Say, have you heard about Amigurumi? It is probably one of my favorite craft forms, and it’s becoming more popular by the day! Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting stuffed animals and characters, and it literally translates from “Ami,” the Japanese word for knitted or crocheted, and “nuigurumi,” the Japanese word for stuffed doll. Most amigurumi are creations from yarn, and they can be knitted or crocheted, depending on your preference, though most people tend to crochet them. Gauges need to be tight since the amigurumi are stuffed. From having a dog that used to chew holes in my own stuffed animals, I can say that if you can see the stuffing, it’ll probably find a way out!
To prevent this, most people use smaller needles or hooks than they would use on a typical knit or crochet project. Some amigurimi have limbs, which are actually crocheted or knitted separately, and attached closer to the end of the project. Those that do not have limbs fall into a common “Kokeshi” style of Japanese doll, shown at right.
This style of nuigurumi is intended to be cute, and many of the features tend to be exaggerated to an almost animated extent. For example, there may be no nose or even mouth, and the eyes are enlarged, or the head is quite usually at least about 1/3 the size of the body. That said, it’s all a mater of personal preference. There are many ways to make yours come out looking adorable!
For anyone interested in amigurumi, Erica’s happens to be a haven for the supplies needed! We have books with instructions and tons of pictures to get you started. No matter if you prefer knitting or crochet, you will find both available to you. Most of them even have patterns! A great place to start might be Mini Christmas Crochet (A19803)
by Val Pierce, which has Christmas-themed patterns for these cute little creatures in a very easy-to-follow layout.
A Zoo for You (26869) by Cindy Harris is another that walks you through making a whole zoo of little amigurumi animals for really cute decorations, fun toys, or even stocking stuffers that’ll light up your favorite animal lover! Some of the 11 animals this book offers are pictured here on the left!
Knitted Meerkats (A17951) by Sue Stratford shows you how to make a cute family of meerkats, with 20 different looks! Once you pick up more skill, it’s not difficult to draft your own designs, since there are so many poses and shapes to choose from!
As for your materials, we have felt and buttons that you may need for detailing, and our enormous yarn department has you covered with everything else! The possibilities with colors and textures are absolutely endless! Depending on what you decide to use from baby soft to sport, or fine and silky to bulky and plush, no two amigurimi will be the same!
(To find an item on our web page after clicking on the highlighted words, hold down the “Ctrl” key and touch F. Enter the item number in the box, press enter, and you’ll be taken to that item. Some of the images on this post are also links!)
Remember, you can see What’s New at Erica’s almost every day! Any page of our website has a column on the left that tells you where to find things, and all you have to do is look for “New Items” in purple, and click to find out.).