You know those adorable knit animals? For the longest time I didn’t know what they were called. Then I learned the term Amigurumi. It’s a Japanese term that refers knitting or crocheting. It’s a combination of the Japanese terms ami, which means croecheted or knittied and nuigurumi, which means stuffed doll. There is no specific size or look for amigrumui, though in America they tend to be small and cute or “out there” enough to be appealing to those who love all things odd.
Although the art has been in Japan for centuries, it didn’t come to America until 2003. By 2006, amigurumi crafts were popular enough to be sold on etsy and at craft fairs. Typically, small gauge needles or hooks are used so the stuffing doesn’t show through. Often, detail work such as eyes are added over the stitches used to create the larger work. Other items likes wings, antenna, feet, etc. are often worked separately and sewn on the body.
I first fell in love with amigurumi when I was searching for items to make and sell at craft fairs. I thought they would appeal to kids and generate some spontaneous purchases. I found a couple of patterns that seemed like they’d be popular. As soon as I started working on them, I realized how quickly they come together. And they’re usually the type of pattern that doesn’t require a lot of counting, so they can be done on the go.
Since then, I’ve made countless amigurumi from the weird to the cute and everything in between. I’ve seen patterns for amigurumi skulls and spiders! My favorites are a turtle pattern I found years ago and “butterfly bear” with adorable wings and antenna. Get some other amazing free amigurumi patterns here. Based on the typical needle size, any of our fingering weight yarns may work well for your amigurumi project.