Welcome to “Part Two” of my amigurumi series! Last time, I wrote about what amigurumi is, and, this time, I’m sharing the tools needed to get you started.
Amigurumi’s a fairly cheap hobby. The start-up costs are minimal (compared to sewing, for example) because you can get a lot of dolls out of a little bit of yarn and filling.
When I started out making amigurumi, I bought dollar skeins of cotton yarn and a pack of fiber fill and went to town. Most of the other stuff I needed to make dolls, I found in my mom’s sewing kit or in a desk drawer. As the years have gone on and I’ve begun selling amigurumi for a meager living, I’ve made some adjustments to that style. I don’t use cotton yarn anymore and I’ve picked up a couple of other needed yet not necessary items that weren’t regularly on hand at my house.
Truthfully, there are only a handful of things that you ABSOLUTELY need to make amigurumi, but I’ve included some of those not-quite-necessary things in the list below too because, if you decide you like making amigurumi, those things will make the process a lot easier for you.
Yarn ~ Acrylic yarn is best for amigurumi. It holds its shape well and is cheap. I like using Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn best of all, but since it’s limited in its color choice, I also use Red Heart. A lot of people don’t like Red Heart, but, trust me, it’s a much better yarn than it used to be. When I first started crocheting, I loathed Red Heart because it was scratchy and irritated my hands. I haven’t been having those same issues lately. The yarn is much softer than it used to be.
Polyester Fiber Fill ~ I like to call this “Puff” and it’s, obviously, used for stuffing your amigurumi. It comes in different brands, but I’d recommend just getting the cheapest out there.
Hook ~ A metal F hook works best for amigurumi. Some people use E or G hooks, but it’s best to start with F. If your stitches are too tight with an F, you can go up to G, and, likewise, if you’re having trouble with puff showing through your stitches with an F, you can downgrade to E.
Scissors ~ Good for cutting yarn!
Tapestry Needles ~ You’ll need a couple nice, big needles to sew your amigurumi pieces together.
Patterns ~ I keep a binder filled with all of my patterns. Ravelry is a great place to find free amigurumi patterns, but there are also a lot of fun books out there you can use too.
Reference Photos ~ If you want to design your own amigurmi or adjust patterns to look a certain way, you’ll need some reference photos. Again, I keep these in my binder so, if I need to know what the Doctor’s hair looks like or what color blue Hannibal’s coat is, I can just pull out the pictures I need.
Items That Are Technically Optional, but HIGHLY Recommended
Stitch Markers ~ Stitch markers help you keep your place as your crochet so that you don’t have to constantly count out your stitches. I used a paper clip as a stitch marker for years, but the actual things work much better than a paper clip. I got these sweet Star Wars stitch markers from The Lemonade Shop on Etsy.
Sewing Pins ~ I don’t know how I ever made amigurumi without these. They’re perfect for keeping pieces in place as you sew them on or work out positioning. I made amigurumi for years without them, but they do make things a lot easier.
Safety Eyes ~ I’ve never used safety eyes on any of my amigurumi. I prefer to stitch eyes on with yarn. Of course, this is a personal preference. If you like, you can try it both ways and see which you prefer. It’s probably best to buy safety eyes from Etsy since Joann Fabrics and other crafts stores don’t usually carry a wide variety of sizes.
Polyfill ~ I’ve only used polyfill once. It adds weight to an amigurumi, but it isn’t safe for children. I don’t like using it. If I want to add weight and am just making a doll for myself, I prefer to use dried beans. I’ve had dolls with beans in them for about ten years and I’ve had no problems. You do have to be careful about getting your amigurumi wet though, but as long as you’re not making them for kids, that shouldn’t be a problem.
So there you have it! Not too bad, is it? I love that amigurumi is such an easy hobby to get started in.
If you have any questions or further suggestions, please leave them in the comments!