Amigurumi are cute little critters crocheted in the round and then stuffed. The name comes from the Japanese words for “crochet/knit” and “stuffed doll”, and they seem to be popping up everywhere these days. Toys, though they are, they seem to appeal even more to adults than to kids. I started making these guys over the winter in preparation for a craft fair and just can’t seem to stop. They are downright adorable, work up quickly, and make great gifts. Although amigurumi can come in all sizes (I even made an 18″ Ponyo doll for my daughter), most of them tend to be pretty small, so they are a great way to use up odd stashes of yarn. Also, they are primarily done in a single crochet, so they are easy for beginners. Etsy has a myriad of reasonably priced patterns ranging from dolls and animals to fruits and veggies.
If you are just getting started and want to give it a try, here are links to a few of my favorite free patterns. I have a tendency to tweak patterns as I make things, so my pictures aren’t exactly identical to the original, but should give you a pretty good idea.
This baby triceratops was made with 100% wool yarn, and I used snap on safety eyes. Although the pattern called for making the body and tail as two separate pieces, I crocheted them as one to reduce the number of seams. I found the pattern through Crochet Pattern Central.
These sweet little fish were based on a cat toy pattern from Lion Brand. I elongated the body, modified the tail by sewing it on vertically rather than horizontally, and added bows.
I love this little whale pattern from Bittersweet! It is such a simple pattern, but so adorable. I modified it slightly by crocheting fins for these guys. Also, I embroidered eyes, rather than using safety snap on eyes.
Last, but certainly not least, are my trio of kitties. This pattern was generously made available though By Hook, By Hand. This pattern was the most complicated of all, and I did run into trouble figuring out the legs on the first kitty. Also, I felted my kitties which was not part of the original pattern. If you decide to felt them, use 100% wool yarn and stuff them before you put them in the washer. (Be sure not to overstuff them or the stuffing will be visible between stitches.)
Many thanks to all the websites that made these patterns available!