When I posted a poll on YouTube asking if you all had any questions, I was totally blown away by the response.
I was hoping I would get a handful of questions that I could answer for a video. I had no idea that there would be so many thoughtful and interesting topics.
For navigational ease, I have divided the questions into the topics: Amigurumi Tips, Knitting Help, Handmade Business Topics, Personal Crafting Journey.
Let’s get started!
Watch the Latest Video:
How Long Does it Take Me to Make Amigurumi?
I give myself two weeks to finish an average sized amigurumi toy. If it is larger or more complicated I will extend that up to three weeks.
How to Do Decreases and Increases for Complicated Shaping?
I am not an expert in this arena but thankfully I know someone who is.
This article from Little World of Whimsy is about as comprehensive as I have found for how increases and decreases creates shapes: How to Design Amigurumi in 7 Steps. Julia even has a fantastic visual for all the different shapes and how to achieve them. Hope that helps to answer this question!
Do Safety Eyes Pass Toy Safety Tests?
In the US we don’t have to submit our handmade toys for safety testing like some other countries require.
But this brings up an important point about the safety of those safety eyes. How sare are they?
The rule I follow is that if a toy is for a child under three, I do not add safety eyes. While many safety eyes are pretty secure, they still pose a serious choking hazard for small children.
When I sell a toy that has safety eyes I add a warning to the description that this is not a toy for small children and is for decorative purposes only.
How to Design Amigurumi Patterns?
I’m definitely not an expert in this area either.
Here’s a fantastic article from a fantastic designer, Kristina from Tiny Curl: How to Design Your Own Amigurumi Crochet Pattern.
I have designed a handful of patterns, which you can find here: Simple Amigurumi Patterns. They are mostly simple shapes and are great for those who are new to amigurumi.
This post contains affiliate links and at no cost to you I may earn a teeny tiny commission if you choose to purchase them. Please know that I only recommend products I use and love! Thank you for supporting Le Petit Saint Crochet! You can read my full (and slightly boring) full disclosure here.
Basically, I am in awe of those talented designers who have amazing ideas and create such beautiful patterns over and over again.
But I do believe it’s a skill like any other and that it takes practice to get good at it. If you look at the early patterns of some of the most prolific amigurumi designers you’ll find a noticeable progression.
Take Yan Schenkel for example. She is the incredible imagination behind the uber popular Animal Friends of Pica books.
If you only look at the last two books Yan has published you would think she was born an incredible amigurumi designer. But if you look at the first collection of patterns she published in the book, Le Monde de Pica Pau (in French only), you can visibly see her progression as a designer.
I find that absolutely fascinating. Can you imagine the countless hours she has spent creating new characters and the thousands of stitches she has frogged? I wonder how many designs she didn’t publish because they weren’t good enough.
How to Sew Amigurumi Pieces?
This is a question I get asked a lot. In my tutorial for Bubble the Catster, I share how I sew amigurumi parts in the video. You will find that section at the 50:00 mark.
I have tried many different methods and this is the one I think looks cleanest.
Embroidered Amigurumi Eyes
There are many reasons why you may not want to use safety eyes. You may be giving your toy to a child under three and want to avoid the choking hazard.
Sometimes you just want a different look. I am planning on doing a whole video on embroidered amigurumi eyes in the very near future.
How Do You Finish Your Amigurumi Toys so Fast?
It may appear that I finish my projects in a very fast time frame, but it usually takes me one to two weeks for an average toy. For easy projects it could only take a few days and for complicated toys it could take up to three weeks.
One thing that helps me to finish toys in a relatively short amount of time is that I rarely work on more than one project at a time. I’m going to go into great detail about my best time saving tips for amigurumi very soon, but this is my best advice for now.
How to Knit Toys All in One Piece?
Approximately half of the toys I knit are basically one piece. I recently knit Chewbacca from the book Star Wars Knitting the Galaxy. He was one big piece and the only things that had to be sewn on were the arms.
By knitting in the round on DPNs, the Magic Loop or Judy’s Magic Cast on you can create toys that are mostly one piece. By making increases and decreases for the shaping of the body enables the toy to be knit in one piece.
Check out these resources for knitting toys in one piece in the posts:
Will You Get a Better Result Knitting Flat, In the Round, Magic Loop or Loom?
I don’t have any experience with loom knitting….YET (look for a new post/video about it coming soon).
You can achieve beautiful results knitting flat, in the round on DPNs and with the Magic Loop. But there are challenges with each one.
With flat knitted toys you will need to learn how to mattress seam. It isn’t a difficult skill, but it definitely takes practice. This is my favorite tutorial: How to Do Mattress Stitch Seaming
Double point needles have their own challenges. It can feel very awkward working with three or more needles at a time. You’ll find my favorite video for that here: Double Pointed Needles for Beginners
The Magic Loop is one of my favorite ways to knit in the round, but it takes some practice. Here’s a link for my favorite video tutorial: How to Knit in the Round Using Magic Loop
How to Transition from Crocheting to Knitting?
I received a couple of questions asking how to transition from crocheting and knitting.
It can be incredibly frustrating when you’ve become very comfortable going from holding the hook in one hand and the yarn in another to two needles and a the yarn.
At first it doesn’t seem like there’s much difference between crocheting toys and knitting them, but there are.
You are basically learning a whole new skill. It isn’t just a different technique. If you approach knitting like you are starting from the very beginning, you will likely feel less frustrated.
We all know it takes time to become proficient with crocheting and the same goes for knitting. I actually think that it is more difficult and takes even more practice, if you started with crocheting first.
Be patient with yourself and never give up.
Yarn, Hooks & Needles
Can You Make Amigurumi from Acrylic (More Affordable) Yarn?
You absolutely can.
There are so many different yarns that work great for amigurumi. The cost of the yarn actually doesn’t make a difference. It can take some experimenting to find the yarns that work best for you.
In researching this topic a couple of 100% acrylic yarns kept popping to the top:
Also keep in mind that cotton is generally thought of as the best yarn for amigurumi and there are many affordable options (comparable in price to 100% acrylic). Here are some of the best options:
- Paintbox Cotton DK – hands down favorite cotton yarn for amigurumi and at a super affordable price. Gorgeous matte finish in fifty-six beautiful shades.
- Rico Creative Ricorumi DK – this very popular amigurumi yarn comes in so many gorgeous colors and at a ridiculously affordable price.
Knitting Needle & Crochet Hook Reviews for Toy Making
My biggest piece of advice for knitting needles and hooks is to find the ones that work for you. But I’m happy to share my personal favorites as well.
Crochet hooks for amigurumi are pretty straightforward. You typically use one size for the entire project. In fact, I almost exclusively use a 3.5 mm hook for all my projects, regardless of what the pattern calls for. Because of that reason I feel comfortable investing in the very best crochet hook I can find.
For that reason, I recommend the Furl’s Odyssey hook. It is strong, metal, ergonomic and has a small head. All of those traits are important for me when crocheting amigurumi.
This is when things get a little more complicated.
The knitting needles you will need for a knitted toy project are going to depend are several different factors:
- Is the toy knit flat?
- Will the toy be knit in the round?
- If so, will you be using DPNs, the Magic Loop or even Judy’s Magic Cast On?
Not only do you need to consider those questions, but you also need to know the exact size needles the pattern is calling for.
For those reasons I can’t recommend one particular pair of knitting needles, but I do have a couple of brands I really like:
- Addi Knitting Needle – this is one of my favorite brands and love them for knitting flat on circular needles (that I way I don’t lose one). I have them in several different sizes and cord lengths.
- CHIAOGOO Red Ribbon Double Point Stainless Steel Knitting Needle Set – I also love Chiaogoo needles and this double point needle set is my go-to for knitting in the round.
Where Do You Purchase Most of Your Yarn From? Any Hobby Lobby Recommendations?
I purchase most of my yarn from Love Crafts. They carry a huge selection of quality yarns, from budget friendly all the way to luxury.
They regularly have great sales and you can get free shipping when reaching a purchase threshold.
In addition, with every order they send a coupon for your next order. Whoopie!
I love that my yarn comes straight to my door and that I always know that I got a good deal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Hobby Lobby. I love shopping there and have found so many great things for my home, decorations for holidays and art supplies.
They actually do have a nice selection of yarns as well. My problem is that I feel like their yarn is quite overpriced.
I do buy some yarn there, and only when it’s on sale. But at this point I haven’t found a yarn that I would recommend for amigurumi. When I do I will be sure to share that all with you.
What Weight Yarn Do You Use for Amigurumi?
I mostly use a worsted weight yarn for amigurumi.
But I’ve used a Sport Weight all the way up to Bulky. I think it’s fun to play around with yarn weights and how they can change the whole look of a toy.
Handmade Business Topics
How to Start Selling Toys When it Takes So Long to Make Each One?
This is one of the pitfalls of selling toys, they take so dang long to make.
When I was selling toys more regularly I listed as few as four at a time. I don’t like listing any less than that just because Etsy recommends the more listings the better.
Another way you can do this is offer custom orders. I did this in January 2020. I showed photo examples of what I could make and offered customization options. It worked really well and my customers enjoyed choosing the type of animal they wanted, the colors and clothing options.
I listed the shipping times for at least four weeks that way I built in time for trouble shooting like illness or running out of yarn and having to order more. Most of the time I was able to ship the toy and fulfill the order in a much shorter amount of time.
My motto was to underpromise and overdeliver.
Can You Sell Toys from Other Designers’ Patterns?
I get this question a lot and I completely understand the confusion and frustration about it.
Most patterns list whether or not the designer allows finished objects to be sold. There’s a whole debate about whether or not a designer has any control over what you do after you’ve made the pattern, but for now, I’m going to stick with the original question.
Typically the pattern will have the wording they prefer when selling toys. It usually goes something like, “You may sell finished items from this pattern, please give credit to me as the designer.” Easy peasy.
When the wording is vague or unclear, I reach out directly to the designer for clarification. I have never had one not respond. Most of them are on Instagram and are good about answering DMs.
How to Add Different Language Subtitles to YouTube and How it Can Boost Subscribers
Boy do I wish I knew the answer to this question. I have looked into how to add subtitles to my YouTube videos and haven’t gotten very far.
There doesn’t seem to be an option to simply add that when publishing a video. It used to be easy to add Closed Captioning and I’m even finding that difficult these days.
Tips for Selling Amigurumi and Setting the Price?
This is an easy one for me to answer! I actually recently did an entire post and video all about this very topic:
Tips for Opening and Etsy Shop
Etsy makes it pretty easy to open an Etsy shop.
The Etsy Seller Handbook is a wealth of information about everything from naming your shop to adding photo listings. Here’s there step-by-step article for How to Open an Etsy Shop.
Photography Tips for Instagram
I could do entire post just about this topic.
Photography is something I find myself more and more interested in. There’s nothing like making a beautiful toy and seeing it come to life behind the lens of a camera.
And if you’re looking for a real photography class I highly recommend two online schools that I’ve taken classes from:
Here are a few of my best tips (obviously not a comprehensive photography lesson).
- Use natural lighting whenever possible
- Don’t use direct sunlight, indirect light is best
- Use the rule of thirds to compose your photo (most cameras have a grid so that you can place your toy slightly off center)
- Make interesting flat lay photos
- Study your favorite Instagram photos to see how they set up their photos
I wrote a blog post about taking photos of amigurumi back when I was only using my iphone camera. I still think the information is useful, so if that’s what you’re using here is the post:
Personal Crafting Journey
What Led You To Begin Learning How to Crochet/Knit?
My son’s serious health issues is what initially got me interested in learning how to crochet. I was stressed to the max, stuck at home and desperately needed an outlet. I craved something to keep my hands busy so my mind could rest.
I’ve written about my journey a few times and have shared my story on two different podcasts if you would like a listen.
Blog Posts & Videos About My Journey
Podcasts I’ve Shared My Story On
- BHooked Episode #119: Destress with Crochet
- Simple Farmhouse Life – Episod #79: Crafting to Fight Stress
Did You Learn to Crochet or Knit First? Which One is Easier?
I actually learned the very basics of crochet when I was around 10 or 11. My grandmother and stepmother both showed me how to chain, single crochet and double crochet. I wasn’t super interested in it and didn’t pick up a crochet hook until approximately thirty years later.
In between that time, I wanted to learn how to knit. I was self taught and at that time, YouTube didn’t exist. And with a house full of small children I couldn’t go to yarn shop classes to learn. I couldn’t fix mistakes and the illustrations in the knitting books made no sense.
It wasn’t until early in 2017 that I picked up some yarn again and relearned how to crochet from YouTube tutorials. About a year and a half later I decided I had to relearn how to knit from seeing the Little Cotton Rabbit designs. I’ve been doing them both ever since.
How Did You Decide on the Name of Your Blog?
In 2018 I wrote an entire blog post about why Le Petit Saint isn’t just the name of my blog, but also a piece of my heart.
To make a long story short, it’s a little homage to my favorite saint, Therese of Lisieux. She was a cloistered nun in nineteenth century France. She died at a very young age but she had great wisdom which surpassed her short years.
St. Therese was a tremendous inspiration to Mother Theresa who once said:
Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.Mother Teresa
That is my motto for Le Petit Saint Crochet, do small things with great love. I will never solve the big problems of the world but if I can bring. a smile to someone’s face, that is enough for me.
(And I am aware that Le Petit is masculine and that my blog is named for a woman saint. That’s one of the problems of using a foreign language I’ve never studied, lol.)
You can read the whole blog post here: Why Le Petit Saint Crochet Isn’t Just my Business Name, but a Piece of my Heart as Well.
Which Crocheted or Knitted Amigurumi Piece are You Most Proud Of?
The two projects that were the most challenging for me would be the bunnies from JetKat.
I feel great satisfaction that I pushed through challenges that felt insurmountable at the time. I actually cried when i made that first bunny.
When I pushed through and finished that project I felt really proud of myself for not giving up.
How Long Before You Were Happy With the Quality of Your Amigurumi?
This may not be the answer you were looking for, but I have been happy with the quality of my amiugurmi from my very first one.
Don’t confuse that thinking my quality was good from the beginning. Hae you ever seen my first amigurumi project?
I was so pleased that I could actually make toys with my own two hands that I was blinded to how bad they really were.
So my advice is to look at what you’ve accomplished and be proud, not many people can do what you do.
Do You Want to Learn Any Other Craft? Why/Why Not?
If I could be a watercolorist, I would love that. I’m sure I could loearn the techniques, but I don’t think I would ever be truly good at it. There is actually talent involved with art, amigurumi is just learned skill.
How Many WIPs is a Good Amount?
There’s a printable for that: Honey Get Control of Your WIPs.
Honestly, I don’t like having more than two. I typically have one longer project like a granny square blanket and one amigurumi project.
That’s it. Otherwise I start feeling overwhelmed.
I also know that. forme focusing on one thing at a time is the only way for me to see real progress.
Did You Ever Find the Lizard?
And if you don’t know what I’m referring to, it’s about the time Olive snuck into the house with a live lizard in her mouth and scared the ever-living poo out of me.
I shared it on my Instagram stories and have included the footage in the YouTube video.
Thanks, Dawn for the reminder! LOL!