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Amigurumi (編みぐるみ, lit. crocheted or knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. The word is a portmanteau of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. In the West they are called amigurumi, which are the original phonetics of the Japanese language. Amigurumi vary in size and there are no restrictions about size or look. While the art of amigurumi has been known in Japan for several decades, the craft first started appealing to the masses in other countries, especially in the West, in 2003. By 2006, amigurumi were reported to be some of the most popular items on Etsy, an online craft marketplace. Since then, popularity has continued to increase.
Even though amigurumi seem popular online due to their presence on sites such as Etsy, Pinterest, and Ravelry, amigurumi is still a developing craft permeated and directly depending on emerging trends and popular culture. Wikipedia
You can look for specific courses in your area, beginners’ courses, ask advice from friends and family, or go to a wool shop where they likely have beginner classes or workshops, sometimes they’re also free.
If you prefer to learn on your own, you can buy a book of amigurumi toys for beginners and spend some time on YouTube looking for your favorite crochet or knit-youtuber.
As with any subject, before you can write a pattern on your own, you have to study and practice. Then it will be natural, sometimes also easy, because you will know the “crochet language” and how to carry on the project from the sketch to the final item. Obviously, behind every pattern there is an idea and its development. These steps are very personal, there are those who can work only with paper and pencil or who start to crochet and imagine the design in their mind.
You may sell amigurumi toys made from LaCigogne patterns, providing each toy with a tag that gives me credit as a Designer and you as a Maker (eg. Johnny the snowman by (your name), design by Natalia Manfré www.lacigognefr.com).
If you sell also on Etsy or another marketplace you have to mention my website in the description of the item. You may not sell or share the pattern.
To get started, you need some tools: crochet hook, yarn, and pattern. You must know the basic stitches of crochet: ch (chain stitch) and single crochet US terms (double crochet in UK terms), decrease. You only need to study a few technical things: the magic loop (called also magic circle or ring) and how to work in a continuous spiral.
I use different yarn. It depends on the project, for example, if I think of a small amigurumi to be used as home décor on the chimney or in the library I’ll choose cotton yarn (like Phildar Cotton, DMC Natura Just Cotton, or Yarn and colors Must Have cotton). If I want to make a warm and soft fluffy bunny for a child’s room, I’ll use wool (such as merino) or fluffy baby acryl yarn and so on, for each pattern there is a suitable yarn. However, one’s personal taste has a significant role in the game of choosing yarns.
Most of my amigurumi are made with cotton yarn (Phildar, Yarns and Colors, DMC Natura Just Cotton) and I use my grandma’s 2 mm old steel crochet hook and 1.65-1,75 mm steel hook. Loops and Threads. They are just small hooks, they allow me to easily work avoiding wrist fatigue and they never break. This is my personal preference and it does not fit all! Trying and trying again is the only way to understand what works better for you, choosing how to hold the crochet hook (as pencil or knife) and the preferred hook material and shape (metal, with soft or rigid plastic handle, wooden, ergonomic).
Not yet, but I’m working on a book “Amigurumi bird family”
If you still have questions, please, write me a letter. I’ll be happy to answer you.
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