Are you caving in to the peer pressure? Have you dipped your toe into the incredible world of amigurumi yet? Before diving into Part 2, Choosing a Pattern and Color Palette, make sure you visit the last post. In Part 1 of Amigurumi 101 we discussed the most important skill you need to possess before crocheting your first toy. Not to be all doom and gloom, but seriously do not skip this step! I believe that if you skip this essential skill you are setting yourself up failure! And ain’t nobody got time for that!
Choosing a Pattern and Color Palette
How to Choose a Pattern
Choosing your first amigurumi pattern can be a daunting task. There are at least a hundred gazillion different ones, but I stopped counting after that. Lol! You may be wondering how to even find the perfect one. Or maybe you have chosen one but you aren’t sure if it’s too advanced.
There are a few different characteristics of a finished toy that will give you clues as to whether it is beginner friendly or not. Although this isn’t a perfect process these suggestions will help guide you to make a more educated choice.
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- Shapes – A beginner amigurumi pattern is simpler in shape. It doesn’t have a lot of increases and decreases that will end up frustrating you in the beginning. Look for toys that are totally adorable but aren’t super accurate or detailed.
- Color Changes – Next look at how many colors are in the pattern. If it mainly has one or two colors then that’s a clue that it will be more beginner friendly. Of course with any pattern you can choose whether or not to change colors. But make sure you will be happy with the finished result if you reduce or eliminate the color variation.
- Sewing – The fewer the pieces to sew on the simpler the pattern will be. Sewing on ears, snouts, arms, legs, heads…now multiple heads would be interesting…can make a pattern more complicated. Sewing on parts is one of the aspects of amigurumi that gets newbies a little flustered. It’s a skill that takes time and there’s just no way around that. Ultimately you will likely be happier if you stick to patterns that has less sewing at this point!
Beginner vs. Advanced Pattern
Let’s take a look at these two adorable amigurumi patterns so that you can see exactly what I’m talking about!
Notice the difference in shapes between Benedict Bunny and Francesco Fox. At first glance you can see that Francesco is much more detailed than Benedict. That’s clue number one. Benedict’s shape is fairly uniform throughout. He doesn’t have a lot of complicated shaping to his head or body. Now compare that to Francesco. Look at his head. See how his cheeks puff out? Notice that Francesco has clothing, he has puffed sleeves (which is totally adorable in my humble opinion), and he has boots with socks. These are all more advanced skills. Now compare that to Benedict. He is basically buck naked! Hehe! There are no sleeves to fuss with or boots to worry about. He is quite basic.
Now also look at the differences in color. Benedict only has three different colors, one for the body, one for the ears, and one for the scarf. Simple, simple, simple. Francesco has multiple color changes throughout his body from his face, to his ears, to his arms. While it looks totally rad, it’s likely to be frustrating to the beginner.
Finally pay attention to how many parts there will be to sew on. Clothing in and of itself is typically a pretty big clue that the pattern will be more advanced. Francesco not only has clothing but arms, ears, snout, and legs to sew on. In contrast, Benedict only has arms and ears to sew on.
If you would like to try your hand at making my free pattern, Benedict Bunny, please click here!
Choosing the Color Palette
There is nothing more frustrating than choosing a pattern, crocheting your toy, and then discovering that you hate the colors you chose. I’ve been-there-done-that-got-the-T-shirt and that is precisely why I spend a good deal of time on this step. For some this will be an easy step because you already have a firm grasp on not only your color taste but on which palettes suit your fancy.
- Wardrobe and Home Decor Clues – take a look at your own closet and home decor choices. Do you naturally gravitate toward neutrals or are you bold with your color choices? Which colors spark joy and make you feel giddy with happiness?
- Warm or Cool Tones – I am a warm tones gal all the way, but to be honest I didn’t realize that about myself for some time. I chose yarn colors based on my preferences not even realizing there was a theme. Do you love cool blues and greens or are you a mustard yellow and peachy pink lover? Taking the time to work through your preferences will help insure that you love the finished product.
- Color Inspiration – Pinterest has become a great resource for me when I am looking for color inspiration. I created aboard for all the color palettes I love. For example if I am going to make a teddy bear and I know the main color will be a medium brown, I search for color palettes with medium brown as one of the colors. Wedding planners and home decor experts have some of the best color palette pins!
Choosing a pattern and color palette for your first amigurumi project may seem a bit daunting but I hope my tips and tricks will be a good resource for you! For your homework this week I want you to find a good beginner pattern and gather your materials. I will leave links below for my some of my resources that may help you decide!