Day 15 :: Top Down Crochet

This is Day 15 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

When it comes to creating your very own amigurumi, you get to choose just how you want it to be crocheted. There can be some advantages, and even disadvantages, to creating an amigurumi that is crocheted from top to bottom in one piece. It would basically be one piece of work from head to foot. Today I'm only going to be talking about crocheting the head and the body in one piece.


If you're making a humanoid doll, you would basically crochet the head first. Without closing it you would then continue to crochet the body. This is the way I prefer to crochet my dolls, without a neck seam. I love the way it looks and I don't have to worry much about it coming apart.

Here are the pros and cons of crocheting this way.

Pros:
• It's really easy to crochet it all in one piece.
• You won't have to sew it together or or weave in ends.
• It makes for a durable doll, better for children.
• It gives a nice and complete look.
• It saves  you some yarn without all the ends or sewing together.

Cons:
• It's limiting as to what you can crochet with this technique. It only works for straight up and down designs, like humanoids.
• Body parts don't move or rotate as easily for posing.

You'll have to decide if a top down approach is something that will work for your project or if you want to do certain pieces separately based on your design.

Here are some patterns with top down crochet as an example.
Little Baby by Akina Stisu
Doll in Bear Hoodie by Tracey MacIntyre
Artistic Annie Doll at Red Heart
Gema, Kokechi by Teresa Alvarez
Brobee by craftyjapanese

I hope this info helped you some. Top-down crochet is my preferred method of crocheting, though I know it doesn't always make sense for certain projects. The next post is going to all about sewing the head to your ami!

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.

Day 14 :: Closing Up Holes

This is Day 14 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

When it comes to closing up holes there really is no hard rule for how it's done. There is one technique that seems to work best for me. Here is a video from youtube, but I should let you know that this is not my video.



  • You can choose to go inside to outside, like shown in the video, or outside to inside. Personally, I do outside to inside for a nice seamless finish.
  • Use your tapestry needle and your yarn tail to weave the end shut.
  • Use the front loops only to gather up the outside layer of the work and make it close up neatly.
  • Weave the end down into the ball to make the end lay flat.
I hope this little post helped you. Check back tomorrow for my pros and cons of crocheting all in one piece, or what I call top-down crochet!

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.

Day 13 :: Properly Stuffing Your Amigurumi

This is Day 13 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

Putting stuffing in your amigurumi is pretty much essential! It wouldn't be an amigurumi if it wasn't stuffed, right? There is one common mistake that we make as beginners, and that's not adding enough stuffing! There one a little rule that I learned early on, and it's this...

Once you think you've added enough stuffing, add some more!

We often believe that there's too much stuffing, but it isn't really. You want to stuff that baby up until the surface feels stiff, but not to the point where the stuffing is coming out between the posts. This is where your tight stitches comes in to play. Here are some tips and tricks I've used when stuffing.

Stuff As You Go

When it comes to stuffing, it's often helpful to stuff along the way! I don't like to stuff it too much as I'm working because I hate when the stuffing gets in my way, but I often like to stuff it a little before the hole gets too small. Once you get down to the last row that hole is often so small that you can only add small amounts of stuffing at a time, making it take forever. Adding a little before it's too small can help speed up the process.

Use a Pen or Pencil to Help You

While a bag of polyester fiberfill often comes with a wooden stick for this reason, I like to use a writing utensil to help me stuff the stuffing in there. Here is the reason why! I find the width of pens and pencils to be the same as that tiny hole at the end of my projects! Also, the flat end of a pen or even the rubber of the eraser helps to grip the fibers and push them inside the hole.

Roll It in Your Hands

Once I've stuffed a bunch of stuffing inside the work, I've noticed that it can start to look lumpy and bumpy (yup, that's a technical term) as the fibers start to ball together. I put the work between my hands and roll it around. Don't be afraid to push it and shape it to get a nice smooth exterior.

Feel For Empty Spots

Once you've been stuffing it up and rolling it around for a nice shape you'll want to push in different spots to feel for any dips and holes in the stuffing. Sometimes you can see them from the shape it's creating, but other times you can feel them under your fingers. Once you find one you can push your stuffing around with your pen or pencil to fill the hole and then stick some more stuffing in there to compensate.

Pay Attention to Your Shape

You want to make sure that your stuffing isn't compromising the shape that you are trying to create. Every time you put some more stuffing in there then check the shape you've made to make sure it looks the way you want it to. The stuffing should be helping you to hold up the shape you've just worked so hard to crochet, not destroying it.

Stuff it to High Heaven

I know I've already said this, but I just have to reiterate it! Once you think you've put enough stuffing in it, stuff it up some more! Just keep stuffing until the stuffing is starting to stick out of the hole. You don't want the stitches to be spreading out, but you want it to feel stiff on the outside. Trust me, it's still going to be nice and soft.

The Exception to The Rule

Of course there is an exception to every rule. So there is no rule saying that you MUST stuff every piece of your ami! There are times when no stuffing, or less stuffing is called for. For my free fashion doll pattern I do not stuff the arms, and that's because I wanted them to move easily. Often times there are ears that are left unstuffed in order to flatten them out and give them a rounded look. Sometimes even a less stuffed ball can give you a more oval shape. It's all in your design, so as always just play around with it.


So that's all from me today! I hope that it made sense for you! We're not even half way yet, so keep coming back. Tomorrow we are going to be talking about closing those holes at the end of your crocheted shapes.

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.

Day 12 :: Crocheting Oblongs

This is Day 12 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

Oblongs are shapes that are most commonly used to crochet muzzles and snouts for animals. These shapes can come in handy when you need to make other oval shapes from different directions, or for adding different shaped patches and so on. They are usually worked by crocheting on both sides of a chain, curving around it's edges.

(I'm sorry I've been running so far behind but pictures will be coming soon!)

Here is my basic oblong shape. It's kind of hard to really give a straight forward pattern for this because sometimes I just wing it and let the shape tell me what it wants to do. I hope you get the general idea. :)

So this diagram photo might best show how this sort of oblong is achieved. Check out below for what you need to know about oblongs and this basic pattern.


Now if you can't read diasgrams, that's ok, I'm going to translate it below. Here is what you need to know based on this diagram.


  • The number of chains determines how long the diagram will be.
  • Always start with less chains than you need because your work will get longer as you turn the corners.
  • These shapes aren't worked in the round, so you will ch 1 at the beginning of each round and slst at the end.
  • You will crochet on the top and bottom of your foundation chain to get an all over shape.
  • The first and last chain will get 3-5 single crochets to make a half circle. (This diagram shows 3 but I usually do 5.)
  • Each round at the edge after that is worked similarly to the ball. You should increase evenly around. (Sometimes the shape will tell you where the increases will go. You will understand this more with experience.)
  • You can choose to have the chain 1 stand in place of the first single crochet or not count it and single crochet in the first chain/stitch. (This diagram chains as the first stitch, but I almost never do that.)

So I hope that was easy to understand. Here is the diagram pattern written out for you!


Oblong Diagram

Ch 20 (If you don't need a long oblong then chain less stitches. You need at least 4 chains or more.)

Row 1: sc in 3rd ch from hook, sc in next 17 chs, sc 3 times in last ch, (continue on the underside of the chains) sc in next 17 sts, 3 sc in last st (this was one of the two you skipped in the beginning), slst to the first sc

Row 2: ch 1, *sc in next 17 sc, inc in next 3 sc, repeat from *, slst to first sc

Row 3: ch 1, *sc in nex 18 sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc, repeat from *, slst to the first sc

Row 4: ch 1, *sc in next 18 sc, inc, sc in next 2 sc, inc, sc in next 2 sc, inc, sc, repeat from *, slst to first sc

Row 5: ch 1, *sc in next 20 sc, inc, sc in next 2, inc, sc, inc, sc in next 3 sc, repeat from *, slst to the first sc

Row 6: ch 1, *sc in next 19, inc, sc in next 4 sc, inc, sc in next 4 sc, inc, sc in next 2, repeat from *, slst to first sc

Row 7: ch 1, *sc in next 22, inc, sc in next 4 sc, inc, sc in next 6 sc, inc, repeat from *, slst to first sc

Row 8: ch 1, *sc in next 22 sc, inc, sc in next 4 sc, inc, sc in next 5 sc, inc, sc in next 4 sc, repeat from *, slst to first sc

This is all the rounds in the diagram, but you can start to see that there really is no hard and fast rule here for these shapes. It's sort of whatever works for what you are creating. Like always, don't be afraid to play around with it and make what you want.


I hope this info has helped you out in some way. These shapes really do just take experience to understand and make it work. Practice makes perfect, haha. Tomorrow we will be talking about stuffing those ami's!

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.

Day 11 :: Crocheting Cones

This is Day 11 of the 31 Days of Amigurumi. This 31 day series is full of how-to's for designing and creating your very own amigurumi. Whether you're a beginner at ami's or just need help on a certain technique, there's something here for everyone.

31 Days of Amigurumi is the place to learn all about creating your own Amigurumi. 

Cone shapes come in handy a great deal with amigurumi patterns. If you want a more tapered look and the oval isn't working then a cone might work better. Cone's are obvious shapes in ice cream cones and birthday hats, but what about a pointy chin or snout on a cute critter? What about horns on dragons? These are pointier than an oval and to me qualify as a cone shape.

We are going to work this come from the top down. If you want to end at a point then you will work this idea backwards.

Now the idea of the cone is to start the point with less stitches than a circle gets. A normal point is generally started with 4 single crochets instead of 6. The next round is then a round of single crochets. With the cone shape you will usually work one to two rounds of single crochets between every round of increases. Of course since you started with 4 single crochets in your magic loop then you will increase evenly by 4 in your increase rounds.

Cone
Rnd 1: ML, 4 sc in loop
Rnd 2: sc around
Rnd 3: inc in each st around
Rnd 4: sc around
Rnd 5 (sc, inc) 4 times across
Rnd 6: sc around
Rnd 7: (sc 2, inc) 4 times
Rnd 8: sc around
Rnd 9: (sc 3, inc) 4 times
Rnd 10: sc around
...you get the idea now.

Of course depending on how narrow or wide you want that cone shape to be will determine how many rounds of single crochets you will work between each of the increase rounds. The more rounds of single crochets and the more narrow your cone will be. For a more narrow cone shape you can choose to increase only 2 times instead of 4 even. Feel free to play around with it!

Just be careful! Sometimes the shape can look wonky instead of a nice even progression. This may be because there are too many rounds of single crochets between the two increase rounds. You may just have to check it. Don't be afraid to play around with your increases and single crochet rounds and try new things.

Well this was a little short and sweet but I hope it made sense for you! Tomorrow we will be talking about crocheting oblongs which are most commonly used in animal amigurumi's. I'll see you then!

Happy crocheting,
~Chassity O.