What Is Amigurumi - Darn Good Yarn

What Is Amigurumi

Written by Alyssa Scott

Amigurumi is a Japanese word that means “a knit or crocheted stuffed doll.” While this is the literal definition of the word, amigurumi are also super cute, squishy, and fun to make!! If this is your first time learning about amigurumi, keep reading! We’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about amigurumi below!

Two young girls wearing white sweaters and black leggings are sitting on an oranate gold circular rugs. They are playing with some stuffed amigurumis. The girl on the left is holding a peacock amigurumi and the girl on the right is holding a unicorn amigurumi. On the rug are the rest of their amigurumis: a frog, two pieces of watermelon, a strawberry, a fox, and three different potted cacti.

Is amigurumi difficult?

While I wouldn’t call it easy as pie, amigurumi is a lot less intimidating than you might think! For the most part, amigurumi projects will call for using one stitch– the knit stitch or the single crochet stitch. Other than those stitches, one of the main techniques used in amigurumi is increasing and decreasing. Using stitch markers and learning how to read your work (How many stitches/rows have been worked? What types of stitches are present in a certain area? If you can answer these questions about your work, then you have the skills to create amigurumi!) can be incredibly helpful skills when working on amigurumi projects. As a beginner in the art of amigurumi, you’ll likely be working from patterns. Understanding how to read patterns is another skill that will help to make your amigurumi creation a breeze!

Are all amigurumi crochet?

No! While there is no rule that all amigurumi must be made using crochet techniques, it can be hard to find knitting patterns available for many amigurumi projects especially compared to the available crochet patterns. This is often due to the fact that it tends to be easier to create sculptural fabrics using crochet. The fabric produced with crochet also tends to be more dense than fabric created by knitting, making it easier to create a pleasing finished project with no bits of stuffing showing through the stitches of a crocheted amigurumi. It’s absolutely possible to create most amigurumi figures using knitting, just be prepared to go down a few needle sizes and swatch to make sure the fabric looks alright to you!

How long does amigurumi take?

Some amigurumi can be completed very quickly, while others take longer to make. Amigurumi projects such as this one are very small, rather simple, and work up in a flash! Amigurumi projects such as this one are larger, with more detail, and take a longer time to complete. Small and simple designs will be quicker while larger and more detailed designs will take longer to make.

A clean white wall is decorated with there different shelves, one simple, one circular, and one triangular. There are gorgeous green plants on these shelves, as well as some handmade amigurumi yarn cacti!

If I want to make my own design, do I have to buy an amigurumi kit?

While there are a lot of cute, fun, and interesting amigurumi kits available, you don’t need a kit to create something truly unique! You can learn a lot of the skills and techniques used to design and create amigurumi from kits or online resources. Some important techniques to consider are making a flat circle, making a sphere, and making a tube. Once you have a good understanding of those skills, you can start to dream and create amigurumi designs and patterns of your very own!

What’s the best yarn for amigurumi?

There are many different yarns that are suitable for creating an amigurumi friend. When looking for yarn to buy, or searching in your stash, remember that many amigurumi are quite colorful and you might find yourself in need of a wide variety of yarn colors to achieve the desired effects. Finding a yarn that comes in many colors will be an asset! You can also keep in mind that depending on the size of your project, it doesn’t take a lot of yardage to complete a stuffed toy. Leftovers or scrap yarn from previous projects are a great resource for your amigurumi making! Weights from DK to Worsted are very common in amigurumi making, though some may choose to work with smaller or larger weights of yarn. It really will depend on your own preference as well as the design you have in mind. If you’re unsure whether a yarn will work for your project, make a gauge swatch and see if you like the fabric it creates!

Meet the Author

Close up of the author, Alyssa Scott wearing a magenta top, a black cardigan and one of the prettiest smiles you've ever seen!.

Alyssa began working at Darn Good Yarn in the spring of 2021. She has been knitting and crocheting as a hobby since childhood. Alyssa graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies, with a minor in Social Justice