PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Amigurumi Troubleshooter

Link easily to this page in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/troubleshooter

Having trouble with a PlanetJune pattern (or another amigurumi pattern)? Check this Amigurumi Troubleshooter to find the tutorials that will solve your problem!

Note: This Troubleshooter will assist you with crochet techniques if you’re following an amigurumi pattern and you’re not getting the expected result. For questions about PlanetJune, please see the PlanetJune FAQ.

How to Use This Troubleshooter

Find your problem from the list below. For each problem, I list the most common mistakes that can lead to that problem, together with my tips or a link to my tutorial that explains how to fix the mistake.


Troubleshooter Categories


Troubleshooter Solutions


My piece is the wrong shape

  • You may be working in the wrong loop(s) of each stitch – unless a pattern specifies otherwise, you should always work into both loops of the stitch below. See tutorial: Front Loops, Back Loops, Both Loops.
  • As you work amigurumi in a continuous spiral, there’s no seam to provide a visual cue to the position of the end of each round, so it’s easy to lose your place and make too many or too few stitches in a round. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round. Move the marker up each time you start a new round. If you reach the end of the round before you get back around to the marker, or overshoot the marker, you know you’ve made a mistake in that round.


My stitches look wrong


There are big gaps between my stitches

  • You may be using a crochet hook that’s too large for the yarn you’re using; for amigurumi, you should use a hook several sizes smaller than the size recommended on the yarn’s ball band.
  • You may be working in the wrong loop(s) of each stitch – unless a pattern specifies otherwise, you should always work into both loops of the stitch below. (Crocheting in back loops only will always leave larger gaps between your stitches.) See tutorial: Front Loops, Back Loops, Both Loops.


My pieces all have a hole in the middle

  • The magic ring (also known as an adjustable ring) is an essential technique for crocheting in the round when you want to avoid a hole in the middle of your pieces. See tutorial: Magic Ring.


My colour changes look wrong (messy, in the wrong place)

  • To change colour correctly, you must always change colour in the last loop of the stitch before the colour change. See tutorial: Changing Colour.
  • Your piece may be inside out. See tutorial: Which is the ‘Right’ Side?
  • PlanetJune amigurumi patterns are designed to be worked in a continuous spiral. This means you shouldn’t join with a slip stitch at the end of each round, or chain to begin the next round, or turn your work between rounds. When you have completed the final stitch of a round, the first stitch of your next round is worked immediately into the top of the first stitch of the previous round, forming one long continuous spiral of stitches with no seam.
  • As there is no seam to provide a visual cue to the position of the end of each round, it’s easy to lose your place and make too many or too few stitches in a round. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round. Move the marker up each time you start a new round. If you reach the end of the round before you get back around to the marker, or overshoot the marker, you know you’ve made a mistake in that round.


My decreases look bad (gappy, lumpy, uneven)

  • To prevent the gap or bump of a standard decrease, use an invisible decrease (invdec) in place of every sc2tog in a pattern. See tutorial: Invisible Decrease.
  • If you’re already using the invisible decrease but your decreases look highly visible (each decrease leaves a pair of visible horizontal bars on your work), you’re working inside-out. See tutorial: Which is the ‘Right’ Side?
  • If you’re already using the invisible decrease, and not working inside-out, but your decreases still look a little gappy, I can help with that too! See Tutorial: Perfect your Invisible Decreases.


How can I tell if I’ve made the right number of stitches?

  • As you work amigurumi in a continuous spiral, there’s no seam to provide a visual cue to the position of the end of each round, so it’s easy to lose your place and make too many or too few stitches in a round. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round. Move the marker up each time you start a new round. If you reach the end of the round before you get back around to the marker, or overshoot the marker, you know you’ve made a mistake in that round.
  • To count your stitches, count every ‘V’ around the top edge of your work. (Note: The loop on your hook is called the working loop and you should never include that in your stitch count.) Compare this with the stitch count given at the end of each round. If the two are different, you know you’ve made a mistake in that round.

Further Assistance

If this Troubleshooter includes your problem, it’s very likely that you can solve it by watching/reading the suggested tutorials linked above, but, if not, please feel free to ask for further assistance in the PlanetJune Ravelry group, where your friendly fellow PJers are ready and waiting to help!

If this Troubleshooter doesn’t cover your amigurumi problem, please do let me know – I’ll update this page with further FAQs as they are asked, so you’ll be helping me to create a more comprehensive resource 🙂

You can also email me directly for further assistance with any PlanetJune pattern, but do let me know you’ve already followed the tutorials here so I know not to direct you back to this page! Please send me a photo of your work (if possible) together with a description of what’s going wrong, to help me diagnose what your problem may be.

Please note: I can’t offer personal help with general crochet questions, or questions about patterns from other designers. If your question doesn’t relate to a PlanetJune pattern or tutorial, I suggest you approach the pattern designer for help, or try asking in an appropriate crochet-themed group on Ravelry.

6 Comments »

  1. Stephanie said

    Dear June, I just absolutely love your website. The tutorials have been immensely helpful!!
    While working in spiral, I’ve noticed the first stitch of each round drifts a bit to the right.
    When shaping the body of an amigurumi, on decreasing I find that I’m somehow losing the total number of stitches at the top of the round.
    For example, let’s say I have 72 stitches in a round. Pattern says to decrease 6 times over the round for total of 66 stitches. My 66th stitch is several stitches beyond my stitch marker at the beginning of the round.
    After 2 more rounds of decrease, I am supposed to have 54 stitches left – instead I have say 45 stitches left at the top
    I then have to readjust the pattern so that the top of the body still has 24 stitches to match with the head.
    Is this normal because I’m working in spiral?
    Thanks in advance!!!
    Stephanie

    • June said

      Stephanie, any time you work in the round without turning (whether you work in a spiral or join your rounds), the stitches will bias – this is part of the nature of amigurumi, so you’re not doing anything wrong there. As for your decreasing, you must be doing something wrong if you’re losing more than 1 stitch per decrease – please see my invdec tutorial for a refresher on how to decrease correctly in amigurumi.

  2. Chris Thomson said

    Hi June.
    I’ve been crocheting for quite a while now and have been asked to make a penguin. I purchased your Emperor Family pattern. But despite having made some complicated items found this troublesome. When changing colours I used your method but carried the colour change along. As you can imagine black showed through the white. I then noticed in your tips to knot ends, does this mean cutting yarn and rejoicing every time? I am sorry if I am being particularly thick but haven’t come across this before.
    Love your website and tutorials, I’ve learnt a lot and am considering purchasing your books. Thank you.

  3. Grath said

    Hi! I’m trying to make a sphere, following the instructions and all, but it looks more like a cylinder instead? Is this normal before stuffing or have i completely screwed up?

    • June said

      As I assume it’s not a PlanetJune pattern (I don’t have a sphere pattern) I can’t give you pattern-specific advice, so I’d suggest you just complete it and see if it all works out! If it still looks wrong, check ‘My piece is the wrong shape’ above for the probable reasons.

      (It could also be the pattern that’s at fault: not all patterns you find online are well-shaped or error-free. If you follow my advice above and it still looks wrong when you’ve completed your piece, check ravelry.com to see if other people have successfully completed the same pattern. If the other projects also look malformed, the pattern is probably at fault.)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment here! I read and appreciate every comment. I only respond to questions here on the blog, so please return to this page to see my reply, or check the box below to subscribe to new comments by email.

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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