So you have decided to try making toys yourself? Great news! It is quite easy to get started but very satisfying and you will learn all the tricks quickly. Crocheted toys and keychains make great unique gifts, they are appreciated by children and adults alike. Kids get really excited if you include them in the creating process - let them choose a design and colors, show them how you are crocheting and sewing and make up cute names together. This kind of special toys will always be appreciated.
You will need:
First choose a design. I suggest picking a larger toy with a simple shape and no complicated details. There are a lot of great patterns out there, a lot of them free. But I suggest buying a pattern when just sytarting. Why? Free patterns usually don't have many photos and explanations to help you get started. Also, if you buy a pattern from a good seller, you will know the pattern has been tested and most sellers are happy to offer advice and support.
What kind of yarn you use is up to you, but I suggest using cotton, bamboo, wool or their blends and keeping away from fuzzy yarns until you are more comfortable with amigurumi making. It is best not to start with very fine yarns, something in DK to worsted weight range should work well. Lighter yarns are easier to work with, dark or multicolored yarns need a bit more concentration.
I also wrote a post about materials a while back, this might help you choose your yarn and stuffing material.
3. CROCHET HOOK
Pick a crochet hook that is at least a size smaller than suggested on the yarn label and crochet tightly enough to achieve a tight gauge that will not allow the stuffing to show through the fabric.
I usually pick out the yarn first and then try crocheting a few stitches with different hooks and pick the smallest one I can still crochet comfortably with.
I prefer polyester fiberfill for stuffing, but you could also use any materials you might have at hand, like wool, wadding or filling from an old pillow or stuffed animal. Polyester wadding is great for stuffing very small detials. Just keep in mind that toys will probably have to endure a lot of cuddling and some materials will clump easily.
5. EYES, NOSES and JOINTS
Depending on what you are making, you may need some toy eyes, noses and joints. I prefer using plastic ones that are child friendly and easy to use. You can find them in your local craft store or order over the internet, I put together a little list with my favorite shops.
But buttons, beads, felt or just embroidery floss can work nicely as well.
You will also need a yarn needle, scissors, a stitch marker (or a piece of yarn, paper clip etc.) and any embellishments you want to use.
Once you have all yor materials and tools, it's time to start crocheting. But first, read through the pattern and make sure you understand all the abbreviations and all the stitches and tehniques used. Take a look at the TUTORIALS section for illustrated explanations for all the basic tehniques used for amigurumi making. You can also CONTACT me if you have any questions.