I just spent the last four days giving this website a major overhaul. To make the update complete I wanted to write a new post. But what was I going to write about? Then it hit me. My husband asked me the other day what I meant when i used the term amigurumi crochet. I also remember when I first started crocheting wondering what people were talking about when they used that term…
Amigurumi crochet is the art of creating small, stuffed characters. The word amigurumi is a blend of Japanese words. The first word ami, “crocheted or knitted” and nuigurumi, “stuffed doll”. Take out the first three letters from nuigurumi and throw them away! Combine ami with what’s left and we have our crochet term…AMIGURUMI
The beautiful thing about crocheting, or crafting in general, is you get to use your imagination to create whatever you can imagine. It doesn’t matter if you are crocheting blankets, clothes, dolls or jewelry. You get to choose the colours, how big or how small. The freedom to create for me is an amazing feeling.
I didn’t start off crocheting amigurumi style. In the beginning I was making throw blankets for the couches and chairs in the house. I made all sorts of blankets when I first started. Small, medium and large with all sorts of different colour combinations.
After awhile though, I started losing interest. For me, my creative side wasn’t being satisfied. I don’t know why, but I kept getting drawn to wanting to make a teddy bear. And this is how it started. I didn’t knowingly choose the amigurumi style of crochet. When I made up my mind to make my first doll I started researching how to do it and that’s when I came across the term.
Is Amigurumi Difficult
I get this question quite often from other people that are wanting to learn or from others looking to try something different. First of all, it’s hard to conclusively say if amigurumi is difficult because everyone has different skill sets. Secondly, I’ve really only done the two different types of crochet items. Blankets, and now amigurumi. For me, I didn’t find it difficult to learn this style. I probably spent three to four hours a day for about two weeks until I was comfortable.
That doesn’t mean it will take you two weeks. If you only have an hour to spare a few times each week you might take a little longer. Or maybe you’re the type of person that learns extremely quick and you pick it up in four or five days. The point is, everyone is different and will learn at a different pace.
How you learn is also dependent on your own preferences. There are also so many ways you can learn how to crochet nowadays. You can get someone to sit down with you and show you one on one. This is a great way to learn. Being able to interact with someone, with their undivided attention is priceless. Have a question? No need to wait for an answer. Not sure you’re doing something properly. The teacher is right there to correct you.
Maybe you enjoy socializing. Well, you can do that while learning to crochet. Some of the large crafting stores have group lessons you can join. If you would rather teach yourself you can look into a couple of different methods.
The first method is to use a written tutorial. These can be very good depending on how good the instructions were written. The really good ones are very thorough and will include detailed, up close pictures.
The second way, and the way I ended up using to teach myself, is video instructions. As with the written tutorials, you will want to find a well made video. Like most of the world today, I went to YouTube and had no problem finding great quality videos.
You have chosen you’re preferred method for learning and now you’re ready to start searching online. Now the tricky part. If you are a beginner you are probably wondering what do I need to learn? You definitely need to learn some basic stitches that are commonly used in the amigurumi style. You also need to learn how to read a pattern so you can put your skills to work.
I suggest making sure to learn these three basic stitches.
- Single crochet – shown in a pattern as (SC)
- Double crochet – shown in a pattern as (DC)
- Half double crochet – shown in a pattern as (HDC)
Of course, as you get better and more comfortable you will need to expand your stitch techniques. It’s also kind of like the “chicken and the egg” conundrum! Should you learn to read the pattern first or learn the stitches first? In my opinion, there is no right or wrong answer. This goes back to how you personally like to learn. Whatever makes you happy and comfortable is my suggestion on which order you do this.
What Do I Do With All of These Dolls
There are so many options for you regarding your craft. Feeling nostalgic? How about making dolls that take you back to your childhood and setting up a place in the house to display them.
Have small children or grandkids? They make great toys for them. What child doesn’t love a squishy stuffed animal? There’s also nothing wrong with wrapping them up as gifts!
Maybe you’re feeling entrepreneurial and want to make a little extra money. This is a good way to help with the costs of your favourite hobby. You have a few options regarding this. You could set up an online presence. There are so many avenues for this in todays world. Create a FaceBook page or group. Set up that Instagram account you’ve been meaning to get around to. Believe it or not, Pinterest is another really good platform for this. You could also set up a more sophisticated online shop with Ravelry and Etsy.
Well, now that we’ve gone through all of that, I hope you’re feeling motivated and ready to get started! For me, once I learned the amigurumi style, I fell in love with it and knew it was the right choice for me. I hope this inspires you and makes you to give it a try!