Introduction: How to Crochet: Amigurumi Basics

Amigurumi projects are cute and fun to make, but if you don't know how to crochet, you need to learn the basics.

In this instructable, I will show you How To:

  • read a pattern,
  • select yarn and understand the labels
  • select the right crochet hook (conversion chart included) and,
  • complete many of the basic stitches required to make your own project.
  • and more.

All stitches shown, have been broken down into easy to follow steps; with both written instructions and photos.

And when you're ready to make your first Amigurumi project, please check out my Pin Cushion 'ible, which will help you learn to make a simple head, body, arms and legs!

If you like this instructable, and would like to see something added, let me know!

Step 1: Crochet: Tools & Materials

Crochet Hook (size should be listed on your project pattern). Each crochet hook is labeled with a letter and/or the size in mm's. Refer to the conversion chart (photo 2) for more information.
 
Yarn (The type/size of yarn should be listed on your project pattern).
Refer to photo's 3, 4 & 5 for more information about yarn labels.
 
Small safety pin or stitch marker
When crocheting in rounds, your project will grow more like a spiral, and it can be difficult to see where a round starts and ends. By using a safety pin, you can mark the first stitch of each round to keep track of where you start and finish each round.

100% Polyester Fiber Fill
In most cases, you will need to stuff your Amigurumi Crochet project after its been completed. 100% Polyester fiber fill is the best material to use, as it does not retain water when you need to wash and dry your project.

Yarn Needle
After crocheting your project, you'll have loose yarn ends that need to be woven (hidden) into your stitches to prevent your project from falling apart. A yarn needle is therefore needed. It has a larger eye (where the yarn gets threaded into), and the end is usually rounded instead of sharp and pointed like a traditional sewing needle.

 

Step 2: Crochet: Slip Knot, Chain Stitch, Terms & Abbreviations

Most crochet projects will either begin with a slip knot and chain stitching, or will use an adjustable "Magic Ring" (click text link for instructions on how to make a Magic Ring).

How to Make a Slip Knot (refer to photo 1):

Step 1: Arrange the yarn like shown (so that it resembles a pretzel). :)

Step 2: Pick up the yarn like shown.

Step 3: Pull tight to complete the Slip knot (like shown).


How to Make a Chain Stitch (refer to photo 2):

Step 1: Begin with a Slip Knot

Step 2: Pick up the yarn (from the ball), like shown.

Step 3: Pull the yarn through the loop on the crochet hook.

That's all there is to creating a chain stitch. Repeat Steps 2 - 3 for the number of chain stitches your pattern indicates.

Crochet Terms & Abbreviations:

Refer to image 3 for the Basic Terms and Abbreviations used in Crochet Patterns (in alphabetical order). 


Step 3: Crochet Stitches: Single, Increase, Decrease

Unless otherwise stated (in your pattern), when you put your crochet hook into a stitch, you are doing so under BOTH loops.

How to Single Crochet, sc (refer to image 1)

Step 1: Put the hook into first stitch, like shown.

Step 2: Draw the yarn (from the long end to the ball), like shown.

Step 3: Pull the yarn through the first stitch, like shown (2 stitches remain on hook).

Step 4: Yarn over (pull a loop of yarn from above), like shown.

Step 5: Pull the yarn through both loops on the crochet hook, like shown.

You have created ONE single crochet.


How to Single Crochet Increase, sc inc

To single crochet increase, create 2 single crochets (one after another), in the same stitch.


How to Single Crochet Decrease, sc dec (refer to image 2)

Step 1: Beginning just like a single crochet, put the hook into the first stitch, like shown.

Step 2: Pull a loop of yarn through the hole, like shown (2 loops remain on hook).

Step 3: Put hook into next stitch, like shown.

Step 4: Pull a loop of yarn through the hole, like shown (3 loops remain on hook).

Step 5: Pull a loop of yarn (yarn over), through the 3 loops on the hook, like shown.

This creates a decrease, as you've used up 2 stitches and are left with one.


Step 4: Crochet Stitches: Double Crochet

Unless otherwise stated (in your pattern), when you put your hook into a stitch, you are doing so under BOTH loops.

How to Double Crochet, dc (refer to image)

Step 1: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 2: Put the hook into stitch (indicated in your pattern), like shown.

Step 3: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 4: Pull yarn through the first stitch (3 stitches remain on the hook), like shown.

Step 5: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 6: Pull the yarn through 2 loops on the hook, like shown (2 stitches will remain on hook).

Step 7: Draw the yarn again, (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 8: Pull the yarn through the 2 loops on the hook, like shown. One loop will remain on the hook.

You have now completed ONE, Double Crochet stitch.


Step 5: Crochet Stitches: Half Double Crochet

Unless otherwise stated (in your pattern), when you put your hook into a stitch, you are doing so under BOTH loops.

How to Half Double Crochet, hdc (refer to image)

Step 1: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 2: Put the hook into stitch (indicated in your pattern), like shown.

Step 3: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 4: Pull yarn through the first stitch (3 stitches remain on the hook), like shown.

Step 5: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 6: Pull the yarn through all 3 loops on the hook, like shown (1 stitch will remain on hook).

You have now completed ONE, Half Double Crochet stitch.


Step 6: Crochet Stitches: Triple Crochet

Unless otherwise stated (in your pattern), when you put your hook into a stitch, you are doing so under BOTH loops.

How to Triple Crochet, tr (refer to image)

Step 1: Draw the yarn, twice (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 2: Put the hook into the stitch (indicated in your pattern), like shown.

Step 3: Draw the yarn (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 4: Pull the yarn through the first stitch (4 loops remain on the hook), like shown.

Step 5: Draw the yarn again, (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 6: Pull the yarn through 2 loops on your hook, like shown (3 loops remain on hook).

Step 7: Draw the yarn again, (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 8: Pull the yarn through 2 loops on your hook, like shown (2 loops remain on hook).

Step 9: Draw the yarn one last time, (from the long end leading to the ball), like shown.

Step 10: Pull the yarn through the remaining 2 loops on your hook, like shown. One loop remains on the hook.

You have now completed ONE, Triple Crochet stitch.


If you like this instructable and/or want to see a tutorial for other crochet stitches, let me know in the comments.

Comments

author
ymasullo made it!(author)2016-08-22

I appreciate the instruction on how to crochet but I don't see you apply these skills to making an amigurimi. It might be better if you showed how to make popular amigurimi shapes such as a ball, a body shape, and so on. Thank you for sharing. I hope you add to this.

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2016-08-22

Thanks for the comment. I guess you didn't see the section (on the right) entitled "More from canucksgirl"? It shows the Amigurumi project I posted which does include step-by-step instruction on making a head, body, arms and legs. Here's a direct link for you;

https://www.instructables.com/id/Amigurumi-Voodoo-D...

author
ymasullo made it!(author)2016-08-23

Oh NO! I didn't see that. Perhaps the post should have specifically referred to it. Thank you for that heads up. I appreciate it. So sorry! :)

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2016-08-23

That's actually a good suggestion! I'll add that in somewhere. Thanks. :)

author
TheDiyFan made it!(author)2013-05-17

EE I want to learn this so bad! I dont follow instructions very well i need someone to show me how. Thx for this instrustable! I'll get eventually lol

author
mslaynie made it!(author)2014-06-19

I know this is an old comment, but I can't help it- I want to help you learn this! Go to YouTube and search for crocheting tutorials. There are tons, and it's almost certain there will be videos that will help you learn. It's where I learned most of what I do! So you can learn to do things like amigurumi, or things like I've done!

You can totally do this. Experiment and have fun with it!

blankiedonefull.jpgsnoodred.jpggoldside.jpgponcho2.jpgBuddies.jpgCuteLilDoll.jpgocto1Full.jpg
author
TanyaD21 made it!(author)2016-05-06

Mel is there a tutorial for the octopus?

author
mslaynie made it!(author)2016-05-06

Unfortunately there isn't. I did that one freehand several years ago. Sorry!

author
thundrepance made it!(author)2016-03-07

love your stuff ••• every one is fantastic!

author
TheDiyFan made it!(author)2014-07-02

Thanks!

author
thundrepance made it!(author)2016-03-07

wow! i thought that i wrote this {& glad i'm not the only one} ☻

author
GeekCrafterGirlz432 made it!(author)2016-04-27

Very useful

author
judi53 made it!(author)2016-02-26

What is the difference between crochet and amigurumi?

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2016-03-06

Crochet is a handicraft that creates patterned fabric using a hooked needle.

Amigurumi is a craft that originated in Japan that uses crochet (or knit) stitches to create cute, small, stuffed items such as animals and other characters. The name is derived from the Japanese words "ami" meaning crocheted or knitted and "nuigurumi" meaning stuffed doll.

author
Caia made it!(author)2016-03-01

Amigurumi are little crocheted and stuffed toys.

author
SiminM made it!(author)2016-01-19

سلام

ازآشنایی با شما خوشوقتم .

author
ViviF1 made it!(author)2015-11-13

i´ve been searching for an instructive for amigurumis forever, and never found one that i could use (being a person who has absolutely no idea how to crochet). Theeeen... i got into this page, and you have pictures and all! Thank you soo sooo much. Much love!

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2015-11-13

Thanks for the comment and for subscribing to me. I hope this tutorial helps you. On my page, you can also find a tutorial to make a "Voodoo Doll". The principles of making the doll should also help you in making Amigurumi figures (as I've included assembly tips that will help you in other projects as well).

author
brenda.j.martin1 made it!(author)2014-10-11

Thank you for the instructions. My Grandma crocheted and I would secretly watch. She had everything memorized from years past and I was amazed that the "string" she used turned into doilies that I still have today. I also remember the starch solution and pinning the doilies upside down on cardboard to dry and be stiff, after washing. I could do the basics but never knew the names of the stitches.

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2015-10-29

Thank you so much for your reply and sharing that with me. I apologize for not replying sooner (I didn't get a message about your comment). Its such an amazing skill to learn and pass onto younger generations. There is something very special about a handmade item, whether its crocheted, or knitted. Its nothing like store bought stuff.

author
AllBlack4Eva made it!(author)2015-05-27

I was wondering if you could tell me how to do a slip stitch after doing a magic circle??

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2015-10-29

Sorry for the late reply... I didn't get a message about your comment. If you still need that answer, I would suggest looking at my step by step tutorial on how to make a Magic Ring (there are also photos on each step.) If you still need some help, please let me know.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Crochet-Magic-Ring-Adjustable-Ring/

author
Ana+Martina+RebecaL made it!(author)2015-09-14

Muy interesante y gracias por compartir este tutorial, sirve de mucho, sobre todo a las perssonas que somos autodidacticas. Desde Perú muchas Felicidades.

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2015-10-29

Gracias! :)

author
corrinecorky made it!(author)2015-10-25

This is a great tutorial ! I have one question tho ... how many chains on the magic circle do i need for sc, hdc, and dc ? For sc i know i only do the one chain! Thank you so much ;)

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2015-10-29

Thanks for the reply. The number of stitches you make inside the magic ring depends on the pattern. Usually its 6 or 8 sc's in the ring to start. If you're not sure, check the stitch count on your pattern (i.e: sc 8 in a magic ring. Round 1, sc inc around = 16, Round 2, *sc inc, sc 1* repeat around = 24 stitches. In this example, you'd make 8 sc's around the magic ring to start and then pull the ring closed). If you need help making the magic ring, I have a tutorial with step by step instructions here.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Crochet-Magic-Ring-Adjustable-Ring/

Let me know if you still need more help.

author
PamGregory made it!(author)2015-08-12

Thank you for sharing your expertise!

author
karatedragon6 made it!(author)2014-06-17

hey canucksgirl,remember me!!

you crochet well,can you advirtise my instructable for me?

how to take apart a laptop (by karaterdragon6)

note that i am "knot"(crochet pun)taking advantage of you

author
kbfc made it!(author)2014-01-08

I'd love a step by step instruction on how to make a toddler sized beanie with brim/cap

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2014-01-08

I have a nephew (toddler) that is growing out of the hat I made him last year, so your request may be do-able. :-)

I'll try to keep you posted, but feel free to msg me, or leave another comment here.

author
Instructablonian made it!(author)2012-05-13

luv it! i'm new to the "Wonderful Land of Amigurumi" and may have a wonderfully amazing project *cough*amiigurumi unicorn*cough* posted soon!!! :P

author
Toasty2222 made it!(author)2012-10-23

Can't wait to see it and possibly make one for my self!

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2012-05-14

I look forward to seeing it. Thanks for commenting! ;)

author
RollerScrapper made it!(author)2012-03-26

A fantastic primer, glad you took the time to introduce these concepts to crochet newbies!

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2012-03-26

Thanks for the comment! I appreciate it. It did take a while to make, but its worth it, if more people take up making things and sharing them in return. ;)

author
mygibzone made it!(author)2012-03-21

Excellent instructable! More people need to crochet, because it's a great way to unwind & clear your mind. :)

author
bajablue made it!(author)2012-03-22

I thought that's what wine for for. ;-)

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2012-03-21

Thank you and I agree. I also appreciate the comments. :)

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2012-03-21

Nice! I wish I had this when I first started to crochet.

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2012-03-21

Thanks! It sure took a while to put this together. ;)

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Bio: I'm just a creative person! I enjoy drawing and painting, crafting, cooking & baking and even cake decorating. I sew, knit and crochet and like ... More »
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