Amigurumi for Beginners: Cuddle Up!

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Amigurumi is it's own special beast, for sure, but it doesn't have to be hard. Keep these tips in mind when you're starting out, and you'll be crocheting all the cuteness in no time.

1. Keep It Simple

Amigurumi patterns can get pretty involved, with animals that have multiple limbs (octopus!) and embellishments. For your first project, start with something basic that doesn't have a lot of assembly or fancy extras.

2. Brush Up on Basics

Most amigurumi patterns use simple stitches such as chain, slip stitch and single crochet . Make sure you're familiar with them before you begin.

3. Choose a Washable Yarn

If you're making a toy for a child, you'll definitely want to use a yarn that's washable. Acrylics and cottons are both good choices.

4. Practice Seaming

Most amigurumi patterns require a bit of seaming to assemble the parts . Sometimes that assembly can be as simple as stitching an arm to a body. No matter what, be sure to brush up on the basics to make sure your amigurumi looks neat once it's all put together. The tapestry needle will be your new BF!

5. Pick Eyes, Nose + Mouth

Felt, embroidery floss, buttons, safety eyes — there are lots of options for facial features. Your pattern will probably specify what to do, but keep in mind that safety eyes are not recommended for infants.

6. Don't Ignore Gauge

Some amigurumi patterns say gauge doesn't matter, but that doesn't mean you should totally disregard it. What's more important is that your stitches aren't so loose that stuffing can escape. Instead of worrying about stitches per inch, just look at your work. Are you leaving large gaps? If so, you might want to try a hook that's one size smaller.

7. Use Those Stitch Markers

Marking the beginning of the round, whether you're working in continuous rounds or rounds that are joined by a slip stitch, can help you know where you are in the pattern. It can also help you keep your stitch count on track. Remember to use removable markers, so they don't get stuck in your work.

8. Stuff as You Go

Stuffing as you go makes sure everything is even so you don't need to poke and prod at the pieces. Don't wait until you've stitched the entire head and then try to cram all the stuffing in.

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Amigurumi for Beginners: Cuddle Up!