I love little crocheted toys, popularly referred to as “amigurumis.” I have 2 small boys in my household and there are numerous neices, nephews and little friends that need toys too. But, I hate, hate, hate, to crochet super tightly like lots of amigurumis require.
My first solution to this problem was to crochet my amis in feltable yarns. I use a bigger hook than is usually stated in the pattern, stuff the little bits and sew it all together. Then give the toy a really hot bath in the kitchen sink.
The little bear pictured above was my first experiment with this. I thought it would work best if I also stuffed him with wool roving. Unfortunately, the roving felted more than the bear did! I ended up taking some stitches thru his neck to snug things up. His pretty pink bow hid the plastic surgery very nicely though.
The lesson I learned from this was to pre-felt the roving I was going to use for stuffing. My next attempt was a baby turtle for my oldest son. This time I partly felted the roving and stuffed the turtle very full. The turtle came out almost too firm, though quite cute.
I have made a number of balls that are felted too. Experimentation has taught me that using a fiber fill stuffing at the center with layers of roving around it works best. My other trick for amis is to use fun fur or a fluffy yarn so I don’t need to stitch as tight, yet the fiber fill won’t work it’s way out. Some examples are my Pocket Monsters.
So if you’ve avoided trying to make amigurumis because the tight stitching hurts your hands some of these approaches might help you. Just be sure you have enough yarn for all the “kids” in your life. Everyone will want one. ;o)