If you love amigurumi, I can probably guess this: you have a folder on your computer or on your desk, stuffed to the brim with more patterns than you could ever make in your life! Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone, I’m guilty of this myself as well. Despite having such a variety of patterns to choose from, sometimes you just don’t know what to make or how to make use of all these patterns you already own.
Hopefully this blog post can give you some ideas. I aim to show you how you can get the most out of every pattern by personalizing them, so every pattern will feel like a perfect fit for you. This way you can work with every pattern multiple times in many different ways and never get bored of them.
These rabbits were made by valea80 and elu_tejidos_con_amor on Instagram. Pattern by Little Bear Crochets.
One of the easiest things to adjust to your liking is the size of the amigurumi doll. There are two ways to do this. If you want to change the general size of the plushie, try and adjust the type of yarn you’re using and the size of the hook that goes along with it. Although most crochet patterns come with a recommended yarn brand, almost all amigurumi patterns can be made with any type or thickness of yarn. Small patterns can be made bigger by using a yarn of worsted or bulky weight. Large patterns can be turned into hand-sized toys if you swap the yarn for some fingering weight alternative.
The second way to tailor the size, is to add or skip rounds while you’re in the process of crocheting. This is a great way to alter only certain parts of a pattern, but it is a little more advanced. Be sure to not skip any rounds that are essential for the structure of the amigurumi doll. Generally, these rounds can be spotted by watching for special techniques like increases, decreases or other advanced stitches. It’s easiest to add or remove rounds in which the guideline says to ‘sc around’. Be aware of a potential repeating design though! If a pattern has a certain sequence of ‘sc around’ rounds alternated with structure-essential rounds, pick up on the algorithm and make certain the ratio stays intact to prevent drastic changes in the doll (unless that’s what you’re going for, of course!). After trying it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.
These giraffes were made by mariabocci and createdbyhilda on Instagram. Pattern by Little Bear Crochets.
Color & Effects
Another easy aspect to play around with is the color of your amigurumi. Like mentioned earlier, you can use almost any yarn in your projects. Besides simply changing the color of the doll, look around for what kinds of effects you can emulate. Changing a horse’s colors to black and white can suddenly turn it into a zebra. Switching colors around the chest area and the upper arms, can make any naked animal look like it has put on a sweater. Sometimes switching up colors and yarn types can even make plushies from ordinary patterns look like the famous comic book characters you love so much. There are also fuzzy yarns that will make your amigurumi animal look like it has actual fur, if you want to go for a more realistic look. The mixing possibilities are never-ending.
These bears were made by cotuitbayknitter and beehsweet on Instagram. Pattern by Little Bear Crochets.
If you don’t mind crocheting a little extra, you could even add accessories to your amigurumi friend. Some ideas are bow ties, hats, skirts, bags or even eye patches if you prefer your plushies to pursue a career in pirating. Many of these types of additions can easily be improvised if you have been crocheting for a long time. If you’re not that handy with yarn yet, you can turn to Google or other patterns you already own to spot some nice little decorations for your toy.
These rabbits were made by varblas and grevvysvirkning on Instagram. Pattern by Little Bear Crochets.
The makeup of the body
You can really go all out with how you organize the body of your plush. You could add some wings to your amigurumi, from tiny angel wings to gigantic draconian ones. If you wish to invent a new alien race, simply play around with the amount of limbs or eyes. Do you like the head of one pattern, but the body of a doll from a different pattern? Simply combine them! As long as you watch the general size of all patterns you’re fusing, you will be fine.
This is also a great opportunity to make a custom doll for someone with a visible disability. People who have to use mobility aids or people who look different from the average able-bodied people are usually not represented, especially not in toys. It could mean a lot to a child who might deviate from the norms to see a plushie that looks like him or her!
These bears were made by mommivabrik and lisejshaya on Instagram. Pattern by Little Bear Crochets.
I hope by now you will feel at least a little inspired to fine-tune a pattern to your liking for your next crochet project. Don’t feel insecure about your skills or the potential outcome, there’s no need! There are no restrictions or expectations, so go for it!
If you have made something wonderful out of a pattern, be sure to show us. Comment below and tell us about it! Be sure to give credits where they are due, and don’t forget to show the pattern’s designer your own project as well. As a designer myself (you can find my patterns at www.littlebearcrochets.com), I can honestly say that it is a lot of fun to see everyone’s personal spin on a pattern!