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Part 2 – A Crash Course in Crochet

These are a series of crochet stitches which are common to amigurumi. All you really need to know are the basics such as the slip knot or magic ring, chain and single stitch. Everything else here is included since I use them in some of my patterns. This is essentially a list of resources to help you learn the basic stitches. These stitches are going to be referenced on the next tutorial on how to read patterns.

 

Starting out

 

Slip knot [guide] [video]

This is the first step in most crochet projects. There are many ways to create knots, this is just one approach.

Chain [guide]

The chain is the foundation stitch of crochet. This is essentially a series of slip knots.

Adjustable / Magic Ring [guide]

This is a way to begin crochetting in the round which is common in many amigurumi patterns.

Basic Stitches

Slip stitch [guide]

This is an almost invisible stitch formed by slipping the thread under a fold. It’s used to join work, fasten off stitches, reinforce an edge and carry yarn to a different spot in the pattern without adding height to the work. It can occasionally be used as a decoration and used to secure crochetting in the round.

Single Crochet [guide]

This is the most basic and most common stitch you will ever use when working with amigurumi.

Half double crochet [guide]

Half double crochet is between a single crochet and double crochet in height, but instead of working two loops at a time, you draw the yarn through three loops on the hook.

Double crochet [guide]

This is possibly the second most common stitch in crochet. It’s twice as tall as single crochet.

Advanced Stitches

Popcorn [guide]

This stitch can be used to add texture to your amigurumi or even as fingers and toes.

Places to insert your hook

Anatomy of a crochet stitch

Crochet stitches are composed of a post, loops or spaces. When making amigurumi, the hook is usually inserted just below the loops. Some people or patterns will call for inserting your hook through the front or backloop to create a specific look or texture. For more information about the anatomy of a crochet stitch, follow this link: http://www.stitchdiva.com/custom.aspx?id=126

Right and Wrong side of a crochetted piece [guide] [video]

Patterns usually indicate what they consider as the right or wrong side though it’s uncommon for amigurumi. The “Right” side refers to the front of your stitches, the one that’s facing you as you create the stitch and the “Wrong” side being the part of the stitch that you can’t see. Some designers will instruct you to “reverse” an amigurumi piece in order for the wrong side to show since it creates a specific shape or texture that they want.

I always use the “right” side showing for my amigurumi. If there is a deviation, I give specific instructions to turn a piece over to show the wrong side.

Color change in the same row by round

A color change in the same row essentially means crochetting in one color then following it up with a different color in the same row.

Normal Color change in the same row – http://suravigurumi.blogspot.com/p/tip-and-tricks.html

Vertical stripes – http://www.freshstitches.com/wordpress/?p=621

Color change by row by round

When you apply a normal color change as above, it results into a stair step pattern when you change the color for the next row while you’re working in the round. The following are helpful tutorials on how to get a cleaner result.

Jogless Stripes – http://needlenoodles.com/home/node/139

Shaping

Increasing [guide]

A crochet increase means that you are inserting the same stitch on one single stitch. When the instructions call for increasing 1 single crochet, just work 2 single crochet stitches in the designated stitch.

Skipping

This is a form of decrease. All you need to do is skip a stitch and move on to the next designated stitch.

Working stitches together [guide]

This is the most common form of decrease used in amigurumi. It is the opposite of the increase which involves creating a loop on designated stitches to combine them into one stitch.

 

References:

Annie’s Attic – a list of crochet stitches and how to do them.

Crochet for Dummies – step by step picture guide for crochet stitches.

Stitch Diva – This is the first website which taught me some of the more complicated crochet stitches and techniques.

Next Stitch – Anatomy of crochet stitches.

 

Techniques in color changes:

Planet June – Some basics on color changes

Fresh Stitches – Clean color changes in Amigurumi

Needle Noodles – Jogless stripes

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