Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chinese Zodiac Amigurumi Basics!

Are you guys ready for some crocheting??

Great!  First of all, this will be the main page for all 12 patterns so I don't have to keep repeating myself on each of them.  If something is really important though, I will definitely restate it in that particular pattern.  If I have a brainwave, I will also make changes to this page to accommodate any new intelligent thoughts.  So check back!!

What you will need:  

In these photos/patterns, I have used a worsted weight yarn throughout.  You will require a main colour of yarn and usually a few yards of supplementary colours.  The main body of the animal should require under 50 yards of yarn but this will depend on what size of crochet hook you select and how tightly you work.  Some of the patterns will require more (eg. snake).

  • Crochet hook size A (you can use any size, try it out and see what you like to use- I use a size A with worsted weight yarn to get a very tight fabric so stuffing does not show but you can choose any size up to G if you don't have a small one handy or if you don't like using small ones.  Keep in mind as the size of the hook goes up, so does the size of your animal!)
  • 8 or 9 mm Black Safety Eyes (example)
  • Polyfil stuffing (example) or Wool stuffing
  • Tapestry needle (for sewing in ends and adding details)
  • Optional: long doll needle (example)
  • Optional: stuffing tool (example)

The Methods:

For those of you that are new to crocheting, I would highly recommend watching some YouTube videos to familiarize yourself with the basic techniques.  I will try to put in little tips along the way too!

Invisible Decrease

I use this technique a lot for making amigurumi (small stuffed toys).  It makes a big difference!  The regular decrease often leaves a bump or a hole in your work while this invisible decrease is almost undetectable!  Here is a link to a nice tutorial.

Magic Circle/Crochet in the Round

I have used the Magic Circle technique throughout these patterns for all instances where we begin crocheting in the round.  I have a short little tutorial on Ravelry that can help those that have not mastered it yet!  Here is the link.  Also for crocheting in the round, do not join the rounds unless specifically asked for.  Just keep going around in spirals.

Ideal Sphere

The amazing ideal sphere pattern (20 row) that I have adapted in this pattern is not my work.  I discovered it here and it is genius.   All but one animal (ox) in the photos has been done in this style of sphere as it is a lovely rounded shape and does not have the hexagonal outlines you would see with the common basic sphere.  It isn’t more difficult but it does take more concentration to work thru each round as they do not repeat as in a basic sphere.  I will have to apologize to those who are used to the mindless rounds of a typical amigurumi pattern.  You will love this perfectly round sphere!!

Amigurumi tips

When you embroider facial details in amigurumi, you may do so after you have finished off the stuffed item.  To lock in your yarn, you may find it easier to use a doll needle (example) and go in and out of the body three times.  This locks in the yarn!

When you are placing eyes, you may wish to put some stuffing in temporarily to "puff" out the face in order to get a sense of where the eyes would look their best (the cutest!!).  Just take the stuffing back out and continue.

If you have a stuffing tool (example) then you can essentially almost closeup your critter and use the tool to stuff in the last bit of stuffing.  That way you don't fight the stuffing while you are crocheting but you get a nice fully stuffed animal.


If you ever need any help, please feel free to hunt me down via FB, Ravelry or through the blog.  I am usually pretty easy to get a hold of (except when I remember to sleep), and I would love to help!!

So without further ado.........see the next blog post for our first pattern :)

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