Crocheting has been a passion of my mine for decades. I grew up in my mom’s yarn store and developed such a love for all things knitted and crocheted at a very early age. I cannot imagine a day going by without a hook and ball of yarn in my hands. It’s a wonderful and productive craft to learn. I’m seeing more and more people, both young and older, embracing this creative art and making a deluge of crafty items for their families.
Most start off with some easy projects and then work their way up to more advanced and finicky patterns that require more skill. But we can be easily stumbled and disheartened when we don’t know how to assemble some of our crocheted projects neatly, especially Amigurumi critters, which is all the craze right now. I confess I have this issue as well. Thankfully, I found a craft book that will guide beginner and seasoned crocheters on making and assembling crocheted toys. It’s called The Complete Guide to Crochet Dolls and Animals.
- Amigurumi Gallery
- The Basics of Making Amigurumi
- Basic Crochet Techniques
- More Crochet Techniques
- Assembling Your Models
- Create Original Designs
- Let’s Try It!
The comprehensive book with over 1500 full-color tutorial photos provides crafters the needed techniques to create amigurumi projects — from such basics as – how to hold a crochet hook – how to select the appropriate yarn – how to crochet 3D objects and importantly, how to assemble your amigurumi part and add expressive facial features.
Chapter 1 walks you through all the tools and materials you will need to make amigurumi projects, the names of each piece, and how to read a diagram. It’s imperative to read through this chapter to ensure you have all the supplies necessary to complete your project. Some of these items include your crochet hooks, ballpoint pins, bodkin, tweezers, stitch markers, calipers, pom-pom maker, curved scissors and more. They then walk you through all the various sizes of crochet hooks and the best weight of yarn for each. Next, they cover yarns, threads, eye and nose parts, felt, buttons, pipe cleaners and other frequently used items. Lastly, they share how to read a crochet diagram with a list of the crochet symbols. I photocopy the symbols so I have them handy when following a diagram. That way I’m not constantly flipping to the back of the book.
Chapter 2 features basic crochet methods used in making amigurumi with full-color tutorial photos. These include making a magic circle, how to hold the yarn and hook, ( personally, I don’t agree with how they hold the hook – to me it will add more stress on your wrist – do what is comfortable to you), completing a single crochet round, making a foundation chain – straight, circular and oval, slip stitch, learning the top and bottom loops, half double crochet, turning post, crab stitch and so much more. It’s good to peruse this area to learn or refresh your techniques. Both chapters 1 and 2 are imperative to read before creating an amigurumi project. They are so well written and explained with detailed step-by-step photo tutorials.
Chapter 3 dives into more crochet techniques that will add more variety and fun to your projects. These include changing colors at the beginning or mid-row, intarsia, working partial rows, adding new stitches, increasing and decreasing with clusters, how to make a foot or boot, fringes, ruffles, inserting beads, and more. This chapter also includes a 23 stitch Swatch Collection where you can see what a specific stitch looks like when finished along with its accompanying diagram. Some of the stitches shown are the granite stitch, loop stitch, crocodile stitch, bobbles, tapestry crochet, and inverse single crochet.
Chapter 4 will have you assembling your amigurumi pieces flat or 3D like a pro. This is one of my weaknesses, being able to sew the pieces together neatly without ghastly stitches showing. Here they show you how to attach pieces to one another, joining seams together, surface crochet, combining pieces, inserting pieces, wire and cardboard, and more.
Chapter 5 helps you master the finishing touches on your project. These techniques include properly binding off, attaching pieces and hair, double knots, weaving ends in, a variety of embroidery stitches, attaching notions, gluing, tinting yarn with cosmetics, attaching a purse frame, and tons more.
Chapter 6 is filled with more helpful hints to help you customize your amigurumi projects. Some of these hints include eye sizes and color and how close or far to attach them, nose and mouth variants, color schemes, and more.
Chapter 7 offers several easy patterns for you to apply your learned knowledge and try some cool amigurumi patterns. You can make a Bear Cub Pouch, a mouse, a girl and a few other patterns. Each pattern has a written pattern, a diagram and full-color step-by-step tutorials.
I love this authoritative guide. It’s filled with helpful information, tons of useful tips and techniques and informative lessons that will change our crocheting abilities forever. It’s a must-have for your craft book collection.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.