My Foolproof Guide to Resizing Amigurumi (no math required!)

As a general rule, the best way to resize amigurumi is to change the yarn weight and corresponding hook size. To double the size of an amigurumi, use a yarn weight twice as big as the original size or hold two strands double. For a smaller amigurumi, use a lighter weight of yarn or even thread.

One of my favorite things about amigurumi is that you can make them any size you want, without worrying about gauge or finding the exact right yarn to match the pattern. Generally, most amigurumi patterns are adaptable to other weights of yarn, so going up or down a few sizes will not result in major differences in the final product. 

However, in this post I’ll go into detail about the crucial things you need to know about trying to upsize or downsize your amigurumi, as well as show you some examples and let you know about potential pitfalls.

How to make amigurumi bigger

The best way to enlarge amigurumi is to use a heavier weight of yarn or to hold two strands of yarn together. This method works until category 6 yarn, but not with jumbo or blanket yarns. To substitute jumbo yarn, change the pattern so that it increases in multiples of eight instead of six.

Usually, amigurumi patterns will list the exact yarn and weight that the designer used to achieve the finished product shown in the photos. Most amigurumi patterns these days use either worsted weight or sport weight yarn because they allow for some finer details without being too time consuming to make.

The great thing about amigurumi is that since it’s not like a garment where you have to match a specific gauge for a good fit, you can actually substitute whatever yarn is listed with with other brands and weights of yarn without too much of an issue.

As long as the yarns you use are internally consistent, meaning if you use the same weight for all colors, then there usually isn’t a huge problem with substituting heavier weights of yarn for the usual worsted or sport weight. If you size up your yarn, don’t forget to also size up your hook! I’ll discuss this further below, so skip down if you want my full chart on recommended hook sizes for all yarn weights.

My original pumpkin bear pattern (on the right) is designed in worsted weight yarn, but the maker Potigurumi went also made the pattern in super bulky velvet yarn which resulted in a bear twice the size!

Photo credit to @potigurumi

An easy way to get a heavier weight of yarn without going out and buying a ton of yarn in a bigger weight than you normally use is to hold two strands of yarn together at the same time. This method, also known as “holding two strands double,” usually gets you an amigurumi about 1.5 times larger than the original size, according to Planet June.

This is probably the easiest method to use when trying to size up an amigurumi because it doesn’t require any extra materials and guarantees that the original and sized up amigurumi will match, if you’re trying to make a set.

Chart of all yarn weights when held double

Single strand weightWeight when held double
Lace (0)Fingering (1)
Fingering (1)Sport/DK (2-3)
Sport/DK (2-3)Worsted/Aran (4)
Worsted/Aran (4)Bulky (5)
Bulky (5)Super bulky (6)
Super bulky (6)Jumbo (7)

Here’s a super handy chart to show you what weight you’ll end up with when you hold two strands double. This can help you figure out the hook size you should use when working with two strands at the same time. Also, it can help you figure out how to substitute certain colors if you don’t have them in the original size.

When you size up the yarn you use, you should also size up the hook. As usual, for amigurumi you should use a hook size about 1.0mm smaller than the recommended hook size when making amigurumi. I discuss this further in my blog post about hook sizes here, or check out the chart below!

Yarn weight and hook size chart for amigurumi

Fingering (1)2mm (B)
Sport (2)3.25mm (D)
DK (3)3.5mm (E)
Worsted (4)3.5mm (E)
Bulky (5)4mm (G)
Super Bulky (6)4mm (G)
Jumbo (7)5mm (H)

Since making amigurumi calls for an extremely tight tension with no gaps between each stitch, often the recommended hook size listed on the yarn label for a given weight is way too large.

As a general rule, I always size down at least 1.0mm. For heavier weights like super bulky and jumbo, the hook size that I use is far below the recommended size. As you can see, there isn’t a huge range in the hook sizes that I recommend using because there just isn’t a situation where you would need a hook higher than 5.0mm.

The jumbo patterns on my website are all made using a 5.0mm hook, and that’s what I would recommend to minimize gappiness and ensure that your amigurumi has a smooth and neat surface.

How to substitute blanket yarn in an amigurumi pattern

As a general rule, it’s not possible to substitute blanket yarn in a regular sized amigurumi pattern. If you want to make an amigurumi pattern with jumbo blanket or velvet yarn, make the first round with 8 stitches and then always increase in multiples of eight throughout the pattern.

Although the method of sizing up yarn weight or holding yarn double is effective, the one exception is usually if you’re trying to use jumbo weight blanket yarn in an average amigurumi pattern. This is especially notable because recently jumbo velvet amigurumi have been really popular (I’ve even designed a bunch of these patterns) and I’ve gotten questions on whether you can use any amigurumi pattern and substitute jumbo velvet yarn.

To see all my amigurumi patterns specifically designed for blanket yarn, check out this post here!

In my experience as an amigurumi designer, jumbo velvet yarn behaves a little differently from smaller weights of yarn, and so I don’t usually recommend trying a direct substitution in a pattern that isn’t specifically written for jumbo weights of yarn.

If you do so, what usually happens is that the beginning and ends of the piece will have a more defined pucker than usual, which can be hard to get rid of.

To account for this, I use a simple trick when designing for jumbo amigurumi. You can see it in action in my two penguin designs below, one about 4 inches tall and the other about 12 inches tall!

If you’ve made a lot of amigurumi, you’ve probably noticed that many amigurumi patterns look like the following, with a multiple of six in each round:

This is from my regular sized penguin!

If the pattern is written like this, then it means that each round will increase 6 stitches. You can also see this in the total stitch count, since it goes up by 6 every round.

For jumbo velvet patterns, the key is to change the multiple to eight. The only thing you need to change is to start out with 8 stitches in a magic ring instead of 6, and then replacing the “x6” instruction with “x8” whenever it says so.

This method will work with amigurumi patterns are are generally simple and ball shaped. If they are more complicated with a lot of shaping, it’s less likely that this quick fix will work.

However, it will be very effective for the vast majority of cases!

Here are the corresponding instructions from my jumbo penguin pattern:

As you can see, all I did was to change the multiple from 6 to 8. In fact, for this resize I didn’t change anything at all except for the multiple of increases.

Of course, the total stitch count also changes, but if you feel confident with your ability to increase the right amount each time, this shouldn’t be a major problem.

And there you have it, the key to making jumbo amigurumi from regular amigurumi patterns!

I also used this strategy when adapting my chicken pattern into a jumbo turkey:

How to make giant amigurumi

The best way to make giant amigurumi is to size up the yarn. If you’re using blanket yarn, then you should seek out patterns specifically designed for jumbo amigurumi. Otherwise, change the increase multiple from 6 to 8 to adapt a regular amigurumi pattern to jumbo yarn.

To make truly giant amigurumi, I strongly recommend using jumbo velvet yarn like Sweet Snuggles (you can see all my favorite yarn recommendations here) and finding patterns that are designed for jumbo blanket yarn. These usually include fewer details that don’t translate as well to larger yarn, and include the multiples of 8 that I talked about above.

I rounded up all my favorite blanket yarn amigurumi on the internet at this link here!

How to make amigurumi smaller

The best way to make amigurumi smaller is to size down the yarn weight and hook. This works with almost all amigurumi patterns, except those specifically designed for blanket yarn. For tiny amigurumi, use crochet thread and a steel hook.

Now that we’ve talked all about how to make amigurumi bigger, let’s discuss what to do if you want to go small.

The general method for making amigurumi smaller is the same as it is for making them larger — changing the yarn and hook size to a smaller one.

For a small amigurumi, you can use fingering weight or sport weight yarn and the corresponding hook (see hook size chart above).

In fact, I generally use sport weight yarn for my amigurumi patterns because I prefer them to be more detailed while still being small, so when I make patterns that are designed for worsted weight yarn, they all come out a bit smaller (which I love!).

The one time that this strategy won’t work is for patterns that are specifically designed for jumbo amigurumi.

As discussed above, jumbo amigurumi are designed differently to accommodate the large yarn weight, which also means that if you try to make them with normal sized yarn, they won’t come out right.

What usually happens is that there will be a noticeable ripple, because there are too many increases for the smaller weight of yarn.

Photo credit to @rosereinsch

However, as long as you’re working with a regular amigurumi pattern and you go a few weights smaller, it will be fine!

How to make mini amigurumi

The best way to make mini amigurumi is to use crochet thread and a steel hook. With these materials, you can dramatically size down almost any amigurumi pattern to a miniscule dimension. Practice using fingering weight yarn and a small yarn hook first for the best chance of success.

To make truly mini amigurumi (I’m talking one inch tall or less), we’re going to dive into the realm of thread crochet.

Thread crochet is just like regular crochet, except you need special materials that are much smaller than ordinary yarn and hooks.

Instead of yarn, you’ll need to use crochet thread which comes in a variety of sizes:

  • Size 3 and 5 crochet thread is about as thick as a lightweight yarn, with size 3 being slightly thicker than size 5. If you have trouble learning thread crochet, start with these large sizes of thread.
  • Size 10 crochet thread is slightly thinner than most yarn, slightly thicker than size 3 or 5 threads. Beginners to thread crochet often find that this is a good size to start with.
  • Size 20 and 30 crochet thread are common options. Many of the thread crochet patterns that you will find are going to call for one of these two sizes of thread.

Since crochet thread is so thin, regular hooks won’t work. That’s where steel crochet hooks come in.

  • Size 10 thread works well with a crochet hook sized 7 or 8
  • Size 20 thread works well with a crochet hook sized 9 or 10
  • Size 30 thread works well with a crochet hook sized 10, 11 or 12

For a deep dive into the basics of thread crochet, check out this great article by The Spruce Crafts here!

Here’s a quick comparison of a few of my patterns sized down to crochet thread. All of the miniature creations were made by my amazing friend Melody at @melodiybali! For all of them, she used size 20 crochet thread and a size 10 hook (0.75mm).