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Amigurumi World : Seriously Cute Crochet

Reported by Melissa Norris

I’ve always been quite intrigued by crochet, but I never thought I would be able to do it. I sort of knew how to knit, and thought that crochet was much more difficult. Boy was I wrong.

A friend got me a copy of the book she was using to make crochet animals and I was hooked. Amigurumi World : Seriously Cute Crochet by Ana Paula Rimoli is all about using crochet to make Japanese style Amigurumi animals and toys. The directions are easy to follow, even for a beginner like me, and the results are great!

I didn’t know how to crochet a bit before starting with the book. The instructions in the book along with a few tutorials I looked up online were enough for me to be able to make any of the projects in the book. Most of the projects only use 3 or 4 basic stitches, and a few other more difficult ones are used but the directions help you figure it out.

I chose to start just by practicing and not trying to make an animal. Did I ever need that?! My first attempt at an egg looks more like a marshmallow. But my daughter enjoys it so that’s really all that matters. But that practice really helped me figure out my stitches and tension on the yarn. And you don’t really need much to get started. Just a few crochet hooks (E and F are used mostly) and some yarn. You can even use scraps that you may have left over from making something else. Just be sure that it is worsted weight.

Amigurumi is all crocheted in the round, so you start with a few chain stitches then form those into a circle. You increase your stitches and then do several rows that are all the same, then begin decreasing. At one point before decreasing you make faces for your animal. Some involve embroidering mouths and noses. Other patterns you sew on felt for cheeks and muzzles. All are quite simple. All of the projects have safety eyes. However none of the stores in my tiny town have any, so I sewed on some buttons. In the back of the book on the resource page, the author includes links to websites where you can find supplies online. So next time my animals will have pretty, shiney, safety eyes.

When you get toward the end of your pattern, it’s time to stuff. These projects can hold some stuffing! I had to make multiple trips to my closet because I kept needing more. I just used regular polyfil but you can also add poly pellets (similar to what is in beanie dolls) to add some weight.

The final step of my octopus project was to make the 8 arms. These are all crocheted separately then sewn on to the project. They are also done in the round and stuffed.

TaDa! A happy little octopus. This is only my second project and I really liked how it turned out. My daughter really likes it too! With over 30 different projects, from animals, to cupcakes, mommies and babies, there’s something for everyone.

Pros:

  • Colorful pictures
  • Different sizes of projects
  • Patterns and instructions for faces
  • Great list of resources
  • Patterns are easy to understand and follow
  • An abbreviations reference page to refer back to
  • A good variety of projects that can be modified in to other animals
  • Pages are large and easy to read

Cons:

  • The crochet instructions were difficult for me to understand at first. I had to look for other resources online then come back to them. However experienced crocheters shouldn’t have a problem.
  • I would have liked a bit more detailed instruction for sewing on the extremities. Or at least a photo to see how it is done.
  • I would love to see the book in some type of spiral binding. Especially when working off of a pattern you need the book in front of you at all times, and mine kept flipping closed when I wasn’t looking.

Amigurumi World retails for $18.95 US and can be found through Martingale, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. It may also be found at local book stores, but I haven’t looked.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to try crocheting toys for their children or gifts for friends and family. They are too cute and easy and fun to make! And I hope she comes out with a sequel…I want more!!

Do you have this book, or have you tried making amigurumi? Let us know!

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8 Responses to Amigurumi World : Seriously Cute Crochet

  1. Avatar
    Lindy Stamper May 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    OMG, I’m so glad you’re reviewing this book. I actually have been a great fan of Ana Paula’s for a long time. And I actually won the book from her Blog-give-away. Her patterns are so easy, and brought so much joy to my crafting. Even though I’m really a paper crafter, I’m telling you, I haven’t been able to put down my crochet hook.

    Here’s what I made (mostly from her book): http://www.flickr.com/photos/patty_kins/tags/amigurumi/

  2. Avatar
    IamSusie May 29, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    I think crochet is much easier and more fun than knitting. I’ve made amigurumi too and it is really fun! Your octopus is really cute! I hope you make more!

  3. Avatar
    Dana (*danavee*) May 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Look at you go! I have this book and I LOVE it! Love, love, love! The cupcake and ice cream cone patterns are so cute that they make me want to cry.

    I haven’t made anything yet, but just as soon as I finish up all of my current projects (HA!) I’m going to get started, probably on the chicks and eggs set.

    Ana Paula also has a blog and Etsy shop for her patterns, and seems super nice!

    Great review!

  4. Avatar
    Heidi May 30, 2008 at 6:01 am #

    Holy Crap Melissa. That octopus is too cute! You make me wanna go buy that book and learn how to crochet. Like I have time for that! Shame on you!

  5. Avatar
    Ali May 30, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    Congrats on learning to crochet! Your happy octopus is ADORABLE!!!!!

    Loved your thorough review. TY!

  6. Avatar
    sylviasushi27 August 5, 2008 at 1:25 am #

    =) I just got this book yesterday at Borders. I am trying hard to make the egg project, and I also had to look up a lot of tutorials online to understand the pattern. My egg doesn’t look very egg-ly, it probably is best described as marshmallow-like as you mentioned yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do love all the patterns in the book and I hope to be able to do all of them myself soon!

    There are a lot of good tutorials on youtube as well, and one which shows how to use pony beads for eyes. These are what I used for my egg, you may want to try them out. ๐Ÿ™‚ They are stitched right into the pattern.

  7. Avatar
    pezadoodle July 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    SO adore this book – crochet was the first thing crafty my mom taught me and i have been crocheting since i was about 7! wish i had more time for it though…*sigh*

  8. Avatar
    ~โ™ฅSonya September 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    I have this book and I love it! The instructions are very easy to understand and the patterns are SERIOUSLY cute! ๐Ÿ™‚