As a well-seasoned crafter, I tend to go back and forth on the projects and mediums I work with. Crochet is one of those crafts that I pick up every few years and this year was the year I picked it back up! I spent the first two month of this year working on a pretty large amigurumi project, so here I am ready to share a few crochet tips + tricks that will help you if you have started or are thinking about starting a similar project.
First off, you might be thinking is, “What in the world is an amigurumi?!” Well, according to Wikipedia, an amigurumi is, “the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures.”
I discovered amigurumis many moons ago and think they are the absolute cutest thing ever! You can make little foods and animals to plants and virtually anything in between. To date, I think I’ve only made food items. In my opinion, they’re the most precious, so of course, that’s what I keep making!
These are a few of my favorite crochet supplies. You can use whatever you have on hand, but I’ve had great results with these.
- Cotton yarn (You can use any kind, but I prefer cotton for these projects because it’s a little rougher and doesn’t slip off your hook like a silky blend would)
- Ottlite or daylight task lamp
- Yarn snips
- Crochet hooks
- Pattern book (I love this one!)
Now, let’s dive into my top crochet tips + tricks for creating amigurumis (and anything else your heart desires!)
Tip 1: Read your pattern before your start
This may seem super obvious, but you will save yourself a lot of stress and aggravation if you read your pattern through a couple times before you actually get started.
During my most recent amugurumi project, I didn’t read my pattern before starting and didn’t realize until halfway through that I missed three rows on my crochet pie slice. #whoopsie
If I had read my pattern before starting, I probably wouldn’t have had that issue. Now this tip leads to tip #2.
Tip 2: Don’t be afraid to remove stitches
Now, this one can be painful if you’ve gotten super far in a project before realizing you’ve made a mistake.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake, you’re faced with two choices. You can either 1) take it out or 2) keep on chugging.
If you can’t decide which way to go, ask yourself this, “If I leave the error in this piece, will I dislike my project when it’s complete?” If yes, then remove your stitches and start over. It will hurt in the moment, but I promise you will be so much happier in the end if you remove the incorrect stitches and start over. If the answer is no and you can easily move forward by adjusting your pattern, then just keep on rocking and rolling.
When it came to the messed up pie slice, I just kept chugging, because I knew I’d be able to slightly alter my pattern and make everything fit together in the end.
Tip 3: Use proper lighting
For years, I crocheted on the couch or on my bed with nothing but a table lamp next to me. I thought it was fine and couldn’t get any better. You know what, I was completely wrong!
I received an Ottlite for my birthday, and my couch crafting game has been changed forever! If you’re not familiar, Ottlite is a company that makes all sorts of crafting and sewing lamps. Their lamps typically have bright daylight bulbs and are flexible so you can make adjustments and direct the light anywhere you want it to go.
I have the OttLite® White Natural Daylight LED Flexible Floor Lamp (as does my mom). The lamps are sleek enough that you can keep them in your living room without them completely throwing off your decor. I keep mine behind the back left corner of my couch, and swing it over and turn it on whenever I crochet, hand letter, or work on any other project in the living room.
Additionally, I’ve also been swinging it the other way and using it as a Zoom light for work conference calls! It’s a multitasking craft light! LOL
Tip #4: Google is your friend
As you’re working through your pattern (or before you get started if you’re following tip #1), you may come across a stitch or term you’re unfamiliar with. If so, head to Google or YouTube for the answers. In my experience, your crotchet pattern or book might explain things to you, but nothing is better than a video of someone showing you exactly how to do something.
My most recent Google search was on invisible decreases. After one or two YouTube videos, I now have that stitch down pat!
Tip #5: Work in a quiet space
I know this isn’t always possible, but in my experience, it’s easier to make amugrumis when you’re in a quiet space with few interruptions.
When I’m crocheting, I like to count each of my stitches in my head in order to stay on track. Maybe everyone else does that too or maybe they don’t. Either way, it’s a lot easier to count and stay on track if people aren’t trying to talk to you!
Tip #5.5: Tally your rows
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #5, so I’m only giving it a .5!
Since I count all my stitches in my head, it can be hard to also keep track of repeating rows. So whenever I’m working on repeating rows, I keep a notebook nearby where I tally each row as I complete it. I find it’s super easy to pause in my count to add a tick mark to my notepad and then keep on moving.
There you have it — 5.5 crochet tips + tricks for amigurumis! I hope you found these crochet tips helpful as you embark on your own crafting journey!
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