Top Tech Tips – shaping Amigurumi

This post is otherwise known as ‘getting a bit further beyond trial and error’! Whenever I sit down to start shaping part of an amigurumi figure, there is always a certain amount of undoing and re-doing that goes on. I have in mind the shape I am trying to achieve, but there is often more luck than judgement involved as to whether it will turn out as I expected on the first attempt, and sometimes even the second, or third….

The basic technical points are these, as will be familiar to anyone who has done a little amigurumi-type crochet. If you start working in the round with double crochet (US single crochet), and increase by 6 stitches evenly every round, then you will end up with a flat circle. If you start with 6 stitches and work evenly on those 6 stitches without any increasing or decreasing, you will have a tube. In between those two extremes, if you increase by the same number of stitches every round, choosing a number between 1 and 5, you will get a cone. So if you increase by only 1 stitch every round you will get a narrower cone (closer to the tube), and if you increase by 5 stitches every round you will get a much wider cone (closer to the flat circle). If you need to brush up on the basics, try this Basic Guide to Amigurumi Part 1, and Basic Guide to Amigurumi Part 2.

I know this in theory, but what I want to be able to do is to visualise what a ‘1-stitch’ cone looks like, and what a ‘3-stitch’ cone looks like. In my mind they always translate into various kinds of hat, as that is often what I am making when I want to form a cone! Is this a wizard hat (narrow and pointy), a gnome hat (slightly less pointy), or an Asian-style rice hat (altogether much flatter)? Now this isn’t rocket science, but it occurred to me that if I make versions of all these cones then I can use them for reference later, and I will be able to judge what kind of gradient each number of increases will give me.

For each cone I worked 8 rounds. For the 1-stitch cone I started with 6 sts into a magic loop. You could always start with fewer stitches than this for a more pointy-ended cone, but any fewer than 4 is tricky to work with. Each round is listed on the picture, with the total number of stitches at the end of the round in red.

1-stitch increase Amigurumi coneHere’s the 2-stitch cone. Where the section is shown in brackets (), you repeat this again to complete the round, so for each round the section in brackets is worked twice:

2-stitch increase Amigurumi coneAnd the 3-stitch. The maths tells me that this should be half-way between the tube and the flat circle. If you folded a flat circle in half you would get a semi-circle with 180 degrees angle at the top, and the 3-stitch cone, being half way to this has an angle of approx. 90 degrees at the top:

3-stitch increase Amigurumi coneThese are the three I think I would use most often for ‘hat-type’ shapes, so these are the ones I have written out in full. Here are all the cones from 1-stitch to 5-stitch together. Looking at the gradients for the larger cones could help in trying to judge increases on more complicated shapes, even if they weren’t used as often as cones. A note about the 4-stitch and 5-stitch cones; it’s difficult to start a 4-stitch and a 5-stitch increase round from a base of 6 sts, as I used for the others. Guess what? Start with 4 stitches in the first round of the 4-stitch cone and 5 stitches for the first round of the 5-stitch cone. Easy!

Amigurumi cones of various shapesAnd finally, this is what happens when you start playing around! My son picked up 2, 3 and 4 and put them inside one another. The beginnings of a Christmas tree, perhaps?

Amigurumi cones to make Christmas tree

22 thoughts on “Top Tech Tips – shaping Amigurumi

  1. Thank you!! I have been working on a project and you are right, this isn’t rocket science, but somehow we make it that way in our minds.

  2. This is a very helpful blog for Amigurumi and toymakers . Thank you so much. I will pass it on, so the world gets more crochet understanding!
    You know: The simple things are actually much more helpful than the rocket science. Being practical is rare these days. Your son had a great idea. With your excellent work people can be inspired to use these findings in many projects.
    Thank you much!

  3. Wonderful post, thank you! This is very helpful. I tried a 1stitch per row increase but got a lot of cupping. Any idea why? I was working in spiral with no slip st/ch join.

  4. This was the best tutorial on cones. Very helpful! Now I can make some viking horns and can visualize how many increases i need to make to get the pointy shape I need. Thanks so much!

  5. You m’am have just prevented from throwing my hands up on a really cool xmas gift idea I had. It’s a volcano that can hold dinosaurs for travel & play dates for my nephews. I found a pattern I modified for this but when it got to part for the area that would hold the dinos I had to wing completely. I’m not new to crochet been doin it since I was a young girl but am by far fluent when it comes to creating my own patterns & such so I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what to use. I appreciate you more than you for this & I’m sure 2 lil boys at xmas will be too. Happy Holidays from mine to yours.

  6. Thank you so much!. Your tutorials are really first class. With the knowledge I have gained from your tutorials, I can work out the extra little items I can create for my amigurumi animals. Examples are a long fox head; bags; hats; different shaped ears; etc, & the list goes on.

  7. Thank you so much for the cone charts! I’m too embarrassed to tell you how long I’ve been trying to figure this out 😂 I’m doing a happy dance!

Leave a Reply to caramedus Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s