Creating amigurumi is a delight, and there’s nothing like watching those adorable creatures spring to life with each stitch using quality amigurumi yarns. Here’s a guide to help you choose an amigurumi yarn.
Essentials To Remember When Choosing Yarn For Amigurumi
When you’re ready to start a new amigurumi project, there are a few things to keep in mind so you end up with the perfect yarn for Amigurumi. The most important thing to consider is fiber type. so that you get the best results for your crafting efforts.
What Yarn To Use For Amigurumi? Wool Vs Cotton Vs Acrylic Vs Velvet
Cotton yarn is often the top pick for amigurumi, thanks to its smooth texture, clear stitch definition, and availability in a multitude of colors (colour), from midnight blue to a bright orange. Blend fabrics like cotton-acrylic and cotton-bamboo are also great contenders. However, I don’t recommend crochet thread unless you are creating miniatures.
Acrylic yarns, being more elastic than amigurumi cotton, are a nice option for those prone to hand, wrist, or shoulder pain during prolonged crochet and knitting sessions. This fiber type (and other animal-based ones) holds shape better than plant-based types of yarn.
An acrylic and cotton blend gives you the best characteristics, elasticity and holding shape for your stuffed toy.
Wool yarn, while often a popular yarn choice for knitting and crochet projects, most amigurumi enthusiasts don’t recommend this yarn type. Why?
Wool is stretchier than other fibers, which means your stitches may not hold their shape well. Your amigurumi could look floppy instead of nice and firm. Amigurumi toys often need shaping and stuffing. Wool fibers relax and lose their shape over time, especially with lots of handling and washing.
Some people are allergic to wool or find it irritating to their skin. If you’re making amigurumi as gifts or for kids, it’s important to think about potential sensitivities. Using hypoallergenic yarn like acrylic or cotton ensures everyone can enjoy your creations.
You could try a more novel yarn like velvet, chenille, or soft polyester. The advantage of these is they’re soft, cuddly, stain-resistant and easy to maintain. However the stitch definition isn’t that good, and it’s hard to keep a firm, tight tension.
Care And Maintenance For Your Yarns For Knitting & Crochet
When making amigurumi for babies and kids, it’s crucial to think about the aftercare. Always opt for yarns that are easy to wash and dry. Some of the more exotic yarns might require dry cleaning, which might not be practical for toys that are regularly used and loved.
Remember, acrylic yarn is the perfect yarn if you’re looking for something easy care. Always check the yarn label for the instructions.
The Cotton Conundrum: Mercerized Or Not?
100% cotton can come as either mercerized or not. Mercerized cotton yarn undergoes a special process that enhances dye retention and prevents fuzzing and piling, thus prolonging the life of your amigurumi. Non-mercerized cotton yarns, though softer, may not last as long.
So, that’s why mercerized cottons are the favorites among amigurumi makers.
Blends with a higher cotton content result in a tighter fabric, which is desirable in amigurumi. Similarly, cotton/bamboo blends are a good pick because of their durability and stretchiness.
Yardage: How Much Yarn Will I Need?
Yarn requirements vary depending on the size and complexity of your amigurumi project. Always check the label for yardage information, and aim to have a bit more than your pattern dictates, just to be on the safe side.
Yarn Weights For Amigurumi: Which Weight Is Most Suitable?
#4 worsted weight yarn or light worsted #3 weight are the preferred yarn weights for amigurumi, ensuring a perfect balance between ease of work and final product density.
You could try a yarn weight like sport weight yarn or DK yarn, but remember, these are more difficult to knit with for beginners. Amigurumi projects are such a steep learning curve, so it’s best not to make things harder for yourself!
Budget Considerations For Amigurumi Yarns
As with any hobby, your budget plays a significant role. Luckily, many recommended yarns, like Paintbox Yarns, often come up in sales, so keep your eyes peeled for those bargains for a discount off the original price! Regarding fibers, wool has a more expensive price than acrylic or cotton.
Softness Vs Durability
Given that amigurumi is often used as toys, their softness is vital. No child would want to cuddle with a scratchy toy! However, the softer a yarn is, the quicker it might pill and fuzz. Super soft and cuddly amigurumi can be crafted using faux fur yarn like Fable Fur.
However, if you’re new to the world of amigurumi patterns, I’d avoid using novelty fibers like shiny yarn and eyelash yarn for amigurumi toys as you want a sharp stitch definition so you can catch your mistakes.
Given that amigurumi is often knitted with smaller needles to achieve tight stitches, your chosen yarn needs to be robust and slightly stretchy, suitable for intricate crochet or knitting patterns. Non-stretchy yarns can be harder on your hands and wrists.
Now that you know all about the different yarn options for amigurumi, you can make the perfect choice for your project.