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Crochet Basics (right-handed)

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/basics

Looking for the left-handed version? If not, read on:

Basic stitches for Amigurumi

To learn to make amigurumi, you only need to know a few very basic crochet stitches. This brief guide will teach you all the basic stitches you’ll need to be able to follow an amigurumi pattern and start to crochet your own toys!

Contents

  1. Slip Knot (starting loop)
  2. Chain (ch)
  3. Single Crochet (sc)
  4. Single crochet increase (2 sc)
  5. Single crochet decrease (sc2tog)
  6. Slip Stitch (sl st)
  7. Crocheting in the round

For more advanced techniques, e.g. magic ring, colour changes, joining pieces, see the main Amigurumi Help page.


Slip Knot (starting loop)

Make a loop about 6ā€ from end of yarn:

Insert hook through loop and hook the long end of the yarn:

Use hook to draw yarn through loop:

Pull loop tight:


Chain (ch)

With starting loop on hook, yarn over:

Draw hook back through loop on hook (1 ch completed):

Repeat the steps (yarn over, draw hook back through loop on hook) to make each ch st:


Single Crochet (sc)

Single crochet into a chain (usually first row/round only)

Insert hook into 2nd ch from hook.
Note: loop on hook does NOT count as a chain:

Yarn over:

Draw yarn through chain (2 loops on hook):

Yarn over:

Draw yarn through both loops on hook (1 loop on hook, 1 sc made):

Make a sc in each ch (or as specified in pattern):


Single crochet into a single crochet (usually all rows/rounds except first)

From the top, each crocheted stitch looks like a ā€˜Vā€™ shape:

Unless otherwise specified in a pattern, insert your hook under both top loops to begin the stitch, as shown below:

Complete the stitch as shown for single crochet into a chain: yarn over, draw up a loop (2 loops on hook), yarn over, draw yarn through both loops on hook.


Single crochet increase (2 sc)

To increase in single crochet, make the first stitch as usual:

Insert hook back into the same stitch to form the 2nd sc:

Complete the sc as usual:


Single crochet decrease (sc2tog)

Insert hook into stitch:

Yarn over and draw up a loop:

Insert hook into next stitch:

Yarn over and draw up a loop:

Yarn over and draw through all three loops on hook:

1 sc decrease completed:


Slip Stitch (sl st)

Insert hook into stitch:

Yarn over and draw up a loop; draw through loop on hook:

1 sl st completed:


Crocheting in the round

Ch 2:

Insert hook in 2nd ch from hook:

Complete sc and place stitch marker into the top of this stitch:

Continue to make sc into the same space (number as specified in pattern). Stitches will form a circle:

To begin the second round, insert hook into the first st of the previous round (as marked by the stitch marker). It is easier to first remove the stitch marker, then make the stitch:

After completing the first stitch, place the stitch marker into this stitch:

Continue to crochet around the circle as specified in pattern. Picture below shows end of Rnd 2; to begin Rnd 3, remove stitch marker, make first stitch then place stitch marker into this stitch:

Once you are comfortable with this method, try the Magic Ring method to avoid leaving that hole in the middle of your starting round.

Now you should know everything you need to know to be able to crochet your first amigurumi! Have fun!

40 Comments »

  1. Nichole said

    Another Question! The fuzzballs wouldn’t be fuzzy, but would making one work with regular yarn? Thanks

  2. Maria said

    Thanks so much for posting them!!!

  3. emma said

    hi… i think i have created the 7 loop ring to start my pattern but am having some difficulty figuring out what stitches are the ones i have to loop to create the double stitches (so i end up with 14)…. do you have any other pointers?

  4. Katelyn said

    Hi, great tutorials. I’m a beginner amigurumi maker but an old crocheter. I the new things I can create.

    I have a question for anyone that can help. I have a pattern and one part of it says:

    R6 – *2sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around, mm
    Work 5 more Rounds

    Does this mean 5 more rounds of row 6? or just 5 rounds of sc’s, one in each stitch?

    Thanks

    • June said

      Katelyn, that sounds like a badly written pattern! My guess would be work that you should 5 more rounds without increasing, just sc in each st around. If you can send me a link to a picture of the thing you’re trying to make (and which part of the ami has those instructions), I can verify that for you :)

  5. Pallavi said

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. Every single thing I wanted to learn is here with pictures!! I am a beginner at crocheting. I bought an amigurumi book but your instructions are way better than the ones in the book. I feel like I can finally start my amigurumi!! :)

  6. […] tend to do my own thing as I pick up on the fundamental. To help you along with amigurumi, go visit Planet June. The tutorials are very helpful. Posted by insidethehemisphere Filed in Art, Beauty, Creative […]

  7. cleo said

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH!! this was what I was looking for. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this with us.

    Cleo
    South Africa

  8. sarah said

    hey june,
    ur info is soo helpful…
    i have a question.. at the end of a patterns when it says “break yarn” does that mean cut it off and knot it ???

  9. June said

    Sarah: yes, cut the yarn leaving a long tail. Draw the tail through the last loop remaining on your hook, and then pull the end tight to close up the loop so that the crochet won’t unravel.

  10. TaraLB said

    Hi June!
    Thanks so much for your tip on my blog! I did read this tutorial but clearly I didn’t read it carefully enough! I’ll definitely be trying again and I’ll be sure to read the tutorial carefully!
    Thanks!
    Tara

  11. Kay said

    hey June.

    I know this will be a silly question but thanks to some friends of mine I am very confused.

    I wanted to start doing amigurumi, but when I was talking to some friends of mine one says that she only ever goes under one of the top loops on of the “v” whereas another says she goes under both, so now I don’t know which one I should do.
    Please help, thank you in advance :D

    • June said

      There are no silly questions! Unless the instructions specify that you should crochet in “back loops only” or “front loops only”, you should always go under both loops of the V :)

  12. Elaine Howard said

    I have never made an amigurumi before and have been intrigued by them, the pictures of them just seem to beg you to make them. I still know the basics of crocheting, but only know English crochet hook sizes. What size do you use, and are they equivalent?
    Elaine

    • June said

      Elaine, I always give the hook sizes in my patterns in US size and mm. The hook I use most often for amigurumi is a US size E (3.5mm). I believe that’s a UK size 9, but it’s always best to use the mm measurement to make sure you’re using the same size, wherever in the world you are, and whatever brand of hook you use (the sizes aren’t entirely standardized between brands, but you can’t argue with an exact measurement in mm!)

  13. Ashleigh said

    I’m a crochet newbie and I have a pattern that read “Ch 2,8 sc in second stitch from hook” and I couldn’t understand how to execute that until I saw your tutorial here so thank you very much for the very clear and detailed instructions!

  14. sandra park said

    when i make anything circular in ami (whether round body, arms, or legs), the stiches do not look very neat. In fact, it looks so much better (the stiches look much more distinct) when I turn it inside out! Any idea why?
    confused in arlington, tx.

    • June said

      Sandra, it’s hard to say for sure without seeing a photo of your crochet, but I do have a couple of ideas for you.

      • It may be that you’re crocheting ‘inside out’ to begin with – so by turning it inside out after crocheting, you’re actually turning it the right way out! See my Which is the ‘Right’ Side? tutorial for more info and photos so you can figure out if you’re doing this!
      • It may be that you are crocheting the ‘right’ way out, but just prefer the look of the ‘wrong’ side of the stitches – and there’s nothing wrong with doing that if you prefer them that way. There are no laws in amigurumi :)
      • Are you crocheting by inserting your hook under both loops of the ‘V’ at the top of each stitch? If you’re crocheting into the front (or back) loops only, that changes the look of the crocheted fabric you create.

      I hope that helps! I can give you more specific advice if you can take a pic of your work, so I can see exactly what you may be doing :) You’ll also find lots more amigurumi tips and advice in my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi

  15. Chelsy Askren said

    Hello,

    First off THANK YOU for the detailed instructions you’ve taken the time to post! Could you perhaps help me with Jogging? I have attempted to make the amigurimi doll on the stitch website but the stripes don’t line up evenly & i assumed this was the jog you referred to. Would it be possible for you to upload a video on how to avoid jogging? I have come so far from using these instructions but am hung up on this one area. Thank you in advance for your help with this! You’re awesome!

    • June said

      Chelsy, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply! There’s no way to avoid a jog if you crochet in a spiral. The only way to avoid it is to join with a sl st at the end of each round and start the next round with a ch 1 (in the new colour), but then you’d have a visible seam instead: there’s always a compromise! NeedleNoodles has a tutorial on ‘jogless stripes‘ – her methods would help to make the jogs less visible, but there’s no method (yet!) to entirely avoid a visible change at the join.

  16. Kendra said

    Oh my goodness I couldn’t figure out why none of my amigurumi were turning out but somehow I managed to get a slip stitch and a single crochet mixed up. No other tutorials were as clear as yours! Thank you so much! Now my amigurumi’s won’t be gibbled little creations!

  17. Ashley said

    Hi,June
    I am new at crocheting and making amigurumi.I am going make the tiny whale for my first amigurumi and I was wondering what size hook I should use.
    Thanks

  18. Dorre said

    Hi June! I’m a little late to the party, but I stumbled upon your directions and they are so clear, thank you for the pictures! I only learned from watching my Grandma, so I’m glad she taught me the “right” way to crochet. I’ve done many big projects, but amigurumi’s terrify me! I do have one silly question, what does the “mm” at the end of the pattern line mean? Ex: R5 thru R11- sc in each stitch around, mm
    Thanks again for the great tutorial!!

    • June said

      Dorre, it’s not standard terminology because it’s a bit redundant (and it should be explained in the abbreviations if it’s used in a pattern!) but some people write ‘pm’ (place marker) at the end of Rnd 1 or the start of Rnd 2, and then ‘mm’ (move marker) in every subsequent round to remind you to move the marker up at the end (or beginning) of each round.

  19. Alex-Drew said

    Hello June!,

    Thanks so much for all of these tutorials, I started this only two days ago, and already feel like a pro with your simple and easy to follow guides :D
    I just have a silly question, I don’t recall it being in any of your tutorials….but…how do you switch threads? I under-estimated the size of the pattern that I was following, and need more yarn, should I treat it the same as switching colors, or is there a better way? I’m trying to keep it as clean and simple as possible xD

    Thank you in advance xoxoxo
    Alex-Drew, Hyde Park, New York~

    • June said

      Alex-Drew, you’re exactly right! The method is exactly the same as a colour change, but, instead of a second colour, you’ll just use the new ball of yarn. (If you’re making something worked in rows, it’s best to change to the new yarn at the end of a row, if you can.)

      • Alex-Drew said

        Okay, thank you for your reassurance in the manner xD you are so helpful and I want you to know everyone respects and loves you and what you do! thanks again June!

  20. Brittany said

    Dear june

    I am still having trouble with the sc2tog. Your explanation was very helpfull but i dont know where the stitch i am suppose to put on the hook is so im very confused so could u please help me asap
    Thank u

    • June said

      Brittany, the working loop should already be on the hook from the end of your previous stitch. You make the sc2tog b working into the next two stitches after the one you worked into with the stitch before the sc2tog.

  21. Immaculate said

    Wonderful site :-)

  22. aisha said

    thanx

  23. Eva said

    Hello!
    I’ve been following your tutorials, great tutorials by the way! Thank you for sharing.
    I’m still a rookie on amigurumi and I’ve been reading some patterns, I thought maybe you could help me with a question I have. As I understand, amigurumi is crochet in a round, we don’t build up rows. But some people make patterns where we finish each row with a slip stitch and chain one. Can you tell me if that makes any sense? Can we just crochet in a round without doing the slip stitch and chain 1, or does that really make a difference?
    Thank you for your help!!

    • June said

      Yes and no, Eva – it really depends on the pattern.

      • A very simple amigurumi can be worked in either a continuous spiral or joined rounds with no problems (except you’ll have a visible seam with joined rounds), so feel free to substitute one for the other if you prefer.
      • If your amigurumi has non-symmetrical shaping (e.g. a lot of my patterns have shaping built into the pieces to create a bump for the nose, back, tummy, etc) the way you join the rounds will make a difference to the position of the stitches in the following round, so you should follow the pattern as written.
      • If your amigurumi has coloured stripes, it makes a big difference! See my comparison post on the cleanest stripes in amigurumi for a demonstration of the differences between continuous spirals and many different methods for joining the rounds.
  24. zelna said

    total rookie great stuff very very helpful indeed thanks alot

  25. lauren said

    what is a chain space?

  26. Kristina Flynn said

    I must be missing something because the total stitches at the end of my rounds don’t always add up. For instance, I’m told to do:
    [2sc in next, 3sc] repeat around (24)
    I did that and wound up with 22 total.
    Next round is [2sc in next, 3sc] repeat (30)
    My count is now off even with most careful planning ahead.

    Does “next” mean to skip a stitch? When I count next as a skip, it sometimes adds up, but not always. It’s driving me crazy. Thank you for being there for all of us!
    Kristina

    • June said

      Kristina, it’s not your fault! Try one of my patterns and you should find that your total stitches always add up correctly. :)

      Unfortunately, not all patterns are equally well-written or error-free. Yours has a basic error: as a designer and tech editor, I know that a multiple of 5 stitches (each repeat in the parentheses) can never add up to 24 stitches, so try replacing the ‘3’ with a ‘2’ in the first round you quoted and it’ll probably work. (Please note that I can’t offer support for other designers’ patterns, so, if you suspect any more mistakes in the pattern, you should contact the designer directly for support/assistance).

      And ‘Next stitch’ always means ‘the stitch immediately following the stitch you just worked into’, so no, don’t skip any stitches unless the pattern specifically says to!

      • Kristina Flynn said

        June,
        Thankyou so much for your response! I read after I sent that message that I should have been commenting on only your patterns, so I apologize. I will certainly find one or more of your patterns to work on. Thanks again! Kristina

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank
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