Friday, 21 August 2015

easy peasy amigurumi tutorial one

For this months love crochet magazine cover project I was asked to create a pair of dogs but the really wanted these to be a beginners pattern for people who are new to amigurumi.

I came up with these colourful dogs which are full of character but really easy to create.

I thought it might be nice to do a series of tutorials in how to start in amigurumi. These will go hand in hand with some magazine work I'm doing and take you through how to make these and other amigurumi patterns like them.

If you can crochet the first stitch you'll learn after chain is double crochet (single crochet in US terms) and that is the only stitch you need to make these dogs. I've left out all the more complicated shaping and striped this pattern back to amigurumis simple roots.

So if you can work double crochet you're away.

Next up is starting out in the round you can use the magic ring method and there is a great tutorial on how to do that here
I use the much simpler method of chain 2 and work 6dc in the 2nd chain from hook.

ether way is perfectly fine and I will be doing some lovely tutorials that show these methods that will hopefully be featuring in a crochet magazine soon.

However you get there you start out with six stitch in a circle this is your first round.

The next thing you need to be able to do is crochet in the round. For this you need a stitch marker, I use a piece of yarn about an inch long in a contrasting colour, like the pic above.

Place the stitch marker over the stitch nearest your hook before you work the first stitch. You then work the round as per the pattern and finish on the stitch just before the marker.

A normal amigurumi pattern starts off like this...

Starting in (colour) yarn and make a magic ring and work 6dc into the ring. 6sts
Rnd 1: 2dc into each st to the end. 12sts
Rnd 2: (dc in the first st, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 18sts
Rnd 3: (dc in the first two sts, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 24sts
Rnd 4: (dc in the first three sts, 2dc in the next st) repeat to end. 30sts

So lets have a closer look at what we are doing her. This start out is an increase by 6stitchs every round and this will give you a flat disc that we use to get the first shape to the desired size before  shaping into a sphere.

Some people really don't like reading crochet patterns and find them really difficult to understand and this next bit if for them. If you are happy with reading patterns skip this bit.

Ok so we have started out already and have our six stitches in a round so the first line we have covered.

So Rnd 1: This jusr means round one.

Place your stitch marker at the beginning of the round

Read what the pattern tells you to do next out-loud. (This might sound a simple tip but I use a lot and it really does work if your getting mixed up)

So for the first round we are asked to work two double crochet stitches in each stitch. At the end of the round you will have 12 stitches.

The full stop at the end of a line of pattern is actually really important, this marks the end of the instructions for this round. There should never be more than one full stop in a line of pattern.

After the full stop you get your stitch count. This tells you how many stitches you should have now.

Remember when you finish a round to move your stitch marker to the start of the new round.

On round two we are come across brackets for the first time. () Brackets group together stitches that are then meant to be repeated by the amount of times we are told after the bracket.

On round two we want to increase by six stitches again so we are going to increase in every other. Without the use of brakets the instructions for this round would look like this.

Rnd 2: 2dc in the first st, dc in the next st, 2dc in the next st, dc in the next st, 2dc in the next st, dc in the next st, 2dc in the next st, dc in the next st, 2dc in the next st, dc in the next st, 2dc in the next st, dc in the last st. 12sts

As you can see its gets a bit long winded and its easy to mess up where you are as it all looks the same. So we use brackets to keep it simple. The bracket tells you what we have to do and the we just repeat it till we are told to stop.

At the end of round two you will have 18 stitches in your round.

If your with me so far them round three should be pretty easy. Again we are increasing by six stitches and will have 24 stitches at the end of the round. It continues in the same way on round four and at the end of this first part you will have 30 stitches in a round.

From this small beginning all amigurumi patterns start and when you cracked this starting point everything gets very easy.

Six years ago this was the first amigurumi I every made. If I can do it so can you.

Update - If you want to practice increasing by 6 stitches to form a round I have written a lovely fried egg coaster free pattern for you to try here

Part two coming soon shaping, stuffing and decreasing

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