Here is a list of list of tools I use (and some I don’t) for crocheting amigurumi softies. This includes just about everything I use, and some things I know people use that I personally don’t or haven’t tried yet. Most of these are readily available at craft stores.
Duh! Of course you need yarn! But what kind? I just about exclusively use acrylic yarn. It holds up well over time, goes for cheap, and comes in a large assortment of colors. Acrylic is also machine washable which is great for gifts for children or anything you anticipate will get dirty. It also does not come from animals, which now is a must for me.
Some people use wool to achieve that fuzzy look for softies – I still use acrylic for this, you can make it fuzzy by brushing it with a slicker brush, but more on that in a moment. In the end, pick what you like to use or what your pattern calls for.
You’ll need to find a hook size that’s small enough to crochet tight stitches that stuffing cannot be seen through. What size that is depends on your personal tension and what yarn you’re using. If you’re not accustomed to crocheting with tight tension, you’ll probably need a hook a few sizes smaller than what your yarn label suggests. I generally use a G-4.25MM size hook coupled with worsted weight yarn, though I occasionally use the next smallest size, F-3.75MM. Again use whatever works for you.
Stitch markers keep track of the beginning of your round. Amigurumi are almost always crocheted in continuous rounds, so these are pretty much necessary. There are a few different styles you can choose from.
This is how you fill your amigurumi up. There is a large selection of brands to choose from. I personally use Morning Glory Premium Polyester Fiberfill 5 pound boxes. And yes, it’s a lot of stuffing. It’s the best stuffing I’ve tried so far. It’s not springy like other stuffing I’ve used, it’s dense. It keeps its shape and stays where you put it.
These are generally made of plastic or steel, but you can also find them in bamboo. I always use a blunt tapestry needle (also called a darning needle) to weave yarn tails in for all my projects. No, I don’t know how to crochet over yarn tails yet. It looks super helpful! I just haven’t taken the time to learn it.
Depending on what you’re making, you might also use a sturdy upholstery needle or a small sewing needle. If you plan to embroider on your amigurumi, you’ll need a small sewing needle with a sharp point at the end.
These are a lifesaver! They’re used to pin pieces together before sewing. You can get an idea of how your project will look before you sew, and make sure the pieces stay put as you’re sewing. When I was started crocheting, I didn’t have these. All my pieces were sewn on haphazardly and out of place. I would have one arm sewn halfway up the body and the other arm in the middle. Madness!
For cutting yarn. They don’t need to be fancy or anything, just so long as they cut.
You can actually brush yarn to make it fuzzy, you don’t have to buy already fuzzy yarn. This is also a great alternative who want the look, but hate crocheting with fuzzy yarns. Brushing pulls yarn fibers to the surface, creating a fuzzy look and feel. I believe you can do this with most yarns, though I use it on acrylic. Best used on pieces prior to sewing and fastening eyes and noses (I found that out the hard way).
Here’s Priscilla, a bunny I made a few years ago. She’s crocheted in Simply Soft white acrylic yarn, but you might not know looking at her. I used a slicker brush on all the pieces before sewing her together. Slicker brushes are easy to find and inexpensive. Even some grocery stores carry these in their pet sections.
Doll eyes and noses
Also called safety eyes and noses. I use these for all my amigurumi. Most craft stores carry them. They come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, styles and colors.
- Caution! Do not use these if a small child or any animal will be handling it. They are not safe for either. Doll eyes and noses are for children 3 years old and up and never for animals. Try embroidering or crocheting eyes and noses instead.
Often used to embroider eyes, noses and other details onto amigurumi for young children and animals, since doll eyes and noses are not safe for them.
I personally use it in place of sewing for wig caps and anything placed behind doll eyes. On the rare occasion I use felt, I’ll glue it on instead of sewing.
These are essentially covered wires. They can be placed inside limbs, ears, tails, and anything you’d like to make semi-posable. Generally the thinner the piece the better, as pipe cleaners are thin as well.
Dowels are cylindrical rods of wood. I use these when my project’s head is either too large or heavy and the body cannot support it. The head slumps to the side when it isn’t being supported properly. A dowel gives the head enough support to sit upright without falling or tilting.
These are the things Beanie Babies have inside them. They can be used to redistribute weight or weigh down amigurumi so they can sit or stand upright. Pellets often have to be secured in a cut and sewn bag before inserting them into any softie. This is so no stray pellets can work their way through the stitches and fall out.
A lot of people use felt embellishments to great effect on their amigurumi. I’ve seen them used beautifully as eyes, armor detailing, clothes, and so forth. I especially love the look of white felt placed behind doll eyes. I myself don’t use felt often, as I for whatever the reason cannot cut or sew straight.
Some people use buttons for joints, eyes, noses, etc. I don’t have buttons to use, but there are some fabulous examples out there of buttons on crocheted pieces.
Does anyone else use this? It’s something I’ve been playing with on and off for years. I like using it to blend shades around eyes, noses, and so forth. You can make neat stripes as well. Applying it will make that area a little fuzzy from brushing it on, but it’s not really a big deal.
I hope this gives you a decent idea of some of the things you can use, and what I use in general. Until next time!