The Amigurumi craze has finally reached my home. What’s an Amigurumi? Well, Amigurumi is the Japanese word for stuffed knitted or crocheted toy. Wikipedia informs us:
The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities, usually termed a chibi style outside of Japan. Amigurumi may be used as children’s toys but are generally purchased or made solely for aesthetic purposes. Although amigurumi originated in Japan, the craft has become popular around the world.
Picture a crocheted Hello Kitty and you know what an Amigurumi looks like..
It’s taken a while for this new craze to reach me, but now I’ve started to look, Amigurumi are everywhere. I’ve found books on the subject in our local library, there are special issues of crochet magazines (e.g. this Amigurumi Collection), and there’s a wealth of patterns – some free, some not – on the interweb (e.g. 2000 Free Amigurumi Patterns or see one of the many collections of patterns on Pinterest).
There are also quite a few how-to-tutorials, so that anyone can make one of these cute creatures even if they’re a beginner (e.g. check out the basic amigurumi video tutorial by Naztazia.com). For my first effort, I decided to follow Naztazia.com’s tutorial for an Amigurumi puppy. As Donna points out in her tutorial, it is not for total beginners. But if you’ve crocheted before, this video is very clear to follow and includes all the instructions you need to make this cute little dog.
You begin by making the head, then the body, then the floppy ears, the legs and the tail.
The only thing that isn’t explained in the video is how to make the nose/mouth, but you can improvise. I simply crocheted the first two rows of the basic pattern and left it at that. It’s a good idea to leave long tails when you’ve fastened off, as you can use those to sew the body parts together.
And there are all the ingredients for a doggy. Just add polyester fibrefill, which you can get at most craft shops. I used thinner yarn and a smaller size crochet hook than Donna does in her video, so my dog is a lot smaller. Most commercially available toy eyes looked gigantic on my little dog. So, I decided to embroider on most of my dog’s face. In order to do that I checked out a couple of tutorials on YouTube, e.g. Nerdigurumi’s tutorial for the mouth, Wendi Gratz’s tutorial for the eyes, or June Gilbank’s tutorial).
And here’s the finished head. I didn’t get the embroidery quite right, so the dog now has a faintly quizzical expression on his face, which I rather liked & therefore left as it was.
And here he is. A spontaneous Facebook comp on name & gender came up with Doug the Dog & that’s now his name. His arms, legs & ears are not perfectly spaced, but I don’t actually mind that he’s slightly wonky. Just adds to the cuteness.
I think, though, that an Amigurumi should have more of an oversized head, so may look for other tutorials before long. But meantime, I’m making Doug the dog a kitty companion…
Update 30 July 2015:
And here’s Caitlin the cat. With those ears she might easily have been Maisie the mouse, but she’s a cheery soul. Doug the dog and Caitlin the cat are already best mates. They hang around together…
They like a cwtsh with Merlin…
And they enjoy a good read!