at our top tips to become an amigurumi pro, then choose your next project with our selection of all-in-one amigurumi crochet kits.
Master the magic ring
The magic ring is the foundation of every component and limb in an amigurumi project. It’s a clever crochet technique that allows an item to be worked in the round, while creating a tightly closed centre. Learn to create the magic ring with our tutorial video here.
Right side vs wrong side
When crocheting a garment, the right side (RS) of your work is the side facing you. The same goes for crochet amigurumi. The general consensus for amigurumi is that it looks better with the RS of your work facing outwards. This side is smoother and the crochet stitch ‘v’s are more defined. The back of a single crochet stitch (double crochet in UK terminology) tends to be bigger than the front, so the wrong side (WS) can look more bobbly, and the horizontal bars of stitches are visible.
If you’re crocheting anti-clockwise in the round, you may find that your work curves inwards as you work, putting the right side (RS) on the inside. Working with the wrong side (WS) facing outwards, you’ll find yourself putting your crochet hook through stitches from the inside of your amigurumi component to the outside. Some crocheters are happy to make amigurumi in this way and simply turn the components inside out before stuffing and sewing up. However, this method of crocheting amigurumi can be quite fiddly, particularly with small components.
If you crochet amigurumi with the RS facing outwards, then you’ll work in a clockwise direction in the round, putting your crochet hook through stitches from the outside, to the inside. Although it may feel odd to begin with, this way of crocheting amigurumi is easier in the long run and saves you having to remember to turn components inside out before stuffing.
Count your rounds
Stay on track with your project and make it easy to count your rounds by marking the ends, either with a stitch marker, or using some scrap yarn.
How to mark your crochet rounds using scrap yarn
Work your first round and count the stitches to make sure you have the correct number. Then, using your hook, pull the contrast yarn through the last stitch you worked in your round. It’s best to use a scrap yarn that’s a different colour to your project, so you can see each marked round clearly.
With the scrap yarn in place, you can now work your next round. The final stitch of this round will be worked into the stitch holding your contrast yarn.
Once more, count your stitches at the end of the round to make sure you’ve correctly followed the instructions. Then, place your hook back into the last stitch of the round again and pull the contrast yarn up through. Continue in this way for each round.
If you’re feeling confident, you can choose to just pull the contrast yarn back and forth, over or under, each round rather than through the last stitches. By experimenting with different methods of stitch marking, you’ll find the best one for you.
Crochet amigurumi is worked in a non-stop constant spiral. Using a contrasting piece of scrap yarn as a stitch marker means it will track and spiral with you up your work, ‘leaning’ towards the right. This makes it easier to count how many rounds you’ve completed: Either by noting how many stitches your contrast yarn has been pulled through, or how many times your contrast yarn has been moved forward or back. Once you have completed the final stitch of your amigurumi component, you can simply pull out your contrast yarn without damaging your work in any way.
Some crocheters like to use stitch markers, which are clips or hooks that can be attached to individual stitches and easily removed. Unlike the contrast yarn, which will continuously mark and track stitches up your work, you will unhook and re-attach the stitch marker to the final stitch of each round.
Count your stitches
When you first learn how to crochet, counting your stitches at the end of each row or round will help to keep you on track, and follow the pattern correctly. When you are counting crochet stitches, you count the ‘v’s’ across the top of your, similar to how you would count your chain stitches. This is the same method whether you’re crocheting back and forth in rows, or in the round.
Not including the loop on your hook, count the ‘v’s working away from your hook for the whole length of your piece or round. If you are using a stitch marker to count your rounds you can clearly see where each round begins and ends, making it easier to count your stitches.
Top Tip: Sometimes the last stitch (v) of a straight row can twist to the wrong side, or ‘back’, of your work. Flattening your piece and viewing the ‘v’s’ from the top when counting will help you see if the last stitch is curling around and still needs to be worked.
It’s ok to make mistakes!
Whether it’s your first amigurumi project, or your hundredth, making mistakes is completely normal! Everyone has little tricks or methods for keeping themselves on track: Saying the stitches out loud, ticking them off on your pattern, using stitch markers and row counters.
Thankfully if you do make a mistake, it’s very easy to undo stitches and fix it. If you discover a mistake, but maybe can’t identify exactly where or what the mistake is, it’s easiest to undo all the stitches back to where your contrast yarn, or stitch marker, indicates the beginning of the current round, and start it again.
Ready to put your skills to the test? Share your amigurumi tips with a community of crafters on Instagram and Facebook.