Updated: Jan 16, 2020
Nothing more fun than creating your own amigurumis – But where do you start when creating your own patterns?
Creating Japanese amigurumi is very similar to crocheting clothes and shawls but should be categorised as sculpting in spirals and circles to create cute little monsters and dolls.
By the end of this blog post you’ll have everything you need to design your own amigurumi patterns - And who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired to eventually start your own crochet pattern business!
Think about what you’d like to design but don’t copy other people’s work or you’ll find yourself in trouble. If you already know what you’d like to design, head over to the sketching table and start drawing the amigurumi. No worries if you don’t quite know what to design yet.
First you’ll need to get inspired and a great way to find inspiration is to write anything down that gets to mind!
If you’ve picked a doll for your first design, try looking for inspiration on Google and Pinterest using the words you’ve just written down. From there on you can save inspirational images and create a mood board to hold onto your inspiration. We want to hold onto that inspiration as long as possible.
Start simple and keep the project small. It’s your first crochet design and you don’t want to drown in this project and get bored of the process. Successful designs will keep you motivated to keep going in the future!
Know your stitches
When creating crochet patterns you should be familiar with basic stitches before you create your own patterns. Starting off with basic stitches like sc, inc, dec, sc in FLO/BLO, dc, hdc and a magic ring are enough basic stitches and terms to get you started with your designs and will make your pattern easy to follow.
Most amigurumis are made crocheting in circles and increase and decrease each round. Where and when is up to you.
For this step old fashioned pencil and paper are enough to start sketching your ideas, so you’ll get an idea of the shapes and colours you want to use. At this stage, it’s just a sketch and colours might differ in the final amigurumi. This sketch will be your guide throughout the process.
At this point it’d be a good time to start thinking about your choice of yarn, stuffing, and set aside different sizes of safety eyes.
Graph paper can be used to speed up the process while you sketch out your design. Draw out the head and other body parts of your doll and count the squares. If your head has 30 squares and your body 24, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of how many stitches you’ll need.
Turning a 2D sketch into a 3D object can be a bit tricky, so that’s why drawing your doll in different angles is so important.
Mercerised cotton: Great for small sized and detailed monsters and dolls. It will give your amigurumi a clean and shiny look and is easy to work with. A smaller crochet hook between 0.9 - 1.50mm crochet hook would be best depending on what type of yarn brand you use.
It’s best to keep your designs about 5-15cm.(2-6 inches) since we’re working with tiny hooks!
Acrylic yarn: Acrylic yarn is cheap and easy to crochet with when using bigger hooks. Usually 2.5 – 3.5mm hooks are used for this type of yarn and the end results are much bigger than crocheting with cotton. Perfect to create plushies to snuggle up with!
Stuffing: A small but important ingredient for a stuffed doll or monster is squishy polyester stuffing. There’s stuffing on the market that clumps together like cotton balls, but the squishy ones will “bounce” more and are less likely to form clumps when you over-stuff.
Write down your pattern
It’s finally time to create that crochet pattern you’ve worked on! Keep careful notes as you’re writing down your design. A great way to keep track is writing every step down in Word. Create a chart or table where you write down each row and the final amount of stitches at the end of each row.
Scrap yarn is a great tool when it comes to keeping track of your stitch count. Be sure to use some type of stitch marker.
Once you’ve finished the head, use it as as a size reference for the other body parts.
After finishing all body parts you’re ready to assemble everything together. Pin it together first to get an idea of the final piece. If you’re not happy with it, this would be a good time to redo a few body parts until you’re satisfied.
If you get stuck on an idea, take a break and come back to it on a later date.
Publishing your work
Now that you’ve written your first crochet pattern, it’s time to publish it!
But before you do so you’ll have to test it a few times first. Make sure you made no mistakes and that your pattern has clearly written steps with pictures for guidance. Name your pattern and include a material and abbreviation list on the first page. Once that’s done you’ll have to save it as a PDF file.
You’re ready to share your first amigurumi pattern for free or sell it on online platforms like Etsy, Ravelry, Amigurumi Today or even Facebook groups.
I hope this post will get you going on your journey and get you hooked for more!
Feel free to leave a comment on this post. I’ll gladly answer any questions you may have.