I've finally started a new crochet project - this cute (and free) giraffe pattern. I've never tired amigurumi crochet before so the first few rounds were a bit of a learning curve and I had to google/ pin a lot of amigurumi tips and tutorials! And start over twice. Ahem.
So seeing as I spent all that time collecting some good resources and that they seemed to have helped me enormously (three giraffe limbs done!) I thought I'd put them together as some top tips for amigurumi crochet beginners.
1. Rather than working in circles as you do for granny squares etc., amigurumi crochet is worked in a spiral so a stitch marker is pretty much essential in order to avoid constantly losing your place. If you're anything like me counting stitches is the least fun part of crochet!
2. Each new stitch, i.e. each dc (UK) in the giraffe pattern is worked through both loops of the stitch underneath it, not just one loop and not into the gap between stitches.
The first few minutes of this video show you how to start off, place your stitch marker and work through both loops. For a step-by-step guide you could even watch the whole thing and make the pig along with her.
3. Decreasing, something I hadn’t come across in my limited granny square experience. It seems there are a couple of ways to decrease in amigurumi, but the invisible way definitely sounds the best so that's the only one I've learned. Here's a brilliant step-by-step tutorial for decreasing.
4. Changing colour, as rounds are worked in a spiral (see tip 1.) changing colour can result in an odd step halfway round, so this tutorial shows how to get a smoother colour change by starting the new stitch in the old colour and completing it in the new colour.
Apologies if any of them seem blindingly obvious but as someone who has only ever crocheted two granny square cushions and a heart, all I can say is that they weren't to me!
I've not tackled increasing stitches or any finishing or sewing together yet, so let me know if you have any great tips for how to do these, or you'd like another post once I've attempted to master them.