How Long Does It Take to Learn to Crochet Amigurumi?

Learning a new craft is always intimidating, especially when it seems like all the terminology and abbreviations are in a different language. I’m here to tell you never fear—it doesn’t take as long as you might think! When I first started learning to crochet amigurumi, I was totally in the dark and had no idea where to start. So how long does it take to learn to crochet amigurumi?

Learning a new craft is always intimidating, especially when it seems like all the terminology and abbreviations are in a different language. I’m here to tell you never fear—it doesn’t take as long as you might think! When I first started learning to crochet amigurumi, I was totally in the dark and had no idea where to start. So how long does it take to learn to crochet amigurumi?

It takes a few months to be able to crochet most amigurumi patterns, but it’s possible to learn the basics in one afternoon in one go, or spread out over a week. After learning how to create a magic ring, work the single crochet, and increase and decrease, you know enough to create your first project.

It can be confusing to learn to crochet amigurumi, but that’s why I’m here to tell you from personal experience the exact details of what you need to know and things to avoid when you’re first diving into the art of amigurumi!

A quick note on materials: For all my personal recommendations of my most-used tools, yarns, and supplies, check out my favorites in this complete guide!

How is amigurumi different from crochet?

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed toys. It is a subset of the art of crochet in general, and differentiates itself because of its specific purpose of making animals instead of wearables. This means that some of the techniques that are used to create amigurumi are only used for amigurumi, even though technically they could be used in other areas of crochet. In the same way, many of the stitches used to crochet garments such as scarves and sweaters never come into play here, even though they’re technically achievable with a crochet hook and yarn.

For a longer breakdown of how and why amigurumi is different from crochet, as well as whether any skills are shared between the two, click here!

The reason why there are specific techniques for amigurumi is because each stuffed animal is created from many parts. These parts are 3D and usually circular in shape which are created by crocheting in a round. The most basic shape for amigurumi is a round ball shape, which can then be adapted to become a long arm, a chubby body, or any other part of the amigurumi. Usually crocheting in a round is not needed for garments, though it is used to create hats (can you guess why?). However, it is a staple for amigurumi because every stuffed animal can be broken down into 3D circular pieces.

This is good news for us because it means that as long as we learn the techniques used to make amigurumi, there’s no need to learn all the other crochet stitches that are used to make garments! The other good news is, the techniques needed to make amigurumi are relatively simpler and fewer than crochet in general.

If you already know how to crochet wearable items and want to branch out into making these stuffed cuties, then the amount of new techniques you’ll need to pick up are even fewer. Although it may take a little while to get used to crocheting in the round instead of flat, it should not pose a significant problem.

How long will it take to learn the basics of crocheting amigurumi?

Learning the four basic steps listed below will only take you a few hours. When I was first learning, I made the mistake of skipping ahead and trying to create an amigurumi without practicing any of the basic components. Although it seemed more fun to me, I ended up getting frustrated and bogged down by not understanding the components of crocheting amigurumi.

For an entire blog post on the basic skills you’ll need to know for amigurumi, click here!

I recommend practicing each of the basic techniques until you are able to do them before trying to combine them all together in an amigurumi piece.

That being said, each technique will not take more than an hour to learn from scratch. That’s a conservative estimate, and I bet that many of you will be able to learn them faster than that. However, even at four hours total, that’s only one afternoon’s worth of practicing! After that, you’ll have everything you need to tackle a basic amigurumi project.

If you’re short on time, it’s definitely possible to break down the four basic techniques and practice one every day. In this way, if you practice one every evening and save the last three nights for review, you will have a very solid handle on what you need.

What are the basics that I need to know?

Okay, here’s the in depth breakdown for exactly what you need to know to crochet amigurumi.

1. The Magic Ring

You’ll need to know how to create a magic ring. This forms the basis of every amigurumi part and allows you to crochet in a round. The reason why it’s called a magic ring is because once you create it, it will expand or shrink depending on how many stitches you crochet in it, which means that it’s the perfect base for any amigurumi part. This is the first step for almost every amigurumi part that’s 3D, and will quickly become a staple in your crocheting vocabulary.

Note: these videos are not my work, but ones that I found online

2: The Single Crochet

Once you have your magic circle, you’ll need stitches to form the crochet fabric of the amigurumi part. This is where the most variation occurs in crochet, so often if you look around you can find endless resources on different kinds of stitches you can use. However, this is mostly for garments or other decorative items which require fancier crochet stitches to create texture. However, for amigurumi, we just want the simplest crochet stitch just to create the surface of the stuffed toy. The stitches aren’t the star of the show here, it’s the stuffed animal as a whole.

That’s why for amigurumi, we only need to learn one stitch, and it’s the single crochet. This also happens to be the most basic crochet stitch out there, with only three steps! It makes sense that the simplest crochet stitch is required for stuffed animals because it creates the most even texture for the toy.

3: Increasing and Decreasing Stitches

Once you know how to create the base for crocheting in the round and you know what stitches to use, how do you make any given amigurumi part larger or smaller?

The answer is increasing and decreasing stitches. Increasing is essentially crocheting two stitches in the space of one stitch, so that the round that you are working in becomes a little larger. Decreasing is the opposite, where you crochet two stitches into one so that the round you’re working in becomes slightly smaller. Often, a crochet pattern will ask you to increase a certain amount of times so that the expansion is noticeable.

4. Finish Off (FO)

If you’re new to crochet, this may need a little clarification. However, if you’re not, then feel free to skip this section!

When crocheting, we do not use knots to finish off work. This is because it can create bumps or show easily. The other reason is that by tucking the ends into the work itself, this is often enough to prevent unraveling.

For amigurumi, this finishing off process is unique and is different from the normal method of finishing off (called weaving in ends). This is because, once again, most amigurumi parts are 3D, and enable a different process of tucking in the loose end.

Finishing off is accomplished by pulling the last loop on the hook out so that it is impossible to unravel. Then, you thread the yarn into a tapestry needle and push the needle through the amigurumi part to the other side. After cutting the yarn where it emerges from the crochet fabric the end is tucked it and invisible.

This process is slightly different from the usual method of weaving in ends for crochet garments because weaving in involves tracing previous stitches with the loose end. Because amigurumi are 3D, this method does not apply and is not as effective.

How do I undo a stitch?

In crochet, undoing stitches is called frogging. The reason why is pretty funny—it relates to the sound that the yarn makes when you pull it out. The “rippit-rippit” sound sounded like “ribbet,” so this technique was named frogging!

To frog a stitch, simple pull on the yarn at the hook until the last stitch comes out. It’s incredibly easy to do and makes learning to crochet extremely beginner friendly as you practice.

What should my first project be?

After learning these basic steps you know enough to make a basic ball-shaped amigurumi without much sewing. For my recommendations of the 10 easiest amigurumi patterns (in the actual order that I followed when I first learned how to make amigurumi), click here!

These projects are good to practice the basics while also helping you build a sense of confidence! I remember when I finished my first amigurumi whale, I truly felt like I could do anything. It’s pretty addictive to find out what you’re capable of, and starting out with an achievable, basic tutorial is the best way to do so!

How long will it take to be able to crochet most amigurumi patterns?

If you’ve mastered the basics, you’re probably wondering what you can do next. The world of amigurumi is big, and once you’ve scratched the surface, the world that lies beneath is super tempting. There are some more skills that you will need to pick up to be able to crochet most amigurumi patterns. These can be acquired in a systematic process like you did with the basics, or you can learn them as you need for each individual project.

I recommend the second approach because honestly, it’s much more rewarding! Once you know the basics it’s easy to find a project that’s just a little outside your comfort zone to add one more skill to your inventory.

That being said, there is a huge amount of possibility and complexity in the world of amigurumi so it can take a while to pick up each stitch and technique needed to master every single pattern out there. If you make a concerted effort, it could be done within a month or so of constant crocheting. However, if you choose to pick up individual skills here and there, it might take six months to a year. In any case, there’s no pressure! Once you have the basics down everything else will come more easily.

Here are the next skills on the list that you should focus on. To practice them, I suggest investigating the linked video tutorials, as well as seeking out projects that help you practice those skills. The biggest motivation for learning is the end product!

  1. Reading patterns
    • This one is definitely intimidating at first—everything on the page looks like jargon or scientific chemicals! But I promise you it’s a lot easier than it looks, speaking from experience. Here’s a helpful tutorial that will walk you through the terminology.
  2. Color changes
    • Being able to change colors while crocheting amigurumi opens so many doors! The good thing is, it’s also a super easy technique that isn’t at all hard as it may seem. Here’s a solid tutorial to walk you through it.
    • Also, here’s a great amigurumi whale pattern that combines the above two techniques. There’s a video tutorial to go along with the pattern, so if you get stuck, then you can refer back to the video!
  3. Sewing amigurumi parts together
    • This skill will allow you to make amigurumi with arms and legs! It’s a no-brainer that is just what it sounds like—sewing with yarn to attach amigurumi parts to each other. The best part is that crochet fabric has built in holes to sew into! Here’s a tutorial that goes over how to do this.
    • Once you know how to do this, you can make this cute bunny to practice!

If you’re able to master these techniques, you should be able to crochet most amigurumi! Congratulations, the world is your oyster 🙂

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I hope you learned a lot about how long it takes to learn to crochet amigurumi—if you want to see more useful tips and my own beginner-friendly free patterns, drop your email down below to be notified to my upcoming blog posts!