How to Close Up Your Stuffing Opening with the Drawstring Method

Want to learn how to make adorable crocheted stuffed animals with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Let’s Make Amigurumi here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and how to make an easy amigurumi from start to finish using simple crochet stitches.

It’s a fun, inexpensive, and totally portable craft. You can do it!

Recently I’ve been looking for a different way to close my amigurumi. Slipstitching across the opening works just fine, but sometimes it leaves a pointier top than I would like. I wanted something that was more consistently smooth.

After a bunch of experimentation, I decided on a new method where I close up the top like a drawstring bag. It works really well – and it’s super easy!

Here’s how to do it.

See how easy that is?

Happy stitching!


Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

How to crochet Picot Bumps – video tutorial

The newest Ami Club pattern is Merrick Monster.

I wanted him to have spiky little bumps all over his back and head so I used a modification of a picot stitch to do it. Picot stitch is usually used as an edge treatment, but in this video I show how you can use it within the body of an amigurumi. It’s an easy and fun way to add texture!

See how easy that is? You can use this technique to add a spiky, bumpy texture to any amigurumi.

Have fun with it!


How to Crochet a Scalloped Edge – video tutorial

The new Flit the Fairy pattern uses scallops in two ways.

Scallops give her hair that cute, curly edge.

The edges of her wings also have scallops.

Scallops are so cute!

And they’re easy to crochet. 🥰

Here’s how. . .

In the video I mentioned that you can use the same scallops on things that aren’t crocheted (like the hem of a skirt, or the edge of a pillowcase). There’s a video showing how to do that here.

Flit the Fairy is the new Ami Club pattern. If you’re already in the club, head on over and download the pattern now! If you’re not in the club yet, you can join here.

Happy stitching!


How to Crochet an Underbite

Underbites are one of my favorite things.

An underbite instantly makes critters cuter!

And – luckily – they’re especially easy to do in crochet. Here’s a video showing how, using Maxwell Monster as an example.

Have fun with this technique!


How to Crochet Four Legs Together – video tutorial

I really love making amigurumi that stand on two legs. Some of my favorite patterns use this basic shape and it’s really easy to do. (There’s a video here showing how.)

But when I designed this giraffe I wanted him to stand on four legs.

There are a lot of very different methods out there to do this, but all of them felt a little trickier than I wanted for beginners, so I came up with my own method. Here’s a video showing how. . .

It works really well – and it’s pretty easy! Now that I’ve got this new tool in my toolbox, I’ve got all kinds of ideas for standing four-legged cuties. 🙂

That giraffe is the May 2019 Ami Club pattern. Members will find the new pattern in their accounts tomorrow. If you’re not a member yet, join the club here!

Happy stitching!


How to Measure Gauge for Amigurumi

First of all – gauge isn’t that important for amigurumi.

You could make hundreds of amigurumi and never once measure the gauge.

When do you need to worry about it?

One – if you want your finished project to turn out the size the pattern says it will be.

Two – if you have exactly the amount of yarn specified in the instructions and you don’t want to risk running out.

So how do you measure it?

Well, because you’re stitching in the round it’s a little different than other gauge instructions.

Crochet up a swatch of five rounds. Make sure you’re stitching through the back loop if that’s what the pattern says to do. (All FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World patterns are stitched through the back loop.)

Ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot.)

Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6)

Round 2 sc twice in next st (12)

Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18)

Round 4 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts.] 6 times (24)

Round 5 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts.] 6 times (30)

Now – measure across the diameter of your swatch.

Mine measures 2 1/2 inches.

If yours is 2 1/2 inches – good! Unravel your swatch (so you can reuse the yarn) and start stitching.

If yours is a little small, try using a larger hook size. If yours is a little big, try going down a hook size. You can also try switching between different hook materials – a bamboo hook “grabs” the yarn a little more than a metal hook, for example, which can change your swatch size.

Don’t try stitching just a little tighter or a little looser. As you work you’ll tend to revert back to your natural tension, so that’s not a good way to get gauge.

Keep experimenting until your swatch matches the one in the pattern – then stitch away!

Happy stitching!


How to Single Crochet in the Front Loop One Row Below – video tutorial

Here’s a nifty crochet trick.

Sometimes for fancy stitches, you need to stitch one row below the row you’d normally be stitching through. It can create a neat new texture on the surface of your fabric – but it can have an extra benefit for amigurumi.

It can make your shape bend!

In this terrific video, Stacey shows you how to do it.

Specifically, she shows how to single crochet in the front loop, one row below – but you can use the general idea to do lots of other stitches one row below.

Here’s how.

See how that makes the fabric bend? Isn’t that cool?

Stacey used this technique to get the perfect bend in the truck for her Ellie the Elephant amigurumi pattern.

Happy stitching!


Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.

How to Double Crochet – video tutorial

How to Double Crochet - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

You may be wondering why you need to learn double crochet. After all, amigurumi are mostly single crochet. That gives the tightest fabric with the smallest holes for the stuffing to peek through.

But sometimes we need some slightly taller stitches (like on the convex side of a bendy piece) so we use half double crochet.

And sometimes we need something even taller, so we use double crochet.

In this video I show you a swatch where you can see (and compare height) between the three most basic crochet stitches – single, half-double, and double.

And, of course, I show you how to do it. 🙂

See how easy that is?

And how much taller it is than single crochet?

That height means bigger holes, so you’ll never see this in amigurumi bodies that need to be stuffed.

But sometimes we’ll use it for special amigurumi details, like the feet on Russ the reversible chick and egg.

reversible chick and egg crocheted toy - it uses double crochet for the feet

One row of single crochet made the feet too small, and two rows was too big. These are just right.

You also see it here in the eye-brow rings on Nelson the Owl.

crocheted owl with double-crochet eyebrow ridges - made with the Nelson the Owl pattern

See how nice and tall they stand up to make elegant eyebrows?

You might also see double crochet as a part of other stitches, like these scallops along the edge of Flit the Fairy’s hair and wings.

Crocheted fairy doll made with the Flit the Fairy pattern

There’s a video here showing how to crochet scallops.

See? Even though amigurumi are mostly single crochet, there are lots of ways to slip in a little bit of double crochet for special touches.

Bonus – double crochet works great for scarves and hats. It’s a little more drapey than single crochet – and extra drapey if you go up a hook size from what the yarn label recommends. It gives scarves and slouchy hats just the right softness.

Happy stitching!


Crochet an adorably cuddly hound dog. Get the pattern here.