If you are already an expert toy maker, you have probably heard about all these tips before (and most likely are using them as well). But for anyone new in the world of amigurumi, I thought I would put together a little list with techniques I found really improved the look of my toys.
The "Magic Ring"
You know that pesky little hole, that will be left in the middle of the first round if you start crocheting with a chain? The answer to that problem is a "magic ring" - an adjustable loop you can pull tightly closed. See the tutorial HERE.
Invisible single crochet decrease
Another technique most crocheters like to use when making toys is the invisible decrease. Regular single crochet decreases can be a bit bulky and although this technique does not make them completely invisible, they will be much less noticeable. See the tutorial HERE.
Staggering increases and decreases
When making a round amigurumi piece, you usually start with six stitches and then increase by six stitches every round, until the piece is big enough. But if you increase on the same spot every round, you will end up with a hexagon and the increases will be quite prominent even after stuffing. But more often than not you will want your amigurumi to be nice and round, like a teddy bears head for example. Which is why you should try to arrange the increases more evenly around the piece. See the tutorial HERE.
Joining rounds for perfect stripes
Because amigurumi is crocheted in spiral, the end and the beginning of a round do not line up. Which means if you change yarn, there will be a visible step. If you need to change yarn once, it is usually not that noticeable and sometimes can be hidden with some embellishments or strategically placed limbs, tail or ears. But if you are making something stripy, you will have to join rounds to get perfect stripes. See the tutorial HERE.
Sewing with mattress stitch
Mattress stitch is great for sewing your toys together - it leaves a really nice clean seam. I don't use it everywhere, but i especially like it for joining the head and body - it looks really neat and helps avoid a floppy head. See the tutorials HERE and HERE.
I hope you found this little list helpful. And if you have any suggestions for techniques I missed here, do leave them in the comments.