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Topic: Advanced Amigurumi Techniques?  (Read 10849 times)
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« on: February 01, 2011 05:08:03 PM »

I've been making amigurumi for about a year and a half now, and what I really like making are dolls that are as detailed and as realistic (or true to form, if it's based off a cartoon character) as possible. And while I'm doing okay with the skill set I have now, my amigurumi are still limited almost exclusively to single crochet, increases, and decreases. I can't help but think I could make my stuff even better if I had a few new skills.

I've tried looking for advanced techniques and patterns on my own, but it seems like nearly all of the tuts are for beginners, and many of the patterns are either a variation of "make two balls and attach them together," or else I need to pay for them.

So, does anyone have any amazing techniques or patterns that they're willing to share?

Foxy Dragon
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011 06:35:36 AM »

Have you tried any other things to make other then amigurumi, that is how I built my crochet skills up, most ami's are just sc with increases and decreases, but shawls, hats, purses, etc has more advanced techniques you could figure out to incorporate into your ami's
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011 03:53:33 PM »

often i can look at something and figure out how to make it, or something pretty close.
perhaps do some sketching and create whatever is on your mind.

i've been trying to make creative things, but i end up undoing them and starting over.
trial and error i guess.

« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011 02:53:09 PM »


I love making maigurumi as well, and found that free-handing some stuff is quite fun, and a nice challenge. I really like to make what I now refer to as "scene-gurumi." It's a good way to utilize different stitches and challenge your geometric imagination.

Here ar e couple of examples:

« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011 09:37:19 PM »

Thanks for everyone's comments!  Grin

Foxy Dragon: Unfortunately, I'm not much for crocheted wearables. I'd like to make blankets, but the length of time involved in that endeavor is intimidating. But now that I think about it, I can just hit up a stitch/motif guide and make swatches...

neversaymichele: I can normally get things to look the way I want them to with just single crochet, but I can't help but feel that certain techniques would make things look better, or at least a lot easier. For instance, if I had wanted to make a toad with warts a month ago, I would have crocheted all the wart bumps separately from the body and sew them on. I know now, however, that it would be so much easier (and less tedious) to use a popcorn stitch for the warts.

tarr0011: Those are so cute! I think I've seen things like that on deviantart. I'd love to do something like that, but I wouldn't know what to make.

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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2011 07:22:54 AM »

I did a white bunny the other day that needed other stitches than just sc for the legs, I think it was hdc or dc. Why don't you try making stuff like dragons? They need skill. Try making princess amigurumis, their dresses can be a challenge Wink Other than that, most ami uses sc as the stitches needs to be tight so stuffing is easy

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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011 10:35:17 AM »

I just began making ami's a few months ago myself, and I know what you mean about many patterns being almost too simple. I've had good luck searching exhaustively for patterns on Ravelry and elsewhere and making lots of non-character things: coffee cups, traffic cones, anything with an interesting shape. My favorite doll patterns have you make feet or hands by switching to crocheting in rows for short periods (the Free Spirit Doll pattern for example--you can google it or find it on here, it's a great one).

For specific effects, here are a couple techniques I've noticed:
--do a round in the front loops to create a "bend" towards you (good for neck, waist)
--do a round of slip stitches, then a round in the back loops (this creates a flatter top of the head, and thus a flatter, less spherical face. See http://nerdigurumi.com/2010/03/little-big-planet-sackboy-with-pattern.html)
--do a round in the back loops (this makes the unused front loops look like a line of running stitches, as for a waistband or sleeves)
--working around the front or back posts (do this for a couple rows and you will get a recessed look, like R2D2)

Also, a great way to get a feel for how different stitches create texture/shape/height is to make a variety of granny squares, doilies, or flowers. They make up way faster than afghans and many are quite complicated. If you just can't make something unless you'll get some kind of completed thing out of it (I'm like that), you could make snowflakes and starch them for Christmas ornaments.

« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011 05:40:00 PM »

For patterns that are more complex than just various spheres joined together, check out AngryAngel's free patterns on her blog. The dragon is particularly impressive.

My freehand ami's are mostly of the spheres-stuck-together style, but when I do want to try something different, I find it helps to have a pattern to base it off of or even just an image of another ami. There are always a lot of super-impressive amis on these boards to draw inspiration from. Drawing some ideas out first can help, too.

You can work on new techniques with other small projects, too, like little flowers (meeksandygirl makes a lot of flowers) or appliques. I know you said you don't like wearables, but gloves or baby booties are fast and there are a bajillion patterns for both. Plus, you can just make one if you don't like it.

Do you knit? I thyink having knowledge of knit and crochet makes figuring out stuff for both easier. I personally think knitting ami's is WAY harder than crocheting them but it helps you think about the construction in a different way.
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011 06:00:43 PM »

I know you mentioned that other crocheted projects aren't appealing to you, but perhaps some smaller scale ones would just be something nice to show off and perhaps give away while simultaneously forcing you to learn new stitches?

Blankets are fun but take a long time, but maybe a baby blanket would provide the practice necessary in a shorter time span? Scarves with complicated patterns, etc.

And seeking out more complicated patterns for amigurumi, too, obviously. They're out there. :] I suggest thinking of animals that have shapes that wouldn't be very well represented in "balls" and then searching.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011 11:51:15 AM »

savagerose: Thanks! Those were the kind of things I was looking for! Cheesy

Fringey: I've actually already made AngryAngel's dragon - and found the wing pattern to be a great source of inspiration in making the tail feathers in an eagle I'm now working on.  Grin And I think I will try making a few flowers. I could probably turn them into a curtain fixture if I make enough of them or something. I also don't really knit. I learned enough to be able to make a ribbed scarf about a year ago, but then promptly forgot everything once it was done.  Undecided

vombatiformes: Well, I might get roped into making baby blankets anyway, as I now have a niece on the way. And you'd be surprised at what people make work with just attached balls or variations of that (for instance, I consider this to be a variation of "balls attached to each other": http://www.freexstitchpatterns.com/wp-content/uploads/Amigurumi%20Crochet.jpg ). I know more complicated patterns exist, I guess I'm just too lazy to sift through all the simpler patterns to find one that uses more techniques.

Now to go back to figuring out how to make a no-sew doll. If only I could figure out to both shape the jawline (without making it look like an alien head) and do so without having to make the head separately...

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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011 09:08:41 PM »

I think everyone's given great suggestions.

I'll add another. One of the ways I started getting interested in amis again after a rutt (tired of the same stitches over and over) was by trying to invent my own "signature style. I noticed that a lot of the designers I liked had similar looks in their amis. I wondered if I could make my own. It took weeks of sketching and trying and frogging and making and making agian but in the end I came up with a doll style that is pretty unique to my dolls.

For me, focusing on perfecting one component was key. I ended up making endless crochet 'wigs' before making them to my satisfaction.

You won't necessarily need to learn new techniques but the challenge of inventing your own may be enough to make it fun.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011 09:09:48 PM by CraftFro » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2011 07:17:03 PM »

I'd like to make blankets, but the length of time involved in that endeavor is intimidating.

That's why you should have a few projects going at once.  I can never finish a project straight through unless it's fairly small.  I have a 12 pointed star afghan going that I get out every so often and work a few rounds on whenever I'm in the mood


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