‘Tis the season for festive cheer and cozy crochet sessions! But, as the holidays inch closer, the pressure to create heartfelt gifts often collides with the ticking clock.
In this blog post, I’m unwrapping a few time-saving tips specifically tailored for those who want to craft delightful amigurumi creations in record time. So, if you’re in the quest for speedy yet adorable handmade gifts, you’re in the right place. Let’s infuse some holiday magic into our crochet hooks and make some presents, fast!
Start Small, Get Big.
When you need a faster pattern, look for a small, simple pattern — like the newly-free Dragonling pattern, or Hubert the Blob Fish — and increase the yarn and hook size. By using bulky yarn, blanket yarn, or even holding two strands of worsted yarn together, you can greatly increase the size of the plushy without changing the pattern. Use a larger hook than recommended as well, then simply follow the pattern as written.
When you change increase the yarn and hook size, you will work the same number of stitches as if it were a small plushy, but you’ll make something big enough to hug.
Skip the Texture.
Textures are cool. Anduin the Gryphon is made more awesome by his feathery head and legs. But when speed is what matters, keep it simple. Use single crochets where there are spike stitches in HbK designs to streamline the process and take some time off of the project.
Know Your Pattern.
Before you start crochet, take a few minutes to read ALL THE WAY through your pattern! Highlight or circle stuffing and attachment instructions. Get your supplies together ahead of time and have a plan of attack for your pattern before you begin. This will prevent you from having to stop working and paint safety eyes or find your Polyfil.
If you read your pattern before you begin, you can work at a faster, more consistent pace, with less frogging that slows you down.
Crochet First, Sew Later.
Some patterns need to be assembled in order and there is no way around it. But sometimes, you can crochet all of the amigurumi pieces first and then assembled them at the end. When this is reasonable, you can stay in your crochet groove without breaking your rhythm. Any time you can work without having to stop and change gears — like when pieces need sewn together — it will shorten the time it takes to finish your project.
Rock Out to Zone In.
Music is a crocheters best friend. Create a playlist that speaks to your crochet soul. Music will keep your focused and give a rhythm to your stitchwork. You’ll be surprised how much faster you work when your hands are “dancing” along to the beat.
However, keep the TV and movies away—those visuals will have your eyes doing a dance of their own, looking up and down from your work to the screen, and slowing down your process. Make music your background and see the what it does for your crochet speed.
Find A Quiet Space.
Find a quiet space — be it at home or even in a local library or coffee shop. Put on your comfy clothes and declare this place your creative space. Let your place be free of distractions. I find that working at home can sometimes be more difficult because I’m stopped by the doorbell, or the washer/dryer dinging, or the dog wanting to be let out. If you can find a place to really settle in and focus, you can get more work done at lightning speed.
So there you have it. With these nifty tricks up your crochet sleeve, you’ll be whipping up amigurumi gifts in no time. May your crochet hook dance in the rhythm of creativity!
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.