Amigurumi part attachment is often the scariest aspect of amigurumi for beginners. Making small pieces isn’t hard or scary, but attaching them evenly and without visible stitches often holds people back from ever trying amigurumi.
Adding amigurumi to my crochet arsenal was the best thing I ever did. However, I will admit it took me several months and hours of internet surfing to correct my obvious seams and my crooked parts.
As with all crochet, math is key. I know….EW! MATH! But a little math goes a long way in making your amigurumi part attachment run smoothly.
1.Think of every part as a square.
For the sake of this lesson, we are going to use attaching legs to a Trumpeting Elephant as our example.
The open end of the elephant leg has 16 stitches around. To attach it evenly and straight, you need to attach it to the body in a square with equal sides. This means each side needs to have 4 stitches. (4 x 4 = 16)
Even circular parts need to be evenly attached, so assuming that every part becomes a square for the sake of attachment will keep your parts even and in line.
2. Mark Everything
Marking your stitches will help you so much in the long run. And pins are not just for beginners.
For a leg with 4 stitches on each side, the leg will span 4 rows x 4 stitches. The best way to make sure your legs are straight is to mark the four corners of your square on the body.
Be sure you are counting 4 stitches between each corner. That way you will work 4 stitches up, 4 left, 4 down, and 4 right, and you will arrive back at your starting stitch.
3. Up Through The Stitch…
To make the seam between your leg and the body smooth and invisible, always thread your needle up through the stitch, down through the body in the stitch directly below it, then up from the body 1 stitch to the left.
Come up through the next stitch, down through the body in the same stitch from which you just came, then up from the body 1 stitch to the left.
This will keep your stitches even and will pull the top of the stitch flush against the body so that they don’t show. It will look like the stitches between the body and the leg naturally flow together.
4. Weave In Ends at the END of the Project
When you get a your first leg attached, it is tempting to bind off and weave in the ends. DON’T!
Especially with something like legs, something that needs to be even in order for your critter to stand up, you need to leave those ends loose until the very end.
If one of those legs is a little off, you need to be able to pull out those whip stitches and move the leg, and if you bind off and weave in the ends, you will have to CUT the yarn and make a new leg in order to do it. And that just causes unnecessary heartbreak.
Always wait to weave in your ends until the pieces are ALL exactly where you want them.
5. Trust Your Designer, But Be Prepared To Think For Yourself
A good amigurumi designer will guide you through amigurumi part attachment with as much accuracy as possible. Most will give you a range of stitches where to attach parts and how many stitches to place things apart.
But some patterns require a little more “artist interpretation.” This means you need to mark the body like crazy and get your parts positioned the way you want them without the designer’s guidelines. Patterns like this make it all the more important to do the math, mark your stitches, and wait to weave in your ends.
No matter what, don’t get frustrated if your amigurumi has crooked legs, or a bobbly head, or even lopsided ears. Keep trying. Don’t give up. And never stop hooking.
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.