7 AMIGURUMI MISTAKES Most Crocheters Don’t Know They Are Making

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When making crocheted amigurumi toys I see these seven beginner mistakes over and over again.

I get messages all the time from makers who are unhappy with the way their toys turn out. They put so much time and effort into making these little crocheted toys and then they are terribly disappointed in how they turn out. 

But don’t worry, after this post you will have the tools you need to make amigurumi toys that bring joy to you and those you love. 

7 amigurumi mistakes

7 Beginner Amigurumi Mistakes

First I’m going to share all of the details about the amigurumi project that I made and then using this project, I’ll share all seven of the mistakes I see beginners make when crocheting amigurumi and how to fix them! A couple of these tips I’ve shared before, but I have new tips that I recently learned and am sharing for the first time! 

Frida Kahlo Amigurumi Doll

Because March is Women’s History Month I chose to make this adorable Frida Kahlo doll. I’ve loved Frida Kahlo since I first saw the crocheted blanket Frida’s Flowers designed by the incredible Janie Crow. 

I was mesmerized by this intricate blanket design and it was the very first time that I had ever heard of Frida Kahlo. 

The FRIDA Amigurumi Pattern was designed by Ginansilyo Ni Mayra. I chose this one because it was absolutely adorable, but also because I knew I would be able to show you many of the different mistakes that beginners make.

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Amigurumi Yarn

Find YarnArt Jeans Here

I used YarnArt Jeans which is a #2 Fine weight yarn.

It’s a cotton blend with 55% cotton and 45% acrylic. And I used a 2.5 mm Addi Comfort Grip Crochet Hook. 

Find the Addi Comfort Grip Crochet Hook Here

Wrong Crochet Hook Size

The first mistake that beginners make is by using the wrong size crochet hook when making amigurumi.

For the YarnArt Jeans it recommends a 3.5 mm crochet hook. If I were to use that size, I would have holes and see the stuffing through. There’s a rule that when crocheting amigurumi, look for the recommended crochet hook size on the yarn label and go down either one or two sizes.

I did a little experimenting when I first got this yarn and found that a 2.5 mm hook works best for me. I can have a relaxed tension and not have any holes in my stitches. You don’t see any stuffing.

How to Change Yarn Colors Neatly

The second mistake I see beginners make is when they change colors.

I’ve recently switched the way I change colors when making amigurumi. Before I changed colors the normal way by finishing the last stitch with the new yarn and then single crocheting as normal. That can leave quite a noticeable color jog.

I saw this new technique on the Knotty Boss Instagram account I had to try it. You finish your last stitch by joining in the new color, then you will slip stitch to the next stitch and then chain one. The chain one counts as the stitch, not the slip stitch.

So when you pass over that area on the next round you will skip the slip stitch and work into the chain one space. It creates a neater and less noticeable jog.

Yarn Over vs Yarn Under

The next mistake I see beginners make is not experimenting with yarn over vs yarn under. I have found that most of us have a strong preference when it comes to yarn over vs yarn under.

I think it’s a really good idea for amigurumi makers to try both techniques to see which one they like best. I’ve used Yarn Over for Frida because it just works better for me, but I made Lino Lobster with yarn under and I discovered that I really didn’t like it. But I would never have known if I had never tried. 

Biggest Beginner Amigurumi Mistakes

This is the BIGGEST mistake that I see beginners making.

Your yarn choice will make or break your project – when making a very detailed project, you want to use a yarn that will highlight all of those details. You will want to use a yarn that is a little more clean looking like a cotton or cotton blend.

For my Frida doll there are lots of details and I used the YarnArt Jeans. It’s a number 2 fine weight yarn and because it’s a cotton blend, you can see all those details so clearly. Look at the definition of the flowers, her red shawl, her dress.

Her face is very crisp and clean looking. I see a lot of beginners use a heavier weight, acrylic yarn for a detailed project and then they aren’t happy with it. Choose a lighter weight yarn like a DK or lighter and make sure it’s cotton or a cotton blend. You will be amazed at the difference.

You can still use those heavier weight acrylic yarns, just use them only when you’re making amigurumi toys that have less detail.

For example look at my pig here. This pattern is available in my Etsy shop, He is made with Premier Basix Worsted which is a heavy number 4 weight yarn. He looks fantastic and that’s because there aren’t a lot of details.

If I had tried to make the Frida doll with the exact same yarn, I would have been terribly disappointed. It would have looked messy. Think about the projects that you’re making and how the yarn will affect that project.

For detailed projects choose cotton and cotton blends (no less than 50% cotton). For projects that don’t have much detail, use those heavier acrylic yarns, it won’t matter. 

Embroidering Details

Another mistake I see beginners make is when they use the wrong material when embroidering details, especially on the face.

Use embroidery floss or separate strands of yarn to sew those little details. For Frida I separated the plies (or strands) in the black yarn to embroider her features. If I had used the full yarn it would have looked too thick and that can look messy.

If you are using acrylic yarn, you are better off using embroidery floss or a separating a cotton yarn so that those details look crisp and clean. 

Focus on the Face

Mistakes aren’t just for beginners and this next tip is one that I should have paid a lot more attention to when I was making little Frida. And that is to focus on the face.

If you can get the face right, the rest of the project will look amazing.

Can you see what the mistake is? When I added the eyes I obviously wasn’t focusing because they are NOT even. The right eye is higher than the left. I didn’t double check to make sure before I put on the backs. But the face is the money make of amigurumi.

And when you spend the extra time to make sure that the face is symmetrical, the embroidery is clean and that you’ve added little details it makes your project come alive.

With Frida there are a lot of little details that give her so much personality. First she has her iconic eyebrows. The real Frida Kahlo had a strong unibrow and I love how the designer didn’t just add one straight line across the dolls face. Instead she added two long straight eyebrows and then two little diagonal lines in the middle to mimic a unibrow.

She also has a little embroidery on each side of the eye, which is a cute touch. She also has a little nose, two ears and you may not even realize that she has freckles. You might not even notice them at first glance, but they add to the overall look of Frida’s face.

I added pink to her cheeks to give her face even more dimension. If I had added the eyes correctly, it would have been perfect, but that’s ok. This leads me to the last and most detrimental of all  amigurumi maker mistakes. 

Beginner Amigurumi Mistakes

When I noticed the error with the eyes I was so concerned I thought I had ruined the entire project, but it was way too late to start over.

I had made the body and the head, but had not added all of the other details. The eye placement mistake was so glaringly obvious at that point that I felt so disappointed in the project. 

And if I had been a beginner I might have abandoned the project all together thinking that the eye placement mistake was a deal breaker and that the project wasn’t salvageable. 

But even though I was feeling a lot of angst over the eyes I continued on because my experience had taught me that in the end most of those little mistakes aren’t noticeable when the project is fully finished. 

And once the hair was on, the flowers were added, the facial details were embroidered, I could barely even tell there was a problem with the eyes. 

This is the biggest mistake that I see beginners make, they make a small error  and think the entire project is lost. When in actuality, may not even be noticeable once it’s all completed. Mistakes are going to happen, I’ve crocheted a lot of amigurumi toys and I know better than to add the safety eye backs before double checking. But I didn’t and it’s ok. 

She’s still beautiful and I hope that you can remember that the next time you mess up and you think your project is lost. One small mistake is not going to ruin your project. 

Don’t Make These 7 Beginner AMIGURUMI Mistakes

I hope you enjoyed today’s video! Make sure to click the link in the description box to fill out the Google form to enter the Giveaway for a Cricut Maker 3! I hope you feel inspired to pick up your crochet hook and make something magical today! Stay Safe and Happy Stitching! 

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