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How to design an amigurumi



Have you ever wanted to design your own amigurumi? Today we’ll learn how to turn an initial sketch into a pattern, making your drawing into a cute knitted character. There is a little maths involved, but nothing too challenging!
Lets begin with our sketch. I’ve started with this little monster character. Your design can be as simple or as complex as you like, so long as you can break it down into shapes.
Sketch your character from a couple of different angles. Working on squared paper makes it a little easier to do the maths.



The next step is to break your character down into shapes. Look for spheres, tubes, and flat shapes. For example, the eyes of my monster are spheres, the arms are tubes capped by half-spheres, the feet are composed of flattened tubes capped with half-spheres, and the body is two different-sized spheres connected by a tube.

The next step is to work through the math. Lets begin with the body. I’m assuming I’ll be working in single crochet as it has a square gauge and so the maths is easier to do! I’m assuming each small square is two stitches.

The height is easy to figure out – the body is 38 squares or 72 rows high. The width is in two dimensions while we are working in three, so we have to do a little fiddling with the numbers to get the circumference.
The top sphere, the monster’s head, is 12 stitches across. This gives us a radius of half that, 6 stitches. We can work out how many stitches round it needs to be at the widest point by multiplying by pi. That gives us 18.84 stitches – For simplicity’s sake, lets round that down to a multiple of 6 – or 18 stitches.

We know from our earlier post that to crochet a ball, we start with 6 stitches and add 6 every row, so we can work out the first 3 rows of our pattern - R1: sc 6 into magic ring, R2: sc2 into each st, R3: sc1 inc 1 all round, R4: sc2 inc 1 all round.

The lower sphere or belly doesn’t start for another 14, so we’ll work in plain single crochet for 14 rows.
The lower sphere is 20 sts across – 20/2 x 3.14 is 31.4 – lets call that 30 as when crocheting spheres it’s easier to work in multiples of 6.

Now comes a slightly complicated bit, as over the next eight rows we want the back of our monster to carry on as a tube, but the front to start increasing into a ball shape. Over eight rows, we need to increase from 18 stitches to 30, or 1.5 stitches per row. Lets add 3 stitches every other row, giving us the next 8 rows of the pattern:

sc 9 (i.e.  half the stitches in the row), (sc2, inc 1) 3 times.
Sc next row plain.
Sc9, (sc3, inc 1) 3 times.
sc next row plain
sc9, (sc4, inc 1) 3 times
sc next row plain
sc9, (sc5, inc 1) 3 times
.
We can now finish off the body pattern by decreasing 6 stitches per row until the end:
(sc4, sc2tog) 6 times
(sc3, sc2tog) 6 times
(sc2, sc2tog) 6 times
(sc1, sc2tog) 6 times
sc2tog 6 times


Great, we finished the body! Now we can use the same principles to work out the rest of the pattern – remembering that to make a sphere we add 6 increases per row, and to make a flat shape we add 8. Joining part-spheres and flat shapes with tubes, we should be able to work out most shapes.
Using only tubes and spheres, our finished pattern is as follows

Body
sc 6 into magic ring, (6 sts)
sc2 into each st (12 sts)
sc1 increase 1 all round, (18 sts)
Work in sc for 14 rounds
sc 9, (inc 1, sc2) 3 times.
Sc next row plain.
Sc9, (inc 1, sc3) 3 times.
sc next row plain
sc9, (inc1, sc4) 3 times
sc next row plain.
sc9, (inc1, sc5) 3 times
sc next row plain.
(sc4, sc2tog) 6 times
(sc3, sc2tog) 6 times
(sc2, sc2tog) 6 times
(sc1, sc2tog) 6 times
sc2tog 6 times
Draw yarn through remaining stitches and close


Eyes
sc 6 into magic ring,
sc2 into each st
sc1 increase 1 all round,
sc 1 row
(sc1, sc2tog) 6 times
sc2tog 6 times
sew to body


Arms
sc 6 into magic ring,
sc2 into each st
sc1 increase 1 all round,
sc 12 rows
Do not close, sew upper edge to body


Feet
sc 6 into magic ring,
sc2 into each st
sc1 increase 1 all round,
sc 6 rows
sc2sts tog 6 times
pass yarn through remaining sts and close.


The final step is to test-crochet your pattern, making notes of any adjustments you make as you go.

If you enjoyed this pattern, check out my latest pattern book!


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