When you read the word “crochet” or “knit”, you will probably think of things that relate to winter essentials like sweaters, beanies, and shawls. Perhaps you will think there is nothing new you can learn about crochet and knitting.
Well, in Japan there is a unique way in which crochet and knitting are put to use. It is called “Amigurumi”. Amigurumi are Japanese stuffed animals or dolls made mostly by crocheting, but you can make them by knitting, too. So what makes amigurumi so special?
The patterns created on amigurumi dolls are beautiful, and fabric stuffed toys use a variety of different ones. Don’t be discouraged if it is your first attempt at making amigurumi. When you see the pictures, it may look difficult and quite complicated! But trust me, it’s fairly easy when you learn it the right way.
The fun part is that if you don’t want to learn to form the traditional patterns, you can always just freestyle! All you need to make amigurumi is colorful yarn balls, crochet hooks, crochet or yarn needles, filling to stuff your toy with, and maybe some pins for marking tools. These are things that you can probably find easily at home.
The most common basic skill to learn is making the circle and oval shapes. When you are confident with your circle and oval shapes, you can move on to the next step which is “increasing” and “decreasing”, to make different sizes of ball shapes. These ball shapes can later be used to form the head, body, limbs, or even the ears of your stuffed toy. Another important step is to learn how to attach each part of your stuffed toy to piece together and form your amigurumi toy!
The other things you need to have are patience and imagination. If you don’t have patience, 90 percent of your work will be abandoned because you could rush things and it may not go as smoothly as you planned! Amigurumi is a work of art, so it is essential to have patience.
The other important aspect is your imagination. It is commonly said that when making amigurumi, the only limit is your imagination. You can use your imagination to re-create your favorite characters based on your own personal interpretation. It is fine to let your imagination go wild and free!
Many animal creations are altered in their characteristics to make them look cuter or more animated. For example, owls don’t have ears, but in order to make them look even cuter, it is fine to add some parts that are not originally there. You can also change the body shape of an animal, for example, making it a cute square shape! Anything is fine if you think it will look better. This is why imagination is important for making really unique amigurumi!
Learning amigurumi is such a wonderful project for those who like crochet. Once you have mastered the techniques of crochet, it will be pretty easy to create your own stuffed toys. It is different from, say, a crochet rug which has a flat dimension. Almost all children would no doubt be excited to make one themselves because they are extremely cute and 100% handmade! These really are very special and unique to create!
You can make them to give as a gift to someone, for room decorations, or even as a phone accessory. It is so versatile yet really cute at the same time. It is no surprise that Japanese people love it so much since amigurumi is a big part of their culture too. So now you know one of the cutest art cultures in Japan. Happy creating, people!