So, you want to design your own amigurumi. Or maybe you have something you want to freehand as a gift. So you choose your color, pick up your hook, and then start at it for a minute. How many stitches in the first round? How will I make this the shape and size I want? My dear friend, the answer is in the math.
I know, I know. No one warned us that a craft as soft and fluffy as crochet would contain so much MATH!
But the truth is, from stitch patterns to amigurumi shapes, math is a huge, necessary part of crochet — especially if you are a designer.
With the right multiplier, you can make the perfect shape for you next amigurumi pattern.
More Starting Stitches = Flatter Crochet
I’m sure you’ve noticed in other crochet ventures, such as hats, that the number of stitches you start with tends to dictate how flat or how round your work will become.
If you put in too many increases, the piece will start to wave on the edges and not stay flat. If you put in too few, it will be too pointy.
The same is obviously true with amigurumi parts, but unlike hats, we don’t necessarily want our amigurumi to have perfectly round heads.
There are many circumstances when you WANT a pointy, conical amigurumi shape, like the snout on the Hygge Hedgehog.
Basic Amigurumi Shapes Cheat Sheet
But since there are varying degrees of pointiness, it’s nice to have a frame of reference to use when you need to choose just how round or how pointy you want your amigurumi shape to be.
I created a quick-reference printable cheat sheet for you so you can easily decide how pointy or how round you want your shape to be and move forward from there with confidence.
Hopefully, this will take the guesswork out of some of your design process.
Each of these shapes are going to start with the same number of stitches as there will be increases in each round.
Of course, you can start any amigurumi shape with any number of stitches in that first ch 2 (or in a magic circle, if you prefer), but for the sake of this example — to help you get a feel for the basics — These parts will all be naturally round, from their tip onward.
Each part will start with a number of stitches in the second chain from the hook, then you will add the same number of increases to each round, making each round in multiples of the starting number.
The multiplier to you choose will dramatically change the look of your amigurumi part, so choose carefully. Yes, you may be able to “fix” it with stuffing later, but the next artist may not.
Flat: Multiples of 8
Rnd 1: 8 sc in second ch from hook. (8)
Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (16)
Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 8 times. (24)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 8 times. (32) etc…
This multiplier is great for when you need a flat bottom for the amigurumi to sit on, or for the bottoms of hooves.
Almost Flat: Multiples of 7
Rnd 1: 7 sc in second ch from hook. (7)
Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (14)
Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 7 times. (21)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 7 times. (28) etc…
This multiplier is useful for mostly-flat noses (think smoosh-faced dogs) and parts that need to attach to one another easily.
Perfect Round: Multiples of 6
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)
Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (12)
Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 6 times. (18)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times. (24) etc…
If you’ve done many Hooked by Kati patterns, you know this is my favorite starting multiplier. I use this one a lot for many reasons.
It is “perfectly round” when stuffed, meaning it does not seem pointy or flat. It is the multiplier best suited for balls, heads — anything you want to be truly round.
The other HUGE benefit to using multiples of 6 is that your rounds often have other factors (2, 3, and sometimes 4), so it is very versatile when you need to increase and decrease the change the shape evenly.
A Wee Bit Pointy: Multiples of 5
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5)
Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (10)
Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 5 times. (15)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 5 times. (20) etc…
This multiplier is great for snouts, like those on reptiles. It is also great for tails and ears — when a true round just isn’t quite right.
Pointy: Multiples of 4
Rnd 1: 4 sc in second ch from hook. (4)
Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (8)
Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 4 times. (12)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 4 times. (16) etc…
Great for ears, beaks, and sometimes noses on things like snowmen and woodland critters.
Very Pointy: Multiples of 3
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3)
Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (6)
Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 3 times. (9)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 2 times. (12) etc…
A little hard to get started, but this one pays off if you can fight through those first few rounds. This multiplier is great for REALLY pointy amigurumi shapes, like claws, talons, spikes, or horns.
Taking a few extra minutes to choose the right multiplier for your amigurumi parts can help you bring to life the exact crochet pal you are dreaming up. With our chosen art form, even getting the math right can make all the difference.
Download and print the Basic Amigurumi Shapes Cheat Sheet. It is a great reference to have around to choose the perfect shape for your next amigurumi design.
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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.